Top Ten

March 27, 2009

Ontario budget commits over $1 billion for PSE

As outlined in the Ontario government's latest budget, announced last Thursday, the province will invest $780 million in capital funding for colleges and universities over the next 2 years, as well as make a one-time commitment of $150 million in operating funds. The budget also includes $300 million over 6 years to match federal grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, $35 million for an additional 100 medical school seats, and $10 million over 3 years for the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation. The budget is being criticized for not addressing student financial assistance and debt. Ontario Budget 2009 | COU News Release | Colleges Ontario News Release | OCUFA News Release | OUSA News Release | CSA News Release | CFS News Release | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

NL eliminates interest on student loans

In its 2009-10 budget, announced last Thursday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced $5 million to eliminate the interest on the provincial portion of student loans, and nearly $6 million to continue the tuition freeze. Memorial University will receive additional $21.1 million in funding, while the College of the North Atlantic will be getting an increase of $8.3 million. $2.5 million is being allocated to assist Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in its transition to becoming independent of MUN. The budget also includes $34 million in campus capital projects. NL News Release | St. John's Telegram | CBC

uAlberta "Campaign 2008" raises over $581 million

Last Thursday, the University of Alberta announced that its "Campaign 2008," the second-largest completed campaign of its kind in Canadian history, raised $581.7 million by the time it closed on December 31. Launched in November 2004, the campaign's initial goal was $310 million, but was revised to $500 million this past September. The campaign, to which there were over 90,000 donors, led to the creation of 1,114 new scholarships and awards, 50 new endowed chairs, 8 new endowed professorships, and 13 new facilities. Announcing Completion of Campaign 2008 | Edmonton Journal

Man stabbed in MacEwan locker room

Police in Edmonton are searching for 3 male suspects after a 49-year-old man was stabbed in the back in a gym locker room at Grant MacEwan College. A witness says the incident stemmed from a dispute over rocks in the sauna room. The victim was taken to hospital with minor injuries. A MacEwan spokesman says no students were involved in the incident. The college's gym is open to the public. Edmonton Journal

Anti-Semitic graffiti found at UBC-O campus

Over a week ago, anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan campus, and has since been removed. Campus security and the school's human rights and equity services office are investigating the incident. In a statement issued to the university community, UBC-O's deputy vice-chancellor says "speech that is hateful or amounts to a threat to a person or group crosses the line that safeguards free expression and will not be tolerated." AM 1150

Ontario MTCU orders closure of Toronto-based private career college

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has refused to renew Toronto-based Green Beauty Esthetics College of Canada Ltd as a private career college after it failed to meet the requirements of the province's Private Career Colleges Act. The school reported a net loss in 3 consecutive fiscal years, and failed to enrol students in any of its vocational programs for at least 2 successive periods. The ministry also found the college was offering an unapproved registered massage therapy program. No students were registered at the school at the time of its closure. Ontario MTCU Bulletin

Majority of career college graduates find work in related fields

According to Phase III of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation's Survey of Canadian Career College Students, 60% of students had found full-time employment within 6 to 9 months of graduation, while 19% found part-time work. 80% indicated that their jobs were either very or somewhat related to their training. Two-thirds of graduates said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their private career college. CMSF News Release | Read the full report

Report recommends flat tuition rate for uToronto arts and science faculty

According to The Strand, a student newspaper, a report commissioned by the University of Toronto's arts and science faculty suggests the faculty implement a fixed-fee system that would see full-time students pay for 5 courses, regardless of how many courses they take. The report projects that the move, which may begin this fall, would garner the faculty an extra $10 million in base funding and result in "course intensification." Students have expressed concerns that the move would interfere with part-time jobs and extracurricular activities. uToronto's student union opposes the proposal. The Strand (student newspaper) | UTSU website

Carleton board of governors approve River Building design

Carleton University's board of governors has approved the final design of the River Building, whose construction plans were put on hold in December due to the economic downturn. Fundraising has begun for the project, and the university has applied for Ontario and federal funding for the project. The 145,000-square-foot facility will feature a 3-storey atrium looking onto the Rideau River, a conference centre with movable partitions, a lecture theatre that can be used as a movie theatre, a large outdoor terrace, a rooftop courtyard, a riverfront café, and possibly a green "biowall." Ottawa Citizen

Blackboard develops iPhone application

Last Thursday, course management software giant Blackboard Inc announced the release of a free iPhone and iPod Touch application called the Blackboard Learn. The application allows users to receive updates and alerts on grades, assignments, tests and other information uploaded to their institution's Blackboard platform. Last May, Blackboard released a Facebook application called Blackboard Sync, which replicates the functionality of Blackboard sites. Blackboard News Release