Top Ten

April 22, 2009

UQAM delivers final offer to striking faculty

Negotiators at the Université du Québec à Montréal have told the union representing striking professors and full-time language instructors that the university does not intend to budge on "a global and final offer" it tabled Monday night. However, UQAM officials are open to discussing back-to-work protocol. On Tuesday, protesting professors rallied on the steps of the National Assembly in Quebec City, where Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois vowed her party would vote against any back-to-work legislation. Montreal Gazette

McGill enhances security following harassment

McGill University has increased security at the Solin Hall student residence after at least 3 female students reported being harassed near the dormitory. Last Friday, graffiti reading "Rich Bitch McGill Doomsday" was removed from a building beside the residence. Earlier this month, a student found anti-McGill graffiti in a Burnside Hall washroom. Police and McGill officials have not disclosed the nature of that threat. Montreal Gazette

Alberta advanced education minister backs colleges following AG report

Alberta Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner says he stands behind the leaders of Grant MacEwan and Bow Valley Colleges after they were criticized by the province's auditor general for having loose financial controls. Horner does not agree with the auditor general's assessment that MacEwan has a leadership problem. He also defends officials at Bow Valley -- defrauded of nearly $190,000 by a former director -- noting that the school's president alerted the auditor general of the situation. The minister is confident the schools are addressing the flaws. Edmonton Journal

uManitoba pension fund drops 16% in value

The employee pension plan at the University of Manitoba lost 15.7%, or $4.1 million, of its value last year. University administration is holding meetings with staff this week to explain the situation. uManitoba's pension woes were discussed during question period at the provincial legislature on Tuesday, with opposition Tories urging the government to be "upfront" about plans to bridge the funding gap in the coming years. While the government has not received the university's pension report, Premier Gary Doer has offered to work co-operatively with the university and its employees to find a solution to any shortfall. Winnipeg Free Press

Majority of PSE graduates working, still in debt

According to a new Statistics Canada report, 90% of college and university students who graduated in 2005 secured full-time employment within 2 years. Full-time employment rates were highest for masters graduates. The largest earning gap existed between the bachelors and masters levels, with a difference of 33%. The study found 75% of those with student-related debt had not yet paid it off within 2 years of graduating. In 2007, loans exceeded $20,000 on average for graduates with debt at the bachelors and doctorate levels, with PhD graduates owing the highest amount. Statistics Canada | CanWest News Service | Canadian Press | CBC

Manitoba ends tuition freeze

The Manitoba government announced yesterday it will allow up to a 4.5% increase in university tuition fees and a $100 increase in college tuition fees, effectively ending a decade-old tuition freeze. The increases are consistent with recommendations from a recently released report on tuition and PSE accessibility. The province will continue its effort to provide affordable and accessible education by boosting its investment in bursary and access programs by $2.5 million. Manitoba News Release | Winnipeg Sun | CBC

Free tuition in NB may spark baby boom

Ivan Court, the mayor of Saint John, is calling on the New Brunswick government to offer free tuition as a way to fuel a baby boom after the latest demographic portrait of the city indicates it is not growing very quickly. Court says the initiative might help Saint John's population grow rather than shrink. When he taught high school 3 years ago, the mayor says most people decided not to have children because they couldn't afford to educate them. According to the latest census, Saint John's population dropped by 0.2%. CBC

Health and education centre project must move forward, says McMaster

McMaster University has written to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board stating the university needs to move ahead in negotiations to buy the board's headquarters to begin the Family Health and Education Centre project -- a 3-way partnership between McMaster, the school board, and the City of Hamilton -- or else it will have to pursue other options. There is little time left to reach a deal because of the limited window for Ontario and federal infrastructure funding allocated for shovel-ready projects. McMaster is currently looking at several other sites. Hamilton Spectator

Red River College seeks acquisition of former school building

Red River College is one of several bidders wanting to purchase the old Victoria School building from the Portage la Prairie School Division. The college would like to buy the building for a new downtown campus in the city. President Jeff Zabudsky says a downtown location could help increase college enrolment. Portage Daily Graphic | Portage Online

Increased blogging activity in US presents opportunity to marketers

In the US, nearly 28 million Internet users, or 14% of the country's online population, have a blog they update at least once a month. eMarketer predicts this number will grow to 37.6 million, or 17%, by 2013. 96.6 million US Internet users are expected to read a blog at least once per month this year, and over 128 million, or 58% of all American users, are predicted to do the same in 2013. An eMarketer analyst says this blogging activity presents new opportunities to marketers to monitor and influence conversations relevant to their businesses. eMarketer