Top Ten

March 19, 2009

Saskatchewan drops tuition freeze

As outlined in the Saskatchewan government's latest budget, announced Wednesday, the province will not renew a tuition freeze for the next academic year. Instead, it will spend $23.5 million to enable universities to limit tuition increases to an average of 3%. The budget also includes $6.5 million for the Graduate Retention Program, $3.9 million for 1,100 additional apprenticeship seats and the Apprenticeship Training Allowance, and $2.2 million for enhancements to the student loan program. Saskatchewan News Release | Budget Highlights Card | Regina Leader-Post | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Saskatchewan to release portion of withheld funding to FNUC

The Saskatchewan government will release half of the $200,000 it has been withholding from the First Nations University of Canada since February because of a perceived lack of reform to the school's board of governors. The province is releasing the funds in response to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations' creation of a subcommittee to study and suggest alternative governance models for the university. The subcommittee is expected to finish its study by early May and will table its recommendations to the FSIN in June. Regina Leader-Post

UWO receives $9 million for agriculture technology development

Yesterday the federal government announced an $8.7-million investment in a University of Western Ontario-led initiative to develop technologies to increase the industrial value of the surplus cereal straw currently left out on the field. Run by UWO, the Agricultural Biorefinery Innovation Network will bring together top Canadian university researchers, government experts, and the private sector to develop genetically improved varieties of cereals. Canada News Release | Western News

Trent offers free tuition to attract top students

In order to recruit the best and brightest students, Trent University is offering free tuition to first-year students with a high school grade average of 90% and above. If they accept their offer of admission to Trent for the fall, eligible students will receive a $5,000 scholarship. If students maintain an average of at least 80% in 5 full credits or equivalent every year they are at Trent, they could receive up to $14,000 in scholarships over 4 years. Last September,  Lakehead University launched an  initiative in which students with a high school grade average of 95% would be offered free tuition. Free Tuition at Trent | Toronto Star

200 UoGuelph faculty, staff accept buyouts

Nearly 200 staff and faculty at the University of Guelph have signed on for voluntary departure packages, which will save the institution about $20 million a year. Having identified an additional $10 million in savings through operating cuts, the university is now looking to find another $18 million in savings. When the Ontario government announced last fall a freeze on university spending, UoGuelph was already struggling with a $16-million deficit. In 2008, the university's pension and endowment funds dropped 9% in value. Guelph Mercury

Over half of McGill medical graduates leave Quebec

According to new data from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, 52% of recent medical graduates from McGill University were working outside of Quebec, with 22% settling in Ontario. The report also found that more than half of medical graduates from Memorial and Dalhousie Universities were working outside the Atlantic region, 27% of whom relocated to Ontario. By contrast, Ontario kept most of its graduates, with a portion heading out to the western provinces. Toronto Star | Montreal Gazette | Read the full report

New PSE opportunity for students in Portage La Prairie

This week, Robertson College, a private career institution with campuses in Manitoba and Calgary, launched its Manitoba Career College Course Delivery Initiative in Portage La Prairie, which will afford students in the city the opportunity to study without leaving the area. Through this education model -- a combination of practicum partners from the region and multi-media delivery technologies, students will be able to study for certification in high-demand fields such as health care and business administration. Portage Daily Graphic

Ryerson students vote on fee increase for athletic centre

This week, students at Ryerson University voted in a referendum to boost fees to go towards the construction of a new $30-million athletic centre. Students were asked whether or not they support increasing mandatory fees for athletic facilities and programs to $187 a year -- just over 3 times the $61 fee currently being paid. The jump in student fees, to begin only when the new facility opens, would generate $3 million annually. If approved, Ryerson will arrange loans and initiate fundraising. Toronto Star

uWindsor student election appealed

At least 2 students who ran in the recent University of Windsor Student Alliance election have filed appeals of the vote's results, alleging irregularities. Some have complained that non-registered students were able to vote, while several registered students -- including one running for vice-president of finance and operations -- were unable to access the electronic system. The student union's president says she is confident in the election results. "As far as I'm concerned, it was a fair election and the policies were adhered to." Windsor Star

"Lights Out" for Mount Allison

Most of the lights at Mount Allison University will be kept off today for Lights Out Canada, a nation-wide event in which high schools turn off their lights in recognition of climate change. The event is observed on Earth Day, celebrated April 22, but organizers at Mount Allison are marking the day earlier to maximize participation on campus, as Earth Day falls during the final exam period. This year, Mount Allison will be the first university ever to participate campus-wide in Lights Out Canada, which was founded in 2005 by Keleigh Annau, now a student at the university. Mount Allison News | Times and Transcript | Lights Out Canada