Top Ten

July 10, 2007

Academica to acquire web technology company

Academica has announced an agreement to acquire x2idea corporation, an interactive marketing agency in the forefront of the open-source movement, and the development of content-managed web portals.  Academica has worked with more than a hundred Canadian colleges and universities, providing market intelligence and education sector strategy.  The acquisition of x2idea Corporation will allow Academica to harness the power of web-based data and creative technology solutions.  Academica News Release

Alberta invests $260 in new uCalgary Energy, Environment and Economy facility

The Alberta government has announced $260 million will be invested in uCalgary, to fund the university’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE).  The facility will accommodate 1,000 additional students.  The ISEEE program is a first-of-kind in Canada and takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying energy, environmental engineering, geology, economics, commerce and sustainable development.  It will also offset Alberta’s shortage of energy and environment professionals.  Construction will begin in Fall 2007.  AlbertaNews Release | The CalgaryHerald

Construction frenzy at uVictoria

uVictoria’s campus is anything but quiet this summer, with construction crews busily working on 3 new buildings currently and more to come in the Fall.  11 infrastructure projects are underway, representing $155.7 million in new work.  The new Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric  Science  Buildingis budgeted at $66.6 million.  A new Enterprise Data Centre will cost $5.2 million.  The new structures will add a much needed 30,000 square feet of space, accommodating increased numbers of students.  The Times Colonist

York University to add medical school

In his first interview as new President of York University, Mamdouh Shoukri expressed his ambitions to increase the institution’s emphasis on science and engineering, including the planned addition of a medical school.  Setting a tone of determination, Shoukri is ready to expand Canada’s third-largest university and raise the school’s research profile as he did in his previous role as Vice-President of Research at Hamilton’s McMaster  University.  The Globe & Mail

uWaterloo bucks history of specialized programming

uWaterloo has traditionally focused on offering specialized program options, but the school’s new Bachelor of Knowledge Integration offers something for students torn by interest in both arts and sciences.  Based on experiences with teens who think “outside the box,” exploring and innovating across disciplinary lines, the new degree is meant to be broader than other programs.  The BKI program is waiting for provincial approval. The KW Record | uWaterloo News Release

York School of Engineering accredited by CEAB

York  University’s engineering program has received accreditation by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.  Graduates of York’s program can now apply directly for a professional engineering licence, rather than complete additional testing.  Members of the CEAB are said to have been impressed by the professionalism they saw during their visit to York’s Schoolof EngineeringYorkNews Release

Report attributes majority of low-income education gap to non-financial influences

According to a recent report, only 12% of the gap in university attendance between youth from the top and bottom income quartiles can be attributed to lack of money.  The quality of the high school attended by the student, the level of their parents’ education and parental expectations regarding PSE, as well as self-esteem and standardized test scores play a large role in the education gap.  The report suggests that if government money is going to be used to close the gap, it should be invested at the early stages of education rather than at the post-secondary level.  “We are spending too much in the later years fixing things that we could fix much more cheaply in the early ones.”  The VancouverSun

Thomson Sells Ed Unit

  Last Thursday, July 5th, Canadian financial information provider Thomson Corp. completed the sale of their education unit, Thomson Learning, to a consortium of funds for $7.75 million.  Also included was the sale of Nelson Canada, an Ontario-based book publisher and provider of online resources.  The deal sees the sale of their higher-education, career, and library-reference assets because it did not fit the company’s strategic long-term goals.  Forbes