Top Ten

April 29, 2008

uToronto plans to reduce undergrad enrolment downtown

The University of Toronto is developing a long-term plan to eliminate thousands of undergraduate seats at its main campus, while increasing the proportion of grad students. UofT's president believes the school can better serve undergraduates by reducing their numbers, rather than keeping the campus at its current "bulging" capacity. Enrolment cuts will not happen immediately, especially given the predicted surge of GTA students.  In the short term, UofT will increase undergraduate spots at its two growing suburban campuses. Globe and Mail

Grad studies are good for society, says report

A new report from the Council of Graduate Schools suggests graduate education in the US contributes to the public good. "Graduate education plays a central role in producing an educated citizenry that can promote and defend our democratic ideals." The report documents stories of graduate school alumni who have made significant contributions to society. The report examines links between graduate education and the promotion of public health initiatives, groundbreaking research, job creation and community strengthening.  Inside Higher Ed | Council of Graduate Schools

Canada lagging behind in producing PhD grads

A new report from Statistics Canada finds the country is behind many industrialized countries, including the US, in the number of PhD graduates produced each year. PhD grads account for 0.4% of Canada's population, compared to 0.7% in the US. The trend could be improving: enrolment in Canadian PhD programs jumped 7% each year between 2000 and 2004 -- reflecting an increased range of programs, better grants and research funding. On average, PhD students take 5 years and 9 months to complete their degree, and graduate at age 36. Fully 75% of Canadian PhD grads are in sciences and engineering. Montreal Gazette | Statistics Canada 

Med students expect massive debt, want better work-life balance

According to the 2007 National Physician Survey, about 36% of responding students expect to graduate medical school more than $80,000 in debt, and about 6% of upper-year students expect debts of over $160,000. High debts may deter students from rural, Aboriginal and low-income populations from pursuing medical careers. Because of the debt, 16% of medical students said they would choose a shorter residency program. The survey also found that 60% of medical students and 52% of residents surveyed said achieving a work-life balance will be the most important factor in establishing a rewarding medical career. CTV | Maclean's OnCampus | National Physician Survey

NS writes off $2 million in bad student loans

Nova Scotia has written off $2.18-million in bad debt loaned to 400 students between 1999 and 2004. Last year, the province estimated the average debt of graduating students at about $23,000, while surveys by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) indicate student debt has grown 10% since 2003. One student leader says these debts are tied to the province's decision to stop providing student grants, leaving students to borrow more to fund their education. Last year the province became a direct lender to students at lower interest rates, and introduced the enhanced repayment assistance program, allowing students to repay loans based on their financial situation. Globe and Mail

Cape Breton U cuts 33 jobs

Cape Breton University has announced plans to cut 11 faculty and 22 other staff positions as it braces for a projected decline in enrolment. On top of a predicted 5% drop in students next year, CBU is also facing a tighter budget thanks to a new tuition freeze.  CBU's president says the school will offer early retirement incentives to eligible staff over the next few weeks, though layoffs are possible. The president says the job cuts won't affect students.  Apparently the faculty association is "pleased with the planning process," and the student union supports the budget. CBC

uWaterloo unveils Research Advancement Centre

A brand new building on the University of Waterloo's north campus opened for business yesterday. The building, known as the Research Advancement Centre, will be the temporary home of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), the School of Pharmacy, and the Canadian Water Network. All three groups were formerly located in the "B.F. Goodrich Building," which was sold to Research in Motion three years ago.  The Research Advancement Centre is planned as a staging site for other school activities once IQC and the School of Pharmacy move into their permanent buildings. uWaterloo Bulletin

Fanshawe plans new residence building, expanded programs

In its Strategic Plan for 2008/2009, Fanshawe College includes a balanced budget of approximately $151 million including spending on new programs, equipment and facilities. $23 million will go towards a new 400-bed student residence at the college's London Ontario campus.  New programs include graduate programs for Anaesthesia Assistant, Business Foundations, and Professional Financial Services; diploma programs for Hairstylist and Mechanical Technician, and a certificate program for Mechanical Techniques. Fanshawe College Newsroom

Laurier Brantford to host conference on Aboriginal education

Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus will host leaders in the development of Aboriginal education for the "Critical Issues in Aboriginal PSE" conference later this week.  The one-day conference, which is organized by Aboriginal Student Services and the Indigenous Studies program, will include workshops and panel discussions on identifying and promoting an understanding of rights and responsibilities of Aboriginal culture on campus, developing strategies to overcome difficulties, and creating a more inclusive social and academic environment. WLU Headlines

"Boomerangers" likely to move home after graduation

The trend we reported in 2006 and 2007 is continuing: a survival guide for parents of twentysomethings warns that nearly half of this spring's university and college graduates can be expected to move back home. The number of these "boomerangers" has remained consistent since the dot-com bust. Wages for new grads haven't kept up with inflation, inflated housing prices, and rising student debt. 73% of today's grads will carry an average of $23,000 in student debt. Millennial grads also tend to have better relationships with their parents, making living at home OK for both parent and child. CBC