Top Ten

February 28, 2008

Education stakeholders react to Budget 2008

Yesterday we summarized the education-related news in Tuesday's federal budget, from financial aid changes to about $700 million in new research funding. As you would expect, it's got people talking. Maclean's calls the budget "status quo, with some money for research and housekeeping changes."  The CAUT faults the budget for lacking a coherent vision for PSE and research.  Canada's colleges and institutes say the budget overlooks a critical skills shortage and fails to address a capacity crunch.  Dale Kirby | Maclean's On Campus | CAUT News Release | ACCC News Release | OUSA (digest of News Releases)

$20 million to expand York's Glendon campus, programs

Ontario has announced $20 million to fund an expansion of York University's Glendon Campus.  The campus will be transformed into a Centre of Excellence for French-Language and Bilingual PSE.  Glendon College claims to be Canada's only bilingual liberal arts university faculty.  Funds will be used to refurbish and expand facilities to cope with rapid program growth: enrolment has climbed from 1,700 to 2,500 in just the last 6 years. Glendon hopes to offer a BEd program for future French immersion teachers, and a bilingual international BA shortly.  York News Release

$10 million expansion for Nursing, Psych at Trent

Trent University's DNA Building will expand to accommodate a new $9.8 million facility that will be home to the school's growing Nursing and Psychology programs.  The expansion will be funded by the Ontario government, and will "reinforce the University's reputation as a leading institution for delivering quality health care programs to students."  Trent News Release

Ryerson students rally against racist vandalism

Last week, a bulletin board belonging to the East African Students of Toronto (EAST) at Ryerson was set on fire, as well as posters promoting the group's activities.  CFS-Ontario is calling for a full investigation by the Toronto Police and Ryerson security.  A "small but boisterous" rally held on Tuesday attracted 30 students, to protest the minimal response they perceive by campus security. Some students fear that "a current of intolerance flows beneath the surface" of diversity at Toronto universities.  CFS News Release | The Globe & Mail | CBC

New Centre for Urban Ecology at Humber College

Humber College has a new teaching and research facility that will double as a living lab of sustainable construction.  The Centre for Urban Ecology is a joint effort between Humber College, the City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.  Visitors can walk along paths in the arboretum leading through gardens, forests, meadows and wetlands.  Canadian Architect

CMEC focuses on literacy, PSE capacity and Aboriginal achievement

Canada's education ministers met in Toronto earlier this week and agreed to new initiatives to enhance Aboriginal education, literacy and PSE capacity.  The ministers are committed to eliminating the education gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, and will host a 2009 summit on improving achievement rates.  The ministers will "continue to urge the federal government to increase its financial contribution to PSE through fiscal transfer." CMEC News Release | The Globe & Mail | PEI News Release

uOttawa website lets applicants design their own viewbook

The University of Ottawa has launched a truly Web 2.0 face for the traditional school viewbook.  uOttawa's site is linked to a print-on-demand system that lets you pick a language, cover photo and 4 areas of study that interest you.  Answer a few more questions about your grade average, sports interests, etc. and uOttawa will ship a customized viewbook to your mailbox. Looks like an approach that will save paper and storage space, better engage applicants, and capture lots of data on prospective applicants!  Personalized Viewbook

BC considers a separate elementary school for Aboriginal students

Earlier this month, we reported that the Toronto District School Board was considering an all-black high school. Now, Prince George, BC is considering a segregated elementary school for Aboriginal students.  The school would be a provincial first, and was proposed earlier this week.  The Prince George School District has been struggling with racism and high aboriginal drop-out rates.  The proposed school would have a focus on aboriginal philosophy and could open as early as September.  CBC

Dawson College studies impact of school shootings

Montreal CEGEP Dawson College plans to survey students and staff about how the 2006 campus shooting has affected them.  The planned survey will also evaluate the crisis intervention efforts that were used.  The survey is part of a unique study that will attempt to measure the impact of school shootings on people's mental health.  CanWest News

Social networks vary with geography

Facebook might be the reigning monarch here in Canada, but rival social networks each seem to have their own home turf where they hold an advantage.  MySpace, predictably, continues to claim the most attention from US users.  In Europe, Bebo takes the lead, followed by MySpace and then France's SkyBlog in 3rd place.  Google's Orkut is far and away the leader in South America, followed distantly by Hi5.  We all thought Friendster was dead, but it is actually the leading social network site in Asia.  Le Monde