Top Ten

July 5, 2007

uCalgary "micronanotechnology" facility opens today

The University of Calgary’s new micronanotechnology integration and packaging facility is set to open officially today.  An "ultra-clean, vibration-free" lab environment, it will be showcased to the media via live video on campus, and researchers will be available for an information session afterwards to discuss opportunities created by Alberta's recently-announced $130-million nanotechnology strategy.  uCalgary News Release

RCMP probes Aboriginal institute in Burnaby, BC

A forensic audit of the Institute of Indigenous Government has found that only 20 of 104 students were in fact Aboriginal, among other unspecified financial "irregularities."  The majority of students were international students, although the school's provincial funding is to be spent only to provide Aboriginal education. The institute opened in 1995 as “Canada’s first native-controlled public post-secondary college.” It is now being wound down by a public administrator, its courses being moved to the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, which has taken over the campus.  The Vancouver Province

First Nations University lobbies feds for top-up funds

The governing board of the First Nations University of Canada has rejected the $1.1 million deficit budget proposed for 2007-08.  The budget is called “regressive,” not meeting the institution’s needs, and “certainly does not recognize the fact that the institution has grown in the last year.”  The troubled budget is caused in large part by the withdrawal of annual operating funds from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and the expense of wage parity with uRegina, which offers faculty 16% higher salaries.  FNUC is asking the federal government for top-up funds that it historically has received each year, but not since 2005-06. The Regina Leader-Post

Humber provides media curriculum for youth education centre

The Pro Tech Media Centre provides an opportunity to explore media, for creative young people living in areas of Toronto known for gun and gang violence. The centre is heralded as offering “hope to gang members.”  Microsoft Canada has donated $400,000 in cash and leading-edge digital equipment. Humber College is providing the curriculum, and assistance from faculty at the School of Media Studies and Information Technology.  The YMCA will operate the centre, with support from the City of Toronto.  The Humber Students’ Federation has committed $50,000 to the project.  The Globe & Mail | 680 News

Lakehead targets new, mature and aboriginal students

Lakehead University’s new SAGE program creates “a gateway to education,” developed to help new high school graduates, mature students, and Aboriginal students transition into university.  Students missing specific science or math requirements for science-based programs, or with high school grade averages on the "cusp," will be able to acquire prerequisites while completing other areas of their degree.  Mature Aboriginal students will have access to the school’s revamped Native Access Program, providing a "cohort" experience as well as peer tutoring. Lakehead University News Release

Ontario colleges mark their 40th anniversary

Colleges today are much more than their founding trade-schools, but the “hands-on” element remains key.  Most colleges still include practicuums, co-ops and internships that let students learn outside the classroom. A report released this spring by Colleges Ontario found that 90% of the province’s college students found employment within 6 months, and 92.6% of employers were satisfied with the graduates they had hired.  The Toronto Sun

Canadian universities explore more daring investment strategies

The Financial Post credits UBC and uToronto with leading Canadian universities into edgier and more rewarding investment strategies.  4 years ago, the University of British Columbia incorporated a fund to manage both its endowment and staff pension assets, a strategy often pursued by Ivy League schools, according to the Financial Post.  Alternative investments were bumped from 10% to more than 35% of the overall portfolio.  The fund is now ranked in the 28th percentile of its peer group, and has grown to more than $1 billion.  uToronto has increased its target for alternative assets to 45%.  McGill currently has 13% in alternative assets and is looking to increase. Queen’s invested $12 million into alternative markets in 2005.  The Financial Post 

China again warns students against foreign education

With the failure and closure of the University of New South Wales - Asia, the Chinese government has issued another warning to students against studying overseas.  Officials accuse UNSW-Asia of spreading “boastful, false information” to generate enrolments.  Academics in Australia, UNSW’s home country, have raised concerns that international enrolment will drop, although a university spokeswoman reports “no indication that the closure is having any impact on UNSW’s student applications.”  The university lost more than $40 million when its Singapore campus closed in May.  Sydney Morning Herald

France to invest 5 billion euros in universities

France’s 85 universities “are struggling.”  According to a story from Reuters, French universities have slipped down international league tables, and are struggling with lack of space, lack of funds, and a drain of staff to more lucrative offers at US and other international institutions. The president of France admits that the nation’s universities lack the pretty campus, library services and sports facilities found in other countries.  He plans to increase spending on the universities by 5 billion euros over the next 5 years, a 20% increase.  Reuters Canada

Social network sites eat up campus network resources

Social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, are ranked among the most popular in a study of campus internet use conducted by PC World.  The heavy use of images, video, and other embedded files on many student profile pages are often spread across several servers.  The increased number of servers that networks are being forced to communicate with can potentially slow down your campus network.  The Chronicle of Higher Education