Top Ten

March 12, 2008

New RESP bill could cost billions

If passed, a federal private member's bill would allow parents to deduct up to $5,000 annually per child on their income taxes for contributions made to RESP plans.  The legislation could cost the federal government up to $1 billion per year.  The Conservative party has challenged the Liberals to either "kill the bill" or face an election.  Finance Minister Flaherty describes the bill as "an irresponsible tax cut for the wealthy."  Maclean's On Campus | Canadian Press | The Globe & Mail (Front Page)

uLaval plans to raise $100 million to fund 100 new research chairs

Universite Laval plans to add 100 new research chairs over five years, at a cost of $100 million.  The PAIR (Program pour l'avancement de l'innovation et de la recherche) claims to be the most ambitious expansion of this type ever seen in Quebec.  "We wanted to send a clear message to the university community.  We'll need to be creative and develop new sources of private funding while maintaining our public and para-public partnerships."  University Affairs

Report recommends dramatic cost cutting at UQAM

An independent report released last week recommends that the Universite du Quebec a Montreal cut 77 teaching positions, freeze salaries and hike tuition.  The report offers 6 possible paths for the university to free itself from "financial crisis."  Unions and faculty associations are voicing their objections and are calling for the province to provide increased funding to support the school.  A student representative points out that no student or staff stakeholders were surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the authors of the report.  The Montreal Gazette | UQÀM: Rapport définitif sur la situation financière et le plan de redressement

Striking worker hit by car at Seneca College picket line

York Region Police were called to Seneca College's Markham campus when a picketer was hit by a vehicle and threatened by its driver.  Cafeteria and janitorial staff employed by Aramark at Seneca College are currently on strike.  The vehicle reportedly hit the picketer several times in an effort to cross the picket line.  Mr. Hannah was thrown onto the hood of the car.  Unite Here News Release

Canada's students increasingly enroll for online credits & programs

Thanks to the Internet and other new technologies, distance education is becoming more and more popular among students.  The Canadian Virtual University, Athabasca University and Quebec's Tele-universite (Teluq) say their numbers have increased anywhere from 10% to 100% over the last 6 years.  Most students at these schools are part-time, taking only one or two courses, and are usually in their 30s or 40s.  Completion rates are low: AU's is 5-15% for full degree students, and Teluq's is 15-20%.  Many students are transferring credits from distance ed programs towards degrees at another institution.  University Affairs

BCIT to launch BC's first 3-year accelerated nursing program

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has been awarded $1.4 million in one-time kick-start funding from the BC government to establish BC's first 3-year accelerated nursing degree program.  BCIT will also receive "ongoing capital and operational funds" from the Ministry of Advanced Education.  BCIT's first intake for the new program will be in August 2008.  BC News Release

UOIT hopes to launch first PhD in 2009

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology plans to launch its first PhD program in late 2008 or early 2009, in automotive engineering.  The program is currently being considered for approval by the Ontario Council for Graduate Studies.  Durham Region News

Fanshawe College launches new website

It looks to us like Fanshawe College launched a flash-ier, video-laden new website yesterday, and we think it's worth a look. The home page's jazzy "Your Opportunity Maxxed" video was played at the Ontario College Information Fair. Drop the web team a note and give them your feedback. And by all means, let us know when you launch your own web redesigns too!

Older Internet users feeling a little left out

Most Americans think the Internet is "all about them."  More than 50% of respondents in a recent survey felt that online content was "focused on them."  Younger users were the most likely to feel this way (76% of 18 to 24 year olds).  While 56% of 35 to 44 year olds felt online content targeted them, 53% of the same age group felt that online ads targeted younger users.  Overall, users over age 34 could be reached more effectively.  eMarketer

The net generation seek "a life of supreme intensity"

A uVirginia English prof vividly describes his students, "always in motion, always spitting out what comes first to mind, never challenging, checking, revising." The Internet, "perhaps the most centrifugal technology  ever devised," offers the prospect of infinite possibility, and this generation of students revels in "maximum promise" but resists anything approaching "friction" or closure. This, he argues, is why students seek international exchanges, triple and quadruple majors, thousands of Facebook friends and sexual hookups in a "spectacular hunger for life and more life." The sad result, he fears, is a generation of students who are "seven places at once" but nowhere in particular, who fail to grapple with their own identities and wind up pursuing careers that satisfy parental and societal expectation instead. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)