Top Ten

November 7, 2007

uWaterloo to establish CERT campus in Abu Dhabi

The University of Waterloo will establish its own campus at the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT), a billion-dollar campus in the United Arab Emirates expected to serve 30,000 students, and being established as a cooperative effort by institutions from around the world. UW will offer co-op programs in engineering, IT, and financial management, and will require students to transfer to the Ontario campus for years 3 and 4. uWaterloo has a similar arrangement with Nanjing University in China.

Queen's liaison officers set up shop in China

Queen's University has opened the "Queen's China Liaison Office" at Fudan University in China. The office will help the strategic teaching and research partnership between Queen's and the prestigious Chinese university. "China is a country of strategic importance to Queen's as the university works to implement its recently adopted strategic plan, 'Engaging the World.'"  Queen's students are able to take English-language classes at Fudan, and sign up for a term at the Shanghai campus.  A new minor in Chinese Studies has been proposed.

Laurentian announces new Francophone research centre

Laurentian University has announced a new International Research Centre on Law and Human Rights: "Centre international de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le droit (CIRID)."  The centre will help Laurentian access the international French-speaking university community, and promote research and student/faculty exchange internationally. 

Online report questions federal student loans

Last week, "Canada Student Debt" released a 17-page report on Canada's student loan programs: "Canada Student Loans: The Need for Change."  The report includes "red-tape nightmares" of more than 6,000 Canadian students.  Federal student loans charge prime plus 2.5% -- higher than many commercial loans, argues the report's author.  Students are unable to file for bankruptcy within 10 years of completing their studies.  Students living in urban areas are unable to meet payment schedules that do not consider higher living expenses.

10 Canadian universities nominated as veggie-friendly

Concordia University has been nominated for Peta2's annual Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges list, and saw A's almost across the board.  Students who graded the school recommended the vegetarian California rolls, meatless sausages and veggie hot dogs.  Concordia offers a vegetarian soup kitchen and a non-profit natural-foods co-op.  McMaster, Memorial, Nipissing, and Trent Universities, as well as UBC, uCalgary, uToronto, uVictoria and uWaterloo were the other 9 Canadian schools included among 40 nominees.

Concordia campus shooter blames his victims

Valery Fabrikant, the one-time engineering professor who who took the lives of four Concordia University professors in 1992, says that his actions were a "righteous attack against co-workers trying to steal his ideas." The shooter compares his actions to the shooting at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, saying that his victims were not innocents like the 14 women killed there in 1989.  Fabrikant is currently suing his former colleagues for $600,000 in damages because they "unfairly profited" from his research and "extorted" his documents.

Facebook announces targeted ads platform

"Facebook Ads" already has 60 "leading consumer and Internet brands" signed on.  Facebook Ads offers to connect business to a custom-specified target audience, providing users with info about new businesses, brands and products via referrals from friends. Facebook Ads claims to break the tradition of push marketing by placing advertisers in a live dialogue with users.

YouTube Canada hits the web this week

YouTube has launched country-specific versions of its popular video-sharing site for Canada, Brazil, Poland and Ireland in recent months.  YouTube Canada will promote Canadian-generated content by putting Canadian-made videos in its featured and promoted sections.  YouTube believes offering a regional site will improve the user experience for the Canadian YouTube community.

Yahoo! launches student/alumni network to launch careers

Yahoo! Kickstart is the newest social network on the block, and is specifically targeting current and former PSE students.  The site combines Facebook's social functions with the sort of professional networking offered by LinkedIn -- promising to connect students and alumni to possible employers during their transition from education to employment.  The college or university that registers the most members by December 31 will receive $25,000.

What do prospective students want on a website?

When 5,500 prospective students were quizzed on admissions websites, they said that what they wanted the most were virtual tours, sign-in, and interactive functions.  Videos of campus and flash video followed up close behind.  13% said virtual tours were "very important" and 11% wanted to be able to sign in as a prospective student. Only 2% found current student blogs, live online chats, or podcast downloads "very important."