Top Ten

June 5, 2007

SSHRC invests $119.7 in research:

$119.7 million in research funding has been announced by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  $105 million of the funding will be used to support master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships and fellowships. The remaining $14.7 million will be used to fund “strategic knowledge clusters” to perform collaborative research on issues connected to the quality of life in Canada SSHRC News Release

Goldring donates $15.1 million to uToronto athletics

The University of Toronto announced a $15.1-million gift from the Goldring family that will go toward enhancing student life and athletics at the school. The largest gift ever made to athletics at a Canadian university, $11 million will be used to improve athletic programming and facilities at the Varsity Centre, while another $4 million will “upgrade, improve and expand” the school’s student centre. The final $100,000 will help restore Soldier’s Tower, a memorial to students, graduates and faculty who died during WWI and WWII. uToronto News Release


Quebec budget allows tuition increase after 13-year freeze

The 2007 Quebec budget, which will see the end of the province’s 13-year tuition freeze, was approved last Friday as $700 million diverted from social programs will now go toward tax cuts.  Under the approved budget, tuition in Quebec will increase by $500 over the next 5 years, at a rate of $50 per term.  Universities in the province are anticipating a $400 million budget shortfall. Maclean’s

Bishop's University alum elected as premier of PEI:

Bishop’s University is pleased to announce that a former student, Robert Ghiz, has recently been elected the Premier of Prince Edward Island.  Ghiz graduated from Bishop’s Political Science program in 1996.  Coincidentally, Academica is presenting Premier Ghiz this very morning as the keynote speaker at the CCAE conference in Charlottetown.  Bishop’s News Release

Thoughts from Aboriginal Education Roundtable:

Education for Canadian First Nations peoples has a dark history of physical, sexual and cultural abuse that has taught the Aboriginal community to watch the education system cautiously, says Alex Usher.  Fortunately, aboriginal participation in PSE has nonetheless increased: where there were only 10 higher ed First Nations students 45 years ago, there are now more than 30,000.  New programming developed with aboriginal student needs and interests in mind are being launched by schools across the country, and aboriginal communities themselves are starting to offer home-grown education options, such as Blue Quills First Nations College, and the First Nations Technical Institute.  Alex Usher

New research facilities create "Saskaboom":

Saskatchewan ’s temporary boom during Congress 2007 kept stores open late and cab drivers rushing to meet demands as 5,500 visiting academics descended upon the city of 230,000.  Unique national projects such as the synchrotron and the International Vaccine Centre serve to generate jobs, spending and visitors within the community.  According to an article in yesterday’s Globe & Mail, Saskatoon ’s recent good fortune and uSask’s growth go “hand in hand.” The Globe & Mail

Massachusetts aims for free college by 2017

By 2017, Massachusetts hopes that the first 2 years of community college will be fee-free for the state’s high school graduates, as part of a large-scale education makeover in the state.  If successful, Massachusetts will be the only state in the US with free college for all high school graduates.  Regardless of aid options and accessibility programs, tuition remains a large factor in whether students decide to pursue PSE.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Glimmer of hope for US Science/ Engineering :

For the first time since 2001, the number of science and engineering grad applicants in the US has increased, to an all-time high.  There had been concern that US students were less interested in science, and that foreign institutions were offering stronger programming in the area. Data from Fall 2005, recently released by the National Science Foundation, finds that foreign enrolment in US science and engineering programs increased by 4% from the previous year, the first increase in three years.  That being said, while overall PSE enrolment increased, engineering enrolments dropped 2.5%. The number of female students increased by 2.2% and the number of male students dropped by less than 1%.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

India to overhaul education with 16 new universities, 350 new colleges

In response to low PSE participation rates among Indian youth, 16 new central universities will be created, almost doubling the current 20, which are spread across 12 of India ’s 28 states.  To further broaden access, the 16 states without a central university will soon receive one, and each of India ’s 604 local governing districts will host a minimum of one degree-granting college.  Currently 350 districts do not have a degree-granting institution. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)


Commencement webcasts break distance barriers:

Webcasts are to graduation ceremonies what the telephone was to communication.  Friends and family around the world can now tune in to witness a graduate’s special day simply by browsing the school’s website.  The University of Toronto and Lethbridge College are among many Canadian schools that have started offering this online service.  Even some high schools in the US have started broadcasting their graduations online. Grad webcasts also allow members of the public and alumni to participate in graduation celebrations, when public tickets are not available.  Canadian Press | uToronto News Release