Top Ten

June 4, 2009

$178 million for NB campus infrastructure

The federal and New Brunswick governments announced yesterday $178 million in funding for 17 projects at 12 provincial institutions under Ottawa's $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Funding awarded includes $12 million for Atlantic Baptist University's $24-million expansion project, $11.2 million for the Université de Moncton, and $12.25 million for the New Brunswick Community College system. The announcement comes a week after reports about NB's PSE minister arguing that Ottawa had originally promised the federal portion for NB would be $70 million. Industry Canada News Release | NB News Release

$21 million for PEI campus infrastructure

Yesterday the federal and Prince Edward Island governments announced $21 million in joint infrastructure funding for projects at the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College. The college will receive $17 million for its Centre for Applied Science and Technology, while uPEI will get $4 million for general infrastructure upgrades. Industry Canada News Release | Holland College News Release | CBC

Mohawk College may still receive federal stimulus funding

A Hamilton Conservative MP says there might be another way Ottawa can help Mohawk College, which did not receive any funding from the federal government's Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The MP plans to meet with the college's president to see whether elements of Mohawk's $84-million expansion and renovation plan might qualify for further rounds of stimulus funding. The MP dismissed assertions from NDP members of Hamilton being treated unfairly as "ludicrous" and "inappropriate." Hamilton Spectator

42% growth in Centennial College endowment fund

While many Canadian post-secondary institutions' endowment funds have devalued due to the market turmoil, in the last year Centennial College's endowment fund had grown by $2.3 million, or 42%, to over $7.8 million. Relatively new to fundraising, Centennial now ranks fourth among Ontario colleges and second among Toronto-area colleges in fundraising activity. Centennial College News Release

uAlberta's Universiade bid loss signals construction delays

According to The Gateway, a student newspaper, Edmonton's unsuccessful bid to host the 2015 World University Games, resulting in the loss of an estimated $465 million in funding, will likely lead to construction delays for sport facilities and residences at the University of Alberta's south campus, leaving university administration to seek out alternative funding sources. uAlberta is looking to partner with the student union for the south campus development project. The university could tap into other funding sources should Edmonton be awarded Expo 17. The Gateway (student newspaper)

Oshawa residents raise concerns over Trent campus proposal

At a public meeting in Oshawa regarding Trent University's proposed satellite campus, residents living near the potential site voiced concerns about the possibility of student housing problems. One resident suggested that if the campus goes ahead in her area, the city should issue a licensing bylaw similar to that in place for student housing near the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. Another resident disagreed with a Trent official's assertion that there will be no demand for student housing, citing data from Trent's website that about a quarter of students need housing. Durham Region News

Alberta aims at boosting number of nursing instructors, graduates

The Alberta government has launched a $4.6-million program called the Clinical Teaching Collaborative to help existing nurses become instructors, thereby boosting the number of clinical placements available to undergraduate nursing students completing clinical courses at southern Alberta hospitals. The initiative, involving the University of Calgary, Mount Royal College, and Bow Valley College, hopes to produce 300 clinical instructors over the next 3 years. The province hopes to increase the number of nursing students in Alberta from the current figure of 1,350 to 2,000 by 2012. uCalgary News | Calgary Sun

UBC receives $2-million endowment for study of human sexuality

An anonymous donor has given the University of British Columbia $1.7 million to establish Canada's largest university endowment fund for the study of human relationships and sexuality. The donation was made in honour of the late Jane Rule, a lesbian literary icon who taught at UBC for nearly 15 years. The Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships will support programs relating to the study of sexual orientation, race, and gender. UBC News Release

NB seniors' college celebrates successful first year

New Brunswick-based Tantramar Seniors' College is about to celebrate its first anniversary. Modelled on the successful uPEI-affiliated seniors' college, the school focuses on peer learning in that seniors share skills and knowledge with each other through 8-week courses, whose subjects range from yoga and tennis to gardening and birdwatching. The seniors' college has grown from 10 courses with 127 registrants in the first term to over 24 courses with more than 260 registrants in the current spring term. Courses have also expanded into Moncton and Amherst. Sackville Tribune-Post

Illegitimate "Class of 2013" groups for Canadian institutions on Facebook

A trend in "Class of 2013" groups created by users posing as real incoming students for marketing purposes, first reported in the US in December, is making its way through Canada. Matthew Melnyk, a liaison officer at Brock University, recently came across a group on Facebook called "Grads of 2009 (Canada)" linking to 16 other groups targeting applicants to Canadian universities. In her investigation of these groups, Melissa Cheater found that several had the same administrators or used the same language. A Ryerson University 2013 group even encouraged members to spam other Ryerson 2013 groups for the chance to be promoted to administrator status. Melissa Cheater's blog | Matthew Melnyk's blog

Postscript: Jun 17, 2009
This week, the Globe and Mail and "Margin Notes," a blog on University Affairs' website, cover the trend of illegitimate "Class of 2013" groups popping up in Facebook we mentioned earlier this month. Globe and Mail | Margin Notes

Postscript: Jul 2, 2009
Further to his investigation into fraudulent "Class of 2013" groups on Facebook, Brock University liaison officer Matthew Melnyk has come across some "Class of 2014" and "Class of 2015" groups targeting future high school graduates for marketing purposes. On his blog, Matthew points to a page called "Highschool Grads of 2010: University & College Class of 2014," which urges fans to promote the page to their friends. The page includes a link to a page for "Eruption Promotions," which claims to be "your source for the craziest university parties."  The company is linked to another company called "Neesh Marketing," which is currently recruiting girls who can "light up a room." Matthew Melnyk's blog

Postscritpt: Jul 7, 2009
Monday's issue of the Toronto Star included an article on the trend of illegitimate Facebook groups targeting future PSE students we have mentioned in the Top Ten. The article mentions an incident in which a "major event promotion company" allegedly tried to bribe and blackmail an incoming Dalhousie University student in order to become administrators of his Facebook group. Toronto Star

Postscript: Nov 24, 2009
Further to his investigation into phoney "Class of 2013" groups on Facebook, Matthew Melnyk, a liaison officer at Brock University, has uncovered some "Class of 2014" groups that appear to be disingenuous. On his blog, Melnyk lists Facebook groups for a dozen Ontario institutions. The titles of the groups are similar, and the groups share the same administrators. While he cannot speak for other institutions on whether or not they feel these groups pose any significant risks for their students, Melnyk writes the people creating these groups do not have students' interests at heart, and that is problematic. Matthew Melnyk's blog