Top Ten

August 20, 2009

ABU changes name to Crandall University

Yesterday the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches approved the name change for Atlantic Baptist University to Crandall University. The main reason for the name change is to expand the school's mission by overcoming perceptual obstacles resulting from a denominationally specific name. The new name honours Rev. Joseph Crandall, the patriarch to New Brunswick's Baptist community. The university's board chairman says the new name will allow the school to "build on our strengths and to meet a growing regional educational need." Crandall U News Release

Scientific research, PSE access subject of CAUT's spending recommendations

In its pre-budget submission, the Canadian Association of University Teachers recommends the federal government increase basic research funding for the country's 3 granting councils by $1 billion over 2 years, and that funding awarded be judged on the basis of merit by the scientific community. CAUT also suggests Ottawa introduce a Canada Post-Secondary Education Act that lays out responsibilities and expectations for the federal and provincial/territorial governments. CAUT calls on the government to improve the level of assistance provided through the Canada Student Grant Program for low-income and Aboriginal students. Read the submission

$5 million for York bridge training programs

The Ontario government announced yesterday a $5.2-million investment in expanded bridge training programs at York University for internationally-trained newcomers to the province. The funding will support new programs at York for information technologists and business professionals, as well as an existing nursing program. Ontario News Release

Ryerson boosts financial support for students

Recognizing that the recession will affect the ability of many of its students to pay for their education, Ryerson University announced yesterday it has increased financial assistance to students in the form of bursaries, scholarships, and part-time employment. The school is committing over $4 million to hire more students as teaching and research assistants. Ryerson is also allocating $2 million to guarantee all endowed awards and academic chairs for the school year, despite investment losses. For the first time, students can pay the first half of their tuition at the beginning of the fall term, and defer the second payment until January. Ryerson News Release

Application boom at TRU

Thompson Rivers University is reporting a 6% increase in applications for the 2009-10 academic year. Several programs have experienced notable increases; applications to the Master of Science program, for example, have gone up 53%. There have been significant declines in TRU's trades programs, which is not unexpected given the economy. However, the university expects to run full programs in this area. TRU News Release

Fire strikes roof of NBCC Moncton campus

On Wednesday morning, fire broke out on the roof of New Brunswick Community College's Moncton campus, causing some damage to a couple of classrooms. The roof is currently being replaced and a tar pot caught fire. Smoke dispersed throughout much of the building as the fire occurred near a ventilation unit. Staff members were evacuated from the building and sent home, and fans were brought in to clear the campus of smoke. The incident is not expected to cause any delays with the construction project. Times & Transcript

Ottawa invests in new labs at MacEwan

The federal government announced yesterday a $1-million grant for the construction of 8 more science laboratories at Grant MacEwan's City Centre campus to accommodate the school's new Bachelor of Science degree. The labs, to be built over the next 4 years, will feature a darkroom for developing X-rays, a clean room for growing biological samples, and a climate-controlled area for a nuclear magnetic resonance machine. Edmonton Journal

Sprott-Shaw launches $1-million tuition contest for students worldwide

Yesterday Sprott-Shaw Community College, a BC-based private institution, launched an international contest called "Class Act Canada" in which 10 winners will be awarded an all-expenses paid education at one of the school's campuses in BC -- a value of $100,000 for each winner. Eligible participants must submit a 60- to 90-second video to the contest's website describing what they would do with a diploma or degree from Sprott-Shaw. A panel of judges will choose the 10 winners from the top 20 contestants, who will be determined by public voting. The winners will be announced in December. Nanaimo News Bulletin | Class Act Canada

International admissions to US grad schools drop

According to a new report from the US-based Council of Graduate Schools, admission of foreign students to American graduate schools fell by 3% between 2008 and 2009. Applications from India and South Korea dropped by 12% and 9%, respectively. Although overall applications jumped by 4%, the year-to-year increase in international applications has been on a steady decline for 3 consecutive years. The council's research director suspects graduate schools may have had to cut back on recruiting internationally due to the economic downturn. Inside Higher Ed | Read the full report

Report finds students perform better in online environment

A recent report conducted for the US Department of Education that examined comparative research on traditional classroom versus online teaching from 1996 to 2008 found that, on average, students learning in an online environment performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction. Students taking part of a course or its entirety online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, the analysis found, while the average classroom student scored in the 50th percentile. Some of the comparative studies examined were in K-12 settings, but most were conducted in colleges and various adult continuing-education programs. New York Times | Read the full report