Top Ten

December 14, 2007

uWaterloo almost triples campaign goal

The University of Waterloo's $260 million fundraising campaign has now raised upwards of $423 million and is hoping for more.  "When combined with government monies, the total investment in post-secondary education, the university and Waterloo Region exceeds $750 million."  Campaign Waterloo has received gifts from more than 58,000 donors, including $139 million from alumni and $12.3 million from students.  uWaterloo has received 4 of the 10 largest gifts made to education in Canada.

UBC receives $4.5 million for new research chair

The University of British Columbia is to have a new $4.5 million Addiction Research Chair, thanks to a new funding announcement by the provincial government and St. Paul's Hospital Foundation.  The funding will support "leading-edge research and the development of innovative treatment approaches."  This will be the first such chair at UBC.  20 leadership chairs in BC will receive up to $4.5 million in funding from the government.

FNUC announces travel & hiring freeze to save $1.1 million

The First Nations University of Canada is facing cuts to accommodate its $1.2 million deficit.  10 positions that are currently open at the school will remain vacant in order to save $400,000 in wages.  A variety of positions are included in this group -- from faculty to student service and maintenance.  The school has also announced a travel freeze and program mergers.  With these measures in place, the deficit will hopefully be reduced to $100,000. 

UBC, uAlberta and McMaster make NYT innovations list

At least 4 innovations from Canadian universities were included in the New York Times 2007 list of most intriguing discoveries.  2 projects out of the University of British Columbia's psychology department made it into the rankings, as well as the work of researchers at the University of Alberta and McMaster University.

AUCC reports increased internationalization, but stiff competition

The AUCC has released the results of its study on "internationalization" at Canada's universities.  Study abroad increased "modestly," from 1% to 2.2% (2000 - 2006).  The population of international students in Canada is showing rapid growth, with 70,000 full-time and 13,000 part-time students coming to study in Canada during 2006.  66% of universities report increased enrolment in internationally oriented programs.  75% of universities offer programming outside of Canada, and 66% actively market products in other countries.

Canadian households spending 42% more on education

Canadians are spending more on education than ever before, on everything from school supplies to tuition fees.  Spending on education by Canadian households and businesses came in at $12.8 billion in 2003 -- a 42% increase from 1998.  $9.2 billion went to colleges and universities.  43% of Canadian homes had education-related expenses in 2004 -- averaging $2,484 per home.  Public education spending has also increased, by about 11%.  University student debt levels increased 26% between 1995 and 2000.  25% continue to carry a debt 5 years after graduation. 

Queen's donates $175,000 to Kingston in thanks

Queen's University has contributed $175,000 to the City of Kingston, not to reimburse the costs of policing the annual unofficial street party on Aberdeen Street, but rather in recognition of joint efforts to "address" the issue.  Queen's says it works very closely with many different departments at the city, and made this financial contribution to "support this partnership."  Last year Queen's contributed a gift of $100,000. 

CMSF & YMCA launch PSE Access Partnership

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the YMCA have announced a joint project that promises to "tap the potential of all Canadians" by increasing PSE participation from Aboriginal, first-generation and low-income learner groups.  The Post-Secondary Access Partnership will provide information and one-on-one advising to students and their families from these non-traditional groups, with the message that PSE is not only "desirable" but also "viable."  40% of young Canadians do not finish high school, do not go on to PSE, or do not complete their PSE programs.

Trent & UOIT team up to offer innovative "virtual" science program

Trent University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology have launched an effort that will bring students from both institutions together in a virtual classroom.  AccessGrid technology allows partnering institutions to work together across geographical barriers -- creating the opportunity for highly specialized programming, as well as research collaboration.  The Trent-UOIT Master of Science in Materials Science will be the first time this technology has been used to deliver a complete program.  "Students will have access to a wider range of research and educational expertise than you could expect to access at any one institution." 

McGill student government shows its Trekkie side

McGill University, alma mater of William Shatner, didn't officially rename its student union building in his honour 15 years ago when the students voted for it, but they unofficially know it's the Shatner Centre. Last month, the Student Society passed a motion to rename 10 campus buildings with Star Trek inspired names, like the Jean-Luc Picard Administration Building, the Bones McCoy Medical Centre, and the Janeway Building of Women's Studies. Chances are none of these changes will be official, either.