Top Ten

April 3, 2008

uAlberta to launch new francophone college in Edmonton

The University of Alberta's French-language faculty, Campus Saint-Jean, has earned approval to establish a French-language college.  Anticipated to serve up to 500 students within its first five years, College Saint-Jean will offer degrees related to tourism, office administration, and communications, likely beginning in Fall of 2009.  Consultations with the provincial government and other Alberta colleges concluded that Campus Saint-Jean would provide students with a unique culture in Western Canada, and an option for francophone students outside of Quebec.  UofA ExpressNews 

Ministry bails out FNTI just in time

Just hours before the First Nations Technical Institute was set to close its doors on April 1st, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities stepped in to announce a one-time $1.5-million payment that will allow the Institute to operate for another year. The new partnership between the Institute and the Ontario government comes as the federal government cut its contribution by 75% this year, insisting that education is a provincial responsibility. More than 2,000 students have graduated from the institute in its 22-year history. The Globe & Mail | Ontario News Release

FNUC taken off probation by AUCC

Yesterday, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) lifted the probationary membership of the First Nations University of Canada. A year ago, the AUCC placed the institution on probation and ordered them to make a number of institutional changes after issues of academic freedom and claims of political interference in the institution’s governance came to light. FNUC is the first institution in AUCC's 87-year history to be placed on probation. Regina Leader Post    

Capilano College joins MIT OpenCourseWare

Using a $10,000 grant from BC Campus, Capilano College is to become the first institution in Canada to give away course material for free through an online consortium created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Expected to launch 12 courses on Friday, the OpenCourseWare project is intended to unlock information by making high-quality educational materials available around the world. People using the free materials are not enrolled in courses, do not earn credits, and are not promised access to faculty.      

Ontario college employees are paid less

Compared to their university peers, Ontario salary disclosure information shows lower salaries for college presidents and instructors in general, with fewer college employees earning over $100,000.  Whereas the $200k club is more extensive in universities (and many university presidents earn over $400k), only the president in most colleges makes over $200k. Seneca president Frederick Miner was Ontario’s highest-paid college president in 2007 (just over $367,000), followed by Sheridan’s Robert Turner (nearly $324,000) and Conestoga’s John Tibbits (almost $339,000). Macleans   

Ontario universities plan GTA satellites

With the Greater Toronto Area needing as many as 75,000 additional university spaces in coming years, universities and communities across the province are considering the establishment of new satellite campuses. The Council of Ontario Universities promises that decisions about new or expanded campuses and the dollars to support them will be made in the context of overall priorities, and “based on some longer-term planning and discussions.” This week, Wilfrid Laurier University confirmed plans for a campus in Milton, following earlier announcements of an independent Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, a new campus of Lakehead University in Orillia, and expansion plans for York University's Glendon campus. The Globe & Mail      

Alberta population growth has slowed

Despite robust population growth in the fourth quarter of 2007, more Canadians left Alberta than arrived (from every province except Ontario and Quebec) during this time period -- signaling a slowing trend for the booming province.  Alberta is now the only jurisdiction in the West to be experiencing negative interprovincial migration, as many workers are going home (to Newfoundland and Saskatchewan, in particular) -- though Alberta's attractiveness remains well above the national average.  Saskatchewan is now recovering from a 25-year population low in April 2006, and is well on its way to top its highest recorded population of 1,009,613. The Globe & Mail      

Nova Scotia infrastructure boost an "excellent start"

Following the Nova Scotia government’s promise to provide $25 million for PSE infrastructure over the next three years, Nova Scotia universities say the move is “a welcome first step.” Offshore oil and gas revenue is expected to go toward a Nova Scotia Crown Share University Infrastructure Trust, which could provide some of the funds promised under the memorandum of understanding. With deferred maintenance on campuses across the province worth more than $543 million, officials at the Association of Atlantic Universities feel that most of the money should go toward infrastructure, ranging from highways and bridges to university buildings. The Chronicle Herald     

Study highlights poor US graduation rates

A report released earlier this week by the America’s Promise Alliance shows that in 17 of America’s 50 largest cities, less than half of the students who entered high school in 2003 ended up graduating in four years. In Detroit, which has the lowest graduation rate of the top 50 cities, less than one-quarter of students finished high school in four years.  Officials link lagging high-school graduation rates and poor college preparation to America’s economic health. Lively commentary on the Chronicle blog blames everything from the "No Child Left Behind" program to the war in Iraq. The Chronicle of Higher Education | APA Report (16-page PDF)

UK undergraduates forecast to decline this decade

A study by higher education group Universities UK has indicated that there may be a drop in the number of UK undergraduates over the next decade. The estimated fall in numbers of 18- to 20-year-olds would equate to about 70,000 full-time undergraduate places over the next 10 years. Other figures indicate a continued rise in overseas students at UK universities, particularly from India. While China remains the source of the greatest number of non-UK students, the biggest increase was among Polish students, who rose by 56% from 2005/06 to 2006/07. BBC News