Top Ten

February 25, 2008

Canadian-Serbian students organize political protest

More than 2,000 Serbian-Canadians rallied at the University of Toronto on Saturday, before marching to the US consulate to protest Kosovo's recent declaration of independence. There was a heavy police presence at the event, which did not turn violent. The Globe & Mail reported the event was organized by 5 Canadian-Serbian students at Ryerson University. On Sunday, similar protests drew 250 in Montreal and about 800 in Vancouver. The Globe & Mail | CTV news | Toronto Star | CBC News

$1.2 billion for Ontario colleges

The Government of Canada has announced a $1.2 billion investment in workforce training in Ontario, over the next 6 years.  The funding, which will be directed primarily at Ontario colleges, will support those who are not eligible for training under Employment Insurance, for literacy and job skills training.  The new funding will target those without high school education, as well as Aboriginals, recent immigrants, and disabled persons.  Federal News Release | Maclean's On Campus

ACCC warns of looming "economic power outage"

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges is asking the federal government to address the country's "critical skills shortage," or face "an economic power outage."  250,000 new workers are needed in the next 7 years in the construction sector alone.  According to the ACCC, Canada's colleges are chronically underfunded and therefore limited in their ability to meet Canada's workforce needs.  ACCC News Release

Federal government expected to invest in graduate studies

Canada's Conservative government is setting its sights on graduate studies to fuel the country's economy.  University administrators report that the government understands the need for increased funding to remain competitive and attract students from around the world.  Next week's budget is expected to include support for graduate students.  The Globe & Mail

UBC Brain Research Centre receives $25 million

The University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute will share $35 million in new funding for research in brain diseases and bone and joint health.  UBC hospital's Brain Research Centre is receiving $25 million to support research of new treatments.  UBC News Release

Bill Gates cites "scary trend" of decline in IT studies

During his speech at the University of Waterloo last week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates emphasized the growing need for skilled IT workers, despite declining numbers of North American students enrolling in IT since the dot-com bust five years ago. "These are fun jobs," he asserted. "They really are about changing the world." Gates slammed US visa restrictions, while praising Canadian policy. (Microsoft recently opened an office in Richmond BC, a few  hours north of corporate HQ in Redmond WA, to accommodate international workers without a US visa.) According to the uWaterloo dean of Mathematics, applications for IT are up 30% this year. The Globe & Mail | Maclean's

uWindsor promotes international virtual career fair

Through the US-based National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the University of Windsor is offering international students a virtual career fair to connect with overseas employers.  The event is meant for international students who want to return home for full-time, internship or co-op placements.  uWindsor News Release | NACE Career Fair

Innovative course lotteries and auctions on US campuses

Students camp outside Patricia de Castries' office door to get their names on the waiting list for her wine-tasting course at the Stanford Language Center.  MIT uses a lottery system where a computer randomly picks which students get to take the most popular courses.  One student at the University of Chicago tried to sell her sought after spot in a class online.  uChicago shut down the sale, but uPenn's business school goes the opposite way, auctioning off spots in MBA classes.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Russian higher ed struggles with reputation of corruption

Russia's universities are surrounded with rumours of corruption -- including bribery and inside deals.  School presidents are accused of using their power to "create fiefdoms, doling out perks to themselves and allies."  Admissions officers are accused of taking bribes to admit unqualified students, and professors are reported to hold A's for those who will grease their palms.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

US student landlord requires alcohol education for tenants

Alcohol education is not completely new to Canada, but a new program at St. Cloud University may be a first in the US.  Any new pledges to the Delta Zeta sorority house will be required to take an alcohol education and awareness program called "UChoose."  The program has been offered at the university for almost two years, and has been taken by about 1,000 students. The Delta Zeta house is the first body to require students to enrol.  USA Today