Top Ten

November 13, 2007

Bishop's and uSherbrooke spinoff raises $10 million

SiXtron, a technology spin-off company of both Bishop's University and the Université de Sherbrooke, has raised $10 million in venture capital financing for its work.  The company develops highly scalable and cost-effective, amorphous silicon carbine-based thin film coatings for the solar industry.  "Clean technology" investors have been particularly interested in funding the project.

Ryerson creates 24 research positions

Ryerson University appointed its first postdoctoral fellows and research associates last week.  The 24 researchers and practitioners were awarded year-long appointments as part of Ryerson's $3 million commitment to strengthen its research capacity.  "Research and Innovation are on the fast-track here. We're continuing to build on the momentum we've established that Ryerson is the place to come for practical answers to difficult problems." Ryerson's research program has grown 326% over the last 10 years, and brought in $16.2 million in external funding in 2007.

CMSF audit finds holes in provincial screening process

An internal audit of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation has discovered that the organization had been at risk of awarding bursaries to non-Canadian students due to holes in the provincial screening process.  The audit found that some provinces may have given funds to ineligible candidates because citizenship and provincial residency were not properly validated.  It was also possible that some students could have applied for funds more than once, in different provinces.

Memorial BComm earns CMA accreditation

Memorial University's Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) program has won full accreditation from the Society of Management Accountants until 2012.  Memorial is the only Atlantic Canada institution with CMA accreditation.  Graduates of the program will be admitted to the CMA Strategic Leadership Program without writing an entrance exam.  13 Memorial alumni earned their CMA designations at this year's CMA convocation, last Friday.

7 cases of salmonella traced back to UWO food outlet

Several symptoms pointing to salmonella are being attributed to a food outlet on campus at the University of Western Ontario.  7 students were diagnosed with salmonella late last week, and all report eating at the same on-campus outlet on November 1 or 2.  The outlet has been thoroughly inspected, and no food from November 2 remains at the location. 

Maclean's launches scholarship tool

With its annual university rankings, Maclean's magazine has also added a "scholarship finder" to its web-based education portal.  The tool allows students to search scholarships offered by particular universities (or all) using a keyword. 

Globe & Mail lists a sample of colleges with national reputations

Community colleges are developing nationally-known centres of excellence, and the Globe & Mail recently offered a partial list that is sure to outrage as many as it flatters. "Top colleges" include Fanshawe, Niagara, Grant MacEwan, Capilano and more for excellence in Music/Performing Arts programming.  NSCC, Seneca, BCIT, Centennial and the College of the North Atlantic are listed as "tops" in Aviation study.  Other categories listed include Culinary/Wine, Fashion, Computer Animation/Design, Nursing/Paramedic/Health Care, Media/Journalism and Energy Industry. 

UBC library goes robotic; McMaster library opens in Second Life

McMaster's library system maintains a staffed virtual reference desk on its very own Second Life island.  The school's chief librarian says his team believes in taking the library to wherever students are, and making librarians easier to approach.  Like many schools, McMaster has emptied the shelves of its reference section and created a "learning commons" that offers group study tables and public computers with internet access.  UBC is refitting its libraries with lounges, computer labs, meeting spaces, classrooms and support services -- and a massive storage facility to hold 2 million volumes, accessed by a robotic retrieval system.

International students in US finally on the upswing

US colleges and universities finally saw a significant increase in international student enrolment this year, with a 3.2% jump.  This is the first time international numbers have risen since 2001, believed to be related to 9/11 fallout and heightened student visa restrictions.  There were 18,218 additional students in 2006, for a total of 582,984 -- who contribute $14.5 billion to the US economy, according to the Institute of International Education. 

CCSSE urges more in-class and on-campus engagement

The US Community College Survey of Student Engagement was released yesterday, and concluded that college faculty need to make better use of classroom time, and administrators need to develop opportunities for students to engage with instructors and peers while on campus.  The survey tracked 500,000 students at 548 institutions over 5 years.  Many college students drop out within the first semester, and the survey looks at the factors that affect a student's level of engagement and satisfaction in those first few months.