Top Ten

September 8, 2009

$86 million for UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

The BC government announced last Friday $86.4 million for the University of British Columbia's $133.3-million Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, slated to open in 2012. The new facility will allow the university's professional pharmacy degree program to take in an additional 72 students. The building, to be constructed to LEED gold certification, will feature 5 acres of floor space housing research and teaching spaces, as well as the Centre for Drug Research and Development. BC News Release | UBC News Release

CCNB Bathurst receives over $3 million for workshop

Last Friday, the federal and New Brunswick governments announced $3.6 million from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for the construction of a multi-purpose workshop at the Coll├Ęge Communautaire de Nouveau-Brunswick campus in Bathurst. The workshop, where courses will focus on plumbing, pipefitting, and other construction trades, will add another 100 seats to campus. The funding follows a provincial investment announced in January for infrastructure upgrades, including the new workshop, at the campus. NB News Release

Canada among top OECD nations for university degree attainment

According to the 2009 edition of the OECD's Education at a Glance, in 2007, 25% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 had received a university degree or a university certificate above a bachelor's, surpassing 23 of the 30 OECD nations. At 21%, Canada ranked fourth for its proportion of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 that held a university degree. However, the country ranked 12th, along with Japan and the UK, for its proportion of adults aged 25 to 34 holding a similar degree. In 2007, the employment rate for college or university graduates in Canada was 83%, below the OECD average of 85%. OECD News Release | Statistics Canada | Read the OECD report | Read the StatsCan/CMEC report

First-year enrolment boom at Fleming College

Fleming College is reporting that first-year enrolment is up 14%. This follows a 29% increase in new students beginning in the summer term, while first-year fall intake has grown by 29% in the last 3 years. Demand has increased the most at the college's School of Environment and Natural Resource Sciences and School of Continuing Education and Skilled Trades, with first-year registrations up by over 30% at both schools. Fleming College News Release

Acadia introduces trayless dining

As part of its effort to reduce its environmental footprint, this week Acadia University removed food service trays from Wheelock Dining Hall. Trayless dining at the university started out as a pilot project in 2008 when students introduced trayless Fridays in the dining hall. The intent of the initiative is to reduce food waste, water use, and energy consumption. Other institutions in Canada that have gone trayless include the University of Manitoba and Dalhousie University. Acadia News Release

MUN students still trying to find housing

Even as the academic year gets underway, some 200 students at Memorial University are on a waiting list for rooms in on-campus housing. MUN officials say the waiting list is the longest they have seen in years. Given the low vacancy rate in St John's, the university's director of student services is concerned that students will not be able to find the accommodation they need. MUN is holding a housing fair this week, hoping to match some students with landlords who have places available to rent. MUN News Release | CBC

H1N1 outbreak at Washington State U

According to Washington State University and local health officials, at least 2,000 students at the institution have reported symptoms of the H1N1 virus. The outbreak appeared about August 21 during fraternity and sorority rush, and became "rampant" after classes started. In most cases, students have been told to stay home, rest, and take fever-reducing medication. They are to wait at least 24 hours after they have had no fever without taking fever-reducing medication before going back to class. Unlike some other schools, Washington State U does not have a quarantine program in place. New York Times

Downturn drives US schools to run aid-focused fundraising campaigns

The state of the economy in the US has compelled a number of post-secondary institutions in the country to launch fundraising campaigns specifically for student-aid needs. The University of Maryland and Ohio State University are running campaigns that point to the recession's effect on students' finances and that of their families, and appeal to alumni and friends for donations to student aid to ensure students remain enrolled. To personalize their efforts, the schools' respective campaign sites include videos of students who receive aid. Urgency appears to be a good fundraising strategy. CASE has heard from its members that their donors have more interest in giving to support financial aid now. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Keep Me Maryland | Students First, Students Now (Ohio State U campaign)

30% of students in York study purposely harm themselves

3 out of 10 first-year university students participating in a York University study reported engaging in acts of deliberate self-harm. Of the 94 students who acknowledged they had intentionally engaged in self-harming behaviours, women and men were equally likely to self-harm. The survey found that women were more likely to report cutting the wrists, arms or other areas of the body, while men were more likely to report partaking in gang activity or other forms of physical violence with the purpose of harming themselves. The most common forms of self-harm reported were cutting, entering into risky situations, carving, scratching, and the use of substances with the intent to self-harm. Y-File

New e-textbooks more than just digital replicas

McGraw-Hill Higher Education is set to unveil today a new line of e-textbooks that can automatically grade assignments. At a professor's request, the e-textbooks can present a student with homework problems online, which are marked, with the graded work sent to both the student and instructor. The e-textbooks include "lecture capture" software -- professors can use the built-in microphone and camera on a laptop computer to record lectures for students. The products also allow students to jump around between chapters. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)