Top Ten

November 1, 2007

Dalhousie and uAlberta ranked Canada's best academic work environments

Dalhousie University has been included in The Scientist's list of Best Places to Work in Academia.  The rankings issue of the magazine hits stands today, and is also available online (subscription required).  Dalhousie placed first in the International (non-US) category of institutions.  uAlberta came in fifth place in the international list, and was the only other Canadian institution to rank in the top 10. 

Sears sues Ryerson over "naming covenant"

Sears Canada reports that it was promised its name on an academic building at Ryerson University, after giving the school $10 million in property in 1991.  Ryerson apparently erected a small plaque which it felt satisfied the contract. Sears is now demanding that Ryerson fulfill the agreement, or "pay unspecified damages for breach of contract."

uLethbridge receives $10 million towards water research facility

On the heels of funding announced last week, the Alberta government has announced another $10 million to the University of Lethbridge.  The funding will help complete the Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building, and recognizes the university's commitment to water research.  100 new graduate students will be accommodated by the new facility.  A total of $22 million in provincial funding has gone into the facility.

Memorial's Faculty of Business strengthens ties to China

Memorial University's Faculty of Business has an even stronger relationship with its Asian partners after a visit paid to China by senior administrators.  The delegates visited the famous Tsinghua University, as well as Renmin University, the highest ranked school in China.  Tsinghua is in talks to form a relationship with Memorial, and a partnership agreement is already in place with Renmin.  A 2+2 BBA program sees students take 2 years at Renmin, followed by 2 years at Memorial.  The first class of Renmin students will come to Memorial in September 2008. 

Queen's School of Business expands in the UAE

The Queen's University School of Business is expanding its business education offerings in the United Arab Emirates with new programs in place with the national government and a major private bank.  Queen's will provide custom management education programs for the nation's Central Bank, including courses in accounting, finance, economics and banking as well as executive education.  The Queen's School of Business was the first Canadian business school to open an executive education facility in Dubai. 

McGill students launch YouTube campaign protesting tuition hikes

The Students' Society of McGill University has launched a bilingual multimedia campaign protesting Quebec's first tuition increase in 13 years.  A series of short videos will be launched through YouTube as well as the campaign's website (  All the spots were aired earlier this week at a launch event, but will now only go public one at a time.

Student paper wonders why Okanagan degrees are considered equal

Students at the University of British Columbia main campus and its Okanagan campus earn the same credential.  UBC-Okanagan has been expanding by about 900 seats each year and has a guaranteed admission average of 75%, much lower than the admissions requirements of UBC, which is considered "one of the top 50 post-secondary institutions in the world." One student suggests that if UBC wants to maintain its reputation, it may want to start differentiating between UBC and UBC-O degrees.

Online education increasingly in demand

Online learning is the only option for some PSE students.  According to Statistics Canada, 26% of Canadian adults used the Internet for education, training or school work in 2005.  Almost 80% of full-time or part-time students went online for part of their studies.  Online learning is gaining popularity, particularly in Alberta, where employment statistics are reaching record highs.  eCampusAlberta, a consortium of 15 colleges and institutions that offer online education, says workers are plugging in to earn new skills to qualify for new occupations and careers. 

Admissions departments spend too little on their websites

A new report says that even though college admissions websites are one of the most used and trusted sources of information for potential PSE students, these sites remain underfunded within marketing budgets.  Despite their importance, admissions departments spend only 12% of their annual marketing budget on websites.  The report recommends that spending be increased to between 25% and 33%.  The report was based on a survey of 5,500 high school seniors and incoming first year students. 

CNN opens virtual Second Life bureau

Next week, CNN will open its newest news bureau -- in the virtual world of Second Life.  Reuters hired a real reporter to cover the virtual community about a year ago, but CNN will ask Second Life's residents to be its reporters.  Users will receive kits that allow them to send text and photos into the bureau, which will then make the news available through kiosks scattered throughout the virtual world.  There will also be weekly "news meetings" directed by staff to guide the citizen journalists.