Top Ten

April 15, 2009

WLU student injured in residence fire

A Wilfrid Laurier University student was critically injured Tuesday evening after a fire broke out in his residence room at Waterloo College Hall. The victim sustained severe burns and other injuries. No one else was hurt in the blaze. About 320 students live in the residence, but not all were there given final exam schedules. Displaced students are being put up in hotels and may defer exams if they wish. The cause of the fire is under investigation. WLU News Release | Waterloo Region Record

uToronto faculty association challenges administration over investment practices

At its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, the University of Toronto Faculty Association passed a resolution commending its leadership for challenging administration over the management of the university's pension plan and endowment investments, which resulted in a $1.3-billion loss last year. In a letter, uToronto's president called UTFA leaders "pessimists" and "professional Cassandras" for criticizing the school's investment practices. The association says the administration's attitude indicates a need for a more cooperative relationship between the university and UTFA "in the management of its members' pension plan, and in broader issues of governance of the University." UTFA News Release

uAlberta seeks prized land leased by school for deaf

The University of Alberta is seeking acquisition of coveted provincial land lying east of the South Campus LRT station as a site to build student housing, land used as playing fields by the Alberta School for the Deaf. The school, which has a lease on the land until 2015, says it cannot properly operate without recreational fields, and there is also fear the university would want the school to relocate entirely to free up more land. A uAlberta official says the university has never intended to take over all of the school land. Edmonton Journal

Recession sparks surge in PSE applications

As the economic downturn lingers, a number of institutions across Canada are reporting bumps in undergraduate and graduate application numbers for the upcoming academic year. First-year college applications in Ontario have risen nearly 6% this year, with the bulk applying from either the workforce or other PSE institutions. Applications to graduate programs are increasing at a tremendous pace. At the University of British Columbia, graduate applications jumped 20% this year, while the MBA program at Queen's University is receiving 30% more applications. National Post

CMSF study finds employment harms students' academic success

Working while in college or university can have a negative impact on students' post-secondary achievement, according to a new study from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. The report found that even working less than 10 hours per week increases the odds of a first-year student not returning to school, while working more than 20 hours a week almost doubles that risk. Students are working more than ever. Nearly 50% of all full-time PSE students hold jobs during the school year, a number that has been steadily rising in the last 3 decades. Globe and Mail | Read the full report

Laurentian grad students worry about future pay cuts

The Graduate Students' Association at Laurentian University is trying to do what it can to stop any proposed cuts to graduate teaching assistant wages as part of the school's effort to address financial issues. The school is looking at reducing summer graduate fellowships by 50% and the pay for graduate TAs by 11.5%. The association's executive director says graduate TAs at Laurentian are already among the lowest paid in Ontario, and that some are considering not returning to the university. Sudbury Star

New Learning Centre at TRU Williams Lake campus

On Tuesday, Thompson Rivers University opened a new Learning Centre at its Williams Lake campus designed to meet the training and vocational needs determined by educational co-ordinators and community members representing the area's 15 First Nations bands. The centre will assist students in developing individual learning programs and guide them in the process of registering for Open Learning courses and applying for Open Learning programs. TRU News Release

uLethbridge begins construction of daycare centre

Yesterday the University of Lethbridge held a sod-turning ceremony for its $2-million childcare centre. The 50-space, one-floor facility will consist of a large open space in the centre and separate age-group-specific areas along the outside walls. The centre is being built to allow for future expansion should there be sufficient demand. uLethbridge Notice Board

MSVU runs virtual campus tour

We've recently noticed that Mount Saint Vincent University has an interactive virtual tour of its campus. Users can click on highlighted sections of an illustrated campus map to bring up videos describing particular facilities. MSVU Virtual Tour

Microsoft to shut down Encarta

Microsoft has announced that by the end of this year, it will discontinue its multimedia encyclopedia Encarta, which has been eclipsed by Wikipedia for some time. In a statement, the company explains its decision by noting that "the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past." Statement from Microsoft