Top Ten

February 27, 2009

$52 million for new graduate spaces in Ontario

On Friday, the Ontario government announced $51.6 million in funding to create 1,925 new masters and 1,373 new PhD spaces at the province's universities. 75% of the new spaces will be awarded to Ontario's 7 largest research universities. The University of Toronto will receive the most with 588 graduate spaces, followed by the University of Western Ontario with 504. Ontario News Release | Canadian Press 

Financial challenges at Queen's signal faculty, budget cuts

In his Principal's Report to the Community last Thursday, Queen's University principal Tom Williams announced that since April 30, the school's endowments have dropped $139 million in value. There will be a 15% budget cut across all academic and administrative units at Queen's over the next 3 years, a cut Williams says will not be enough. The cuts will mean salary freezes and constrained hiring. For example, 47 faculty positions will be reduced from the university's arts and science faculty. For the first time in recent history, Queen's will be forced to run a deficit. Principal's Report to the Community | Queen's Journal (student newspaper) | Kingston Whig-Standard

Will uSask weather the economic storm?

This question was on the minds of thosse attending a town hall meeting at the University of Saskatchewan last Tuesday. Senior administrators noted that the current economic downturn is not expected to improve anytime soon, and the university is doing what it can to minimize the effects of the market turmoil. Investment income has been hit hard by the downturn, and there is a need to fund losses in uSask's pension fund by $8 million to $10 million a year. Job cuts and forced early retirement are not currently being considered. uSask On Campus News

York president on the future of the university

In his address to the university senate last Thursday, York University president Mamdouh Shoukri stated that before the school can realize its potential, threats holding the institution back must be addressed. Shoukri says the good work at the university is being overshadowed by recent events, such as the strike and incidents of hostility and intimidation. York should demand social justice, and ensure a safe place where people can articulate their views without fear. A major priority for the school is to protect the quality of academic experience on campus. York News Release

Reaction to EPI report's suggestion of 25% tuition hike

A suggestion in a new report from the Educational Policy Institute that we may see tuition increases at Canadian institutions of up to 25% in the next couple of years generated swift responses from politicians, students, post-secondary organizations, and the media. Colleges Ontario states that such a prediction highlights the underfunding pressures colleges face. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance says that suggesting a 25% tuition hike is "just foolish." Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities John Milloy says students should not be fearful about predictions of steep tuition increases. Colleges Ontario News Release | OUSA News Release | CASA News Release | CFS News Release | Globe and Mail | Guelph Mercury | National Post | Barrie Examiner

10 Canadian institutions win CASE District VIII Awards

10 Canadian institutions were among the winners in the 2009 CASE District VIII Communication Awards. The University of Alberta was the top Canadian winner with 9 awards (3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), followed by the University of British Columbia, which picked up 8 awards (3 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze.) Other Canadian winners include uCalgary, NAIT, SAIT, uManitoba, uVic, UFV, Selkirk College, and St. George's School. 2009 CASE District VIII Awards

NL government won't interview candidates in MUN presidential search

Robert Simmons, the chair of Memorial University's board of regents, announced last Thursday that the Newfoundland and Labrador government will not interview candidates for MUN's presidency. The province was criticized last summer for appearing to have interfered in the university's search for its next president. Simmons says the presidential search will be "open, transparent and accountable, while maintaining the necessary confidentiality of potential candidates." MUN News | St. John's Telegram | Canadian Press

New nursing training strategies in Alberta, Saskatchewan

In an effort to reduce the province's shortage of licensed practical nurses, the Alberta government is offering free tuition to immigrants with a nursing background so they can upgrade their skills. Calgary's Bow Valley College will be part of a pilot project offering English and clinical instruction to newcomers. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan government has approved a registered nursing education strategy that would involve both the Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina in giving learners more choices and providing education opportunities in clinical settings across the province. Calgary Sun | Regina Leader-Post

Olds College opens Fine Arts & Multi Media Centre

Last Thursday, Olds College, based in Olds Alberta, officially opened its new Fine Arts & Multi Media Centre -- the second facility to open at the college's Community Learning Campus. The $8.9-million centre features a 390-seat theatre, a cosmetology classroom, an acoustically sound band room, and and art room complete with kiln and separate stained glass studio. Olds College News Release

US colleges experiment with flashy acceptance letters

A number of American institutions are experimenting with glitzy acceptance letters in order to attract and lock in commitments from high school seniors who are applying to multiple institutions more than ever. For example, North Carolina-based Elon University is e-mailing accepted students a link to a congratulatory video depicting a cheering crowd. As for rejection notices, some schools are using electronic rejections to cut down on costs and paper consumption, but the notices can feel particularly brutal. Texas-based Rice University, for example, sends rejected applicants an e-mail reading "Admissions decision: Deny." US News & World Report