Top Ten

April 25, 2008

Saskatchewan will rebate up to $20,000 in tuition

The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation for a refundable tax credit to rebate tuition fees for students who remain in the province. The Graduate Retention Program offers up to $20,000 in rebates to students who graduate from approved PSE programs in or outside Saskatchewan. Student will receive 10% of the maximum the year of graduation and the next 3 years, then 20% the following three years. Tuition rebates will be based on the actual tuition amounts students claim on their taxes. Government of Saskatchewan News Release | Graduate Retention Program

UBC attracts ivy-league American academics

About 25 professors from elite American institutions have recently chosen to become faculty members at the University of British Columbia, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Americans taking senior positions at UBC are coming from top-tier public research institutions, such as Eric Margolis, a philosophy professor from uWisconsin - Madison, and Jessica Wang, a historian from UCLA. Others are coming from elite private schools where tenure takes time and full professorships are rare. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

4 Ontario universities propose new law schools

The Law Society of Upper Canada considered a proposal yesterday from Lakehead University to open a law school. The university plans to house the proposed law school in Port Arthur Collegiate Institute. The law school would admit 55 students a year, with preference going to Aboriginal, rural and northern Ontario applicants. Meanwhile, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University also have law school proposals before the Law Society, and another unnamed university is considering a law school. Currently, there are 6 law schools in Ontario. Toronto Star

uCalgary expands international opportunities for students

The University of Calgary has launched an initiative to consolidate its international activities and expand its profile internationally. "UC Global" will help increase opportunities for students to gain international experience. The school's goal is to have 30% of the graduating class with study-abroad experience by 2010. The initiative brings together the school's International Centre, the Centre for International Study and Students Abroad and the Centre for Language Assessment and Learning to further promote internationalization. University of Calgary News

Low tuition a handicap for Quebec universities

While McGill ranks high in the Times Higher Education Supplement and has produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other Canadian university, its shortcoming may be low Quebec tuitions. Tuition accounts for 8% of the school's budget. McGill charges high ancillary fees, and the 43% of students who come from outside Quebec are paying the same amount of tuition they would have paid in their home province. In order to cover the shortfall brought on by lower tuition, Quebec would have to pump $300 million more into higher education just to meet the national average. Despite the lower tuition, Quebeckers are still less likely than their neighbours in Ontario to get an undergraduate degree. Globe and Mail

York undergraduates host "Why English?" conference

On Saturday, York University undergraduates will be a hosting a pan-university conference to address the question "Why English?" The conference was developed as a response to the question most English majors dread: "What are you going to do with an English degree? Teach?"  The conference will investigate what it means to pursue an English degree on academic, personal and professional levels. Participants will cover such topics as literacy, interdisciplinarity, digital evolution and career options. York News Release | Why English?

Ontario Children's Aid societies establish RESPs for foster kids

Children's Aid societies in Ontario have now been directed to invest federal grants into Registered Education Savings Plans to help foster children aspire to higher education. Under the Universal Child-Care Benefit plan, children under the age of 6 receive $100 a month. The societies receive this money on behalf of the children and place it into a special account. Extra funding would come from the Canada Learning Bond and a federal grant. By the time a foster child reaches 18 and plans to go to university or college, the RESP could amount to as much as $23,000. If a foster child chooses not attend PSE by age 25, they will receive the principal plus interest, but not the federal grants. CTV

Blog offers university application advice to homeschoolers

Sarah Rainsberger runs a blog in which she offers advice and information to homeschooled students and others involved in alternative education on university applications in Ontario. She acts as a "guidance counsellor" to students who don't have access to the same services of regular school students. The site offers features such as "7 ways to get into university without a high school diploma," homeschool admission policies, and message boards to discuss university application. Although the blog focuses on Ontario universities, there are links to similar sources for other provinces. Sarah Rainsberger's Blog 

US study finds 20% racial gap in graduation rates

A new study finds that in the US, the 6-year graduation rate for black students attending 4-year colleges is 20% lower than the rate for white students. Some institutions have gaps as large as 25% or more. In order to close the racial graduation gap, the report suggests changing ranking formulas, fixing graduation rate measures, and improving accreditation standards. Retention can also be improved through outreach programs, support services, and summer sessions before freshman year. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Digital Natives are isolated, not connected or informed

Despite cellphones, Blackberrys and ubiquitous internet, college students are becoming more isolated, says journalism professor Ted Gup. His undergraduates struggle with even dumbed-down quizzes on current events. Some students think Islam is the main religion in South America, that Roe v. Wade was about slavery, and that the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1975. Gup blames this "sad state" on the fact that opinion trumps fact in today's society with the prevalence of blogs, citizen journalism and gossip websites. He says families and schools should do more to instill in students the importance of following the world around them. The Chronicle of Higher Education