Top Ten

January 16, 2009

Record employment rate for NBCC grads

According to the latest annual survey of New Brunswick Community College, 92% of the Class of 2007 were working one year following graduation, making it the highest employment rate ever recorded. The rate was 91% the year before. In 2008, the level of training-related employment increased to 85%, up 1% from 2007. 90% of graduates were working in the province in 2008, up 3% from the year before. NB News Release | Read the full report

Halifax universities not meeting enrolment targets

In its forthcoming 2009 Economic Scorecard Report, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce says regional universities are failing to meet the target of increasing admissions by 500 students a year. In 2008, 785 fewer students were attending Metro Halifax universities than in 2004, and "the declining trend is cause for concern." The president of Saint Mary's University says the chamber of commerce's 5-year plan to boost enrolment by 500 students per year by 2010 is unrealistic. "We're not manufacturing any more 18- and 19-year olds." Halifax Chamber of Commerce News Release | Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Nortel bankruptcy protection may impact Canadian R&D

Nortel Networks Corp., a significant source of funding for Canadian and international research and development, is now operating under bankruptcy protection, leaving some researchers and institutions worried they could lose a powerful partner. "Nortel is at the top of the food chain in terms of working with academic institutions that support the research, but more importantly, that support the development of masters students and PhD students." Nortel is currently involved in projects at over 20 universities worldwide. Globe and Mail

Halton regional council to vote on "McMaster tax" for Burlington campus

On Wednesday, the council for the Regional Municipality of Halton will vote on a proposed $5-million subsidy for a satellite campus of McMaster University's business school in Burlington. If the "Mac tax" is approved, McMaster would begin construction of the campus this spring. The City of Burlington is contributing $5 million to the project, while Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce has donated $10 million towards the campus. Burlington Post

Update on uWaterloo Dubai campus project

Last week, the University of Waterloo signed a memorandum of understanding with its partners in Dubai United Arab Emirates to open a campus in the Middle Eastern city. Under the agreement, UAE's Higher Colleges of Technology will provide physical facilities such as laboratories, classrooms, and library services. The Dubai campus will start accepting students this fall. uWaterloo News Release | Kitchener-Waterloo Record

Concordia suspends writing competency test

Since November, Concordia University has exempted the majority of its undergraduate students from its university writing test because it was found not to be effective in measuring "core competencies" such as oral communication and critical thinking, and not able to meet its goal of steering students with writing problems to remedial writing classes during their first year. A committee has been set up to consider alternatives to the exam. News@Concordia | Montreal Gazette

York deans urge TA union to accept deal

York University deans are following in the footsteps of nearly 300 professors from the institution in urging striking teaching assistants and contract faculty to accept the latest offer from the university. The deans echo the professors' concern that a prolonged strike will have a negative impact on York's reputation and academic development. The strike workers will vote on the offer today and tomorrow, and their union is urging members to reject it. Toronto Star

New cutting-edge lab equipment at Lakeland College

Earlier this month, Lakeland College acquired $915,000 worth of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment for its campus in Lloydminster Alberta. The new equipment, filling 2 new labs in the Bill Kondro Wing, includes a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer to be used by first- and second-year organic chemistry students. "They are learning on equipment that they may one day use in their career and that’s invaluable for them and for industry." Lakeland News Release

Billions for higher education in draft US stimulus package

Last Thursday, Democratic leaders in the US House of Representatives released a draft of an $825-billion economic stimulus package, with tens of billions of dollars targeting higher education. Rough estimates suggest nearly $30 billion in student financial aid, $8 in research funding, $9 billion in college and university infrastructure support, and $4 billion in adult education and job training grants. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)