Top Ten

September 19, 2008

$21 million for health research

The Ontario government announced last Thursday $21 million in funding for health care research projects. The funding, coming from the Ontario Research Fund, will support 116 projects at 14 universities across the province. Research projects include the effects of childhood obesity on future brain function, factors contributing to autism, and new treatments for skin cancer. Ontario News Release

University status draws more students to UFV

The University of the Fraser Valley is reporting increases in enrolment over last year, with a 6.3% jump as of last Wednesday. The big reason for the gain is the fact that the former university-college was awarded university status by the BC government in April, immediately after which application requests went up by over a third (of course, the new brand by Academica Group doesn't hurt either!). Local and international student registration is up by 4% and 30%, respectively. Since UFV became a university, the level of financial support from the community has also grown by more than 100%. Chilliwack Times

NS business school shuts down

The Success College of Applied Arts and Technology, based in Truro Nova Scotia, has closed its doors after 116 years in operation. A NS Department of Education spokesman said the school's president asked that the college's operating license be rescinded because he didn't have space to hold classes. None of the former instructors were willing to comment on the closure, although one individual said staff questioned changes to the curriculum. The college had been experiencing declining enrolment in recent years. Truro Daily News

NB deputy PSE minister's move to UNB questioned

Former New Brunswick deputy PSE minister Nora Kelly has accepted a temporary position at the University of New Brunswick as an executive-in-residence, a move which is drawing criticism from Democracy Watch. The group is raising the issue of conflict-of-interest, as Kelly would have worked with UNB and other provincial university officials in formulating the province's action plan on PSE. Government and UNB officials confirm the province will pay for Kelly's salary during her 2 years at UNB. Times & Transcript | Daily Gleaner | Saint John Telegraph-Journal

UWO opens climate change research centre

Last Thursday, the University of Western Ontario officially opened its $30-million Biotron Experimental Climate Change Research Centre. The centre allows researchers to reconstruct mini-ecosystems to address the intricate interactions occurring between biological organisms found in soil, water, and air. The facility is in partnership with the University of Guelph, and Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada. Western News

Ryerson releases new Academic Plan

Ryerson University has unveiled its new Academic Plan, which was approved by the university's senate in June. Shaping Our Future 2008-2013 focuses on high quality programs, student engagement and success, learning and teaching excellence, research activity, and reputation. The 25 strategies outlined in the plan include establishing new faculties, increased cross-disciplinary programs, and new and ground-breaking teaching strategies. Ryerson News | Shaping Our Future 2008-2013

New federal government should boost Aboriginal PSE spending

Manitoba Aboriginal Affairs Minister Oscar Lathlin says the next federal government must increase PSE funding for Aboriginal students, echoing the sentiments of protesters who demonstrated on the steps of the provincial legislature last week. Lathlin says it would make good economic sense to boost Aboriginal student aid instead of capping increases at 2% annually, as it would help keep these students out of jail, hospitals, and street gangs. Maclean's OnCampus

CUPE issues UBC challenge to become better employer

In light of the University of British Columbia placing second as the best local employer in the Georgia Strait's Best of Vancouver 2008, CUPE locals have issued UBC some challenges in becoming a better employer. One key challenge is to improve infrastructure and the environment on campus. Another is to offer staff better access to on-campus recreational facilities, guaranteed day care spaces, and more flexible working arrangements. Addressing health and safety issues is also important, as well as improving UBC's ability to keep skilled workers and attract new ones. CUPE News Release

Facebook in the admissions decision-making process

10% of US college admission officers look up social networking sites to evaluate applicants, according to a new survey by Kaplan, an American-based education company. 25% said their impression of applicants was improved after checking out the sites, while 38% said what they saw "negatively affected" their views of the applicant. For example, one student was rejected after gushing about a school while visiting the campus, then trashing it online. At times admissions officials receive anonymous tips, perhaps by rival applicants, about embarrassing material posted online. Kaplan News Release | Wall Street Journal

AAVMC works to increase diversity at veterinary schools

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges is working on boosting diversity as a broader national recruitment strategy aimed to attract more students to veterinary schools. The association is trying to increase its visibility at national meetings of minority science students, as well as reaching students in communities with different cultural views on both pet ownership and vet medicine. A 2005 survey found that misconceptions about the field, such as scope and pay, as well as cumbersome application requirements, may reduce the number of students who decide to study vet medicine. AVMA News