Top Ten

August 7, 2009

Application boom at Calgary institutions

The University of Calgary, Mount Royal College, Bow Valley College, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are reporting increases in applications, and the latter 2 schools attribute the growing interest to the economic downturn. Overall applications are up 9% at SAIT, and 26% at Bow Valley. The highest increase in applications at Bow Valley -- 56% -- appears to be coming from individuals wanting to upgrade their high school marks. uCalgary and Mount Royal officials say it's unclear how much of an impact the recession has had on their respective schools' enrolment. Calgary Herald

Student unemployment rate rises to 21%

According to new Statistics Canada data, last month's unemployment rate for students between the ages of 15 and 24 jumped 7.1% from July 2008 to nearly 21%, the highest July level since comparable data became available in 1977. Employment was down almost 11% for students in this age group in July compared to 12 months earlier. In June, the unemployment rate for students aged 20 to 24 rose to 14%. Statistics Canada | CFS News Release | Globe and Mail

Low vacancy rates in 2 Manitoba cities put students in "panic mode"

Record-low rental vacancy rates in Winnipeg and Brandon have left some PSE students in both cities struggling to find housing before classes begin next month. One property manager in Winnipeg says he's found a lot of people knocking on doors of buildings inquiring about upcoming vacancies. The student union president at Brandon University says rental properties are being acquired so quickly that many students are having to take places sight unseen or pay more than they can afford just so they have somewhere to live. Winnipeg Free Press

Female student assaulted at Carleton sues university

In December, a Carleton University student who was sexually assaulted in a campus laboratory nearly 2 years ago launched a lawsuit against the school, claiming Carleton officials were negligent by failing to provide adequate safety measures. In a statement of defence, Carleton says the victim "failed to take appropriate or any action for her own safety." The university states, for example, she did not notify the safety department of her intention to work late alone. The 25-year-old woman, who has since graduated, is seeking $525,000 in damages. The suit is ongoing, and court reports indicate a mediation session was last held in June. Ottawa Citizen | CUSA News Release

Postscript: Aug 11, 2009
The lawsuit raises important questions about responsibility for safety, says Connie Guberman, a University of Toronto status officer. While female students should take precautions, such as walking in groups, she says there should be a partnership in responsibility. Since the incident and following a safety audit, Carleton has taken drastic measures to increase the safety of its female students by cutting down trees that blocked sightlines, and creating "safe paths" that are well-lit and include closed-circuit television. National Post 

Postscript: Aug 17, 2009
On Friday afternoon, Andrew Lister & Associates, the law firm for the plaintiff "Jane Doe", announced an out-of-court settlement had been reached with Carleton University. The agreement "recognizes" her pain and suffering, and does not in any way reflect an institutional belief that the plaintiff is to blame for the assault. The terms of the agreement will not be disclosed. 

Lansbridge University lawsuit not to affect NB institution of same name

The president of Lansbridge University, a private online institution based in Fredericton, says students at his school have nothing to fear about a class-action lawsuit against a Vancouver school also named Lansbridge University. While some of the owners are the same, the president of the Fredericton institution says "we're a different jurisdiction and considered a totally different company." Daily Gleaner

ScienceWatch lists uToronto among 20 most-cited institutions in last decade

The University of Toronto has placed 13th among institutions worldwide for citations for its research in the last 10 years in new rankings by uToronto was the only Canadian university among the top 20 institutions ranked for research citations in 22 fields between January 1, 1999 and April 30, 2009. uToronto was listed as the top Canadian school in a recent ranking by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation of Taiwan, which measures the performance of scientific papers. uToronto News | The Most-Cited Institutions Overall, 1999-2009

Forbes ranks Schulich #1 business school in Canada for ROI

York University's Schulich School of Business is listed as the top business school in Canada in Forbes' biennial ranking of global business schools, which measures Return on Investment. Schulich placed 6th worldwide among non-US 2-year MBA programs. Sauder (UBC) ranked 10th and Desautels (McGill) placed 11th in the same category. HEC-Montréal came in at 10th in the non-US global list for one-year MBA programs. Schulich was also the #1 Canadian business school in the last Forbes ranking in 2007. Forbes | York News Release

Concordia to discontinue credit card option for tuition payment

Effective September 1, students at Concordia University will no longer have the option to use credit cards to pay tuition and other fees. The university's vice-president of finance says economic austerity and chronic underfunding mean Concordia can no longer afford the high cost of credit card commissions and transaction fees. The move will save Concordia $800,000. The Montreal institution is joining a number of schools in Canada which have either stopped accepting credit cards for tuition payments or are considering such a policy. Concordia News | Montreal Gazette | CBC

New UBC-O University Centre features spaces for commuter students

This summer the University of British Columbia -- Okanagan opened its $33-million University Centre, a project that was more than 2-and-a-half years in the making. The centre boasts 3 collegia -- spaces serving as a home-away-from-home for students who commute to campus. Each collegium features comfortable furniture, individual and group work areas, and kitchen facilities. The building includes learning centres, student services offices for several university departments, student union offices, a sushi bar, student club space, various social and gathering areas, and a pub/restaurant. UBC Reports

UoGuelph study finds Facebook can spark jealousy in romantic relationships

According to a newly published study by 3 University of Guelph researchers, Facebook can expose users to possibly jealousy-provoking information about their romantic partner and lead to increased scrutiny of their partner's profile, in turn fuelling more suspicion and increased time spent on the social network. A substantial number of undergraduate students surveyed said they were "very likely" to become jealous after their partner added as a "friend" an unknown member of the opposite sex, and to monitor their partner's Facebook activities. Nearly 79% of respondents reported that they knew their partner added to their network previous romantic or sexual partners. A previous Facebook study by 2 of the UoGuelph researchers found a disconnect between privacy and popularity. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the study abstract