Top Ten

April 30, 2009

13 killed in Azeri university shooting

12 people were fatally shot and 13 others were wounded yesterday when a gunman, a 29-year-old Georgian citizen, opened fire at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy in Baku Azerbaijan before turning the gun on himself. A government statement gave no motive for the attack, but officials have rejected any political purpose. The academy has long been recognized as a major international centre for training oil industry specialists. Reuters | CBC | Associated Press

$114 million for NS campus infrastructure

Yesterday the federal and Nova Scotia governments announced $114 million in funding for 25 college and university infrastructure projects in the province under Ottawa's Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Funding awarded includes $27 million for Dalhousie University's Life Sciences Building, $22.3 million for McNally Building upgrades at Saint Mary's University, and $6 million for campus renewal at Nova Scotia Community College's Institute of Technology in Halifax. Industry Canada News Release | NS News Release

$4 million for La Cité trades centre

The federal government announced yesterday a $4-million contribution to the construction of a trades centre at La Cité collégiale's $18-million campus in Orleans. The campus, slated to open in September 2010, will allow the college to triple its learning programs to include training in 18 construction trades. The Ontario government has already committed $6.75 million to the project. Canadian Heritage News Release

More Canadian schools prohibiting travel to Mexico

With the federal government recommending Canadians postpone non-essential travel to Mexico in light of the outbreak of H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, Canadian post-secondary institutions are beginning to prohibit any academic-related travel to the country. uWaterloo, MUN, WLU, and uCalgary have issued such advisories. Université Laval, which issued a moratorium on travel to Mexico earlier this week, is now asking 6 students and one professor to return from the country as a precautionary measure to prevent them from contracting or spreading the virus. MUN News Release | uWaterloo Daily Bulletin | UToday | WLU News Release | Montreal Gazette

CUPE worries McMaster will trim use of sessional instructors

A dearth of fall and winter postings for sessional instructors at McMaster University has left the union representing those instructors wondering if the university plans to make cuts to its traditional sessional contingent. McMaster says it has no plans to eliminate sessional instructors altogether or reduce their numbers. Because the university is not yet sure of how many students will come to McMaster and what courses they will take, it is too early to tell how many sessional instructors will be needed. Hamilton Spectator

Majority of francophone students interested in pursuing PSE

According to a new report, 87% of francophone high schools seniors in Canada intend to pursue PSE. Over 64% reported the likelihood of pursuing higher education in French, and nearly 56% would like two-thirds of more of their studies to be in French. Students surveyed cited several barriers preventing access to French-language PSE: weak grades in French; distance from post-secondary institutions; preference for English, and a limited number and funding of bursaries. The report's authors say the findings indicate a need for governments to do more to guarantee that the nation's French-language PSE network is comprehensive and complete. CMSF News Release | Times and Transcript | Read the executive summary

Laurentian community raises over $1 million for "Next 50" campaign

The internal community of Laurentian University has raised over $1.3 million for the university's "Next 50" campaign, surpassing the original goal of $1,250,000. The campaign is designed to raise $50 million to help Laurentian advance its position as the centre for learning in northern Ontario. Laurentian News Release

Georgian College residence in Orillia pushed back to 2010

A Georgian College student residence originally scheduled to open in Orillia this fall is now slated to welcome students in 2010. Construction of the dormitory was ready to begin last year, but approval is required to accommodate a city sewer line that would run through an Ontario Realty Corporation property. Site work for the $12-million endeavour is expected to begin in June, and the first phase of the project is hoped to be completed by July 31, 2010. Orillia Packet & Times

The good and the bad of college rejections

In a review of college rejection letters published in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Mount Allison University was singled out for "Best Coaching." Handwritten notes included in the university's rejection notices explaining areas of weakness help students understand it's not a rejection of them, and make them aware of what they can do to boost their chances should they apply again. One of the toughest rejection letters comes from Maine-based Bates College, whose notices of denial bear the message "The deans were obliged to select from among candidates who clearly could do sound work at Bates." Wall Street Journal

All-girl school graduates more academically inclined than coed grads

According to a recent study from UCLA, female graduates of same-sex schools display stronger academic orientations than their coeducational counterparts. Drawing on data from the annual Freshman Survey, the report found that those who attended all-girls schools demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement, SAT scores, and confidence in math and computer abilities than females who graduated from coeducational high schools. The report also found that all-girl school graduates are more likely to show confidence in public speaking, be politically engaged, and participate in student clubs while in college. UCLA News Release | Read the full report