Top Ten

November 27, 2007

Poupart departs early as Principal of Bishop's

Robert Poupart, the principal of Bishop's University, has stepped down from his post 18 months before the end of his term -- in the face of "mounting pressure from students and faculty."  Bishop's has been struggling with decreased enrolment and a deficit that threatens to reach $10 million within the year.  A student association had planned to advance a motion of non-confidence in Poupart's leadership, but was pre-empted by a university announcement that Poupart was leaving, effectively immediately.

Hydro One donates $3 million to 4 Ontario colleges

Hydro One is donating $3 million towards scholarships, program development and equipment at Mohawk, Algonquin, Georgian and Northern Colleges.  The scholarships will fund students interested in careers in the electrical utility sector.  40% of Hydro One's workforce is eligible for retirement over the next few years, creating an abundance of opportunities for young graduates.

Carleton and Algonquin help disabled students ease into PSE

"Make the CUT" (College University Transition) is a program offered by Carleton University and Algonquin College designed to help students with learning disabilities or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder make a successful transition into higher education.  The program is run collaboratively by centres for students with disabilities at both institutions and school boards in the Ottawa area.

UOIT offers summer camp for future detectives

Many of Canada's science-inclined students are looking at forensic science/crime scene investigation programs -- of which there are 14 to chose from domestically.  UOIT offers a summer camp at its new "CSI house" where young students can get an "early taste of crime scene detection."  "The camp will help foster a love for science that will stay with these students through their entire lives," states a UOIT professor.  It is also hoped, of course, that students will be inspired to sign up for UOIT's degree in CSI. 

Nova Scotia announces reduced interest on student loans

Nova Scotia has announced that it will reduce student loan interest by 2%, funded by the privatization of the student loan system.  The Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations applauds the decision: "this is a step in the right direction, one of many taken recently by the Department of Education." 

Aboriginal drop-out rate could cost Canada $71 billion

With almost one in two Aboriginal Canadians dropping out of high school, Canada may lose billions over the next ten years in lost productivity and labour growth.  A study by Ottawa's Centre for the Study of Living Standards says that if the First Nations graduation rate rose to match the overall population, Canada's gross domestic product would be $71 billion higher by 2017.  According to the 2001 census, 52% of Canada's Aboriginals completed secondary school, compared to 70% of non-Aboriginals. 

India holds potential as significant partner for Canadian schools

Canada and India's senior education professionals met in a "landmark" forum in Ottawa over the weekend.  Proposed cooperative efforts may see more students moving between the two countries.  China has been the international focus of many Canadian institutions until now, but India seems poised to steal the limelight.  China currently sends the second highest number of international students to Canada, following only South Korea.  India's national strategy to use higher education to combat poverty has most expecting dramatic changes in the PSE landscape, including 150 new universities over the next 20 years. 

Canadian parents are taking education into their own hands

According to a new survey by the Canadian Council on Learning, 33% of Canadian parents have hired a tutor for their child.  The majority of parents report that they are satisfied with the education system, but separately reveal that they worry not enough is being done to prepare students for the workforce.  Parents who place their children in language immersion programs report doing so largely to improve the child's job potential. 

Molson pulls online photo contest but does not apologize

Molson Canada has put an end to its controversial Facebook photo contest a week earlier than planned.  Students were encouraged to post pictures of themselves partying on campus to enter the contest, which was "misinterpreted" as promotion of irresponsible drinking, according to the company. The furor caused by the contest is bringing attention to the rapidly increasing significance of social media and networking websites: 46% of business leaders say these tools are becoming more important than traditional media. 

Online education carries unique challenges

It is estimated that there are 1.5 million higher ed students who study entirely online in the US, an 8% share of the total student population and 20% of the adult student population.  Online course offerings should consider the geographical distribution of students, as well as regulations that differ across regional borders.