Top Ten

March 9, 2009

StFX student dies after fall from residence window

18-year-old Nicholas Sheehan, a first-year student at St. Francis Xavier University, died Sunday evening after falling from his fourth-floor residence window. While foul play is not suspected in the young man's death, the RCMP are still investigating whether drugs or alcohol played a factor. News@StFX | Halifax Chronicle-Herald | CBC

Ottawa wants PSE infrastructure funds reserved for science

The federal government is insisting that its $2-billion PSE infrastructure plan, as announced in the latest budget, be used on science and technology projects, leading to a clash with university leaders and some provinces. In recent weeks, Ontario institutions and politicians in particular have lobbied Ottawa to disburse the funds through a provincial formula that would ensure all colleges and universities get their share of funding to use as needed. "If the feds' criteria are in the driver's seat defining this, then there is going to be a hole in campus after campus across the country." Globe and Mail

New, affordable data tools for Strategic Enrolment Management

Academica Group has announced several enhancements to this year's University/College Applicant Study™, which will survey more than 200,000 applicants to scores of participating colleges and universities across Canada and the US, gathering quantitative data on their perceptions of institutional brands, their consideration sets, decision-making processes, and the use and influence of media sources and recruitment communication channels. The UCAS™ is now part of a suite of data tools for Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) called "Admission Analytics," including bundled pricing for the UCAS™, ADS™ (Acceptance Declined Survey), and SkoolPool™. These SEM tools are designed to enable institutions to understand and verify which messages and communication channels provide the best ROI, and enable enrolment specialists to cut costs by directing their spending where it is most effective. Overview of Admissions Analytics (PDF) | Contact Bruce Thompson for more information

Algonquin College to run classes until 10 pm

Starting this fall, full-time programs at Algonquin College will be expanded to 10 pm Monday through Thursday and to 6 pm on Friday at its Woodroffe campus in Ottawa. The college decided to extend class hours in order to address increased demand and limited space. The move comes as a surprise to the leader of Algonquin's faculty union, which has grieved the decision. The student union's president says some students are already concerned about the plan, raising issues about safety and availability of services at night. Ottawa Citizen

Algoma U to run $2-million fine arts fundraising campaign

This fall, Algoma University is expected to launch a $2-million fundraising campaign for a new facility for its fine arts programs and Algoma Conservatory of Music. The fundraiser will be part of a larger campaign, ranging from $5 million to $7 million, to support a number of research chairs and student financial awards. The $10-million fine arts building project was slated to begin in 2011, but if government funding becomes available soon, construction could start before the end of this year. Sault Star

Renovated UBC museum reopens

On Sunday, the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology reopened its doors following a 6-month renovation and expansion project. The museum, which has doubled in size, includes an updated entrance, lobby, and gift shop, and a new wing for researcher, staff, and laboratories. In May, the museum will display recovered gold art that had been stolen last spring. The final phase of the renewal project will be complete in January. Vancouver Sun | Metro Vancouver

Lethbridge College seeks municipal funding for student housing

Lethbridge College has asked city council to pitch in $2 million towards a proposed 107-bed residence project that would help address Lethbridge's affordable housing shortage. Proponents of the project believe adding more student housing on campus would help ease the crisis, as post-secondary students tend to occupy the type of housing sought by low-income families. The college is also seeking federal funding for the project. Lethbridge Herald

OCUFA urges Ontario to make university funding a budget priority

Yesterday the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations launched a campaign urging the provincial government to allocate more university funding in its forthcoming budget. OCUFA is using online advocacy as part of its campaign. Visitors to the "Quality Matters" microsite can write a message to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty about the need for a high quality university system in the province. OCUFA has also set up an accompanying Facebook group. OCUFA News Release | Quality Matters Facebook group

Ontario high school graduation rate on the rise

According to new government figures, 77% of high school students in Ontario earned their diploma last year, up from 75% in the 2006-07 school year, and 68% in 2003, when the dropout rate was at a record level. The province's goal is to get 85% of students graduating by 2010-11 through several new initiatives to keep students interested in school. One new program is the "specialist high skills major," offering 6 to 12 classes in a subject area with related workplace experience. Ontario News Release | Toronto Star

13 reasons why US colleges are in financial trouble

The Chronicle of Higher Education has come up with 13 common errors that have put many American institutions in dire financial straits. One of the most serious mistakes colleges made was to commit nearly every dollar of projected income to capital and operating expenses, opening the way for layoffs and budget cuts. With deferred maintenance already a problem in higher education, the building boom in the last decade has created a burdened future for institutions. Many schools have relied on low-interest bonds and loans, which are now a lot more expensive to carry after the credit markets seized up last fall. Colleges that have failed to establish a firm identity or monitor demographic shifts are likely to lose prospective students. Resistance to enhanced accountability measures has led to rising college costs and student debt. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)