Top Ten

October 20, 2007

$42-million Life Sciences Research Institute for Dalhousie

The Canadian government will contribute $15 million toward Dalhousie University's Life Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) -- the much-needed $42-million facility will go into construction next winter.  Life Sciences is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the region, and the new facility will offer research and incubator space for the expanding fields of Life Sciences and Biotechnology.

Canadian students hit with ancillary fees up to $1,906

StatsCan reports that tuition increases are slowing, but students are seeing little relief when ancillary fees are on the rise.  The average Canadian student paid $663 in ancillary fees this year.  Amanda Aziz, of the Canadian Federation of Students, says increasing ancillary fees are "one of the most disturbing trends in financing" PSE.  Acadia University charged undergrads $1,906 in addition to $6,000+ tuition.  McGill, Trent, the UofT's Trinity College, and uLethbridge also have fees exceeding $1,000.

Ontario College Information Fair at CNE today

Close on the heels of the Ontario Universities' Fair, the 5th annual Ontario College Information Fair is on, today only, at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place, Toronto.  Between 10am and 7:30pm, about 8,000 prospective students are expected to check out more than 1200 programs from 25 participating institutions across Ontario. Academica Group will be checking out the Fair, too! 

Pagan Carleton professor wears hijab to sociology class

A professor at Carleton University, Sian Reid, hoped to jar her first-year sociology students by wearing a niqab, hijab and abaya for the first three weeks of class. The garments covered her from head to toe, leaving only her eyes visible.  The exercise was meant to make students "aware of the assumptions they make about the world in their taken-for-granted reality."  Student reactions ranged from indifference to concern for disrespect to Muslim women. Reid found the experiment "liberating." 

Toronto Muslim students push for hilal meal options on campus

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at uToronto-Scarborough is lobbying for a halal-only restaurant on the grounds that the halal menu offered at a campus bar is not suitable because it serves alcohol.  The bar, Bluff's, separates its fryers, does not use meat stock in vegetarian dishes, and offers soy-based dairy alternatives.  The MSA has been pushing for halal menu options for more than a decade.  Approximately 20 Canadian universities offer prayer space for Muslim students, including the University of Toronto. 

uSask security officer stabbed during night-time incident

A security officer at the University of Saskatchewan was attacked and stabbed earlier this month, though not "severely injured."  The officer is expected to make a full recovery, and be back on the job soon.  The event was reviewed by both police and campus security, and found to be handled according to protocol.  The event was isolated and unique on the 20,000 student urban campus.

Less than 5% of US college websites earn A's

The National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA) released its annual rankings of 3,000 college admissions websites late last week.  Only 140 earned an "A" for functionality and design.  Lawrence University earned the highest grade, followed by Pennsylvania College of Technology, and LeTourneau University.  "Today's technically-savvy generation of students has extremely high expectations when it comes to the amount and type of admissions information they find on university websites."

iTunesU hosts the Smithsonian and other off-campus cultural gems

iTunesU has gone live with a new "Beyond Campus" chapter that will pull together educational material from sources such as museums, radio stations and other bodies that aren't universities or colleges.  Users will be able to access features such as musical performances recorded at the Smithsonian Institution's Global Sound Live series, or a video walk-through of Richard Serra's sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art. 

Spends on social network marketing expected to increase 88%

Prospero Technologies' 2007 Social Media Survey of US marketers reports that 33% plan to increase spending on social network marketing in 2008, including blogs, discussion boards, ratings, reviews, and profiles on social networks. 35% reported positive ROI, often measuring site visits and brand engagement, while 41% said ROI was "unknown." Top challenges include integrating community-generated content. Overall, spending on social network marketing is expected to increase by 88%. 

MySpace announces developer platform for 2008

MySpace has announced that it will allow outside programmers to develop extensions of its site -- similar to Facebook's Platform/API project.  Although less popular than Facebook in Canada, MySpace is the world's largest online social network with a population of more than 100 million users.  MySpace's developers platform is expected to go public in "the next couple of months."  The site's revenue is reported to have tripled since being acquired by News Corp two years ago.