Top Ten

January 22, 2008

George Brown receives $7 million for hospitality facilities

Toronto's George Brown College has received $7 million from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities towards $20 million needed to renew and expand the college's facilities and programs, in order to meet the increasing demands of Canada's hospitality industry.  1.7 million Canadians are currently employed in the industry, and another 300,000 will be needed by 2015.  GBC's expanded facilities will introduce an additional 1,000 seats per year.  The college hopes to solicit $5 million in funds from the private sector. 

UPEI receives $4.3 million for health research

The University of Prince Edward Island has received $4.3 million in new funding, as recognition for its leadership in research and innovation.  The funding comes from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Atlantic Innovation Fund, and will finance research focusing on cancer treatment as well as lobster health.  External research at UPEI has grown by more than 600% over the last decade.

uMontreal launches creative video contest

l'Universite de Montreal and NightLife magazine have launched a video contest with over $6,000 in prizes, including an HD camcorder, a co-op position at the magazine, and cash prizes. The assignment: "tell us how creative people contribute to building our future." The public can vote February 4-27 on the website, which currently features one sample video, rules, etc. in French.

Ontario university apps rise, McMaster plans to cut back

The Council of Ontario Universities was expecting the number of applications to level off this year, but students failed to comply and submitted more applications than ever.  COU blames the shift to a knowledge-based economy. McMaster plans to reduce first-year admissions by almost 3% next year, rather than expanding to meet demand, because of budget constraints.

WLU-Brantford sees 35% increase in applications

Sorry we missed it in yesterday's story on application growth in Ontario -- OUAC did not include in its summary the increase of 35% that Wilfrid Laurier's Brantford campus received in applications this year.  Laurier Brantford was chosen as first-choice school by 31% more students this year than last, and 35% more students overall. 

Environmental studies applications increase 50% in Ontario

Environmental studies, nursing, math and engineering are the program areas earning increased interest from Ontario's university applicants this year. uWaterloo's environmental studies program saw a 62% increase in applications over last year, and environmental studies saw close to a 50% increase in applications across the province. uWaterloo, and many other institutions, are adding new programs to meet the increase in demand.  Math as a first-choice program increased by 26%, and Nursing by 17%.

Schools, employers scramble to generate interest in IT

The Globe & Mail is calling Canada's "geeks" for national service.  The number of Canadian computer science graduates has been in decline since the end of the high-tech boom, leaving today's employers scrambling to find skilled IT workers.  A new study predicts that there will be as many as 58,000 new jobs in the IT industry within the next year alone.  Universities and colleges are stepping up recruitment efforts in order to fill seats and meet industry needs.  Enrolment at the University of Toronto's computer science department is down 50% from 2002.

STU issues final offer to faculty, last shot at saving the term

St. Thomas University has lifted its lockout on faculty and issued its "final" offer.  An external mediator was brought in last week, but still no agreement has been reached.  STU is asking the Department of PSE, Labour and Training to schedule a faculty vote on its final offer for this Friday.  If the offer is accepted on Friday, STU states that there will be sufficient time to provide a full term to students -- "but we're at the point where we have to act." 

Starting too late is most common university planning mistake

According to PSE consultants Barclay & Knap, the most common mistake made by university and college applicants is not starting soon enough.  Most students start planning in their final year of high school, which they say is 12 months too late.  The Burlington-based consultants offer interest-based testing to help focus students and help them make the best PSE decision -- "avoiding mistakes that could cost thousands."

High-income learners more influenced by financial aid

A new study of 5,000 uNevada students suggests that providing increased financial aid will not necessarily help institutions retain low-income students.  The paper found that students with a high-income background are actually more likely to continue PSE when given grants or scholarships than their low-income peers, when given the same financial support.  Academic success was found to be more influential on low-income students than on high-income students.