Top Ten

November 28, 2007

Alberta asserts to colleges, "we own you"

The government of Alberta has announced that it will dictate ground rules for expansion at its colleges and universities. A new report, to be released later this week, will recommend restricting research to current universities, and clear classification of all PSE institutions into one of six categories. UofC and UofA are supportive of the recommendations, but Grant MacEwan and Mount Royal College would be prevented from offering graduate programs.

uManitoba celebrates $70 million over 10 years

The University of Manitoba is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its most successful donor award matching program.  The Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) was launched in 1997, and has "far exceeded expectations."  With the government matching all donations, many donors upped their contributions.  $21 million has been committed by the province to leverage $53.1 million in private sector support of student aid.

Xstrata donates to Cambrian College's Sustainable Energy Centre

Cambrian College, in Sudbury Ontario, has received a $2 million investment from Xstrata Nickel, toward the $6 million Sustainable Energy Centre.  The Centre is an innovative applied research facility that will benefit the energy sector and provide the opportunity to prototype, test and demonstrate sustainable energy systems and green building technologies.  The Centre will also include one of the first "living buildings" in North America. 

SFU suggests that alumni donate BCE shares to avoid tax hike

Bell Canada shareholders are not looking forward to the tax increase they will face next year when the company goes private.  Simon Fraser University, among other non-profit organizations, is suggesting that shareholders donate their shares to cut their taxes and "do some good" as well.  BCE is one of the most widely held stocks in Canada.  SFU included an article in a recent newsletter sent to 16,000 alumni, and has since received $45,000 in stock donations. 

Queen's literally labels donations to encourage future alumni

Queen's University is lit up with red, yellow, and blue tags marking equipment, furniture and buildings donated by alumni.  The campaign is meant to draw attention to the ways alumni donations benefit "every-day life" on campus.  "The sheer number of items labeled will make these gifts highly visible."  More and more universities are running campaigns to educate current students about alumni giving, and encourage them to pick up the tradition after graduating.  Queen's raised $5.5 million in annual giving last year.

Edmonton launches mumps immunization campaign

Edmonton's colleges and universities are getting ready for the mumps as the outbreak threatens to move North.  Capital Health has launched a campaign encouraging all Edmonton PSE students and staff to take advantage of free immunization clinics being held at uAlberta, Grant MacEwan College, NAIT, Concordia University College, Norquest College, and Kings University College.  Capital Health is hoping to immunize 78,000 students and staff in the first phase of the campaign.  Phase 2, planned for January, hopes to reach 155,000 young adults.

Campus bars struggle to stay relevant and profitable

Profits generated by on-campus bars have decreased substantially over the last decade, says the Carleton University student newspaper, partly due to increases in alcohol and food costs.  Ontario in particular has been struggling as it faces a younger age demographic caused by the "double cohort," and the end of Grade 13.  With more underage freshmen, campus bars have lost their primary audience.  Students are also reported to be "healthier" than in previous years, going out once or twice a month instead of several nights a week.

Canada fails to make the grade for innovation

Canada recently earned a less-than-impressive "D" for innovation in an international study.  It has been suggested that Canada's education system is producing graduates who follow old ways of doing things rather than pursuing new methods and innovation.  According to the Conference Board of Canada, "Canada's achievements in innovation are mediocre in comparison with peers."  Otherwise, Canada earned an "A," but without innovation will we able to compete down the road? 

OECD plans international university ranking based on outcome

The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) is planning a report that will be the first to compare how successfully the world's universities teach.  Currently, the Times Higher Education Supplement and Shanghai's Jiao Tong University publish the only annual international university rankings -- both focused on number and quality of staff, prizes won and articles published -- rather than the amount of knowledge actually transferred to students.  The first ranking is planned for 2010.

Forecast for US grad employment positive

The annual Recruiting Trends survey by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute predicts a 7% increase in job opportunities for university graduates, and a 5% rise in starting salaries. Large companies (>3900 employees) will do much of the hiring, in anticipation of retirements. The best markets for grads will apparently be in business, engineering, accounting, and computer science.