Top Ten

February 12, 2008

UQAM soc sci students strike for affordable education

Social science students at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal walked out of class yesterday to protest rising tuition fees.  Students will remain on strike for the rest of the week.  A student spokesperson states that UQAM's deficit reduction plan "will lead to service cuts and will inevitably dilute the quality of teaching."  Other faculties are voting whether or not to join the strike. 

Postscript: Two other student associations have joined the conflict on the opposite side. The Political Science and Law students' association, and the Literature, Languages and Communications students' association, have positioned themselves as "opposed" to the student strike. 

$22 million Trades & Technology Centre opens at UCFV

The University College of the Fraser Valley has opened its new $21.6 million Trades and Technology Centre.  The facility claims to be BC's largest "recycled training facility."  The 2.5 acre centre is part of the Canada Education Park, a collaboration between local, provincial and international schools, and will be used by students in architectural drafting, heavy duty commercial transport, automotive services, hospitality and event planning, electronics, professional cooking, carpentry, welding, joinery and electrical work.  UCFV's campus will now be able to accommodate twice as many students.

$8 million for Metropolis research centres

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), have announced $7.5 million in funding over 5 years for 5 Metropolis research centres.  The Ontario Metropolis Centre (CERIS), is a joint research partnership involving Ryerson, uToronto, and York University faculty, and has received $1.5 million in funding. 

SAIT invests $4 million for arena upgrades

A $4 million investment means a new coat of paint, stadium seating, a new scoreboard and "the best ice in the league" for SAIT’s Campus Centre Arena.  A new concrete floor makes the facility more flexible for large-scale events such as trade shows and concerts.  "We knew that as Canada's premier polytechnic, with a tradition of athletic excellence, we needed a superior venue."

BCIT opens new state-of-the-art 3D studio

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has officially opened its new NGRAIN Innovation Studio.  The $2 million facility allows instructors and students to interact with helicopter rotators, water pumps and landing gear -- all in full 3D imaging.  BC-based NGRAIN is providing the software and 3D models used in the facility.  Automotive, engineering, construction and aerospace students will all make use of the equipment. 

NAIT wins CASE VIII silver for rebrand

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's 2007 rebrand has won the institution a silver CASE VIII Communications Award in Branding and Image Development.  NAIT's awards submission focused on the 3-year process of communicating with staff, explaining the brand review, and helping staff understand their role in the process.  The rebrand included an internal rollout and the hiring of a brand coordinator, ongoing staff consultations and a brand resources microsite, among other tools and resources.

Bishop's U urges alumni to share their "Purple Pride"

Bishop's University has launched an email campaign and microsite asking alumni to share their "Purple Pride" and tell prospective students about BU.  In return for spreading the word and helping to increase enrolment, alumni could win vouchers for airlines, groceries and the campus bookstore -- or even dinner with the principal. 

UofT researcher studies financial aid forms as barrier to PSE

A University of Toronto researcher is investigating whether confusing and "cumbersome" financial aid forms are a barrier to higher education in the United States.  Students will receive assistance completing financial aid documents, in order to see if this helps increase the number of applications.  "People don't know where to look, and they're intimidated."  The study has received a $1.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

FNUC enrolment may be hurt by aboriginal initiatives elsewhere

The First Nations University of Canada was founded 30 years ago, and remains unique in the world. The last five years have been a struggle to maintain FNUC's reputation and accreditation, and to keep enrolments up.  Simultaneously, special aboriginal programs and partnerships at several mainstream Canadian universities have seen aboriginal enrolments jump from 4,100 to 26,000 in less than 30 years.  The authors ask, does Canada need a native-run university?

Facebook is now available in Spanish

Facebook will take a large international step forward with its Spanish-language launch.  The German and French language versions will be announced in the next few weeks.  Almost 1,500 Spanish-speaking Facebook users took part in translating the site from English to Spanish in less than 4 weeks.  More than 60% of Facebook’s users live outside the US.