Top Ten

October 19, 2009

Alberta's PSE donation matching fund delayed

Created by the Alberta government in 2005, the "Access to the Future" fund is used primarily as a vehicle to encourage charitable donations to provincial colleges and universities by providing matching funds to gifts. Alberta has provided no further increases to the fund since an initial $1-billion investment, keeping it $2 billion short of its original $3-billion goal. As a result, the funds are not earning enough to allow schools to keep up with their donors. The University of Alberta, for example, has about $100 million in donations still awaiting provincial grants. University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten suggests the funds could be used now to take care of the PSE system's most pressing needs. Edmonton Journal

CNC breaks ground for Technical Education Centre

BC-based College of New Caledonia held a groundbreaking ceremony last Thursday for its $19.7-million Technical Education Centre at the Prince George campus. Slated for completion in February 2011, the 7,000-square-metre centre will feature instructional shops, classrooms, lab and office space, and house training programs such as welding, automotive collision repair, engineering technology, and transportation and logistics. BC News Release | CNC News Release

SAIT launches $75-million fundraising campaign for Trades and Technology Complex

On Friday, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology kicked off its $75-million "Promising Futures" fundraising campaign in support of the the school's $445-million Trades and Technology Complex. $37.5 million has already been raised or committed. Set to open in 2012, the complex will add another 3,600 student spaces at SAIT, translating into 8,100 more apprentice and full- and part-time learner opportunities each year. SAIT News Release

Assault reported at York residence

Toronto police are investigating a report Sunday afternoon that a male student had been the victim of an assault at the Tatham Hall student residence at York University. The student was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police and campus security are cautioning campus residents to limit building access to York community members or authorized personnel. York News Release

VIU faces space crunch

If the trend of rising enrolment at Vancouver Island University continues over the next few years, the institution will have to expand. Officials at the university have been searching for funding to pay for planned capital projects, as outlined in VIU's master plan, to meet future demand. If funding does not come fast enough, one VIU administrator says the university will be able to find creative ways to utilize space and keep up with demand by co-ordinating different departments. Nanaimo Daily News

Report recommends campuses go "back to the tap"

A recent report from the Polaris Institute concludes that the disappearance of water fountains at Canadian post-secondary institutions is caused by insufficient building codes, increased bottled water consumption, beverage exclusivity contracts, and commercialization of campus. The report recommends campuses take a cue from the municipal "back to the tap" movement and limit the sale of bottled water and reinvest in drinking fountains. The report praises the Universities of Toronto and Guelph for including water fountains in new facilities, and the University of Winnipeg for implementing a campus-wide ban on the sale of bottled water. University Affairs | Read the report

Centennial launches Institute for Global Citizenship and Equity

Centennial College will launch today its Institute for Global Citizenship and Equity, designed to advance the school's equity and social justice agenda. The institute is an outgrowth of Centennial's Signature Learning Experience, a mandatory course for full-time students that provides a critical understanding of issues in diversity, equity, and social justice. The institute will be undertaking research on global citizenship and equity, and will publish an academic journal. The institute has also created an internal magazine called Global Citizen Digest. Centennial News Release

CFS releases education action plan

Yesterday the Canadian Federation of Students released its Education Action Plan. The document includes recommendations to increase accessibility to and the quality of universities and colleges, reduce student debt, build research capacity, foster innovation, and ensure access to PSE for Aboriginal individuals. CFS representatives will circulate the plan to MPs and the Senate. CFS News Release | Read the report

OCUFA releases tenure-themed issue of Academic Matters

"Debating Tenure" is the latest issue of Academic Matters, published by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. Contributors to the issue explore gender equity and the tenure process, possible alternatives to tenure, and whether tenure creates academic deadwood. With the most recent issue, a new Academic Matters website has also been launched. The redesigned site features an expanded number of bloggers, as well as Web-exclusive articles and reviews. Academic Matters

India's PSE minister outlines regulations for foreign universities

In an interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kapil Sibal, India's minister responsible for higher education, discusses his pledge to allow foreign universities to operate in the country. Stressing there are no "preconditions" for foreign institutions wishing to enter the Indian market, Sibal states that schools will be able to determine their own tuition and curricula, but must seek accreditation in India and cannot repatriate profits. Foreign institutions will not have to comply with India's quota laws, which set aside a percentage of seats for students from various social classes, so long as the schools do not accept federal or state government support. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)