Top Ten

March 11, 2009

17 die in high school shooting in Germany

A young gunman dressed in black combat fatigues entered a high school in Winnenden Germany yesterday and fatally shot 10 students and 3 teachers. The shooter, a former pupil of the school, later killed 3 bystanders before being killed himself in a shoot-out with police. Police reportedly seized over a dozen of legally-held weapons from the home of the suspect's parents. This is Germany's worst shooting since 2002, when another teenaged gunman killed 16 people and himself at different high school.  Associated Press

Brock launches $75-million capital campaign

On Tuesday, Brock University announced a new $75-million capital campaign -- the largest in the university's history. The "Bold New Brock" campaign will support new facilities, research chairs, and student awards. So far the campaign has raised $34 million. Bold New Brock | St. Catharines Standard

uRegina seeks $10-million boost in provincial sustaining capital grant

In its capital funding request to the Saskatchewan government, the University of Regina has put deferred maintenance and new projects at the top of its needs list. The university is requesting the province increase its sustaining capital grant to $16.9 million from the $7.02 million it currently receives, which would bring funding up to the nationally recommended 1.3% of replacement value. uRegina would like to see movement on 2 key capital projects that support the learning and teaching mission: a $70-million student learning commons and a $52-million professional programs complex. U of R Report

NS PSE budget cut rumoured

The Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students and some politicians in the province are concerned about reports that the Tory government will cut $10 million from its PSE budget. There is worry that if the province does make cuts to the PSE budget, it will affect a memorandum of understanding between the education minister and university presidents that entails increased funding and a 3-year tuition freeze. While the deputy education minister admits the government is speaking with the universities about where money can be trimmed from the PSE budget, the schools cannot touch tuition fees. Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Postscript: Mar 13, 2009
Despite reports that the Nova Scotia government will cut $10 million for its PSE budget, a memorandum of understanding between the province and the universities involving a 3-year tuition freeze will not be affected as some have feared. A Top Ten subscriber informs us that the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations has received a verbal commitment from the province that there will be no changes to the MOU.

Canadian university enrolment up slightly

According to new Statistics Canada data, enrolment in Canadian universities jumped 0.9% in the 2006-07 academic year, the second smallest growth rate since 2000. 18- to 21-year-olds accounted for 90% of this growth, as their numbers increased 2.1% to 427,400. 58% of female students accounted for all registrations that academic year. Prince Edward Island saw the most full-time enrolment growth at 3.3%, while New Brunswick experienced the largest decline at 4.8%. In 2006, approximately 225,900 students received a qualification from a Canadian university, up nearly 5% from the year before. Statistics Canada | University degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded

uWaterloo discourages small undergraduate classes

University of Waterloo faculty received a memo this week from the school's provost stating that the university is taking steps to discourage classes with fewer than 10 students at the undergraduate level. The memo reads that "as always, but particularly in these times of financial constraint, it is important that we deploy our teaching resources efficiently and effectively." Starting this fall, undergraduate courses with 10 or fewer students will not be counted in a faculty member's teaching load. The objective is that by 2010, offering such small classes will be "unusual." uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Confederation College investigates airplane mishap

Confederation College officials are investigating an incident last week in which one of their student aviation planes skidded off a runway during a training exercise. This is the first incident on the safety record for the 30-year-old aviation program. While school officials say there was minimal damage to the plane, a Transport Canada report indicates the plane's nose wheel broke off, and there was damage to the propeller and engine. Thunder Bay Source

NSCC receives marine simulator

On Tuesday, Transport Canada announced it is transferring a state-of-the-art marine training simulator to the Nova Scotia Community College's Nautical Institute, along with federal funds to modernize the equipment. The simulator will give students the chance to hone their seafaring skills without leaving dry land. Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, says the simulator will ensure that the college is equipped to "respond to the increased Canadian and worldwide demand for qualified sailors." Transport Canada News Release | Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Algoma U to sell retirement home

Algoma University is pursuing the sale of the Windsor Park Retirement Home, which is part of nearly $4 million worth of land and businesses donated to the university back in 2005. Last fall, the university, which operates the property through an arm's length board, faced a potential strike by staff at Windsor Park, whose union had accused Algoma of giving employees the "Third World treatment." Sault This Week

Education, employment among urban Aboriginals on the rise

According to a new report from the Assembly of First Nations, Aboriginals in Canada have made significant improvements in education and employment in the last decade, especially if they reside in an urban area. Between 1996 and 2006, the number of adult Aboriginals living in urban areas with a high school diploma grew to nearly 60%. The number with a university degree jumped from 4.2% to 6.8%. At the same time, the average income for urban Aboriginals increased 52%, while the unemployment rate dropped from 24.2% to 14%. Canadian Press | Read the full report