Top Ten

July 31, 2007

Toronto universities suggest team-work to solve space crunch

Toronto’s universities potentially face an overwhelming space crunch within the next 20 years.  The area is estimated to need 40,000 to 75,000 PSE spaces within six years: 1000’s of Toronto area students may have to look to other regions if facilities are not expanded to accommodate the rush of students. uToronto, York and Ryerson have proposed a joint effort at meeting the demand and have gone as far as suggesting a “rethinking” of the province’s PSE system to allow for more movement between institutions and increased joint programs.  The Globe & Mail

uToronto closes shooting range despite clean record

uToronto has announced that its 88 year old shooting range will close, despite its popularity and history without dangerous incidents. Supporters of the facility say that the decision “reflects a distorted view of a calm and highly technical activity, perpetuates unfair stereotypes and blocks off an avenue to explore and debate uncomfortable ideas.”  uToronto is the last university in Canada to have an on-campus shooting range.  The facility is claimed to serve as “a painful reminder and a symbol of more sinister uses.”  The Globe & Mail

Saskatchewan goes wireless to attract technologists

Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw are all enjoying free wireless Internet service, courtesy of the Saskatchewan provincial government.  uSask, uRegina and all four SIAST college campuses will be taken into the program by September.  The project is part of an effort to position Saskatchewan as a “high-tech learning centre that appeals to graduates and young professionals.”  It is also hoped to help bridge the “digital divide.”  The Globe & Mail

Clark Hall Pub closed indefinitely at Queen's

Clark Hall Pub, ran by the Engineering Society at Queen’s University, closed indefinitely on June 29th.  The reasons behind the closure of the popular facility include financial discrepancies, concerns about operation and from insurers and the liquor license holder. The Engineering Society hopes that by closing the pub voluntarily, it will retain control of the pub in the future, should it ever open again.  The Journal

US universities provide special facilities for Muslim students

Is providing special accommodations and facilities for members of a religious community considered fair treatment on campus? uMichigan has plans to build a foot bath for Muslim students who would like to wash their feet before prayer. George Mason University makes a “medication space” with prayer rugs and separate areas for men and women available to Muslim students.  Some have proposed that this provides “religious benefits that [schools] do not give to any other religion.”  Non-Muslim students who enter the prayer area at George Mason are asked to observe Muslim rules while inside.  USA Today

Pay per discipline introduced at US universities

Several US universities have begun adjusting tuition fees according to program of study.  Business undergrads at uWisconsin will pay $500 more than other undergraduates. uNebraska charges engineering students $40 more per each hour of class credit.  The trend is associated with the high salaries afforded to faculty in these programs, as well as the costs of equipment and political barriers to general tuition increases.  Some are concerned about literally placing a value on certain disciplines and it has been said that across-the-board tuition increases would be preferred but are simply now possible at this time.  The New York Times

Does your institution contact grateful patients?

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) and Grizzard, a non-profit organization, suggest there is a lack of communication between hospitals and former patients, and that many fundraisers don’t consider contacting former patients as an important part of their job. Less than 50% of institutions surveyed were found to contact patients within 3 months of their release.  20% of institutions do not contact former patients at all.  Face Value

Students shown to prefer lighter, less "academic" courses

UK students in a recent survey are found to prefer “soft” and “scandalously unacademic” courses rather than traditional (and harder) science courses.  Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology saw a 19% drop in applications in 2006, while Tourism, Transport and Travel increased by 25.8%.  It has been accused that universities are “cashing in” on “softer subjects”, as the new wave of studies tends to be popular as well as less costly to run. The Daily Mail

Study sex-ed online with the University of Plymouth

Britain’s uPlymouth offers virtual sexual health and contraception education via Second Life.  Users can access sex-ed materials and visit “an office in the sky” for one-on-one counselling.  “Free condoms” are even available from a virtual dispensing machine.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)