Top Ten

January 13, 2008

$5 million for evaluating and training Alberta nurses

$5 million in provincial funding has been announced to increase the number of registered nurses in Alberta.  The money will be used to help assess internationally-trained nurses quickly and more efficiently, for the purpose of getting them re-licensed in Alberta.  Mount Royal College will receive more than $4 million to expand its assessment program for internationally-trained nurses.  Grant MacEwan College will receive $750,000 to reimburse nurses enrolled in its "refresher" program.

$5 million for Oscar Peterson endowments at York

Canadian jazz great Oscar Peterson will be remembered with a new $1 million endowment at York University, funded by the Ontario government.  The endowment will create five annual $10,000 music scholarships for students from underprivileged backgrounds.  A $4 million endowment for the Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance will also be created.

OUSA Blue Chair campaign symbolizes PSE enrolment barriers

Empty blue chairs will be popping up on Ontario university campuses over the next two weeks.  The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance's Blue Chair campaign hopes to boost awareness about barriers to post-secondary education.  McMaster, Brock, Laurier, UWO, uWaterloo, Queen's and uWindsor are all participating in the event. "The empty Blue Chairs on campuses across Ontario symbolize the lost potential for our province and its students." 

Ontario student athletes profiled in new Champions campaign

Ontario University Athletics has launched the "Champions for Life" campaign in an effort to encourage Ontario's best student athletes to consider Ontario colleges and universities.  6 current and recently-graduated student athletes from the province are being featured in the campaign as examples of students who are champions on the field as well as in the classroom.  The campaign will include print ads, posters, web content and PSAs. 

Humber College sets the pace for Recruitment 2.0

Humber College is one of many institutions showing off a well-rounded online recruitment effort.  Humber's student recruitment department has launched a Facebook group for future students (including video & MSN contacts), a SkoolPool basics profile, an online virtual tour, a student bloggers portal, as well as a prospective students portal ( that includes community/login features.  The Future Students Facebook group has 900+ members, and 20 discussion threads.  The virtual tour is unique in its customization for either prospective students or prospective faculty/staff.  What is your school doing with Web 2.0?

SAIT offers pharmacy tech to high school students

Calgary's high school students can earn a Pharmacy Technician (Retail) certificate from SAIT Polytechnic while completing their secondary education.  The Government of Alberta, the Calgary board of education and the Calgary Catholic school district gathered last week to celebrate the new pilot project that will "give students an extra boost on a career path while meeting an industry need for retail pharmacy technicians." 

STU union negotiations leaked on Facebook

A student at St. Thomas University reports that the university's faculty are interfering with free speech via Facebook.  Mark Hennick, a student at STU, created a Facebook group called "St. Thomas University Students against a Faculty Strike" and has collected 500 members so far.  Las week, Mark reported that he has been receiving requests from faculty members to remove postings from the group.  He states that faculty even threatened to halt negotiations if posts were not deleted.  A union spokesperson reports that Hennick had been posting information overheard from closed door negotiations that was "privy only to parties in negotiation."

Women continue to close degree gender gap

More young women than young men are earning bachelors degrees, according to the latest US Census Bureau statistics.  In the 25+ age group, men are still more likely to have earned degrees.  33% of women between 25 and 29 reported having completed a bachelors degree, compared to 26.3% of men.  While female enrolment has increased significantly over the last ten years, women have not yet closed the gap created by previous generations.

Campus comedians focus on sexuality and rape

New Jersey's finest college comedians gathered last month at Monmouth University to compete in the first-ever New Jersey King of Campus Comedy contest.  Shockingly, rape was a frequent topic -- with jokes like "I could never be a rapist because I like to sleep after sex."  Even one young man that promised to hold off on the rape content dropped a reference to using "ropes and formaldehyde" just 2 minutes into his set.  Even the women chimed in on the topic, but not as whole-heartedly. 

Video sharing doubled in 2007, with promise for more in 2008

48% of online Americans have been to video-sharing sites, up from 33% in 2006.  Traffic to sites such as YouTube has doubled over the last 12 months.  15% of respondents had used a video-sharing site the day before they were surveyed, compared to 8% in 2006.