Top Ten

November 29, 2007

Ryerson won't grow, but supports a fourth Toronto university

Despite the immense enrolment demands forecast for the GTA over the next decade, Ryerson University will not be adding new spaces in the coming year, because it has neither the budget nor the faculty to handle them. Ryerson's president, Sheldon Levy, told the campus paper, following a meeting with his counterparts at York and UofT this week, that Toronto will likely see a fourth university, and that Ryerson would support that. 

Red River College plans to go polytechnic by 2009

Red River College in Winnipeg hopes to become the third option for Manitoba students seeking a degree, who currently must choose between uManitoba or uWinnipeg.  RRC's Academic Plan 2020 promotes a polytechnic model of education that would offer applied degrees in specific disciplines as early as 2009.  With applied research already underway, degrees are a logical next step, the plan says.

OCUFA gives Ontario government "A Failing Grade"

A new report from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations emphasizes that, despite the Liberal government's promising "Reaching Higher" plan, per-student funding remains 25% below the Canadian average, and 33% below comparable US institutions. The Ontario student:faculty ratio is 27:1, and Ontario university students scored 28% lower than American students on the NSSE survey of student engagement. OCUFA asserts that Ontario requires 11,000 more profs by 2010, and $1.6 billion in operating funding.

UNB-SJ disappointed throne speech fails to address its fate

The fate of the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus went unmentioned during the province's throne speech this week.  UNB-SJ broadcast the speech on its campus radio station, with the expectation that a response to September's report on PSE would finally be heard.  A working group was put together to reconsider the report's recommendations, and was expected to report to the government in time for the throne speech.  The group's report has now been postponed until February. 

UWO apologizes for salmonella outbreak

The University of Western Ontario has issued a formal apology for the salmonella outbreak linked to its campus food services.  "We feel very badly for our community," says Susan Grindrod, the AVP Housing & Ancillary Services.  The university issued a formal statement earlier this week with an apology addressed to the Western community and specifically those who became ill.  A total of 85 confirmed cases of salmonella poisoning were reported, and 5 students were hospitalized. The apology is also being reprinted in ad space of both the student and university newspapers.

Alberta universities design international space mission

ORBITALS, a Canadian space mission proposed for 2012 to examine solar weather disturbances in the outer atmosphere, has received $1.7 million in funding from the Canadian Space Agency.  The project will be led by the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, and may involve both the CSA and NASA. 

SFU to sign first agreement with India for public health researchers

Simon Fraser University plans to be the first Canadian university to sign an agreement that will help India produce researchers and professionals in public health.  SFU's president will sign 3 agreements with Indian institutions during his coming trip to India with 60 PSE representatives, including a Memorandum of Understanding with the Public Health Foundation of India. 

St. Lawrence College grows first-year class 20% in Brockville

The President of St. Lawrence College spoke with a local newspaper this week about the school's success despite limited funding.  Despite the struggle "It's amazing the good things we can continue to do."  SLC accommodated a 4.5% enrolment increase this year, including a 20% increase in first-year students at the school's Brockville, Ontario campus.  The latest KPI numbers show 94.6% of employers satisfied with SLC graduates.

Colleges Ontario commissions major report on PSE abstainers

Colleges Ontario has announced a major research study exploring why some Canadian young people are not pursuing higher education.  "PSE is a necessity in today's workplace, yet one-third of Ontario citizens 25-34 have high school education or less."  The comprehensive study is reputedly the first of its kind, and will be conducted by researchers at Queen's University for $250,000.

CFS ejects McGill students from membership

The Canadian Federation of Students has announced several key decisions, including a block of the Students' Society of McGill University only a year after it gained membership.  With McGill out, there are only 4 Quebec student associations left in the CFS. The CFS also voted down a motion put forward by Ryerson University, saying "no" to a boycott of Israel's universities. A new poll commissioned by the CFS found that 55% of Canadians feel reducing tuition fees is the top issue for PSE, 19% support reduced class sizes, and 12% felt more student spaces were needed.