Top Ten

June 28, 2007

McMaster to open Canada's first human embryonic stem cell library

McMaster will be the home of Canada’s first human embryonic stem cell library, thanks to a $50 million donation from Hamilton businessman David Braley.  The donation will be used to finance three efforts: a family health centre that Braley hopes will be located in Hamilton’s downtown area, a $25 million endowment to fund scientists and health professionals pursuing new initiatives, and $15 million to establish the embryonic stem cell library. McMaster Daily News   


Over $24 million to fund mining research at Laurentian

26 industry and research partners have come together with a $16 million “infusion” for mining research, adding $10.4 million in cash to $6 million in kind.  The Ontario government committed $8 million earlier this year, bringing the total to over $24 million.  The funds will support Laurentian University’s research capacity and reputation as a mining and environmental centre for excellence.  Laurentian News Release


Challenging demographic forecasts for Maritime schools

According to an article in yesterday's Globe & Mail, university enrolment in the Maritimes is “tipped to drop by 10% in the next decade,” due to competition from employment, schools in other provinces and rising tuition costs.  Yesterday, our headline implied that enrolment would drop by 14%, though this is a worst-case scenario, as the MPHEC report only indicated that the traditional student applicant pool was to decrease by this amount, not enrolment in general. AUCC believes that increases in PSE participation rates will offset the demographic decline.  The Globe & Mail   


Nova Scotia premier discusses student debt on Facebook

Nova Scotia’s premier, Rodney MacDonald, has set up a Facebook account to connect with students on the topic of student debt.  MacDonald is hoping to motivate students to support the Atlantic accord.  Students have been responding well to government employees who are active in the “Canadian Student Loans – Debt Load in mid-May” discussion group on, and apparently productive discussions have been had with students.  Staff involved in the project recommend that Facebook not be used for mass government communication efforts, but agree that it seems effective for “targeting specific groups on specific topics.”  As of yesterday, Premier MacDonald had 3,002 “friends” on Facebook. The Chronicle-Herald   


USask Intervac construction begins

Construction on the International Vaccine Centre, known as InterVac, has officially begun on campus at the University of Saskatchewan. The new facility will cost $110 million and will take over three years to build.  75% of the cost will be covered by federal funds, with the university and the city of Saskatoon picking up the remainder of the tab.  The Globe & Mail   


Cumberland College launches new logo

Cumberland College in Saskatchewan launched its new brand identity last weekend at a barbeque gathering.  The new logo, which features 3 triangles, was designed to represent the college “moving into a new era in education.”  The blue symbolizes “open skies and expansive skills,” the yellow is for prairies and education as a golden opportunity, and the green is for Saskatchewan’s parklands, as well as learning as a growth experience. The new logo is pictured on a t-shirt in the newspaper article, although it hasn't made it to the Cumberland website yet.  The Nipawin Journal | Cumberland Community College   


Still room for librarians within web 2.0

With players like Google and getting into the digital book business (Amazon is even making library collections available to print on demand), where do librarians sit in a world changed by web 2.0?  Thomas Mann, author of The Oxford Guide to Library Research, has published an essay describing the results one is likely to find from Google Books or other technology-based query systems.  “Only a human guide or a classification system controlled by libraries can effectively sort the wheat from the chaff.  Google hides the existence and the extent of relevant sources on most topics by burying the good sources that it does find within massive and incomprehensible retrievals.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Read the essay     


Demand for humanities rises in India

  Indian students’ increased interest in humanities programs has resulted in increases of up to 3.5% in admission cut-off averages for Commerce and Arts programs.  SRCC’s BCom (H) current admission cut-off is as high as 98.75%, while entrance cut-offs for economics at Hindu College are between 92% and 96.5%.  Science programs in India have seen declines in cut-off averages of up to 7%.  The Times of India      


Half of US students do not seek help for mental illness

A study of 2,785 US college students has found that more than 50% who have symptoms of anxiety or depression do not look for help, even at schools where there is no cost for mental health services.  For some illnesses, up to 84% of students did not seek treatment.  72% of students who screen positive for major depression were aware they required services.  10% of students had undergone therapy, and the same proportion had taken a psychotropic drug.  Biology   


China increases involvement in African PSE

A new Institute for Business will be established on Tshwane University of Technology’s South African campus, in partnership with the Chinese Deputy Minister of Education.  The facility will promote understanding of Chinese language and business culture in South Africa.  The Chinese government has also committed to rebuilding the “war-shattered” University of Liberia, and providing Chinese experts in engineering and technology to join the faculty. China has become increasingly involved in higher education in Africa, though Western donors and universities are still leading most efforts.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)