Top Ten

September 9, 2009

R&D spending in PSE tops $10 billion

According to new Statistics Canada data, research and development spending in the higher-education sector in the 2007-08 fiscal year totalled $10.2 billion, up 6% from $9.6 billion in 2006-07. Spending on natural sciences and engineering stood at $8.1 billion, while the social sciences and humanities field accounted for the remaining $2.1 billion in R&D spending. PSE institutions themselves were the most significant contributors, investing $4.6 billion. The federal government was the second largest contributor, providing $2.7 billion in R&D funds. Statistics Canada

VIU breaks ground for Cowichan Place campus

Vancouver Island University held a groundbreaking ceremony last Friday for its $26.6-million Cowichan Place campus. At over 3,500 square metres, the new campus will serve students enrolled in university degree, business, health and human services, trade and applied technology, career and academic preparation, and employability skills programs. VIU News Release

UBC unveils new brand

On Tuesday, the University of British Columbia introduced its new brand identity, which bears the tagline "a place of mind." The brand also incorporates the phrase "From Here." The new brand will be publicized through an advertising campaign utilizing print, outdoor, online, search, and social media. In conjunction with the brand launch, UBC unveiled a new-look website, as well as a microsite titled "a place of mind." Visitors to the portal can watch a video advertisement of the new brand, and learn how "UBC is tackling the world's big problems." The microsite invites visitors to share their "From Here" statement for the chance to win an iPod Touch. Contributions include "Learning to raise the bar. From Here" and "Imagining what's possible. From Here." UBC website | A Place of Mind | UBC Brand

Former uManitoba student sues classmate over gossip

A former University of Manitoba science student filed a lawsuit last week against her former lab partner after she allegedly spread a rumour to other students, researchers, and lab workers that the woman, who is Iranian, was involved in a sexual relationship with her professor. The suit claims the lab partner repeated the rumour to other Iranian students, knowing it would be spread within the academic and Iranian communities. The woman, who denies having a relationship with her professor, claims the rumour forced her to move to Ontario to continue her studies and has risked any chance she has of returning to Iran. The suit claims the woman has suffered financial damages of over $71,000. Winnipeg Sun

NSCC faculty, support staff to hold strike vote

On September 22, faculty and professional support staff at Nova Scotia Community College will hold a strike vote. A conciliation report filed in June advised the province's labour ministry that the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and NSCC had been unable to reach a tentative agreement. The union's president argues that the education department is unwilling to provide the same salary increases and improvements to health benefits it agreed to give to public school teachers. NSTU News Release

Postscript: Sep 24, 2009
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union, which represents over 900 faculty and professional support employees at Nova Scotia Community College, filed a strike notice yesterday with the province's labour minister. On Tuesday, about 91% of faculty members voted 93% in favour of a walkout, while some 96% of professional support staff voted 90% in favour of joining the job action. NSTU News Release

Students, parents report poor conditions of uOttawa residences

Some students (and their parents) who moved into residences at the University of Ottawa apparently found rooms in filthy condition. One parent discovered a shoebox of syringes under a bed at his daughter's assigned room at the Hyman-Soloway residence. One student found a smashed TV and unidentified pills in her Brooks residence apartment, which smelled like urine. A uOttawa spokeswoman says it's likely these cases are isolated, noting that surveys show 80% of students living on campus are very satisfied with the condition of their rooms. Brooks is a challenge for the university, the spokeswoman says, as students can lease a room there until August 31, leaving the school just 24 hours to clean before new students are scheduled to move in. Ottawa Citizen | CBC

Registrations up 15% at NIC

Overall student registration at North Island College is up nearly 15% over last year. The largest percentage of those registrations is at the college's Port Alberni and Port Hardy campuses, which had increases above 20% and 30%, respectively. As for programs, the largest increase is in 2 new business administration degrees, university transfer classes, and general upgrading. NIC News Release | Comox Valley Echo

uWaterloo opens accounting school building

On Tuesday, the University of Waterloo's school of accounting and finance opened its new $12-million teaching and research building. Approximately 50,000 square feet, the building features 6 new classrooms on 3 floors, a 200-seat lecture hall, and a green roof terrace. Donors to the building fund will be honoured throughout the facility in a number of ways, such as a multimedia donor wall and in a landscaped courtyard. uWaterloo News Release

Okanagan College opens Aboriginal Student Centre

Last Friday, Okanagan College officially opened its new Aboriginal Student Centre at its Salmon Arm campus. The opening of the centre means that each of the college's 4 major campuses now have dedicated space available to Aboriginal students. The centre brings to mind a kekuli -- a pit house -- with its round construction, and a skylight where there would be an opening for smoke to escape from the house. BC News Release

Trent runs "YouTrent" video contest

Trent University has launched a contest called YouTrent in which students can submit 3- to 5-minute videos showcasing the positive and unique aspects of the student experience at the institution. Participants can compete individually or in teams in 2 categories: Best College Video (focusing on the university's college system) and Best Trent University Video. The first prize in each category is $1,000. The deadline for submissions is November 30, and winners will be announced in January. The winning videos will be featured on Trent's website and YouTube. YouTrent video contest