Top Ten

July 13, 2009

$13 million for SPC, CTRC infrastructure

Last Friday, the federal and Saskatchewan governments announced over $13 million in funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for St. Peter's College, an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan, and Carlton Trail Regional College. The joint funding complements $3 million raised by SPC in its "Key to Success" capital campaign. SPC is receiving a total investment of $12 million, while CTRC is getting $4.27 million. Saskatchewan News Release

uOttawa overlooks 600 law school applicants

Some 600 students who applied for fall admission into the University of Ottawa's Common Law program had their applications overlooked because of what the university is calling human error in the admissions process. In light of the error, the law faculty will offer admission to overlooked applicants who would have otherwise been accepted. uOttawa will admit another 50 to 70 students into the program. CBC

SFU becomes first non-US member of NCAA

Last Friday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association approved Simon Fraser University's application to join the association, making the university the first non-US member of NCAA. Following a 2-year "candidacy" period, during which SFU can continue to compete in both the US-based National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and Canadian Interuniversity Sport, all of the university's varsity teams will compete in the NCAA Division II level starting in the 2011-12 season. The move returns SFU to its athletic roots, as it had once competed exclusively south of the border. SFU News Release

University enrolment in Canada up slightly

According to new Statistics Canada data, just over 1,066,000 students were enrolled in Canadian universities in the 2007-08 academic year, up 0.6% from 2006-2007. Of these students, 57.5% were women. The number of male students grew by 1.3%, compared to a 0.1% increase among women. Undergraduate enrolment dropped by 0.1%, while at the graduate and doctoral levels enrolment rose 5% and 5.4%, respectively. Manitoba saw the most full-time enrolment growth at 5.3%, and New Brunswick had the highest increase in part-time enrolment at 5.5%. In 2007, approximately 241,600 students received a qualification from a Canadian university, up nearly 7% from the year before. Statistics Canada | University degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded

Hydro One invests in clean energy research at uWaterloo

Last Thursday, the University of Waterloo announced a $2.5-million contribution from Ontario-based Hydro One Network Inc. to advance research in clean technology use. $1.5 million will fund the establishment of the Hydro One Chair in Power Engineering, while the remaining $1-million will be used to endow 2 graduate scholarships and create a research fund. uWaterloo News Release | Waterloo Region Record

Infrastructure upgrade boom at McGill

Staff at McGill University's facilities operations and development department are finishing up, planning, or are in the midst of some 600 infrastructure projects. Notable projects include the expansion of Molson Stadium and the transformation of the former Four Points Sheraton Hotel into a student residence. McGill expects to spend an average of $100 million a year for 3 years on its campuses. McGill Reporter

2009 Canada Games facility opens at uPEI

The venue for track and field competitions at the 2009 Canada Games next month in Charlottetown has officially opened at the University of Prince Edward Island. The uPEI Alumni Canada Games Place, also the venue for the closing ceremonies, includes a synthetic, 400-metre, 8-lane oval track; a water jump for steeplechase; and a facility for several events such as discus throw and pole vault. One the Games are over, uPEI will be responsible for maintaining and operating the facility. Charlottetown Guardian

uAlberta's green vision for south campus becomes "asphalt reality"

In a letter to the Edmonton Journal, Peter Adamski draws attention to the University of Alberta’s original plans to construct its south campus using environmentally conscious ideas and materials. In the letter Adamski discusses how uAlberta has recently completed a first south campus project, and states that in light of previous promises, one might have expected to find a new solar farm or a wind turbine. Instead, he writes, the university has put up a 288-space parking lot, which Adamski calls a "letdown." Edmonton Journal

Obama proposes major financial support for 2-year colleges

US President Barack Obama is expected to announce what could be a multibillion-dollar proposal to assist 2-year community colleges straining to accommodate an influx of students amid the recession. The proposal aims at providing new skills and training opportunities to help workers develop the expertise they require to succeed in the future, and to assist in rebuilding the American economy. An unofficial summary of the proposal estimates $10 billion in loans for community-college facilities and $50 million for free online courses. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Experts predict decline in number of "megagifts" to American institutions

At the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's annual conference last week, speakers predicted that the number of "megagifts" to higher education is likely to fall due to the possibility of a weak economic recovery. Attendees were informed that in order to succeed in the future, fundraising campaigns must be adapted to the changing environment and resources must be redeployed accordingly. Speakers reiterated, however, that megagifts are not likely to disappear entirely. In fact, New York University received a $100-million gift for its Langone Medical Center one day prior to the conference. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)