Top Ten

November 25, 2007

Bisons defeat Huskies for historic Western Canada win

The University of Manitoba Bisons took the Vanier Cup with a 28-14 victory over the Saint Mary's University Huskies on Friday night.  The victory was a "perfect ending" to the Bisons' second consecutive undefeated regular season.  This was their first championship since winning back-to-back titles in 1969 and 1970.  The Bisons lost the Vanier Cup to the Huskies in 2001.  The Bisons are the first Canada West champion in nine years to win the national title.

Memorial to increase med school enrolment by 50%

Memorial University has announced that it will increase the number of students in its medical school by 50% over the next 3 years.  The School of Medicine is working with the provincial government to encourage more rural students to pursue medical education in St. John's and then return to rural communities to set up their practice.  There is currently a doctor shortage in Newfoundland & Labrador's rural areas.  Students may be offered incentives such as free rent and paid assistants.

Nurses call on Saskatchewan to offer free tuition to avoid shortage

A national nursing union leader is calling on the Saskatchewan government to offer free tuition to prospective nursing students in order to meet industry enrolment needs.  The Canadian Federation of Nurses Union says that Saskatchewan's nursing vacancy rate has the province in "a bad way," and that it is the province's responsibility to pick up the tab for the shortage.

Less than half of teaching students find jobs in first year

According to the Ontario College of Teachers, only 41% of graduates found regular jobs within a year of graduating in 2006.  Among elementary school teachers, the rate was closer to 25%.  Education faculties in Ontario and New York's border cities produce 7,100 more graduates than the number of retiring teachers each year -- a sharp shift from when teaching grads were in heavy demand, less than 10 years ago. 

Canada Access Grant expansion defeated in the House

Bill C-284 was defeated in the Canadian House of Commons last week, to the disappointment of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.  The bill would have brought "a vast improvement to the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act" and greatly benefitted students from working families, through an expansion of the Canada Access Grant program.  The defeat is a surprise to many, given a recent commitment to support working families in Canada and a recognition that more support is needed for students. 

uLaval, Concordia lead Financial Post competition

Université Laval took first place in October's Financial Post MBA portfolio competition with a return of 14.89%.  Another Québecois school, Concordia University's Goodman Institute of Investment Management, followed in second place.  McMaster University's Degroote, Desautels at McGill, and HEC Montreal made up the rest of the top 5.

Regina students turn to food banks

The "Community Cupboards" program in Regina was founded on the premise that student debt is increasing the need for access to affordable food.  The project started with a box, to which students would donate food -- always claimed within an hour by another grateful student.  The box evolved into cupboards, and was joined by the Regina & District Food Bank, which now makes weekly food drops at the university.  "There's no question that students on campus in many cases go hungry."  It is hoped that recent publicity of the program will encourage governments to lower tuition. 

Alberta Colleges help ease university space crunch

Canadian colleges that have started offering four-year degrees are easing the space crunch at universities.  Alberta is struggling with one of the lowest ratios of university seats to high-school graduates: uCalgary reportedly turned away more than 5,000 qualified applicants in Fall 2006.  Some colleges are winning university candidates not only because of their degree-granting status, but also because of unique programs, smaller class sizes, and more attention to individual students. 

US families increasingly hire admission consultants

American families are spending five figures for admissions consultants, who work with high school students for several years to optimize their resumés, select courses and extra-curriculars, fine-tune admissions essays and select the ideal college. "Parents just want to know there's someone in their kid's corner, who is going to be focused on that particular child and be able to take some of the worry out of their minds."  The rise of consultants has coincided with a rise in competition for top schools in the US, and the reign of US World & News Report's annual rankings report.

China to overtake US as top PSE player

One definition of global superpower might be the prestige and quality of a country's educational system. BBC news predicts that China will surpass the US and Britain, in the size and ranking of its institutions. China already has the largest PSE system in the world, awarding more university degrees than the US and India combined. University participation rates have surged from 10% of young people in 1999 to 21% in 2006, and Chinese PhD's have risen from just 5,000 a few years ago, to approaching 50,000. Three Chinese universities are ranked in the top 100 globally.