Top Ten

January 30, 2008

$200 million for Ontario campus improvements

Ontario has announced $200 million in funding for the province's universities and colleges.  The funds will be used to "repair aging buildings, increase energy efficiency and improve campus security."  Last month, a report estimated that repairing the province's university buildings would cost $1.6 billion.  According to Colleges Ontario, $65 million will go to colleges.

STU faculty rejects "final offer," students still on Christmas break

Faculty at St. Thomas University have rejected the administration's final contract offer.  The union president is confident that an agreement can be reached if negotiations resume.  STU announced last week that a full term could be delivered to students if their final offer was accepted, however the future of the term is now back up in the air.

FNTI caught in funding tug-of-war, may face closure

The First Nations Technical Institute is facing a 66% federal funding cut and possible closure.  FNTI's president met yesterday with Ontario politicians in hopes of soliciting provincial funding to keep the institution open.  President Thompson is proposing that FNTI students receive the same level of funding as other Ontario students.  Currently the school's students receive about a fifth of the funding received by others. The province argues that aboriginal education should be a federal responsibility. 

Police confirm sex assault was off-campus

The Toronto Police have confirmed that an alleged sexual assault reported earlier in January did not take place on York University's campus, as originally thought.  Alerts regarding the incident have been taken down on campus, but community members are still asked to take precautions regarding their personal safety and to report any suspicious behaviour on campus.

UWO receives $11 million in health research funding

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have received $11 million in funding from the provincial government.  $6 million will fund research into improving the therapeutic properties of ginseng (Ontario's largest "cash crop").  $4 million will fund neurological diagnosis research at the Robarts Research Institute. 

Maritime students go "away" for grad studies

75% of maritime university students intend to continue their education within the next ten years, according to a new survey of maritime university students.  The survey also shows that student satisfaction with their programs is "high."  Half of students planning on pursuing a master's degree plan to leave the maritime region, often because their desired program is not available. 

Med schools consider shorter programs, rural accessibility

Canada is short as many as 5,000 family doctors.  In response, medical school classes have been expanded -- almost 2,500 Canadians enrolled in first-year medical studies this year.  Shorter, 3-year medical programs have been successful in Calgary and at McMaster University, according to uCalgary's Dean of Medicine.  Special efforts are being made to train doctors in non-urban locations.

Some scholarships struggling to find applicants

As much as $7 million in scholarship money goes unclaimed each year in Canada.  This may seem surprising with the ever-increasing cost of tuition, but many awards still manage to get lost in the information shuffle.  Many students who hope to supplement their education budget with awards are turning to the internet to find information.   Students, schools, and awards distributors are turning to portals such as and Facebook to get the word out.

Teenagers "self-harm" to cope with stress

About 18% of teens willingly hurt themselves "as a way of dealing with depression and anxiety," according to new research.  Girls are more than twice as likely (21%) to exhibit this behaviour as are boys (9%).  Cutting is the most common form of self-injury, followed by burning, scratching, hitting and minor overdoses.  The behaviour is considered an attempt to deal with stress, rather than to commit suicide.

Twitter, micro-blogging in the classroom

Twitter is perhaps the leader of the micro-blogging movement.  Micro-bloggers submit short notes (up to 140 characters) that are broadcast to friends or subscribers via web or cell phone.  A professor, formerly a critic, has found Twitter can actually be an effective classroom communication tool, and requires use of the service in one of his classes.  The rapid, informal communication built a sense of community among students and encouraged impromptu sharing -- sometimes even on course topics.