Top Ten

December 7, 2007

CMSF hopes for another 10 years

 The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation was formed in 1998 to address the issue of "mounting student debt," and was given a 10-year mandate.  Since its inception, more than $2 billion in student loans have been replaced by CMSF bursaries, and awards have been received by 25% of students with government student loans -- reducing debt by 30% per year. CMSF has also generated a "pool of knowledge" about many aspects of the Canadian student experience. The Foundation hopes to continue its work for another 10 years.

uCalgary receives $1.5 million to research domestic violence

The Brenda Strafford Foundation has funded a $1.5 million endowment at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work that will establish a research chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence. There has reportedly been a 35% increase in crisis calls to Alberta's women's shelters since 2006.

St. Clair College will build own rec facility, without YMCA

St. Clair College and the YMCA have "mutually ended" their agreement to build a new joint recreation facility. The facility would have included a wellness centre, pool, gym and multi-purpose area. The College intends to pursue the the facility for campus and community use, and the two organizations may decide to work together in the future. The YMCA is also pursuing plans to build a new separate facility in Chatham-Kent.

UCFV signs 3 agreements with Mumbai schools & businesses

The University College of the Fraser Valley has signed 3 new partnership agreements with schools based in India, duing a recent trip to Asia by the BC Premier. UCFV and St. Andrew's College of Arts Science and Commerce in Mumbai will work together to meet the global demand for international professionals. UCFV, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and Mumbai's Gannon Group have signed a memorandum to explore the development of a school for the digital arts. UCFV and Mumbai will work collaboratively to expand opportunities for Canadian and Indian students in Indo-Canadian studies.

SFU student investment managers exceed professional endowment returns

Simon Fraser University has Canada's largest student-managed university endowment fund, now totalling $10 million (5% of SFU's total endowments). The Student Investment Advisory Service includes students from the Global Asset and Wealth Management MBA, the Master of Financial Risk Management, and undergraduate finance. The fund has achieved 13.2% returns, ahead of the benchmarks for the school's professionally managed returns, and is "one of the most valuable parts" of the MBA program.

uAlberta hunts for lost 1911 memorabilia

The University of Alberta is looking for a piece of its history, lost more than 25 years ago. A silk banner presented to the university in 1911 by Albert Henry George, who was at the time Governor-General of Canada, went missing during the university's 75th year (1983). It is believed to be a unique gift among Western Canada universities.  UofA has renewed the search for the banner with the hopes of finding it for next year's centenary celebrations.

Second Life campuses are often dull, ineffective

A philosophy professor at the University of Toronto, and his Second Life alter ego Urizenus, report that "Digital campuses are drab, and Second Life is a dubious venue for online instruction." There are at least 170 virtual campuses on SL, but Ludlow says that these campuses are holding themselves back by simply duplicating their offline campuses -- rather than taking advantage of SL's unlimited possibilities. His experience has been that avatars constrain learning because they do not communicate as richly as people.

BC gets more aggressive about underage drinkers

BC is cracking down on underage students who use fake ID.  As of 2007, any minor using a fake ID will have the identification confiscated and will also face a $115 fine.  Any bar or liquor store caught selling to underage persons will face a fine of $7,500 and a 10-day license suspension.  Bar owners have formed an association to work together against underage students, to avoid fines and closures: "We cannot afford to be shut down because minors are on the premises." One owner reports an average of 10 minors per week trying to access his bar with fake ID.

Business education costs more than arts in the US

Is it fair to ask some students to pay more than others? Can business students stand to invest more in their education than peers studying liberal arts? Some public universities in the US say that costs of business programs have forced them to raise the tuition fees above those charged to arts students, sometimes by up to $445 per term. Schools say that higher tuition helps them compete for quality faculty, but critics say that differential tuition goes against the "democratic mission" of the public system.

China's business schools win local students with improved reputation

China's business schools seem to be improving, and the nation's students are increasingly choosing to attend local schools rather than heading overseas for their MBAs. China's business programs have shifted to more locally-relevant curricula, studying Chinese companies rather than Western peers. In a poll of 253 recruiters from various companies, 34% cited China's MBA programs as either "excellent" or "good" -- a 15% increase over last year.