Top Ten

April 28, 2009

Former UBC student sues university over fall

A former University of British Columbia student who suffered a lasting brain injury after falling off a fraternity house roof has launched a lawsuit against the university and the student who allegedly caused the fall. In April 2007, Karol Jaholkowski climbed the roof of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house, and later fell when a fellow frat member reached up to high-five him. Jaholkowski spent 3 months in a coma after falling 6 metres. The suit claims UBC failed to prohibit people from accessing the frat house roof or install safety railings. Metro Vancouver

uLaval imposes moratorium on travel to Mexico

Given the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, Université Laval has issued a moratorium on travel to the country, California, and Texas for its students as a preventative measure. The university included the 2 states in the moratorium because of the cases of swine flu there. About 30 uLaval students were scheduled to travel to Mexico this spring. 4 students already in Mexico have reported no illnesses. Montreal Gazette | CBC

Projected funding freeze forces Alberta schools to consider cuts

With the Alberta government poised to freeze PSE funding starting in 2010, institutions across the province are developing plans to cut costs. At Red Deer College, costs could be reduced by not expanding programs or introducing new ones. While the college does not have a strategy to lay off staff, it is not guaranteed that will not happen. Olds College, which eliminated 20 positions last year, may suspend plans to provide more programming in smaller communities in order to adjust to the projected 0% increase. Red Deer Advocate

Report finds support services boost college student retention

An interim study from the Foundations for Success project, underway at Seneca, Confederation, and Mohawk Colleges, reports that directed advisement to student support services, along with financial incentives, has led to a 6.4% jump in student retention. The study found that as of fall 2008, one year after the program started, over 67% of students who received direction to support services and a financial incentive remained enrolled in their program, while nearly 66% of those who did not get monetary incentives were still enrolled. Less than 63% of those who did not receive direction to services nor incentives continued to be enrolled. Seneca News Release | Read the full report

Retention a challenge for Trent

According to a report card from Trent University, the institution is meeting its targets set for 2010-11 overall, but faces challenges in retaining students. The scorecard measures the university's progress in reaching targets relating to student outcomes, commitment to employees, fiscal health, and the academic mission. Trent has surpassed its $60,000 target for average research funding per full-time faculty, and 97% of graduates are employed within 2 years of finishing school. Since 2004-05, retention has dropped nearly 6% to 81.2%, and the university hopes to meet next year's target of 86%. Peterborough Examiner | Read the full report

Continuing-education enrolment boom at McMaster

Winter enrolment in continuing education at McMaster University grew by 17% over the previous winter term, according to new figures from the university's Centre for Continuing Education. That follows increases of 14% in the 2008 spring and fall semesters. The spike in CE enrolment at McMaster is not reflected across Canada. Annual reports sent to the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education suggest that only one other school reported significant growth in enrolment in the last year, while that institution did not report the enrolment increase that McMaster had in January. McMaster Daily News

Report finds inter-institutional residence in Calgary feasible

According to a new report commissioned for the University of Calgary's student union, an inter-institutional residence can be a feasible and affordable accommodation option for PSE students in the city. The report suggests the inter-institutional residence could be implemented by buying existing rental property and operate "as is," buying property and converting existing standard apartments into shared suites, or designing and constructing a new building. SU News Release | Calgary Herald | Read the full report

uLethbridge receives $2-million donation for Markin Hall construction

On Monday, the University of Lethbridge received a $2-million gift from the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation of Alberta to go towards the construction of Markin Hall, which will house the faculties of management and health sciences. In honour of the donation, an 80-seat lecture space in the facility will be named the Chartered Accountants Room. The $65-million Markin Hall will open in 2010. uLethbridge Notice Board

Time to overhaul American PSE

In order for higher education in the US to thrive in the 21st century, colleges and universities need to be rigouroulsy regulated and completely reconstructed, observes Mark C. Taylor, a Columbia University professor, in the New York Times. Taylor suggests overthrowing the separate-departments model, as responsible teaching and scholarship should be cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural. Permanent departments should be eliminated and replaced with problem-focused programs. Taylor recommends abolishing tenure in favour of 7-year contracts; this policy would reward faculty and researchers who continue to evolve and remain productive while making room for young people with new skills and ideas. New York Times

US Twitter users to grow to 18 million by 2010

eMarketer projects that by 2010, the number of Twitter users in the US will jump to 18.1 million, more than triple the estimated 6 million users in 2008. comScore reports that the microblogging site drew 4 million unique visitors in February, up 1,086% from the year before, while Nielsen Online reports that there were 7 million unique visitors to in that same month, a 1,381% increase from February 2008. This phenomenal growth is being attributed to people's desire to learn new things from one another and to receive information in real-time. eMarketer