Top Ten

June 14, 2007

$24.7 million expansion to uSherbrooke Innovation Park

Quebec premier Jean Charest has announced a further $10 million for the University of Sherbrooke, to fund the Centre d’excellence en genie de l’information (CEGI), a new building to be added to the school’s “innovation park.”  The new facility will combine the research divisions of the faculties of engineering, science, medicine, health sciences, and physical and sports education, and will specialize in telehealth, technological assistance, and health support at a total cost of $24.7 million.  $6.6 million will come from federal coffers and $8.1 million is to come from the University’s budget.  The Sherbrooke Record 

$11.8 million Aquatic Toxicology Facility at uSask

The University of Saskatchewan’s Toxicology Centre will re-open tomorrow with an $11.8 million expansion.  The Aquatic Toxicology Research Facility was the focus of the expansion, and is a first-of-its-kind facility in Canada, and one of few similar operations in the world. uSask researchers will be able to study lake and river pollution via the new facility, working towards ecosystem health, water quality and improved environmental policy.  (uSask Email News Release)

Ontario government vows to crack down on illegal fees

On Tuesday, the Ontario government announced its response to the college students' $200 million class action suit against ancillary fees, saying that colleges cannot legally charge additional fees for academic or capital costs. The students still plan to name the province in the suit as well, for turning a blind eye to the practice over several years. Maclean's

Boréal relocates London campus

Collège Boréal, a French-language community college based in Sudbury, has relocated its London Ontario campus to a new downtown location in Galleria Mall.  Dramatic enrolment increases saw the school outgrow its former Dundas Street location. Fanshawe College, the University of Western Ontario and CDI College also have significant presence in the Galleria.  “Southern Ontario is where the biggest growth is for francophones in Ontario”: the new location boasts twice as many classrooms and upgraded equipment.  Collège Boréal also hopes to foster partnerships with its new neighbours in the education industry.  London Free Press 


Brock moves to flat rate for full-time learners

According to Brock University’s student newspaper, the school will be implementing a “fixed rate” tuition policy effective Fall 2007.  Only students taking less than 3.5 credits during the Fall and Winter terms are exempt from the new policy (summer courses do not count towards credit total).  The university is hoping that fewer students will drop courses from their full-time load under the policy.  Policy at the school has changed because of a reduced budget and a lack of space – Brock is already looking at additional seminar facilities across the street. The Brock Press 

New inner-city, urban issues program at uWinnipeg

uWinnipeg will be offering an innovative new Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban and Inner-City Studies starting Fall 2007.  The interdisciplinary major will focus on examination of the city as a dynamic environment.  It will combine traditional urban studies with a focus on inner city, Aboriginal, immigrant and women’s experiences, and urban change issues.  The Aboriginal Student Services Centre will support many students who enroll in the program.  (uWinn Email News Release)

French language college to expand significantly into English by 2011

John Abbott College has joined the fray over CEGEP Edouard Montpetit’s proposed English-only aircraft diploma program.  JAC’s director supports the proposal, despite the controversy over it being offered in English.  The proposed program would replace a similar offering at JAC that will no longer be offered after this year.  Ecole nationale d’aerotechnique’s enrolment slipped from 1,600 to 600 in September 2001, and intends to offer additional English programs by 2011.  Employee unions and student associations have been joined by French-language advocates against the decision.  The Montreal Gazette 

An online alumni community open to everyone

Many schools are modeling online alumni communities after  Elon University, however, has taken what they feel is a more accessible approach for those who graduated prior to the age of Facebook: “social networks are a phenomenon of the past 4 to 5 years, and most alumni are past that generation.”  Elon decided the best approach to a successful online community was to make it open to everyone (students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff), even though its primary objective was to strengthen connections with alumni.  The site has acquired 3,100 members since its launch just over a month ago, and alumni currently outnumber current students by more than 500 accounts.  The News Record 

VT shooting game supposed to be a "joke"

An anonymous game developer claims that his shooter-style game modeled after the Virginia Tech massacre was intended as a joke.  Players take on the role of Seung-Hui Cho and take aim at students on campus.  The developer is demanding donations of $2,000 to take the game offline, and $3,000 for an apology.  The website has attracted hundreds of objections and comments. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | V-Tech Rampage

Second Life 101

Second Life is a virtual 3-D online world that was built by Linden Lab in 2003, but that has been constructed by millions of hours of volunteer effort ever since.  On SL, members create an online "avatar" who can experience different virtual environments (islands, buildings, campuses) and interact with the avatars of other members.  As of May 2007, there were 6.4 million accounts on Second Life.  According to a June article in University Business, more than 100 colleges and universities are active in this new virtual world.  According to one of the execs behind SL, “Second Life gives both students and faculty a new medium for exploring things like distance learning, experiential learning, simulation, and scientific visualization in a fundamentally collaborative environment.” University Business