Top Ten

August 24, 2009

McGill professor linked to ghostwriting scandal

According to court documents, a McGill University psychology professor has been implicated in a ghostwriting scandal in which articles paid for by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals were published in reputable journals. An article attributed solely to the professor was submitted to her by DesignWrite, a New Jersey-based ghostwriting firm, and she made numerous editing suggestions. The professor says she made an error in allowing her name to be attached to the article without having a clear indication others contributed to it. McGill says in a statement that it will investigate the incident. Montreal Gazette

UBC renames Thunderbird arena in honour of $10-million gift

The University of British Columbia announced Friday that it has renamed its Thunderbird Sports Centre after alumnus Doug Mitchell, whose family, friends and colleagues have pledged $10 million to UBC for the centre. The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sport Centre will serve as the host hockey and sledge hockey venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. UBC News Release

Financial-aid requests up 20% at UoGuelph

Like other universities in Ontario, the University of Guelph is reporting a spike in the number of students applying for financial assistance. The university estimates the number of such requests has jumped 20% over last year. UoGuelph has set aside about $6 million -- slightly more money than last year -- for students needing assistance paying for their education. A spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities says applications to the Ontario Student Assistance Program are up 15% this year. Guelph Mercury

Atlantic universities boost out-of-province recruitment initiatives to offset dwindling demographics

Universities in Atlantic Canada are stepping up their recruitment strategies and becoming more competitive in anticipation of the plunge in the number of local high school graduates within the next decade. Acadia University has hired recruiters in Alberta and Ontario to speak directly to interested students in those provinces. The president of St. Francis Xavier University says schools need to focus on boosting their profile across Canada, not just in the Atlantic region. Newfoundland and Labrador's education minister says the province's tuition freeze and interest-free student loans give it a recruiting advantage over its regional competitors. Canadian Press

Enrolment boom at uOttawa

Like its neighbour, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa is reporting increased enrolments for the 2009-10 academic year. Registration is up about 7.7%. Late this spring, confirmations for students in graduate programs increased by 10.7%. uOttawa is attributing the rising enrolment to the increasing popularity of programs with a French immersion component, life sciences, and programs with an international component. Ottawa Citizen

Federal government releases H1N1 guidance for PSE institutions

Like its American counterpart, the Canadian government recently released a guidance for post-secondary and boarding schools on the prevention and management of influenza-like illnesses, including the H1N1 virus. The guidance does not recommend that schools close during outbreaks, unless the move is requested by their local health authorities. The guidance states that students, staff, and faculty who fall ill should be encouraged to self-isolate until their symptoms resolve. Schools may want to consider providing support such as in-room meals and care to ill students living on or off-campus who do not have other support available. Read the guidance

Record number of med students at UWO

On Wednesday, the University of Western Ontario will welcome 159 new medical students, the largest-ever class in the university's history. 30 of the students will train at UWO's satellite program at the University of Windsor. Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced an extra 24 medical school spaces for UWO's medical and dental school, with half of the additional students starting this fall, and the other half to begin in 2010. Western News

UBC, AMS speak out against student-aid cuts

According to The Ubyssey, a student newspaper, the University of British Columbia and its Alma Mater Society are united in opposition against recent cuts the provincial government made to its student-aid budget. At a meeting last week, the AMS voted to authorize an awareness campaign regarding the cuts. The president of AMS says it's his understanding that no student union in the province has been able to speak with the advanced education minister about the cuts. UBC president Stephen Toope says the school is in agreement with the AMS, and is trying to make the case that there should be no reductions. The Ubyssey (student newspaper)

Push for "top-up" funding for deaf PSE students in BC

A BC MP and a group of leaders in the deaf community are urging the provincial government to provide "top-up" funding for deaf PSE students attending US institutions offering courses in American Sign Language. BC is being asked to adopt a model similar to other provinces where the governments cover half the cost of tuition at the American schools in the form of bursaries for students. Representatives from the BC Ministries of Advanced Education and Children and Family Development are in talks about future PSE options and considering the idea. Burnaby Now

Boréal, Métis Nation of Ontario form partnership

On Sunday, officials with Collège Boréal and the Métis Nation of Ontario signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to increase PSE participation among Métis individuals. The agreement will also allow Métis people to participate in developing practices and policies regarding Aboriginal teaching at Boréal. The agreement includes exposing students and staff to the history, culture, and contemporary issues of Métis in the province. Sudbury Star