Top Ten

May 27, 2008

York, uAlberta, Dal connected to Mars probe

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, which touched down on the red planet Sunday night, has connections to 3 Canadian universities. York University professor Jim Whiteway is the lead scientist for the Canadian contribution to the $420-million (US) mission. uAlberta contributed a small hollow tube called the Telltale to identify the speed and direction of the wind. Dalhousie University lent its expertise to the construction and operation of the Canadian-led laser radar LIDAR, which measures the structure of the dusty atmosphere. Globe and Mail | York News Release | uAlberta ExpressNews | Mars LIDAR | Watch the video

uMontreal opens University Veterinary Hospital Centre

Université de Montréal's University Veterinary Hospital Centre was inaugurated in St-Hyacinthe last Friday. More than $74 million in federal and provincial funding paid to double and renovate the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine's outdated facilities. The Centre was designed as a fully-integrated medical facility where equine, bovine, farm, domestic and exotic animals can be diagnosed, admitted and treated. It will serve as the hub for professors, researchers, interns, residents and support staff. uMontreal News Release

Research Data Centre opens at uSask

The University of Saskatchewan is housing the Saskatchewan Research Data Centre, a new facility that offers access to Statistics Canada surveys and census data in a secure environment. The Centre is part of StatsCan's Research Data Centres Program, becoming the first of its kind in Saskatchewan and the 15th in Canada. The Centre will be a tool for examining a broad range of social sciences and health issues. Research at the facility will help strengthen Canada's social and policy research community by creating partnerships among universities, StatsCan and researchers. uSask News Release

Legislation introduced for independent Algoma U

On Monday, Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities introduced a new bill in the provincial legislature that would see Algoma University College, located in Sault Ste Marie, obtain degree-granting status and independence from Laurentian University, with which Algoma has been affiliated for 40 years. The school has special focus on serving Aboriginal students, including offering the only BA program in the Ojibwe language. Ontario News Release | SooToday

Alberta needs to build greater university capacity

Mount Royal College president Dave Marshall warns that Canada, and Alberta in particular, lags far behind other industrialized countries in terms of PSE access. According to recent Census data, Alberta has only 0.9 universities per one million residents, compared to 2.7 in BC and 10.9 in Nova Scotia. The lack of spaces has Alberta schools turning more and more students away. In 2007, MRC had 10,785 qualified applicants, but turned away 4,885. Calgary Herald

Eastern universities tap into Alberta alumni networks

Alberta's booming economy is drawing an increasing number of graduates from maritime universities, many of whom become quite wealthy, and naturally development officers are taking note (such as recent initiatives by McGill). UNB held a "lobster boil" in Fort Edmonton Park last weekend, Dalhousie recently hosted a Calgary lobster dinner, and last year Memorial held its first fundraising dinner at Calgary's Petroleum Club. Queen's has had a fundraising office in Calgary for a decade. Globe and Mail

uWinnipeg launches Indigenous Police Preparation Diploma

In partnership with the RCMP and the Manitoba Métis Federation's Louis Riel Institute, the University of Winnipeg is launching a police preparation training program specifically designed for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. The Indigenous Police Preparation Diploma program will begin this September. The program will provide graduates with a highly-transportable skill set that will allow them to be successful in applying for positions with the RCMP, as well as regional, municipal and tribal police forces. uWinnipeg News Release

High food prices take a bite out of campus food services

 Like colleges in the US, Canadian PSE institutions are feeling the crunch of skyrocketing food prices, forcing some universities to bump up the cost of meal plans for students starting school this fall. In an average year, meal plan prices may increase 1% to 2% because of inflation; but this year's increases are about 3% to 4% at schools such as Queen's, UWO and UBC. In addition to raising prices, schools and their food contractors are considering other options to deal with their higher costs including smaller portion sizes, using different brands, cooking more meals from scratch, buying more products from local vendors and re-designing their menu items. CanWest News Service

Visible minorities more likely to have university degree

2006 census data shows a 20-point gap between visible minority and white Canadians aged 35-44 in university education. White Canadians, especially white males, were among the groups least likely to have PSE. The highest proportion of university-educated were among Korean Canadians (74.4%), followed by Filipino and Chinese Canadians at 58.6% and 58.4%, respectively. Just 26% of white Canadians graduated from university. The study's author attributes the results to Canada's immigration policy, which gives preference to those with university educations. CanWest News Service

Windsor student housing deemed unsafe

A city councillor in Windsor, Ontario says absentee landlords who "herd students like cattle" into overcrowded, substandard and often unsafe housing are causing rapid deterioration in neighbourhoods surrounding the University of Windsor. He says university administrators and city hall officials must sit down with the residents to find solutions to unkempt properties, trash, fire hazards and declining property values. The university's Student Alliance reports many complaints from out-of-town students about the quality of off-campus housing. Windsor Star