Top Ten

September 17, 2008

uWindsor faculty on strike

University of Windsor professors, librarians, and academic staff went on strike yesterday after negotiations between the university and its faculty association were called off at 2 am. As a result, classes were cancelled yesterday, except for medical students. uWindsor's faculty association's president says the issue that caused talks to break down was the quality of research and education at the university. uWindsor Daily News | Windsor Star

$11 million for Alberta graduate scholarships

On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced an $11-million investment in graduate student scholarships, bringing annual funding for graduate-level awards to over $23 million. Along with the extra funding are 2 new programs. The Graduate Citizenship scholarship will provide 50 students with financial awards for their volunteer and community activities. Under the Profiling Alberta's Graduate Students program, students who participate in major national and international research gatherings have the chance to access over $1 million. Alberta News Release

Liberal policy on PSE

At a campaign stop at the University of Western Ontario yesterday, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said that his party, if elected, would establish a 20-year $25-billion education endowment fund. The Liberals would increase university-based research by 60% to $500 million a year. The plan includes a $100-million fund to support scientists, researchers and graduate students in taking on projects that go beyond their disciplines. The policy offers a $500-million reform of the national student loan program, including a guaranteed $5,000 loan for every student. Liberal News Release | Western News | CanWest News Service | CBC

Polytechnics Canada promotes applied research funding in federal election

Polytechnics Canada has submitted 2 questions about applied research funding to Canada's 5 main political party leaders. The organization asks if a leader's party believes Canada needs to invest more in applied research, and if so, how the party would increase such an investment. Polytechnics Canada recommends the new government help fund a 3-year pilot project to create applied research clusters at polytechnic institutions. Leaders' responses to the questions will be posted on the group's website on September 29. Polytechnics Canada News Release

CFS, CASA launch election-based websites

The Canadian Federation of Students recently launched an election-based website called "," which provides policy analysis, voter information, press releases, and up-to-date campaign information in relation to PSE. The site will also feature a Party Report Card on each party's PSE platform. Meanwhile, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is running a similar site, with a special focus on PSE accessibility. The site includes a video entitled "The Education Challenge," which urges students and the public to consider the issue of accessibility when voting next month. CFS News Release | CASA News Release | | CASA Election Centre

Providence Challenges the Stereotypes

Providence College and Seminary, in Otterburne Manitoba, launched a new brand identity in fall 2008 and an assertive, edgy new campaign that is "stepping out of the box for our Christian Higher Education market," says Sara Beth Dacombe, Communications Coordinator. "We believe what sets us apart is that our school is not hesitant to talk about the tough issues in life, and we hope to attract young students of faith who are also ready to live differently."

The new campaign uses three ads to encourage people to think, live, and serve:

Providence "think" ad 

“Think” shows a pretty blonde in a classroom setting who seems confused, with the headline, “Christians use their faith as a crutch.” This ad is meant to show the stereotype that many young Christians go on to secular university or even a good Christian school and still find themselves unable to clearly and intelligently converse about their faith with others.

Providence "God Loves" ad

“Live” shows a young man holding a sign saying, “God Loves,” while an angry mob behind him holds signs saying, “God hates.” This ad is meant to show the stereotype that many Christians feel they can judge others and act in public with messages of hate. 

Providence "serve" ad

“Serve” shows a homeless person with the headline, “The end is near, so Christians don’t care,” to show the stereotype that some Christians think they aren’t going to be on earth very long so they don’t need to care about issues like homelessness, poverty, or even the environment.

Dacombe continues, "We know there are many Christians who fall outside of these stereotypes and are doing good work, but we especially want to speak to young people and the public who may hold these stereotypes, and that’s what’s holding them back from seeing Christians in anything but a negative light. It is possible to be intelligent, to have a skilled profession, and to be active in today’s society and be a Christian. And our school is ready to step outside of the box and attract some attention to that fact."

The Challenge the Stereotype campaign begins in September 2008 and will run for at least eight weeks in national education magazines, and across radio, print, web, and bus advertising in Manitoba, Canada.

McMaster opens Ron Joyce Stadium

Last Saturday, McMaster University held a grand opening for its Ron Joyce Stadium, named after the Tim Hortons co-founder, who contributed $10 million towards the stadium. The 6,000-seat stadium will host training sessions, as well as professional and recreational athletic events. Local community sports teams will also compete at the stadium. McMaster Daily News

Algonquin College students hit by debit card fraud

Over 20 Algonquin College students had money stolen from their bank accounts after a debit card reader at a campus cafeteria was tampered with and then stolen. Algonquin officials have confirmed that only 1 of the 70 debit card terminals on campus was affected. In the short term, students hit by the fraud can get help from the college's financial aid department if they're short on funds. Ottawa police are investigating the incident. Ottawa Sun | CBC

Attack on tenure unfounded

Canadian universities lower the bar when it comes to tenure standards, resulting in rewarded mediocrity, argues Carleton University professor James Ron in last week's Ottawa Citizen. At many Canadian universities, salary increases are based on collective bargaining agreements, not individual achievement. Equitable pay does little to boost productivity or promote excellence. In a rebuttal, CAUT president Penni Stewart says tenure is a rigorous process. Merit-based pay is generally counterproductive, she says, as it may divert faculty away from teaching and taking on long-term research projects. Ottawa Citizen | Great universities don't hire mediocrity

uToronto launches research website

On Monday, the University of Toronto launched its "Experience Research" website. The vibrant site includes 6 portals focusing on research in environment, health, society, arts and culture, science and technology, and business. The site features external news on uToronto research, researcher profiles, and videos on uToronto research projects. Another component of the site is "Behind the Headlines," where uToronto professors comment on current affairs. In the future, the site will include more Web 2.0 features, such as blogs and wikis. uToronto News | Experience Research

China makes gains in international student enrolment

Foreign student enrolment is increasing significantly in China. Between 1997 and 2007, the number of international students attending Chinese universities jumped from 39,000 to 195,000. Last year, China's international enrolment ranked fifth in the world, behind the US, Britain, France, and Germany. While most foreign students come from other Asian countries, Chinese universities are becoming more appealing to Americans, as the US is now China's third-largest source of students. To attract students, Chinese schools are offering more English-language programs, living stipends, health care coverage, and full scholarships. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)