Top Ten

December 6, 2007

Campus ceremonies across Canada mark 18th anniversary of Montreal Massacre

Academica Group joins faculty, staff, students and campus communities across Canada today in remembering the 14 women who were killed on December 6, 1989 at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal. Today, too many ceremonies to list here will reflect on these events, as well as the larger issue of violence against women.

UBC receives $6.5 million for new one-of-kind research facility

BC is investing $6.5 million in UBC's new Quantum Materials Spectroscopy Centre, a facility used by researchers in several different disciplines. "This funding will propel UBC to the forefront of scientific studies in this area, attracting researchers from all over the world to the new facility." The one-of-a-kind facility is expected to attract 300 new people into the university's research community.

Canadian teens have little hope for the environment

90% of Canadian teenagers don't see the fate of the environment improving within the next 20 years. A survey of 400,000 15-year-olds found that more than 50% are aware of the dangers connected to clear-cutting forests, acid rain, greenhouse gases, nuclear waste and other evils -- and the majority want tougher laws to control the damage. 50% of students also indicated that they plan to enter a science-related career. 80% of teens think plastic packaging should be "capped."

Canadian teens continue to struggle with reading & math

While Canadian students have jumped to the Top 3 in the OECD's science ranking, results in math and reading were not as positive. Canada's 15-year-olds declined slightly in reading (from 3rd to 6th), and remained static in math testing. Alberta's students outperformed all other provinces in science and reading. Quebec's students earned the country's highest math scores. Girls tended to score higher in reading, and boys scored higher in maths. Approximately 22,000 students from 1,000 Canadian schools wrote the test.

Laurentian students call OUSA/CSA "unrepresentative"

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the College Student Alliance have presented a united front to Ontario's government, calling for investment in PSE as a fundamental building block of society. OUSA and CSA submitted a joint "blueprint" for improving Ontario's higher ed system. The Laurentian University Students' General Association says that OUSA & CSA are "unrepresentative," lacking Francophone or Northern Ontario students.

Professors and students learn to coexist on Facebook

Some would say, "the old guy in the corner at a college party can come off as creepy. The same goes for faculty on Facebook." Facebook was originally created as a place for students, but now that it has become widely adopted by the general public, students are bumping into their professors online. The consensus seems to be that, because of the power imbalance in the relationship, profs should accept friend requests from their students, but never initiate friend requests.

US Ivy league swims in cash while publics struggle with enrolment

Princeton's new student residence features triple-glazed mahogany casement windows, a 35-foot oak ceiling in the dining hall, and "state of the art" just about everywhere you look -- at a cost of $136 million (or $272,000 per student). This extravagance is not uncommon among the Ivy leagues, who seem to become richer and richer, despite turning away hoards of qualified applicants each year. Only 1% of US students get the chance to attend an "Ivy," while 75% attend public colleges and universities that struggle to accommodate rising enrolment on decreasing budgets.

Donors don't give online because they weren't asked

The American Express charitable gift survey of 1,400 Americans found that 64% of donors who give online do so because it is convenient. 20% do so because of "reasons related to the charity's online presence." 28% of givers said they did not give online, only because they weren't asked to, couldn't find a website for the charity, or just didn't think of giving online. 30% of higher income households give less during the holidays, and 24% of annual donations are made between US Thanksgiving and New Year's.

France sells public power utility to raise $7.4 billion for universities

The government of France is selling shares of its state-owned power provider to raise money to fund its universities. 2.5% of the utility went to the auction block at an estimated value of 5 billion euros, with more to follow if the demand is there. The government is hoping to raise $7.4 billion to soothe students who have been protesting the "commercialization" of free public education since the summer.

Academica's Peggy Sattler acclaimed as TVDSB chair

Everyone at Academica Group is pleased and proud that Peggy Sattler, one of our senior consultants, has been acclaimed for a second term as Chair of the Thames Valley District School Board, one of the largest school systems in Ontario. Despite her long hours in our office, Peggy also finds time to play a significant leadership role on the board, gaining the support of her colleagues and senior board administrators. She has led efforts to address TVDSB's ongoing student accommodation and budget challenges, while improving communication and strengthening relationships between the board and community partners. Congratulations Peggy!