Top Ten

February 17, 2009

Research funding cuts in Canada spark fear of brain drain

Canadian researchers and university presidents are worrying about national brain drain as the federal government scales back funding while the US government's economic stimulus package pledges billions for research. "We could be left in the dust." A top researcher at McGill University had to secure private donations for a research project after federal funding ran out, and a similar program he established in Singapore received 8 times the funding awarded by the Canadian government. Globe and Mail | Times Higher Education

Law school to open at TRU

In its throne speech on Monday, the BC government announced that a new law school will open at Thompson Rivers University, which will partner with the University of Calgary to establish the school within the next few years. The throne speech also mentioned new capital investments for the province's colleges and universities. BC News Release | TRU News Release

$13 million for Saskatchewan agriculture research

The Saskatchewan government announced last Friday $12.6 million in funding for 48 different agricultural research projects throughout the province. The University of Saskatchewan will receive $8 million, including a $4-million investment in the institution's Crop Development Centre. Saskatchewan News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Cuts needed to balance budget at Fanshawe

Department managers at Fanshawe College have been asked to scrutinize their budgets as the college must present a balanced budget to its board of governors in mid-April. If the school were to take no action, there would be a $4.8 million shortfall, and Fanshawe is looking at another $1.7 million in new development projects. There will be "limitations on hirings," and layoffs are already being feared. Fanshawe hasn't experienced such a budget crunch since the early 1990s, when 250 full-time positions were cut. London Free Press

Application boom at VIU

Vancouver Island University, formerly Malaspina University-College, has seen a 97% increase in applications from the Victoria region over last year, and applications from the Nanaimo region and the Lower Mainland are also up 30% and 52%, respectively. The economic downturn is being credited for the spike at VIU and at other institutions. BCIT is noticing growing demand for career-related programs. Increased interest in UBC's MBA program is being seen as a reaction to what's happening in the marketplace. Vancouver Sun

One-day strike at UQAM

Many classes at the Université du Québec à Montréal were cancelled Monday after professors held a one-day strike to protest stalled contract talks. The walkout was the first in a series of day-long strikes called by the union representing 1,000 full-time faculty, who have not had a contract since June 2007. 4 more walkouts are planned for the coming weeks, including one scheduled for this Thursday. Montreal Gazette

OCUFA releases marketing-themed issue of Academic Matters

"Marketing the Academy" is the theme of the latest issue of Academic Matters, to be released this week. The magazine includes an article by Academica Group's Ken Steele, who argues that campus marketing -- which aims to raise an institution's awareness, reputation, and applicant pool -- should be viewed by faculty as an ally. In a separate article, communications consultant David Scott discusses university rankings in terms of their limitations and influence on campus marketing. Selling the Academy Without Selling Out | University rankings as a marketing tool: readers beware

SAIT targets youth with new elderly-themed recruitment campaign

Although senior citizens are depicted in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's new multi-media recruitment campaign, they are not the intended audience. SAIT's "Further Your Passion" campaign features nonagerians who have continued to work in their old age because of a passion for what they do. The tagline reads: "Get a career you'll never want to leave." Launched last Monday, the campaign will run in Calgary and area until the end of March. Marketing Magazine | Further Your Passion microsite


Trend in Canadian schools embracing environmental programs

With nearly 240 university-based environmental education programs across Canada, the environment is certainly getting a warm reception at national campuses. For example, this fall Dalhousie University will admit the first students to its College of Sustainability, part of the new Environment, Sustainability and Society program, while an environmental faculty is in the works at Simon Fraser University. A UQAM professor says institutions should be careful to design long-term programs that offer a basic training in a wide enough scope. Globe and Mail

McGill music students robbed of instruments

In the last 6 weeks, 7 instruments, including a $40,000 viola, have been stolen out of the lockers of several students at McGill University's Schulich School of Music. Although he would not comment on specific measures being taken to prevent future theft, McGill's music dean says security patrols have been beefed up. Montreal Gazette