Top Ten

June 21, 2007

Trudeau Foundation Scholarship winners announced

The Trudeau Foundation has announced 15 scholarships worth a total of $2.25 million for students across the country.  The winners “have the creativity, ideas and scholarly track record to effect change locally, nationally and even globally.” In Canada, students from UBC, SFU, Dalhousie, uAlberta, UWO, uToronto, UNB and uMontreal received the awards.  Trudeau Foundation news release

McMaster and Ministry face off over budget crunch

The president of McMaster University and the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities have squared off, so to speak, in the Hamilton Spectator. Last Friday, President George was quoted in the Spec, calling the government’s commitment to higher education “suspect.”  Mac is trying to find space for 10% more first-year students in 2007-08, while simultaneously cutting costs.  The minister has responded in a letter to the editor, saying that “the number of students McMaster takes is up to McMaster, not the Ontario government,” and asking the university and the community to recognize the “much larger contribution to education at McMaster over the past 4 years.”  “More Students, Less Funding” | “Province is funding every student and more

25% increase in mature Ontario university applicants

75,802 students have confirmed their enrolment in Ontario universities for September 2007 (as of May 30th), representing an increase of 5.2% compared to June 14 last year.  Confirmations from non-secondary-school students increased by 24.6%.  uToronto, York and UWO received the highest number of secondary student confirmations.  Ryerson was among the top three, with uToronto and York, for non-secondary student confirmations.  uGuelph-Humber saw a 34.5% increase in confirmations from last year among secondary students, and a 202% increase among non-secondary student applicants.  OUAC

Canadian university presidents oppose Israeli university boycott

The presidents of UBC, McGill, and York University have issued public statements opposing the international boycott of Israeli universities that has been urged by a British academic union.  The boycott is seen as a threat to the academic right to collaborate. Several US academics have also positioned themselves against the boycott, including representatives from UC, Berkeley, and Columbia.  A previous president of uToronto has also joined the movement.  The Globe & Mail | UBC Statement | York Statement

UNBC to brand as "Canada's Green University"

UNBC has set its sights on becoming Canada’s Green University.  According to a representative, the school’s heavy research focus on environmental studies, as well as its unique location in the BC “wilderness,” sets the path toward this goal.  8% of the school's students are in environmental studies, the highest rate in BC.  12 of the school’s privately-funded research chairs are focused on environmental issues. “We are now trademarked as Canada’s Green University, and we’ll definitely make that a big part of how we strengthen the image of UNBC around the country.”  The Prince George Citizen 

Cost isn't the main factor in low-income education gap

The education gap between students with low and high income backgrounds does not seem to change in provinces with lower tuition fees.  “It’s not the provinces with the highest tuition fees that have the biggest gap between income groups,” according to Youth In Transition, a national survey.  84% of the education gap is attributed to factors such as academic performance, parents' level of education, and parental expectations – only 12% is attributed to financial limitations.  The Ottawa Sun

uManitoba ups lab fees for $900,000

While Ontario watches its colleges and provincial government head to court over charges of “illegal” ancillary fees charged to community college students, uManitoba has announced a set of new lab fees for its students.  Student unions view these fees as a way for schools to get around tuition caps and regulations, which is the logic behind the class action lawsuit against Ontario colleges.  The fees proposed by uManitoba are expected to generate $900,000 for the school in 2007-08. The Winnipeg Sun

US colleges plan alternative rankings online

115 US liberal-arts colleges have announced plans to develop an online resource that will act as an alternative to traditional commercial school rankings.  The effort will be in co-operation with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and hopes to be a more “transparent” information source for students and parents.  80 of the 118 presidents confirmed that they will not be participating in the next issue of US News & World Report’s annual rankings.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

High school grades a better predictor than SAT scores

A new study of California university students has found that students’ high school grades are more indicative than their SAT scores of their ability to succeed at college.  Standardized tests are shown to add a “small but statistically significant” improvement to predictions, but are also found to be more reflective of socioeconomic status, biasing the admissions process if given too much weight.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Can institutional online communities compete with global networks?

  It is easy to be captivated by the appeal of online communities and the potential traffic they could create for institutional websites, but will an unconnected array of networks survive in a world where people seem to have an unlimited number of associations?  The “beauty” of Facebook and MySpace is that all your connections mesh in one gigantic platform.  Your undergrad alumni, post-grad alumni, and workplace networks can all be maintained on a single generic site such as Facebook. InterMedia