Top Ten

June 20, 2007

$20 million update planned for Niagara College

The president of Niagara College hopes that the $20 million “renaissance” planned for the school will see it become “a real jewel in the crown of [the] city.” aTRM Architects, a firm based in London, will put together a detailed design over the next few months that is expected to cost $20 to $25 million.  The gym is in particular need of updating.  There are rumours of a 4 to 6 storey addition to the Merritt building, but all that is confirmed at this point is that the school intends to increase its street visibility.  The Welland Tribune

BC announces $9 million for care worker and aide education

The BC government has announced $9 million towards new student spaces, loan reduction and enhanced training for residential care aides and home support workers at the province’s colleges and universities.  213 new seats for aides and support workers will be split among 8 institutions across the province, and 16 are reserved for Aboriginal students.  A new pilot project will extend eligibility for loan reduction.  Care worker programs are typically less than 2 years, and prior to yesterday’s announcement loan reduction programs were only available to students in programs that were 2 years or more in length.  BC News Release

BC charges another private university for unauthorized degrees

Rutherford College in BC is the most recent in a string of private schools found to be offering bachelor degrees without authorization from the Ministry of Advanced Education.  BC recently announced a “crackdown” investigation into its private schools, as well as new regulations for September 2007 that will better protect students.  Poor student experiences at several Canadian private universities have been noticed by the international market.  China, in particular, issued a statement warning its students to look away from Canada for PSE.  Maclean’s

Maher Arar funds $20,000 scholarship at Thompson Rivers U

Maher Arar and his wife Monia Mazigh have announced a new $20,000 scholarship for Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.  The couple has lived in Kamloops for the past year, and has funded the scholarship to “thank the community and help students to be more involved in social justice issues.”  Mr. Arar was deported to Syria on false claims, and received $11 million in compensation from the federal government when the proof against him was found to be faulty.  The Globe & Mail

First Nations community rallies to keep college open

Vancouver’s Native Education Centre is scheduled to close on July 31 due to low enrolment, unionization issues, and lack of government funding. When it opened in 1967, the NEC was BC’s largest private aboriginal college.  It offers developmental, vocational and academic programming, increasing Aboriginal access to PSE.  The First Nations community rallied yesterday at Vancouver Community College and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre, to raise money to keep the college open. Vancouver 24 Hours

Report finds lack of opportunity and support for adult education

“Unlocking Canada’s Potential,” a report by the Canadian Council on Learning, finds that barriers to adult learning are undermining the country’s productivity and economic growth.  66% of Canadians “do not take part in any formal learning activities.”  The report also finds that Canada does not have a culture of learning.  Lack of resources for training, from both employers and the government, prevent many Canadian workers from pursuing learning and training. CCL News Release

Colleges Ontario says provincial skills shortage is critical

Colleges Ontario’s 2007 Environmental Scan has found “a serious problem with skills mismatches in Ontario” that can only be resolved by a “pro-active, co-ordinated strategy.”  Youth unemployment is higher in Ontario than in any other province, other than the Maritimes.  Almost 50% of unemployed Ontarians do not have the necessary level of literacy to participate in the economy.  70% of new jobs in Canada require higher education, yet less than 50% of Canadians have these qualifications.  Colleges Ontario News Release

Low income students less likely to pursue PSE

A new report by Statistics Canada suggests that students from low income, low education backgrounds tend to chose high school courses that decrease their career options and future income.  The reverse is true for students from higher income, better educated families.  Low income students have the ability to excel in advanced level secondary school courses, but tend to be directed away from them by several factors.  In Alberta, 97% of high school students with a university-educated parent took courses that allowed them to go to university.  Only 52% of students not from a university background took university path courses.  CBC

New Queen's performing arts centre to be built by international designers

Queen’s University has announced a new performing arts centre, to be built by the architects behind the World Trade Centre Memorial Museum Pavilion and many other high profile and “imaginative” projects. The centre is to be complete by Summer 2010 and will include a 400-500 seat concert hall, a 200-seat theatre, as well as other academic and performance spaces.  Queen’s News Release 

School skills make college students 8% more likely to graduate

Students who take academic skills and strategy courses as part of their curriculum are more likely to stay in school, and to complete their programs, according to a study by Columbia University’s Teachers College.  37,000 Florida college students were included in the study, “Do Student-Success Courses Actually Help Community College Students Succeed?”  Students who took the courses were 8% more likely to earn a degree or certificate within 5 years; they were also 8% more likely to stay in college.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Read the report