Top Ten

October 6, 2008

Response from federal parties to AUCC questionnaire

3 out of the 5 federal party leaders responded to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada's questionnaire on their commitment to PSE. The Liberal, New Democratic, and Green parties all expressed commitments to improving investment in university research, boosting PSE funding, dedicating federal transfer payments to provinces for higher education, and making PSE more accessible to Aboriginals. The responses are posted on AUCC's election website. AUCC News Release

uMoncton students want to vote on campus

The president of the University of Moncton's student union is asking the federal government to amend Canada's Electoral Act to allow university students to vote on the campus where they are studying. The student leader says having polling stations on campuses is one of the best tools to increase youth participation. Elections Canada says a section of the act won't allow such an initiative. Polling stations have been set up on campuses this year but only for students who actually live on campus. Times & Transcript

Cheating at uSask on the decline

Academic misconduct by students at the University of Saskatchewan appears to be on the decline, despite recent studies finding that over half of PSE students are cheating. In the 2007-08 academic year, there were 42 convictions for plagiarism at uSask, and one student was suspended. In 2005-06, there were 74 incidents, with 6 students being suspended or expelled. Despite a positive trend, some believe these numbers are misleading. uSask has no way of knowing how many incidents of academic misconduct are dealt with "informally" by professors. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Algoma U enrolment drops

After a decade of growth, enrolment at Algoma University is starting to drop. The school has 1,100 students on campus this fall, a 4% drop from September 2007. The decrease may be mitigated somewhat by an increase in students during the winter semester for an overall projected decline of 3% for this academic year. Algoma expects to see an increase next September by targeting students from First Nations, southern Ontario, and countries such as Japan and Mexico. Algoma recently launched its "Colossal U" recruitment campaign. Sault Star

New $500,000 endowment fund at Fanshawe

The Boys' & Girls' Club of London Foundation has established a $500,000 endowment bursary fund for Fanshawe College. Participants of the MAP Program (My Action Plan for Education) can access the fund when applying to PSE. Along with the Horizons Campaign, the program helps young club members in Grade 4 through PSE to achieve their academic and career goals. The bursary will qualify for matching funds through the Ontario Trust for Student Support program. Fanshawe News

UoGuelph cuts budget with buyouts

In an effort to cut its budget by $36 million over the next 4 years, the University of Guelph invited all regular full-time staff -- except for faculty, librarians, and veterinarians -- to apply for voluntary resignations or retirement. A UoGuelph spokesperson says every department at the university will be looking for other ways to cut costs, but staffing is by far the biggest cost. A CUPE official says that from a union perspective, UoGuelph should be hiring people because they are understaffed. Guelph Mercury

PSAC to represent UWO post-doc associates

30 post-doctoral fellows employed as post-doctoral associates at the University of Western Ontario have joined the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The associates decided to pursue union membership after being "fed up" with what they call poor working conditions, such as working long hours and receiving low wages. Western News | London Free Press

OCAD invests $600,000 for security upgrades

On Monday, the Ontario College of Art & Design announced it has invested $590,000 in campus safety and security upgrades. Over the summer, OCAD introduced a new radio-frequency identity card system and added more closed-circuit television cameras. The school is also installing a campus-wide public-address system, as well as developing a text-message-oriented notification system. Other initiatives include bicycle patrols and hiring a full-time security co-ordinator. OCAD News Release

CBU student union endorses poker promotion

Cape Breton University's student union is endorsing a website that offers Canadian students the chance to win free tuition by playing poker. To win, students must register and download software from the website and play in poker tournaments. The student union's president says the organization is promoting a fast way to pay for growing university costs, not gambling. Last month, the student union at Dawson College said it was a "mistake" that a poker room ad appeared in a student day planner. CBC

"Campus Explorer" predicts admissions probability

"Campus Explorer" is a new US-based college-search website that also predicts the probability of a prospective student gaining admission into a certain school. The site will analyze a student's GPA, test scores, and extra-curricular activities to estimate whether he or she will be accepted into a variety of schools, and then labels each institution as a "reach," a "target," or a "safety." ars technica | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Campus Explorer