Top Ten

July 17, 2007

Toronto "Pathways" program reduces dropouts to 10%

Pathways to Education is a $3.5 million stay-in-school program that has successfully enrolled almost 95% of high school students in Regent Park, a troubled inner-city neighbourhood in Toronto. Remarkably, it has reduced the dropout rate from 56% to a mere 10% (less than half the Toronto average), and quadrupled PSE participation from 20% to 80%, making it the most successful program of its kind in North America. The program is now being implemented in 5 other Ontario communities, with hopes of someday spreading nationwide. The program offers tutoring, support workers, career mentors, free transit tickets, and PSE bursaries.  The Globe & Mail | Pathways News Release 

$120 million Centre announced at Rotman

Richard Florida has officially been announced as the new academic director of the $120 million Centre for Jurisdictional Advantage and Prosperity, at uToronto's Rotman School of Management.  Florida is well known for work in economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation.  He is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, an international bestseller.  He is also the founder of a global think tank, the Creative Class Group.  uToronto News Release 

Microsoft to establish its own university in India

Microsoft will set up its first ''exclusive and independent educational venture'' in the world, in Bangalore.  A Microsoft university will offer education on high-end computing.  It is hoped that the school will act as a pipeline to tech talent in India. The initial class is estimated to include 1,000 students.  Microsoft is still in negotiations with the national government, and final approvals have yet to be given.  The Times of India

Lakehead covers $1.75 million shortfall

Lakehead University held a town hall meeting last Friday to discuss its budget.  Despite strong increases in applications, a shortfall caused by the cost of growing the Orillia satellite campus will cause the institution to use almost $1.75 million from its savings to balance the 2007-2008 budget.  Tuition will increase by almost 4% for the average student -- up to a 5% increase is allowed by the province.  Thunder Bay's Source 

Nova Scotia invests in African education

The Nova Scotia government has put forward $1.8 million as the first instalment of the promised $4.1 million over four years, to improve education for African-Nova Scotians.  46 recommendations were drafted over 10 years ago by the Black Learners Advisory Committee, including ''hiring more black teachers and changing the curriculum to reflect more African-Nova Scotian history and culture.''  The province has made a commitment to implement these recommendations within 4 years.  The Globe & Mail 

Ontario invests in francophone PSE access

The Ontario government has announced that it will invest $5.7 million in 2007-08, an increase of $1.7 million over last year, to increase francophone access to quality PSE.  The funding will benefit Ontario's 16,700 francophone students.  From both provincial and federal programs, uOttawa will receive $28.2 million in specialized support for French-language offerings.  La Cite Collegiale will receive $10.9 million.  Universite de Guelph will receive $390,000.  Funding for French-language education has increased about 40% since 2003-04.  Ontario News Release | CBC | uOttawa News Release

uCalgary professor spearheads human rights lawsuit

Darren Lund, an award-winning education professor at the University of Calgary (and a married, straight father) filed a complaint against the author of a controversial letter against gay activists that will now be the focus of what some are calling ''probably the most significant constitutional case involving human rights legislation that has ever been considered in Alberta.''  The key debate is over freedom of speech, vs. inciting hatred against gays. The Alberta government has lined up behind Lund, while a national gay-rights group has decided not to support his suit, in a nod to free speech.  The Calgary Herald 

An overview of the Israeli boycott controversy

In May, the annual conference of the UK University and College Union (120,000 British academics) voted to consider boycotting Israeli institutions and academics.  This is the latest in a series of attempts by British faculty unions to penalize Israeli universities.  Many US and Canadian universities have issued statements in opposition to the proposed boycott, on the grounds of defending academic freedom and international collaboration.  ''In seeking to quarantine Israeli universities and scholars, this vote threatens every university committed to fostering scholarly and cultural exchanges.''  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Creating a global university

According to an Inside Higher Ed column, there is ''no single path to creating a global university or a global curriculum.''  Several tips, however, are offered.  1) Welcome Global Experts: make guest lecturers feel at home, provide opportunities to offer international perspectives on global subjects.  2) Connect to the United Nations.  3) Give students the opportunity to explore global interests and to pursue international links.  4) ''Become Bridge Builders'': make connections with other institutions and programs in other areas. Inside Higher Ed 

Winning student-made radio spots

The best 3 radio PSAs created by high school students to promote are available for listening online. The winning spot compares finding the right "fit" in a college to shopping for fashion at the mall, while others urge students to "just be a pain" and "put your hands on some cash." Young people are advised that college "will really make you hot." The contest was sponsored by the American Council of Education, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Ad Council, and the YMCA.  KnowHow2Go