Top Ten

January 5, 2009

WTU leaves Chilliwack

Following 3 years of controversy, World Trade University has "quietly" left Chilliwack BC. The flags outside the university have been removed, and the building used to house the school is being prepared for another tenant. On-going opening delays and refuted claims of ties to the UN and WTO raised suspicion of the school's founder. Last February, the school withdrew its application for degree-granting status. Municipal and provincial politicians who supported WTU are being criticized for the failure of the project. Chilliwack Progress | Chilliwack Times

CUPE Ontario recommends supporting ban on Israeli academics

In protest of last week's bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza, the CUPE Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee will announce a resolution at its conference next month to support a ban on Israeli academics speaking, teaching, or researching at provincial universities, unless they explicitly denounce the university bombing and the attack on Gaza in general. The resolution will build upon policy CUPE Ontario adopted in 2006 supporting boycotts and sanctions designed to bring an end to Israeli occupation in Middle Eastern territories. CUPE Ontario News Release

ACCC seeks inclusion in federal infrastructure spending

Last month, Association of Canadian Community Colleges president James Knight wrote a letter addressed to all federal MPs urging the government to include the nation's colleges in its infrastructure plan. Knight says investment in college infrastructure is a "winning combination both ways," as not only will funding address the shortage of classroom facilities, but also create jobs in sectors essential to the economy, such as construction and technology. Right now, colleges' only option is to apply for funding for facilities that would be shared with local communities. ACCC News Release | National Post

$4 million for SAIT applied research centre

Last month, the federal government announced $4 million in funding towards a new state-of-the-art applied research centre at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. The facility, known as the SAIT Enerplus Innovation Centre, will assist Alberta's construction, energy, and manufacturing sectors in testing and developing innovative technologies and products. The Alberta government is investing $4.2 million in the project. Canada News Release | SAIT News Release

Dalhousie under pressure to address daycare space shortage

A Dalhousie University professor has spearheaded an action group consisting of 30 staff, student, and faculty parents urging the university to address the chronic shortage of childcare spaces on campus. The professor says Dalhousie needs another 2 daycare facilities to accommodate at least 200 children and babies. The group has taken its cause to the consultants of Dalhousie's campus master plan, and is lobbying the university to apply for a provincial loan to expand the childcare centre. Dal News | Metro Halifax

Moncton hospital set to become university teaching centre

New Brunswick's health minister says the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Regional Hospital, located in Moncton, is slated to become a university teaching centre, under which the hospital could access new funding and attract doctors and researchers by establishing itself as a focal point for medical research. The minister will receive a report this month from a committee established to create a step-by-step plan to transform the hospital into a teaching facility. Canadaeast News Service

Ontario introduces Training Completion Assurance Fund

Last Friday, the Ontario government announced a new fund to assist students affected by the sudden closure of a registered private career college. Through the Training Completion Assurance Fund, students will receive financial support to finish their training at another institution, or partial or full refund of paid fees. The new fund is part of Ontario's Private Career Colleges Act. Ontario News Release

US private colleges concerned over enrolment drop

According to a recent survey by US-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, 93% of American private college presidents are greatly or moderately concerned about a dip in enrolment. A number of institutions are reporting declines in regular applications from anywhere between 15% and 30% so far. Possible reasons for the drop include students paring their college lists, more interest in state universities, and the assumption that private colleges are unaffordable. NAICU News Release | New York Times

More US community colleges offering residence

In order to compete with their larger counterparts, US community colleges, especially those catering to rural communities, are adding residence halls. The trend also reflects a cooling economy and enrolment boom at such schools. By offering on-campus accommodation, students unable to afford a 4-year education at an urban institution have the opportunity to enjoy the traditional college experience and engage in campus culture. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 25% of such institutions have residence halls. New York Times

US students object to affinity credit cards

Across the US, a number of student groups are speaking out about the relationship between student debt and on-campus credit card marketing. Points of contention include the revenue institutions receive under their agreement with credit card issuers and the sharing of students' information with banks. College and bank officials alike say they try to educate students about responsible credit card use, and cards offered to students have more restrictive terms than those offered to alumni. New York Times