Top Ten

April 25, 2007

Media coverage of BC's Campus 2020 report

The media have weighed in on BC’s Campus 2020 final report, and the consensus seems to be that more money is needed for PSE in British Columbia.  The report calls for long-term spending commitments: “To invest in learning is to lay the human foundations of the future.” The report’s author calls on BC to aim for the highest level of college and university participation in the country, to grant more degrees and to have the highest achieving students. The cost? In the tens of millions per year.  The report also supports a network of regional universities, matched with a set of provincial doctoral-level institutions.  Globe & Mail | CBC | Maclean’s 

Fanshawe, Western get $25 million from Reaching Higher

The province’s Reaching Higher plan has announced over $25 million for PSE in London Ontario.  Fanshawe College receives $7.1 million in new funds, and UWO receives $18.5 million, toward improving student learning.  Construction projects funded by the investments will serve as a boost to the London economy.  A total of $365 million in additional grants for colleges and universities in Ontario were announced in the 2007 Ontario budget.  A further $4.2 billion is promised for new faculty, library acquisitions and student services across the province.  Reaching Higher aims to increase funding to Ontario’s colleges and universities by 35% over 5 years.  Ontario News Release 

Toronto to host new Centre d'Excellence

uToronto and the Government of France will officially sign papers creating the Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World.  uToronto was selected by the French Embassy as the host of Canada’s first Centre d’Excellence.  There are 14 such centres around the world, at institutions such as Columbia and UCLA.  The language, literature, history and culture of France have been studied at uToronto since 1852. uToronto News Release 

uToronto's 2007 convocation to be webcast

Whether you are stuck overseas or just don’t want to put on your formal attire, you can now tune into Convocation Hall at uToronto via webcam.  Last year the school ran pilot broadcasts of a few ceremonies, and this year will be streaming all the ceremonies in real time.  Viewers in different time zones can watch later and those who want to relive the moment can play it time after time.  The convocation review committee submitted a final report with 29 recommendations to improve the ceremony and its preparation process, part of a larger review of overall student experience.  uToronto News Release  

NAIT EMT/Paramedics courses available in Lethbridge

Lethbridge College, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and the City of Lethbridge Fire & EMS are collaborating to offer high-quality programming in “pre-hospital care education.” Students will be able to access NAIT programs via Lethbridge College, and all courses will be Canadian Medical Association accredited, and approved by the Alberta College of Paramedics.  Courses will be “laddered” so that students can progress through training for emergency medical response and emergency medical technician, to the highest level of paramedic.  Lethbridge College News Release (via email)

NAIT grants dreams of child cancer patients

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has teamed up with the Kids with Cancer Society to give several children with cancer the chance to realize their dreams.  The resources of NAIT’s Aviation Pilot Training program will be handed over to aspiring child-pilots, who will take flights over the city, try out an aviation simulator, and take tours of facilities such as the City Centre Airport Tower.  Kids who want to see what it’s like to be a chef will get to make and serve appetizers for guests at the school’s award-winning student-run restaurant. NAIT News Release 

GenY optimistic in face of multiple tragedies

Since the birth of the millennial generation, they have seen the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine massacre (and W.R. Myers in Taber, Alberta one week later), the destruction of the World Trade Centre, the Thailand Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and most recently the Virginia Tech massacre.  Tragedy is no stranger to previous generations, who bore witness to world wars, Vietnam and more, but today’s youth witnessed their string of horrors in the brutally vivid age of 24/7 news coverage. Millennials could very well respond negatively to these experiences, but many seem to be inspired to appreciate their youth and potential.  GenY is a “remarkably irrepressible, optimistic bunch” according to social scientists, psychologists and generational researchers.  USA Today

Canada & US focus on student mental health

While it is not news that PSE students are struggling with depression and other mental health illnesses at increased rates, the Virginia Tech massacre and its links to mental health are causing schools and communities to get concerned.  It has been estimated that approximately 95,000 students across 117 campuses in the US have similar tendencies and conditions as the Virginia Tech gunman.  Questions are being raised about schools’ ability to handle students with mental illness, and also about where to draw the line between accessibility and safety.  E Canada Now

Cell phones for emergency communication

Email is one of an institution’s most powerful tools when it needs to communicate a message to its entire staff and student population.  When a campus-wide message needs to be instant, however, email fails to make the grade. Several schools in the US have implemented cell phone systems that blast out voice and text messages simultaneously. Cell-based notification systems are, however, voluntary and typically the participation rate is nowhere near the number of on-campus cell users.  Cell phones are used by 74% of university grads, and Canadians send more than 18 million text messages per day. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) 

Students abusing Dexedrine to cram for exams

Dexedrine is a prescription stimulant taken by many students struggling through exam season.  Doctors are saying that this needs to stop, and only students under care of a physician should even consider the drug.  Students are also known to take amphetamines, commonly used to treat ADHD.  "Dex" is meant to treat narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder, or ADHD. A uCalgary business student has been publicly quoted as saying Dex keeps him focused for hours of intense studying, as well as during his exams.  The risks of Dex include high blood pressure and psychological addiction. Sun News Alberta