Top Ten

March 17, 2009

Tuition freeze, student debt reduction outlined in NB budget

The New Brunswick government's latest budget, announced yesterday, commits to a university tuition freeze for a second consecutive year. The province has earmarked $20 million for Phase 4 of the University Infrastructure Trust Fund. Through the Debt Reduction for Timely Completion Benefit, up to 100% of an eligible student's provincial student loan exceeding $26,000 will be forgiven for a first undergraduate degree, certificate, or diploma earned after April 1 of this year. The budget also allocates funding for another 500 community college spaces, further investments in apprenticeship training, and $6 million towards implementing NB's action plan on PSE. NB News Release

$29-million expansion for McGill football stadium

The Percival Molson Stadium at McGill University will undergo a $29.4-million upgrade. The 20,000-seat stadium will be expanded to include 5,000 more seats. The initiative for the projects comes from the Montreal Alouettes. The football team's owner is contributing $6 million to the project, while Quebec and Montreal will provide $19.3 million and $4 million, respectively. Some residents living nearby the stadium question whether the city should be spending money on the project when it is cutting expenses elsewhere. CBC | McGill Tribune (student newspaper)

New ocean research centre at uVic

On Monday, the federal government announced the establishment of the University of Victoria-based Oceans Network Canada Centre for Enterprise and Engagement. The centre will manage 2 highly sophisticated underwater laboratories, at which research will significantly improve the scientific communities' ability to plan for and respond to sea-based disasters. The government is committing $6.5 million over 5 years to the centre. NCE News Release

Moncton Flight College is safe, says CEO

The principal and CEO of the Moncton Flight College does not expect recruitment efforts to be affected following a crash last Saturday in which 2 student-pilots and an instructor were injured. The CEO says the school has an excellent track record and early indications show the incident was simply an accident. Although the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, the investigation has ruled out any problems with the particular model of the plane. Daily Gleaner

Report finds university tuition in Saskatchewan unaffordable without freeze

A new report from the Saskatchewan office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives encourages the provincial government to continue the tuition freeze, concluding that too many residents cannot afford a university education. The report recommends more upfront financial assistance, grants for low- and middle-income students, and improved assistance for Aboriginal students. In November, the Saskatchewan government announced it plans to end the freeze in favour of a "tuition management strategy." Regina Leader-Post | Read the full report

uCalgary students charged with trespassing plead not guilty

6 University of Calgary students who are members of a campus pro-life group plead not guilty Monday to charges of trespassing for displaying graphic material on campus in November. The university had warned the group it would face trespassing charges if it did not comply with the university's request to have the posters turned inward. The group, whose club status has been revoked by uCalgary's student union, says the charges represent an attack on free speech, and vows to be back on campus next week with their display. Calgary Herald | CBC

BC funds more seats at NIC

Last Monday, the BC government announced nearly $500,000 in funding for additional student spaces at North Island College. The funding will go towards 20 new full-time seats in the Home Support Resident Care Attendant program, 19 seats in the Human Service Worker program, and 11 seats in the Early Childhood Education program. Part of the funding will be used to purchase mannequins with computer technology for maternity and pediatric simulations, as well as marine training equipment. BC News Release | Comox Valley Echo

NL students want province to eliminate interest on student loans

Post-secondary students in Newfoundland and Labrador are urging the government to eliminate interest on the provincial portion of all new, current, and outstanding student loans. Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Students, along with student union representatives from schools across the provinces, presented Education Minister Joan Burke with a stack of petitions bearing 12,000 signatures. Burke told the students they would have to wait until next week when the provincial budget is announced to see if their request is granted. St. John's Telegram

US colleges search for signs of commitment from applicants

"Demonstrated interest" from prospective students is becoming increasingly important among college admissions officers in the US. A National Association of College Admission Counseling survey found that 22% of colleges gave interest "considerable importance" in admissions, compared to 7% in 2003. In terms of influence, interest outranked counselor and teacher recommendations, interviews, and extracurricular activities. Officials say giving preference to students who truly want to be there creates a close-knit culture on campus, and producing loyal alumni would benefit fundraising. Boston Globe

How Millennials are shaping campus space

An article in the recent issue of Planning for Higher Education examines how today's students -- Millennials -- are influencing campus design. Given Millennials' strong ties with their parents, prospective students are likely to bring their families with them to information sessions, prompting a need for both larger waiting rooms and larger meeting rooms. Millennials' comfort level with technology and team-oriented nature are fuelling the need for multipurpose space for group activities, including blended social/academic spaces. Planning For Higher Education