Top Ten

May 5, 2009

uMontreal students quarantined in China

Over 20 Université de Montréal students who arrived in China on Sunday for an exchange program were put under a 7-day quarantine amid fears of the potential spread of H1N1 influenza. Despite none of the students showing any flu symptoms, there were bused to a university residence and told not to leave. The Chinese government says the students are in good health, being treated well, and co-operating with local authorities. The students have been told they should be able to leave on Friday, as long as no one falls ill. Montreal Gazette | Toronto Star | CBC | CTV | Canadian Press

Postscript: May 7, 2009
Yesterday the Chinese government lifted the quarantine it imposed on Université de Montréal students, acknowledging that they are in good health. There is speculation the decision stemmed from pressure from the Canadian government, which is seeking explanation for why the students were placed under quarantine, despite not being at risk for H1N1 influenza. Globe and Mail | CBC | Canadian Press



Canada lagging behind in business R&D

Although Canada ranks near the top globally in terms of funding allocated to higher education and to research and development, the country lags behind when it comes to business R&D, according to a report released yesterday by Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation Council. Canada ranks sixth among the G7 nations in R&D as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product. The council urges for greater research collaboration among businesses, government, universities, colleges, and non-profit organizations. The report states that not enough university students are pursuing science and engineering degrees, and Canada is producing too few PhDs. STIC News Release | Canadian Press | Read the full report

Concordia suspends Mackay St. "greening"

The Ville Marie borough council and Concordia University have dropped a summer-long "Greening of Mackay St." project following protest from people living or working near the Montreal street. The project would have narrowed the street and temporarily eliminate 45 parking spots to put up a green open-air strip equipped with picnic tables and a 6-metre stage. According to a statement on Concordia's website, the university will review the project over the next few months as part of its wider commitment to developing the Quartier Concordia. Concordia News | Montreal Gazette

Many BC students delay higher education

In a survey of over 2,000 BC students who completed high school in 2006 and had not registered at a provincial public post-secondary institution by the end of the fall 2007 term, 96% were pursuing or interested in pursuing higher education by March 2008. The survey, co-funded by the Canadian Council on Learning, reported that 33% were still attending PSE last March, while 12% had completed a program. 12% had been either accepted into a program or waiting for an admissions decision. 34% reported not having applied for admission but had considered it or might consider it at some point in the future. Read the full report

uSask to build $13-million national feeds research centre

The University of Saskatchewan has bought a feed mill in North Battleford to establish the $12.6-million Canadian Feed Technology Research Facility, which will research, develop, and commercialize new and better high-value animal feeds from both low-value crops and byproducts of biofuels production. Renovations will begin in July, and research operations are slated to start in either the late summer or early fall of 2010. uSask News Release

UoGuelph opens Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses

On Monday, the University of Guelph opened the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, which will bring together scientists in a number of fields to address new or re-emerging zoonotic diseases like the H1N1 flu virus. Based at the university's Ontario Veterinary College, the centre is aimed at preventing and controlling emerging animal-related illnesses that threaten public health. The centre will promote research and collaborations in a variety of disciplines, including food-animal diseases, wildlife zoonoses, and companion-animal infections. UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

BC NDP promises tuition freeze

As part of its election platform, the NDP in BC is promising to make PSE more affordable by freezing tuition rates and compensating institutions for lower tuition revenues. The party's plan includes restoring needs-based student grants, expanding post-graduate student grants, cutting interest rates on student loans, and expanding apprenticeship spaces by at least 4,000. BC NDP Platform 2009

Sault College woos prospect with ketchup campaign

After learning that one of its prospective students loved ketchup and was considering Sault College or another institution, the college's recruitment officers sent Jordan Beller 3 bottles of Heinz ketchup, a college sweatshirt, a local newspaper article on the 100th anniversary of Heinz ketchup, and a greeting card. One individual has contacted Heinz to see if the company would contribute to Jordan's tuition. Should he attend Sault College, Jordan will be provided with a free meal of his choice on his first day on campus. Soo News

Scotiabank, Studentawards partner for online contest

Scotiabank and Studentawards Inc. have launched an online contest called the Origami Oracle. High school, college, and university students are invited to view their fortunes in the areas of travel, health, romance, and money when they fill out an entry form on, a Scotiabank site offering students and their parents interactive tools for planning and budgeting. The contest, which runs until June 30, offers 7 prize packages ranging in value from $580 to $2,900. Marketing Magazine | Origami Oracle contest

Tips for using Twitter in higher education

When it comes to using Twitter, colleges and universities should place authenticity before marketing, as Web 2.0 is about having personality and inspiring conversation, writes Heather Mansfield in University Business. Because Twitter is about conversation, it is important to follow everyone who follows you. Schools should provide value to followers, not chitchat. Don't treat Twitter as an RSS for news releases unless you have a specific news account. Mansfield recommends having separate accounts for news, admissions, alumni, etc. Given that the vast majority of Twitter users are over 35, Twitter has potential for engaging alumni and recruiting non-traditional students. University Business