Top Ten

June 12, 2009

$118 million for Saskatchewan campus infrastructure

On Friday, the federal and Saskatchewan governments announced over $118 million in funding for 21 post-secondary capital projects under Ottawa's $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The University of Saskatchewan will receive $21.8 million, part of which will support the renovation of its veterinary college. The University of Regina is getting $16.7 million, of which $6 million will go to its Research and Innovation Centre. Great Plains College will receive $13.65 million for its Swift Current campus. Industry Canada News Release

$94 million for medical research in Ontario

The Ontario government announced last Thursday a $94-million investment in 31 genomics and medical research projects conducted by over 300 researchers in 7 communities across the province. The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, will receive $18.5 million for cancer and stem cell research. The investment follows last month's announcement by the province of a $100-million Global Leadership Round in Genomics and Life Sciences fund. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations says the funding helps replace money the federal government cut from national granting agencies. Ontario News Release | uOttawa News Release | OCUFA News Release | Ottawa Citizen | Hamilton Spectator

$13 million for Conestoga health and life sciences school expansion

On Friday, the federal and Ontario governments announced over $13 million in joint infrastructure funding for Conestoga College to expand its School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services. The 75,000-square-foot expansion will allow the school to double its enrolment to 2,800 full-time students and offer 18 new healthcare-related programs. Last month, as part of the first round of infrastructure funding for Ontario institutions, Conestoga received $72 million for its Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Industry Canada News Release

$10-million commercialization centre established in Quebec

The federal government announced last Tuesday the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency in Shawinigan Quebec, to which Ottawa is committing $9.6 million over the next 5 years. The facility is designed to support technology transfer and commercialization in the growing area of new energy technologies. The C3E is the last of 6 new Centres of Excellence in Commercialization and Research since January. The centres join the 11 CERCs Ottawa announced in 2008. NCE News Release

Undergraduate applicants to Ontario universities make fewer application choices

According to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre's June undergraduate application data, released last Wednesday, applicants are making fewer application choices for the 2009-10 academic year. To date there are 487,063 applications, down from 489,039 in June 2008. While applications from non-secondary students increased slightly, applications from high school students decreased from 375,711 last year to 373,700. OUAC News and Stats

(Please note that this item has been clarified since it was originally posted. OUAC statistics suggested a drop in applications, not applicants, and our original coverage caused some confusion reflected in the comments below.)

Canadian faculty feel in control in university decision-making

According to a new international study, 84% of Canadian faculty members believe they have primary influence in choosing new faculty, compared to 31% of their British counterparts and 10% of American professors. 71% of Canadian professors see themselves as the primary decision makers regarding faculty tenure or other promotions, compared to 51% of faculty in Britain and the US. Professors in Canada are less likely than their British counterparts to feel in control when it comes to determining budget priorities and teaching loads, approving new programs, and evaluating teaching. Inside Higher Ed

Government funding awaited for UNBSJ artificial field

An official with the City of Saint John says the public is getting frustrated with the holdup of federal and provincial funding for the refurbishment of the Canada Games Stadium, located at the University of New Brunswick--Saint John. The project includes an artificial turf field, which needs to be installed in dry conditions. The longer it takes to secure funding, the less likely the renovations will happen this year. NB officials say they support the project, but funding may not be available because the province is investing $45 million in Saint John's community college this year. Saint John Telegraph-Journal

uVic student paper column draws ire from university's Catholic community

A reverend with the University of Victoria's interfaith chapel say the editor-in-chief of The Martlet, the university's student paper, has not done enough to respond to his complaint about a column appearing in the paper that called Pope Benedict XVI a "jackass" over his stance on condom use. The editor retracted the online version of the piece, but has not issued a formal apology. She says pro-Pope letters published in subsequent issues sufficed. The reverend says "at the very least the column was disrespectful and at worst it was defamation." BC Local News

3/4 of Canadians unaware of Twitter

According to a new study from Ipsos Reid, 74% of Canadian Internet users are unaware of Twitter. Of those who are aware of the microblogging website, just 6% reported having used it. At 32%, Twitter awareness was the highest amongst 18- to 34-year-olds. 34% of online Canadians with a university education know about the site, compared to 19% of those with a high school education or less. Quebec residents are the least likely to be aware of Twitter, with only 7% of respondents from the province reporting that they know about the site. Ipsos Reid News Release | CBC

India's new PSE minister to push legislation allowing foreign universities

Kapil Sibal, the new minister responsible for higher education in India, is pledging prompt action on long-delayed legislation to allow foreign universities to operate in the country. Among his initiatives is to update university curricula in order to be able to compete at the international level. Sibal is also stressing the importance of having institutions operate in relative independence of government control in order to remain strong in a competitive environment. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)