Top Ten

May 13, 2009

MacEwan student has H1N1 flu virus

A Grant MacEwan College student has tested positive for H1N1 influenza, prompting college administrators to e-mail all staff and students about the case. The e-mail reminds individuals to follow procedures such as handwashing and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing in order to protect themselves and prevent the spread of illness. MacEwan has added sanitizers to various locations at each of its 4 campuses and is disinfecting surfaces more often. Edmonton Journal

uSask turns down "non-Aboriginal" bursary offer

The University of Saskatchewan has refused a $500,000 offer from an alumna to establish a scholarship designated for "non-Aboriginal students." The rejected donor, whose proposed award was intended for nursing and medical students, believes Aboriginals are already taken care of in terms of student awards. The university's vice-president of advancement says Aboriginal students are not funded as well as the public may think. uSask told the alumna that stipulating who can receive money through a bursary is discriminatory and not allowed under human rights laws. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Ontario privacy commissioner recommends all affiliated universities fall under FIPPA

In her 2008 annual report, Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian recommends the province amend the regulation in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regarding public universities to make it clear affiliated universities in Ontario are also covered under the act. The recommendation stems from a freedom of information request to Victoria University, federated with the University of Toronto, which was denied because uToronto argued that Victoria is not subject to the act. Cavoukian says there is no principal basis to exclude affiliates from FIPPA, and doing so would be unacceptable. Ontario IPC News Release | Read the full report

Postscript: May 15, 2009
The University of Toronto says Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner misstates its position in a recent case involving a freedom of information request to Victoria University, described by uToronto as a "separately controlled and managed institution." Both institutions have no objection to Victoria being subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The issue at hand, according to uToronto, is that it has no authority to access the records of independent institutions such as Victoria, and the records requested are ones uToronto has never seen. The university has appealed the decision of an IPC adjudicator regarding the information request. uToronto News

Bishop's U develops ambitious recovery plan

The Quebec government has released $6.8 million in grants to Bishop's University it had withheld from the school until it could present a viable recovery plan to reduce its projected $10.6-million deficit. The plan involves a campaign to increase the university's enrolment by 26% over the next 4 years. The provincial grant will be returned to the bank to clear some room on the university's line of credit. It will be another 3 years before any surplus surfaces in the university's annual budget, at which time Bishop's will face a deficit ranging between $12 million and $14 million. Sherbrooke Record

ANSSA calls for review of NS higher education system

As part of its recommendations for the PSE planks of party platforms relating to the upcoming provincial election, the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations suggests each party commit to a comprehensive review of the province's PSE system, which would serve as a map in establishing a master plan for higher education. ANSSA also recommends the next government implement a PSE access guarantee for all Nova Scotians, direct funds toward the deferred maintenance projects recommended by the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, and negotiate with federal and provincial governments on a dedicated transfer payment relating to PSE. ANSSA News Release | Read the full report

2/5 of Aboriginal adults have completed PSE

According to 2006 census data, 42% of Aboriginal adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had completed PSE. 17% of Aboriginals had a college diploma, compared to 20% of non-Aboriginals, while 7% of First Nations people had a university degree, compared to 23% of non-Aboriginals. 46% of off-reserve Aboriginals had completed PSE, while 35% of their counterparts living on reserves had done so. 44% of First Nations women had finished PSE, compared to 39% of Aboriginal men. Statistics Canada

Trent to present residence plan to public

Nearly a year after it presented its controversial proposal to build a private student residence to a Peterborough city committee, Trent University will reveal its revised plans at a public meeting later this month. The proposal has been scaled back to 177 beds from the original plan of 256, and intended commercial space has been scrapped. Originally planned to open this fall, the residence's construction is now hoped to start this year with an opening slated for next summer. One resident questions the timing of the public meeting, as students opposed to the project are now away for the summer. Peterborough Examiner

Conestoga opens masonry centre

Last Tuesday, Conestoga College celebrated the official opening of the Conestoga/Ontario Masonry Training Centre, located adjacent to the Waterloo campus of the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. The $3-million facility is a free-standing training centre established through a partnership between the college and the Ontario Masonry Contractors Association. Conestoga News Release

Sault Ste. Marie invests in Sault College's $45-million "campus rebuild"

Sault Ste. Marie city council is providing Sault College with $250,000 over 3 years to help pay for "third party" costs to support pre-development of the college's $45-million "campus rebuild" project. Sault College is hoping to receive federal funding under Ottawa's economic stimulus program. The school expects to have its plans completed and approved with a September 1 start date for construction. Sault Star

Commitment levels unchanged at top US colleges

Despite worries the recession would disrupt students' college choices, several top US schools are reporting relatively unchanged levels in the number of admitted applicants committing themselves to attending in the fall. Yields at Harvard, Yale, and Wesleyan Universities are about the same as they were this time last year. Stable commitment levels are being attributed to increases in financial aid budgets. Up to 65% of incoming first-year students at Harvard could receive direct, needs-based scholarships, up from 58% for the current freshman class. In response, the university expects to boost its undergraduate financial aid budget by $9 million. New York Times (subscription required)