Top Ten

May 2, 2007

AUCC predicts Canadian university enrolment boom

According to the AUCC, Canadian university enrollment is going to increase by 70,000-150,000 FLE over the next 10 years -- despite dramatic decreases in youth cohorts in many regions. AUCC expects a knowledge-based economy and rising demand for skilled workers to increase university participation rates, despite declining demographics. National enrolment has set record highs over the last several years, and universities are struggling to find space for all the qualified applicants -- particularly in Alberta, BC and Ontario. Read the Report | AUCC News Release | The Globe & Mail |  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | CBC

Ontario promotes environmental education for youth

Ontario’s ministries of Environment and Education have teamed up to launch two websites meant to inform and engage youth about environmental concerns. “Our government is committed to reaching every student with an environmental education that inspires them to take positive action. Climate change is the challenge of our generation.”  The websites, and, are part of EcoSchools, a provincial environmental education program addressing how schools are run, and environmental curriculum. Ontario News Release

Quebec students appear to accept tuition hike

After all the fuss and bother of pre-election protests, Quebec’s university students are now apparently accepting the end of the province’s tuition freeze.  Fees are scheduled to rise $100 per year from September 2007 until 2012.  Yesterday’s Montreal Gazette includes quotes from several students who agree that prices go up over time, and that the $500 hike is justified in the name of preserving quality education.  Some students are still opposed to the increase, and some wish it would be implemented more gradually than $50 per term.  The Montreal Gazette

Regina proposes to repay tuition

Regina’s Chamber of Commerce is suggesting radical financial support for students who agree to stay in the city after completing their education.  Grants, loans and credits to an amount sufficient to completely cover education costs have been proposed. Changes to immigration laws have also been proposed.  Reports indicate that Saskatchewan may be “out of workers” in less than 2 years.  News Talk 650

Part-time students left out of NB tuition rebate

New Brunswick’s Liberal provincial government has announced changes to the tuition rebate program set up previously by the Tories.  Students are able to apply for 50% of their tuition costs (to a lifetime max of $10,000) if they live and work in the province.  The changed program will only rebate students who complete their diplomas or certificates.  The Conservative party feels this is discriminatory to part-time students. CBC

Flood plain may hamper UWO expansion plans

The University of Western Ontario has released a 50-year master plan that includes construction of up to 26 three- or four-storey buildings, with combined floor space of more than 2.6 million square feet. The problem is, the surrounding city of London may widen the flood plain designation surrounding the Thames River, along the school’s border. UWO’s president says the land is essential for the school’s ability to expand.  The London Free Press 

uAlberta students protest clear-cut paper products

uAlberta students, alumni and staff are raising concerns about the university’s purchasing ethics.  The school currently purchases toilet paper and paper towels from Kimberley-Clark, an organization they say employs clear-cutting techniques, and sources lumber from the slow-growing, ancient Boreal forest.  The students’ union has already adopted a more sustainable purchasing policy; now students and staff are targeting the University administration itself.  Greenpeace News Release

Archives of Ontario construction starts at York

The ground has been broken for the new Archives of Ontario building on York University’s campus.  The new building will be coordinated with the extension of the York-Spadina subway line as a single project.  The archives will be designed to meet the needs of environmentally-sensitive documents, and will meet LEED Silver Certification criteria, the nationally-accepted benchmark for “green” buildings.  The archives are expected to be finished by York’s 50th anniversary in Mary 2009.  York News Release | Ontario News Release 

UBC avoids $89 million in new construction

UBC’s Campus Renew partnership unveiled its latest “revitalized” building last week: the Buchanan D Block is the home of the Faculty of Arts undergrad program and one of 10 buildings that the university is re-launching.  The partnership will update older buildings on campus and extend their lifespan by at least 40 years.  In the 2 years since the project began, $25.4 million has been saved by updating existing buildings rather than building new facilities, and 1000 student spots per year have been added.  UBC News Release | BC News Release

Canadian employers aren't investing in training

  Learning and Development Outlook 2007 by the Conference Board of Canada, reports that spending on employee training and development is at the same level now as ten years ago, despite inflation. Pressure to renew and upgrade worker skills through training, learning and development investments is very high in the current marketplace, yet Canadian employers are failing to step up financially.  Knowledge-based non-profit organizations, however, report spending more than $1,000 per employee.  Ironically, retail, education and health, and construction industries are spending the least on employee development.  Conference Board News Release