Top Ten

February 21, 2008

Laurier and uWaterloo receive $11 million for facilities

Ontario's provincial government has announced $11 million in funding for Waterloo university students. The University of Waterloo will receive $8 million towards a new Health Sciences Campus planned for downtown Kitchener.  The new campus will include the university's School of Pharmacy and will serve as a satellite campus for McMaster University's Degroote School of Medicine. Wilfrid Laurier University's Faculty of Music will receive $3 million to upgrade the Aird Building.  Ontario News Release

Rick Mercer spotlights Brock, Dalhousie

CBC's Rick Mercer Report has visited many campuses across Canada, but this week's episode was a double-header.  Rick stopped by Brock University to play wheelchair basketball with the paralympic team.  A second segment featured Dalhousie University, the winner of his national "Spread the Net" challenge to raise money to buy mosquito nets for Africa.  Rick toured Dalhousie's campus and checked out the Engineering department's indoor quicksand and concrete toboggans.  The Mercer Report (February 19, 2008)

McGill receives $1.25 million to honour inventor of radio

McGill University has received a $1.25 million donation to honour Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, the inventor of audio radio.  Fessenden was the first to transmit speech wirelessly.  The donation was made by McGill alumnus, Dr. John Machford, the great-nephew of Fessenden.  The funds will create the Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation.  McGill News Release

Study finds that "A" students struggle in first year

Up to 25% of university freshmen reporting "A" averages in high school are at risk of flunking out.  A new study released yesterday by uManitoba researchers finds that "first-year university can be an equalizer, reducing both high achievers and average performers to students who are vulnerable to academic probation." Although university enrolment is at an all-time high in Canada, there are no reliable statistics to determine whether retention rates for freshmen have changed.  The Calgary Herald

More Canadian students sending applications to UK schools

Universities in the United Kingdom received 10.7% more applications from international students this year, according to the UK's central application centre, Ucas.  The surge was fueled by high numbers from Bulgaria, Norway, Singapore -- and Canada.  Overall, applications were up by 8.9% in the UK.  The Guardian

Gun-related crime by Canadian teens jumps 32%

In 2006, more Canadian youths used guns during violent crimes than any other year.  There were 8,105 victims of violent gun crime in 2006.  While these numbers are consistent with previous years, the number of crimes charged to teenaged offenders has increased by 32% since 2002.  1,287 Canadian teens were accused of gun-related crimes in 2006.  CBC | CTV | CanWest News Service | Statistics Canada 

Newfoundland sets up committee to meet industry skill needs

Newfoundland & Labrador has established an Industry Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) charged with following up on the recommendations of last year's All the Skills to Succeed report, issued by the Skills Task Force.  The report identified a strong need for a coordinated response to labour market needs.  Representatives from business, labour, industry, education, the provincial government and NGOs have been appointed to the ICC.  NL News Release

Perhaps the liberal arts don't actually make you Liberal

Since 9/11, US classrooms have become more politically polarized. David Horowitz has urged preferential hiring of conservative academics, and proposed an "academic bill of rights" to protect them from "hostile leftists." Studies have found as many as 90% of college faculty call themselves liberal or moderate, but a new study has found the real reason most conservative undergraduates do not pursue a PhD is because they are less interested in creativity and writing original work, and more interested in orderliness, raising a family, and practical professions like accounting and computer science. The researchers suspect students are fairly established in their political views, and self-sorting when it comes to graduate study. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Why Conservatives Don't Get Doctorates (PDF)

UK students in the sex trade may have doubled

The number of PSE students who work in the sex trade has increased by 50% over the last seven years, according to recent UK research.  In 1999, 4% of students reported having friends who lap-danced, escorted, or prostituted themselves while earning a degree.  In 2006, that number climbed to 6% and a third sweep currently underway is finding estimates higher than 8%.  "As long as student debt increases so will the numbers of students entering the industry."  The Times

Donations to US schools are up, but expected to drop

Donations to US colleges and universities set a new record last year, with a total of almost $30 billion, an increase of 6.3% from private donors.  Already-wealthy schools attracted the most new donations, with 20 schools (2% of survey respondents) collecting $7.66 billion.  Stanford University was the biggest winner with $832.4 million.  Donations are expected to drop off next year due to poor economic conditions.  Donations from alumni dropped slightly from the previous year, with 11.7% of alumni donating on average.  The Boston Globe | Inside Higher Ed