Top Ten

February 18, 2009

$2 billion for PSE in BC budget

The BC government's latest budget, announced Tuesday, commits $1.7 billion to post-secondary infrastructure projects. Another $228 million will be spent over 3 years for higher education, including $165 million for improved PSE access, $40 million to expand health education, and $23 million to increase the number of provincially-trained doctors. BC News Release | Vancouver Sun | BC Budget 2009 Highlights

Tackle BC doctor shortage with free medical school

In an article published in the BC Medical Journal, 2 University of British Columbia students argue that providing free medical school tuition would help solve BC's shortage of family physicians. The students write that in lieu of paying the annual $15,000 tuition fee, young doctors would agree to work in under-serviced areas for 2 to 3 years before moving on to specialties. Having free tuition would also attract a more diverse applicant pool. BCMJ | Vancouver Sun

Dried-up federal funding spells trouble for Arctic research centre

With federal funding set to expire by March of next year, the Nunavut-based Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory faces an unstable future. A Dalhousie University researcher has been so busy trying to secure funding to keep the station in operation that he is foregoing this year's trip to study the polar sunrise. Although the federal budget outlines $85 million to maintain and upgrade existing Arctic research stations, the funds cannot be used for operating costs or science. CanWest News Service

$1-million budget shortfall predicted for U of King's College

In order to eliminate a projected $1-million budget deficit -- the highest in its history -- the University of King's College may resort to cuts in several areas, such as its library, sports programs, and capital expenditures. Layoffs in non-academic units are also a possibility. The school's president says his primary goal is to maintain core academic programs and student-related activities. Halifax Chronicle-Herald | U-News

CFS Ontario launches task force on campus racism

The Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students has set up a task force to examine the issue of racism at provincial colleges and universities. The task force will travel to campuses across Ontario to hear from students, faculty and staff about how they experience racism. The first hearing was held yesterday at George Brown College. The task force is expected to release a report in September containing strategies to fight racism in the PSE sector. Canadian Press | No Racism

"Green" initiatives at uVic food outlets

In an ambitious goal to have zero-waste meals on campus, the University of Victoria's cafeterias have replaced plastic utensils with compostable cutlery made out of bamboo. With no garbage cans on site, students now place their trays on a steel trolley to be wheeled into the kitchen for sorting. The school is looking into biodegradable coffee cups and clear, compostable paper wrapping for sandwiches. Cafeterias at other institutions have also started going "green," such as those at Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba. Victoria Times-Colonist

UQAM ad campaign illustrates effects of research

The Université du Québec à Montréal has launched a new promotional campaign that highlights the social, cultural, economic, and scientific benefits of the university's research and creativity. "The UQAM Effect" microsite profiles 15 UQAM professors that describe the impact of their work, as well as list their research units and awards. The campaign is being run primarily through the Montreal area in CEGEPs, movies theatres, print, and on TV. Video materials are available on the microsite and on The UQAM Effect

CNA mascot gets his own website

Last Friday, the College of the North Atlantic launched a blog written from the prospective of its polar bear mascot, Nanuk. "Nanuk's Notebook" includes a journal documenting the mascot's appearances, a scrapbook containing letters written by elementary school children, a photo album, an event schedule, Nanuk's e-mail address, and a form to request the mascot's presence at an event. CNA News Release | Nanuk's Notebook

Harvard, Columbia identity thief gets 4 years in prison

Esther Reed has been sentenced to over 4 years in prison for using a missing woman's identity to gain entrance into Harvard and Columbia Universities. Reed, a high-school dropout, was also ordered to pay $125,000 in restitution to cover her student loan debt. Prosecutors in the case claimed Reed has stolen or fabricated as many as 5 identities over a 9-year period. CBC

Calvin College student suspended for offensive Facebook post

Tony Harris, a sophomore at Calvin College, a Christian-based institution located in Michigan, has been suspended for a year after refusing to apologize for posting an offensive Facebook status update that appears to disparage a former girlfriend, also a Calvin student. Harris denies writing the message, suspecting that the ex-girlfriend, with whom he had shared his password, did it to frame him. The college forbids the use of social media that contradicts the principles set out in the school's code of conduct. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)