Top Ten

May 24, 2007

Waterloo ranked world's "most intelligent community":

The city of Waterloo, Ontario, has been ranked the world’s top intelligent community by Intelligent Communities Forum, an international think tank. uWaterloo is considered Canada’s premiere computer-science university. The city is also home to RIM Technologies, creators of the BlackBerry, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Ottawa-Gatineau was the only other Canadian city considered a finalist. In 2002, Calgary tied for first place with Seoul Korea.  The ranking is based on deployment of broadband communications, the extent of a knowledge work force, the promotion of digital democracy, the ability to foster innovation, and a track record in economic development marketing.  The Globe & Mail 

Activism prof sues uOttawa over academic freedom:

Denis Rancourt, a professor at uOttawa, is suing the university for $10 million for slander and violation of academic freedom, because the university cancelled his class on activism. He is reportedly suing the Dean of Science, the VP Academic, and the school’s President.  Rancourt added activism to the curriculum of a first-year Science & Society course in Fall 2006, which the school says he did not have authority to do.  In the fall, students of the same class sued the university on claims of insufficient teacher assistant resources, and two 10-year-old students who were expelled from the course have filed an Ontario human rights complaint.  Sun Media

University presidents meet in Winnipeg on Aboriginal education

The University of Winnipeg, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Manitoba Métis Federation are hosting 20 university presidents at the first roundtable on issues of access, retention, and university success for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.  The goal of the session is to develop a cooperative strategy that will see progress in these areas across all Canadian universities.  The Aboriginal University Education Roundtable is funded by the federal and Manitoban governments.  uWinnipeg News Release 

Algonquin proposes to relocate Pembroke campus

Algonquin College is considering relocating its Pembroke campus to a new waterfront location. A proposal was presented to the college’s board of governors and will be explored over the coming weeks.  The campus’ dean says that the current facilities have been outgrown, and that a new facility is definitely needed.  The proposal outlines a building of similar size to what is already being used, but is designed to make more efficient use of its space, allowing programs to expand. The waterfront location is seen as ideal for several outdoor programs. The Daily Observer


SFU registrar advises students to find the right fit:

  Kate Ross, registrar and senior director of student enrolment at Simon Fraser University, tells Maclean's in a recent interview that, in many ways, prospective university students are paralyzed by too many choices. She argues that students do not need to have concrete ideas about their future career goals when picking their university program, so long as they have an interest and a passion for the subject. She also recommends that students think about the kind of institution that is the right fit for them.  Maclean’s

Columnist encourages higher tuition:

A 2005 survey of BC’s year 2000 graduates found 97% were employed, with a median salary of $50,000.  An opinion column in the Victoria Times Colonist proposes that, since PSE seems to be a fairly safe and high-yield investment, students really should shoulder the full burden of the cost, as the direct beneficiaries. The vast majority of Canadian PSE students are from the middle- and upper-class, says the item, so government subsidies do little to enhance low-income access. Government grants have dropped from 79% of the University of Victoria's operating budget in 2001 to just 67% in 2006.  The Victoria Times Columnist


High school grads visiting Monster are focused on careers:

A survey of 2,000 high school graduates conducted by online employment website Monster Worldwide echoes some findings from Academica's University and College Applicant Surveys. 83% say that the availability of their intended major is the most important factor in their choice of school, and most prefer telephone communication over email or IM. Two-thirds already have work experience on their resumes, and many have long-term career plans and specific majors in mind. The survey also measured plans to finance PSE and intended majors. Only 7% plan to "boomerang" home after college.  Monster Worldwide News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)


"Gifted" kids finally find a fit at university:

“Gifted” children often feel isolated from their peers in high school, usually because of differing interests, goals, values, and intellectual ability.  A PSE honours program is often the first time these students, who typically are engaged by existential and broader cultural and intellectual issues, are in an environment conducive to this type of exploration.  Gifted students call the entry into university a “homecoming,” and “an oasis following years of isolation.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | “The Impact of an Undergraduate Honors Program on Gifted University Students” (Temporarily Free Online)

Bill allowing university satellites in India gets stalled:

A new bill on the table in India’s parliament would allow foreign universities to set up in the booming nation.  Legal details have stalled the bill, which was thought to be close to a sure thing.  While the minister opposes the bill in its current form, representatives of the Left party support it, and support regulating the operations of foreign institutions in the country.  Several universities already operate satellite campuses in India, through partnerships with Indian institutions.  The Wall Street Journal 

US high school students fall off PSE track:

Upwards of 90% of US grade 7 and 8 students intend to go to college, but only a third know which high school courses to take in order to pursue their PSE goals. Compared to those who intend to go, only 66% overall go straight to college or university after graduating high school.  A recent report by the National Association of Secondary School Principals suggests that the years prior to high school are a key time for students to consider their futures, and that information and resources for students who want to set a path toward college need to be more readily available.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)