Top Ten

November 5, 2009

Maclean's releases 2009 University Rankings issue

Maclean's 19th annual University Rankings issue hit newsstands yesterday. McGill University placed first in the medical-doctoral category. Simon Fraser University took the top spot in the comprehensive category. Mount Allison University was named the top primarily undergraduate institution. This year marks the first time the University of Ontario Institute of Technology has been ranked. Of the 48 universities ranked this year, 19 refused to fill out the survey. Maclean's has also revised its approach, relying on data from Statistics Canada, federal funding agencies, and information on university websites. Maclean's News Release | Toronto Star | Maclean's 2009 University Rankings

NL launches youth retention and attraction strategy

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams announced yesterday the launch of a provincial youth retention and attraction strategy. Developed in collaboration with youth, the strategy intents to counter the impacts of out-migration, strengthen the labour market, and support the economic development of the province. The strategy lists a number of responsive actions items, including expanding the existing Graduate Employment Program, improving access to existing internship opportunities and summer jobs, and increasing access to employment opportunities and supports among apprentices. NL News Release | NL Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy

Enrolment boom at CNA

Despite a declining high-school population in Newfoundland and Labrador, College of the North Atlantic reports an overall enrolment increase of 4%. Campuses experiencing the most enrolment growth include Port aux Basques with a 20% increase, Clarenville with 25%, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay with 17%. CNA's Distributed Learning Service saw enrolment rise by 91% over the previous year. Several programs at the college are reporting triple-digit increases, percentage-wise, in enrolment. For example, CNA's Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Power Engineering, and Instrumentation and Control Technician programs each saw increases of 200% or more. CNA News Release

VIU denied KIP funding for master plan project

A Vancouver Island University official says that without funding from senior levels of government, the school cannot move forward on its 3-stage, $100-million upgrade unless it can get some large donations from the private sector. The university's Knowledge Infrastructure Program funding application for Phase 1 of its master plan was turned down. Several facilities predate VIU's predecessor, Malaspina College, and are no longer functional. While the university was not told why its application was denied, the official says one reason might be that VIU had received funding for other costly projects, such as the Cowichan Place campus. Nanaimo Daily News

uWaterloo opens School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Today the University of Waterloo will launch the first school in North America focusing on environmentally responsible business and development. The School of Environment, Enterprise and Development aims to provide sustainable solutions to key local and global environmental, social, and development challenges through education, research, and training. SEED offers 2 undergraduate programs: a bachelor of environmental studies in environment and business, and a bachelor of environmental studies in international development. Additional masters degrees will complement an existing graduate program starting in 2010. uWaterloo News Release

VCC appoints new president

Vancouver Community College's board has named Kathy Kinloch as the school's new president. Kinloch joins the college with experience in the post-secondary education, government, and health-care sectors, and comes to VCC from her current role as dean of health sciences at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Kinloch will take up her new role at VCC on March 15. VCC News Release

BCIT launches 3D simulation instruction initiative

Earlier this week, the British Columbia Institute of Technology announced the launch of the CUBE, a 2-year initiative that will move the school's learning and teaching to a new level through the development of interactive 3D simulations. The CUBE project will place 3D simulations of expensive, rare, and modern equipment into the hands of every BCIT student, who will be able to manipulate virtual objects from rail cars to knee joints. BCIT News Release

uAlberta campus security investigates students behind poster campaign

A group of University of Alberta students behind a satirical poster campaign criticizing the school president's comments about the need to advocate for white males told the Edmonton Journal they were investigated by campus security, who reportedly called the campaign "hateful." The students say they were told they would be charged under a section of the student code of conduct that prohibits the distribution of malicious material. A uAlberta spokeswoman says security began an investigation after more than one member of the university community complained. The spokeswoman says security no longer plans to lay charges. Edmonton Journal

uToronto students hold rallies in support of blind professor

A group of University of Toronto students have been organizing rallies this week to protest news that popular blind professor Rod Michalko's contract might not be renewed after this academic year due to budget constraints. That leaves the future of disability studies at the university in the air, since Michalko is the only professor teaching it to undergraduates. The president of uToronto's Equity Studies Student Union and her colleagues are demanding permanent disability studies positions and an increase in course offerings to correspond with student interest. Toronto Star |

OCUFA releases proceedings from 2009 conference

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations recently published the proceedings from its January 2009 conference. The document includes several articles, including one by Academica Group's Ken Steele, that touch on the conference's theme of "Accounting or Accountability in Higher Education." In his article, Ken writes that student survey results need to be interpreted carefully, with a detailed understanding of the methodology, and ideally with benchmarking or comparative trend data to provide context, lest there be a misinterpretation or misrepresentation of findings. OCUFA 2009 Conference Proceedings