Top Ten

December 10, 2008

Declining enrolment at Maritime universities

According to new data from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, enrolment at the region's universities dropped 2% between 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. Nova Scotia has seen the biggest decrease in enrolment, down 6% since 2004-2005. Since 2003-2004, the number of students originally from the Maritimes dropped nearly 8%. The region has made gains in the number of graduate students, with a 10% jump since 2003-2004. International students make up nearly 10% of all enrolments, up 1.4% since 2003-2004. MPHEC News Release | Download data

No money for NBCC Fredericton site in provincial capital budget

In its $661-million capital budget announced Tuesday, the New Brunswick government earmarked funds for new construction and upgrades to the New Brunswick Community College network in Edmundston, Saint John, and Moncton. No money was announced for the Fredericton site, but the province's finance minister said the government is still committed to renewing a community college there. Fredericton's mayor accepts the premier's promise that the project will be done, but warns the Liberals could suffer in the 4 Fredericton ridings if the project isn't at least started by the next provincial election in fall 2010. NB News Release | Daily Gleaner

Laurier Brantford halts university centre project

Construction of a university centre at Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus has been put on hold because "it's too expensive to build." In April, the university's board of governors approved extra money when construction estimates came in $4 million over budget, but the principal of the Brantford campus says "there's no chance of a bailout" this time. In order for the project to go ahead, officials will be exploring options to work within its budget, including reducing the size of the building. Brantford Expositor

CBU set to construct new residence

Cape Breton University's board of governors has approved in principle a proposal to build an $8.5-million dining hall and residence on campus. The new facility will add 109 single beds to the school's current residence complex, bringing the total available beds to 568. The dining hall will accommodate up to 350 students. The facility is slated to house its first students in fall 2010. CBU News Release

Learning from the university experience during the Depression

During the 1930s, Canadian students faced severe financial challenges, and universities cut budgets, salaries, and jobs. York University historian Paul Axelrod observes in Academic Matters that while there would be some "haunting echoes" as a recession looms, there are a few stark differences between the Great Depression and now that might soften the blow of a severe economic downturn on universities. Faculty associations today would fight to protect full-time jobs and academic freedom, and institutions are much more important to local economies than they were in the 1930s. Academic Matters

Market downturn signals boon for career colleges

While public colleges in the US are trying to cope with the current economic downturn, American career colleges are seeing gains. According to data from the US-based Career College Association, for-profit colleges have seen enrolment jump by an average of 17% in the last 9 economic downturns, compared to 8% during positive economic conditions. Between July and September of this year, 9 publicly traded for-profit colleges saw average enrolment grow nearly 15%. Career colleges generated $10 billion in revenue this fall, up 13% since last year. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

York sets Dec 15 as last day of fall term

Officials at York University have decided that if the strike by teaching assistants and contract faculty does not end by Monday -- December 15 -- then classes will be cancelled for the rest of 2008. The university's Executive Committee of Senate says that even if the strike should end by Monday, there would only be 5 days left of school, with no classes or exams held between the 20th and 23rd. No talks are planned between CUPE and York. Statement from York Executive Committee of Senate | Toronto Star | CBC

Georgian College enrolment growth can be handled, says report

According to a recent housing report by Georgian College officials, a projected increase of 3,000 linked to a proposed health and wellness centre at the college's Barrie campus would not create problems in Barrie's east end as long as there is a planned approach to student housing development that incorporates both student and neighbourhood interests. The report found only 2,070 students would need rental housing. City council asked the school to produce the report after the college requested a $5-million contribution towards the $65-million facility. Barrie Examiner

$4 million for UWO philosophy department

Toronto businessman and University of Western Ontario alumnus Joseph Rotman has donated $4 million to the university's philosophy department, setting the stage for UWO's $500-million fundraising campaign -- the largest in the school's history. The gift will establish the Joseph L. Rotman Institute of Science and Values. UWO announced Tuesday that Geoff Beattie, president and CEO of Woodbridge Company Ltd, will lead the campaign, which runs from 2007 to 2014. The campaign will officially kick off in 2010, when a new university president is installed. Western News | Globe and Mail | London Free Press

Canadian med school association endorses AAMC policy on industry funding

On Tuesday, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada announced it is endorsing the principles set out in Industry Funding of Medical Education, a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The Canadian association says the aim is to limit the influence the pharmaceutical industry has on medical students and residents, as well as to alleviate the public's concerns about the perceived cosy relationship between medical schools and Big Pharma. AFMC News Release | Canadian Press