Top Ten

May 22, 2008

NSERC announces $535 million in research funding

On Wednesday in Victoria BC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada announced that nearly 10,000 professors and students at 75 PSE institutions will be receiving grants and scholarships in order to perform cutting-edge research in natural sciences and engineering and boost Canada's position as a world leader in post-secondary research. The funding will support the Discovery Grants program for professors, the Undergraduate Student Research Awards, and young university researchers at graduate and post-doctoral levels. NSERC News Release | Lakehead News Release

Alberta's PSE institutions address health care shortage

Alberta's colleges and universities are trying to address an acute shortage of health care workers in the province. Educators suggest satellite campuses, distance education, partnerships with rural institutions, and foreign credential recognition assessments can boost accessibility. Calgary's Mount Royal College is exploring programming options in midwifery, and has started the Internationally Educated Nursing program for foreign-educated nurses. The University of Calgary supports the Alberta International Medical Graduates program, in conjunction with the University of Alberta, to assess international medical graduates for entry into a residency program. CanWest News Service

Extra seats won't solve doctor shortage

A leader at the University of Toronto's medical school says although increasing the number of medical students can alleviate the nation's doctor shortage, it's not enough. She emphasizes the need for post-graduate education to train the next generation of university faculty, and ways to better utilize a large population of international medical graduates who are trying to gain accreditation, but can't find enough residency positions to become certified and start practising. CanWest News Service

Atlantic colleges sign Environmental Stewardship pact

Leaders from Atlantic Canada's 4 public colleges (College of the North Atlantic, Holland College, Nova Scotia Community College, and New Brunswick Community College) signed a common Environmental Stewardship Agreement on Wednesday during meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Community College Consortium. The consortium's Climate Change Action Plan Advisory Committee was intended to help the colleges embrace best practices in "greening" campuses, but the signing of the agreement is a public commitment to sustainability. CNA News Release

SFU partners with South Korean U for hydrogen and nanomedical research

Simon Fraser University and South Korea's Yonsei University signed a pair of agreements Tuesday that will advance collaborative research in the areas of materials science and medicinal chemistry. The Memoranda of Understanding will see professors, researchers and students work together to forward the development of hydrogen technologies as well as nanomedical technologies and diagnostics. The agreements fall under BC's Asian Pacific Initiative. SFU News Release

70% of PhD grads have firm plans following graduation

Statistics Canada has followed up on previous data from its Survey of Earned Doctorates. In a 2005/06 study, 70% of doctoral grads had firm plans in the first year after graduation. Of those, about 25% said they would be returning or continuing in the same employment or position they held before their doctorate, while the remainder said they signed a contract or made a definite commitment for other work or study. Approximately two-thirds of graduates with firm plans for employment cited research and development or teaching as their primary work activity. Statistics Canada

uWinnipeg launches Opportunity Fund for under-represented students

With provincial and federal government funding and private-sector support, the University of Winnipeg launched on Tuesday the Opportunity Fund -- an innovative student support program aimed at closing the "graduation gap" for hundreds of students traditionally under-represented at university. The program, targeting Aboriginal children, young people from war-torn countries and refugee populations, and students from inner-city neighbourhoods, includes fast-track bursaries, micro-financing and tuition credits to assist children as early as Grade 4, and extends all the way to adult learners. uWinnipeg News Release

AAUW disputes "male student crisis"

A new report from the American Association of University Women argues there is no such thing as a male student crisis in PSE. The report says the high rate of women graduating from university does not come at men's expense --  young men earning college degrees is at an all-time high, and the gender gap in attendance is almost absent among those entering college directly after graduating from high school. The report says the imbalance is not gender-related, but rather rooted in race and ethnicity. Some experts disagree with the report: one points to hugely disproportionate rates of suicide and incarceration among men aged 25-34, and argues "the failure of the education system to address male needs on male terms is indeed a crisis." Inside Higher Ed

US schools pressured to develop programs in India

With more American students interested in studying in India, US colleges are under pressure to increase their exchange programs, says the US ambassador to India. He says a strong Indian community in the US and a fascination with India among young people are responsible, and notes a "trade imbalance" as 84,000 Indian students are studying in the US, compared to just 1,700 Americans studying in India. Hindu Business Line

Foreign universities would welcome more American students

A new report from the Institute of International Education found foreign universities would welcome more American students, but most study-abroad programs are designed for a full semester or a year, which is at odds with US trends of students preferring short-term programs. The institute's president says universities worldwide could make long-term study more appealing by aligning degree requirements and making exchanges more affordable. When universities were asked why they wanted to attract more American students, 81% reported the exchange of knowledge, culture and language through personal interaction with US and domestic students as the most important reason. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Inside Higher Ed | Read the full report