Top Ten

July 6, 2007

Residence construction delays leave 100 SAIT students in the lurch

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is asking Calgarians to help avoid a student housing crisis by opening their homes to boarders this fall.  A new student residence was to be completed by September, but is now confirmed to be behind schedule, with no firm completion date. 200 students can be housed in an existing residence at SAIT, but 100 others who had planned to live on-campus will now have to find overflow space in the community.  With a rental vacancy rate of 0.5% in Calgary, some students may be unable to pursue their studies as planned.  CBC

Manitoba's international students protest tripled tuition

International students at Manitoba’s universities led protests yesterday at uManitoba, uWinnipeg and the provincial legislature grounds, asserting that their tuition rates are a violation of human rights.  International students in Manitoba pay as much as three times the fees paid by Canadian students, according to the Bangladesh Students Association. uWinnipeg’s international student fees increased by 57% for Fall 2008, bringing fees on par with uManitoba. The universities argue that bursary programs are available to foreign students, and that the difference in domestic student fees is covered by Canadian taxes.  Winnipeg Free Press

McMaster students to be paid "Watchdogs" off-campus

  The McMaster Students Union, Off-Campus Resource Centre, and the City of Hamilton are hiring students to act as “watchdogs” in student neighbourhoods. Students will be trained on property standards, will note property bylaw infractions in the community and then communicate with landlords.  In part, “Project Watchdog” is a demonstration of the commitment of students and the university to the Hamilton community.  McMaster Daily News

Expanded tourism, hospitality programs at Confederation

Confederation College, in Thunder Bay Ontario, has responded to the growing demand for tourism and hospitality workers by expanding programs in cooking, hospitality and the trades, at the secondary and post-secondary level. Students also work in the field with businesses that offer on-the-job customer service training.  “The fact is that we’re a hospitality area, where tourism is becoming more prevalent.”  The school has also “recalibrated” its mining programs, launching programs in line cutting, geophysical education, diamond drilling and prospecting. Heavy demand for copper and steel in India and China are driving growth in the northwestern Ontario mining industry. Kenora Daily Miner & News

uVic tackles touchy subjects through parents of incoming students

The University of Victoria is betting on the power of parental influence, mailing information packages to the parents of incoming students in the hope that students will receive the information better when filtered through their parents. The packages include materials to smooth the transition to university life, including notes on uVic’s smoking policy, health services, and a handbook for talking to students about alcohol.  The Ring

NSERC selects 3 students to study with 18 Nobel winners

3 Canadian students have been chosen by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to attend the 2007 Lindau Meetings in Germany.  18 Nobel Prize winners will speak at the event, sharing their knowledge with scientists and economists from around the world.  Ava-Ann Allman, a McGill psychology doctoral student; Karen Eny, a uToronto nutrition student; and Donald Gammon, a uAlberta microbiologist, were the 3 students chosen by NSERC for the honour.  The Montreal Gazette

US colleges move toward transparency

A new website created by US private and public PSE institutions will provide standardized statistics on each participating institution to the curious public.  Common data will be comparable across institutions, including class size, graduation rates, employment rates, tuition after financial aid, and offer acceptance rates. Congress has been asking schools to make more information accessible, and a movement by liberal arts colleges away from the US News & World Report rankings means that a new source of information for students and parents may soon be in high demand.  NY Times

Changing definitions of student success

Undergraduate enrolment in the US has increased by six times over the last 50 years, with more than 80% of today’s high school grads heading off to college within 8 years of graduation.  Most policy continues to assume the traditional student success model, based on direct PSE entry from high school, on-campus residence, full-time enrolment and parental support. Increasingly, students may study part-time, balance education with employment, and even take terms off to focus on other goals.  Some students may take up to 30 years to complete a program. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

UK's target of 50% university participation questioned

 The UK’s ministers want 50% of the 18- to 30-year-old population to attend university by 2010, but one professor says that without substantial financial investment to accommodate increased enrolment, the UK runs the risk of losing its status at “the top of world university rankings.”  Cambridge and Oxford follow closely behind Harvard as the world’s leading universities, and Britain currently has 29 universities in the world’s top 200.  The BBC quotes the same professor warning that “overseas students are not necessarily the best students.”  BBC News

Male and female students equally chatty

Although it has been suggested that women use almost 3 times as many words per day as men, a new study has found that -- during their college years at least -- both genders are almost equally “chatty.”  Female students were recorded using an average of 16,215 words per day, while male students used 15,669.  The almost 400 participants studied ranged from as few as 500 words to as many as 47,000 words per day.  Reuters | CTV