Top Ten

April 24, 2008

Alberta invests over $2 billion in advanced education

The Alberta government unveiled its 2008 budget yesterday, including more than $2 billion for advanced education. An increase of $221 million will go toward new seats in programs such as health care and engineering, base operating grants, and supporting the policy of limiting tuition fees. $188 million will enhance student finance programs and debt relief services. $1.5 billion will go towards PSE facilities. Budget 2008 Highlights | 2008-11 Capital Plan

Malaspina to become "Vancouver Island University"

Yesterday, the BC government announced full university status for Nanaimo's Malaspina University-College. Pending amendments to the BC Universities Act, the new "Vancouver Island University" will focus on the region's training needs and its reputation for specializations such as First Nation studies, Coastal Resource Management, and trades and applied technology. Earlier this week, two other schools, the University College of Fraser Valley  and Kwantlen University College, were also given university status. Vancouver Sun

FPSE president says BC university announcements don't add up

Despite the 2.6% cut to PSE funding in BC, the provincial government has given new university status to three former university-colleges (UCFV, Kwantlen and Malaspina). The president of BC's Federation of Post-Secondary Educators says the funding cut will hinder the schools in fulfilling their new university mandates. "Someone in Victoria is math-challenged because if you are sincere about making a university, you have to provide it with the resources necessary to make it work." FPSE News Release 

Carleton respected unstable student's privacy

In reaction to public criticism from Nadia Kajouji's family, an official at Carleton University says counsellors were bound by confidentiality law, and could not tell Kajouji's parents of the 18-year-old student's depression. Counsellors can only reveal such information when police presence is involved. Kajouji's death highlights the struggle students face in first year. The Rideau River Residence Association says Carleton should review and boost services available to distressed students, and Ottawa's Distress Centre says parents and friends should keep an eye out for symptoms of depression. Maclean's | Toronto Star | CBC

Postscript: April 28, 2008
In a letter to the Globe and Mail published Friday, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ann Cavoukian, writes that "when there is significant risk of serious bodily harm, such as suicide, privacy laws clearly permit the disclosure of personal information without consent, regardless of age."  Information and Privacy Commissioner Website

COU publishes 2006 application volume statistics

The Council of Ontario Universities released Fall 2006 data yesterday for first-year applications and registrations. A few things jumped out at us on first reviewing the report. Unsurprisingly, uToronto received the most applications, followed by York, Western, Ottawa and uWaterloo. OCAD registered the largest percentage of indirect applicants (not in high school), while UOIT, uWaterloo, and Carleton had the highest percentage of male registrants. Programs with the highest percentage of female registrants included Household Science, Nursing, Social Work, Education, and Journalism (in that order), while Engineering Science, Commerce and Business were weighted heavily male. Application Statistics 2006

Quebec IT educators wonder where the women are

Since the dot.com bust, enrolment in Information Technology programs has dropped worldwide, due to a mistaken perception that career opportunities are limited. In Quebec, enrolment in IT programs in CEGEPs fell 71%, from 3,787 to just 1,100 between 1998 and 2005. Female enrolment has dropped a staggering 91%, from 708 to just 61. Since 2001, female enrolment in Concordia University's IT programs has dropped from 20% to just 10% of the class. Some educators wonder whether young women assume IT is not a "people-person" career.  Montreal Gazette 

uSask, SIAST expand degree options for students

The University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) joined forces yesterday in providing more degree options for students in SIAST's Natural Resources programs. A transfer agreement will allow program graduates to further their studies at uSask and achieve one of two degrees: a BSc in Agriculture or in Renewable Resource Management. SIAST News Release

SNOLAB announces "Honda Fellows" exchange program

Yesterday, officials at Sudbury-based SNOLAB announced a student exchange program with the Kamioka Observatory in Japan. The partnership is fully sponsored by Honda Canada Inc, and students will be known as "Honda Fellows." Honda established the 3- to 6-month exchange program to encourage graduate students and young researchers in physics from both labs to learn from each other. Located 2km underground in a Vale Inco mine, SNOLAB is "Canada's leading edge facility for the study of astroparticle physics," and a joint venture by Carleton, UoGuelph, Laurentian, UBC, Queen's, and uMontreal. SNOLAB News Release

New scholarships drive 26% rise in uVic early applications

The registrar at the University of Victoria credits increased scholarship funding with a 3% rise in undergraduate applications direct from high school. In particular, uVic saw a 26% rise in conditional early admission applications (allowing students to apply as early as October with grade 11 marks). The number of high school students eligible for uVic entrance scholarships rose 300% over last year. A new "Come to Campus" grant provides a travel bursary up to $1000 to help high-achieving students who live outside Greater Victoria. uVic News Release

Socioeconomics affect parents' college expectations

A new report from the US Department of Education finds parents' expectations of their children to pursue PSE vary based on socioeconomic factors. The study shows Asian-American and foreign-born parents were more likely to expect their kids to obtain a bachelor's degree, while white parents knew more about education costs and would chip in for tuition. Single-parent families were less likely to expect their children to go to college, as were families of home-schooled children. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | National Centre for Education Statistics