Top Ten

May 4, 2008

David Dodge appointed new Queen's chancellor

David Dodge, former Bank of Canada governor, has been appointed the Chancellor of Queen's University. Dodge received an undergraduate degree in economics at Queen's and taught at the university for several years before embarking on a career with the federal government. He's also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen's, and was appointed to the university's Board of Trustees last June. Dodge's appointment comes at a critical time for leadership at Queen's. Last month, Karen Hitchcock resigned from her post as the university's principal. Queen's news release | Globe and Mail

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute opens at uAlberta

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was at the University of Alberta last Thursday to inaugurate the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, named after the former federal Tory deputy prime minister and health minister. The Institute, a first of its kind in Western Canada, is a co-operative endeavour between uAlberta and the Capital Health Region. The institute will provide a full range of services focusing on prevention and complex health care, such as paediatric cardiac surgery and heart transplantation. uAlberta News | Edmonton Journal

SFU ends free tuition for seniors

Because of its budget shortfall, Simon Fraser University will stop offering free tuition for seniors come September, which may force most of the school's 231 senior students off the campus. A 2.6% cut in provincial funding and additional planned cuts has left the university with a $16-million budget gap. Like all students, seniors who wish to continue with their education will be eligible for financial assistance. A poll conducted by the seniors program estimates about 70% of the students won't continue. Globe and Mail

Postscript: May 7, 2008:

Simon Fraser University has announced the creation of a new bursary to assist those most affected. Seniors wishing to take 1 or 2 credit course will be eligible for a "special fund," while seniors taking 3 or more courses will continue to be eligible for bursary assistance. SFU News Release

Medical school needed in Saint John, NB

With a national doctor shortage and 1,500 Canadian students studying medicine abroad, the president of the Canadian Medical Association argues for the creation of a medical training program in Saint John, New Brunswick. Local politicians and doctors would like to see an anglophone medical training program, which would be an extension of Dalhousie University's medical school, up and running by 2010. However, the provincial government has not approved the program, and the PSE minister says the program's price tag was higher than previous estimates. He says the province is seeking private-sector capital funding. Saint John Telegraph-Journal

York establishes new education partnership with China

In a partnership with York University, China's Jiangsu Educational Services for International Exchange plans to open a PSE training centre called the SuNo Centre in North York this spring. Several institutions in Jiangsu plan to send faculty to Ontario to take courses in English language and pedagogy, and to investigate current instructional practices and research in their fields. Visitors will reside at the centre while taking part in short-term programs through York's Faculty of Education and English Language Institute. York has been in collaboration with the Jiangsu Department of Education since July 2006. Y-File

uWinnipeg partners with Beijing school

Starting this fall, more students from China will be able to attend the University of Winnipeg as a result of a partnership between the university and the Beijing Concord College of Sino-Canada. Concord College exposes students to a combined Western and Eastern curriculum. Students receive dual graduation papers, including a diploma with credit hours recognized in Canada, allowing students to move seamlessly through the admissions process at uWinnipeg. Currently there are about 150 students from China at uWinnipeg. uWinnipeg news release

Ontario students lobby for PSE upgrades

Last week, students from Ontario colleges and universities were at the legislature in Queen's Park to advocate for affordable education, easier transition between colleges and universities, more sustainable campuses, and better accountability. The Canadian Federation of Students says, "quality and affordability are suffering because Ontario's per capita funding for higher education is the worst in Canada, and students are looking to McGuinty's new government to develop a plan to fix the system." CFS-Ontario news release

US tuition increases aren't going to classroom instruction

The Delta Cost Project claims that US college students are paying an increasing share of operation costs, while a smaller fraction supports their own instruction. Tuition paid for nearly half of the operating costs at US public four-year institutions in 2005, up from just 37% in 1998. At the same time, minority and low-income students have been gravitating toward community colleges, which typically have fewer academic supports, and completion rates have suffered as a result. The report's authors argue PSE will do a better job of serving students if everyone knows where the money goes. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the full report (PDF)

US should recruit minority engineering students

The US National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering urges an increase in the number of under-represented minorities pursuing degrees in science, math, technology and engineering. The number of minority students has risen, but obstacles remain to broadening diversity among graduate students, professors and scientists in private industry. In 2002, just 4% of minority high school grads in the US had sufficient math and science credits to qualify for a college program in engineering. NACME News Release | Inside Higher Ed

Confessional websites stir up controversy

"JuicyCampus" and Duke University's "Me Too" are not the only campus "confessional" sites around. Confessional websites have popped up at 11 institutions in the US. Unlike JuicyCampus, the students running the "Confessionals" try to weed out slanderous comments and maintain a more intimate and civil environment, and the sites are available only to a particular school's community. Despite the moderating, not all potentially slanderous postings are reported, and site content can get racy. One institution pressured its site to shut down, while another is reviewing legal options. Inside Higher Ed | The Confessionals Facebook Page