Top Ten

October 11, 2007

uMontreal hosts inaugural IFPU colloquium starting today

The Université de Montréal is hosting an international colloquium to celebrate the formation of the International Forum of Public Universities, bringing together presidents or their representatives from 21 leading public universities from 20 countries (uMontreal and the University of California are the only North American institutions represented). The theme is "Universities, Public Policy, and Internationalization," and the colloquium will include specialists in public policy, government representatives, and decision makers from major NGOs. 

uManitoba staff on strike, professors to follow next week

Staff at the University of Manitoba went on strike as of yesterday, including maintenance, general service, care-taking, food services and residence personnel.  Workers held a "friendly picket" while students arrived at campus throughout the day -- classes continue as scheduled and the library remains open.  Students were told to arrive early for classes due to potential delays, and to pack a lunch.  The school's faculty association has set its own strike date for October 18, and is currently in mediation with the university. 

Acadia talks resume off-campus despite strike deadline

Acadia University's faculty and administration met off-campus with a conciliator yesterday in hopes of reconciling before the strike/lockout deadline set for next Monday.  Acadia's faculty association voted 84% in favour of a strike if an agreement is not reached by the deadline.

Saskatchewan NDP promises $1,000 tuition cut

Saskatchewan's NDP premier has promised students a $1,000 tuition cut, amidst rumours that a provincial election may be called any day. The McCall report on PSE, released earlier this week, called for undergraduate tuition at both uRegina and uSaskatchewan to be cut by $1,000.  The report also called for grants to First Nations students who are on waiting lists for federal financial assistance.

Ontario university students to increase 50% by 2017

A Globe & Mail opinion piece written by the chair of Wilfrid Laurier University's board of governors emphasizes "the rapid rise in young people clamouring for space in our universities." Last year, 357,000 students attended Ontario universities -- 14,000 more than anticipated -- and the Ontario university student population is expected to swell by almost 50% over the next 10 years.  The surge is attributed to increased PSE participation rates, immigration, and the "boom echo."

uCalgary opens Alberta's most eco-friendly building

 The University of Calgary has opened the Child Development Centre, Alberta's first building designed and built to LEED Platinum standard.  The CDC is also apparently only the second such building in Canada. (Back in August, Laurentian University announced the first, the Living with Lakes Centre in Aquatic Restoration.) The new building is dedicated to child health, and will be home to the school's second child-care facility, as well as researchers, clinicians, and front-line workers.

Canadian colleges and universities among top employers

Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto, Appleby College, and the McGill University Health Centre were included in the 9th annual Maclean's list of Canada's Top 100 employers.  The companies included in the rankings are described as "the companies that understand what it takes to attract the best talent, and to boost the bottom line."

On-campus high schools help increase PSE participation

"Early college" or "college high schools" are high schools serving disadvantaged students, built near, or even on, the campus of a college or university.  Students are encouraged to take college courses while still in high school.  The goals is for students to graduate high school with credits towards a bachelors degree under their belts, as well as a realistic understanding of college expectations.  There are 130 college high schools in the US, and early data is showing successes as early as the first year in the program.  The Gates Foundation is known for pushing the college high school movement.

Foreign students dissatisfied with British universities

Once a strong contender in the competition for international students, Britain seems to be falling back.  A recent survey found almost 30% of foreign students felt that their British education "is not worth the money," and also found "the level of dissatisfaction among international students runs at worryingly high levels."  A US education is considerably lower in cost, mostly due to a larger availability of scholarships, and is rapidly becoming preferred. 

More than a third of Canadians "network" online

37% of Canadians have visited a social networking website.  (Academica Group's annual applicant surveys indicate that among college and university applicants, the number is actually 75% who use Facebook alone.)  A new study finds that almost a third of Canadians have created a profile on at least one site, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace.  Canadians who use social networking sites spend an average of 5.4 hours per week on the sites.  63% of Canadians between 18 and 34 have visited a social networking site, and 55% of these have created a profile.