Top Ten

November 16, 2009

Metro Vancouver trying to control UBC campus, university argues

The University of British Columbia is asking Metro Vancouver to withdraw a proposal to restrict and regulate the use of academic land on the university's Vancouver campus. A UBC official says the institution was surprised last month when Metro Vancouver introduced a "wide-ranging and intrusive" document regarding UBC's academic lands. The document outlines 9 new planning zones and numerous additional regulations on land that has been set aside for academic purposes for over 100 years. UBC president Stephen Toope says the proposal threatens UBC's status as one of best research universities in the world. UBC News Release | Vancouver Province

Queen's receives $25 million from Ontario Research Fund

Queen's University researchers involved in 26 projects have received over $25 million in new infrastructure grants from the Ontario government. Projects range from nuclear materials and microelectronics to bone and joint repair and treatments for schizophrenia. As part of Ontario's Innovation Agenda, the Ontario Research Fund grants will support 46 projects involving nearly 342 scientists and researchers at 13 institutions across the province. Queen's News Release

$10 million for uAlberta's Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Machine Learning

The Alberta government announced late last month that the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Machine Learning, based at the University of Alberta's north campus, will receive $10 million in continued funding over the next 5 years. Created in 2002, the centre is designed to enhance the research excellence in machine learning and related areas that exists in uAlberta's computing science department. uAlberta News Release

Lowering tuition won't affect PSE participation

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, University of Toronto professor Ben Levin argued against reducing or freezing tuition fees, stating that such a policy would be counter-productive because it would be expensive and have very little impact on participation. One way of helping students financially, Levin said, is to improve their ability to earn money, such as by raising the minimum wage. He also suggested capping the maximum debt students could incur at $5,000 a year, and providing protection from circumstances such as catastrophic illness that may prevent students from being able to pay off their debt. Epoch Times

Aboriginal Gathering Place opens at Northern Lights College

Last Thursday, BC-based Northern Lights College officially opened its new Aboriginal Gathering Place at its Fort Nelson campus. The gathering place features artwork and cultural artifacts commissioned by local Aboriginal bands, as well as a fireplace and study areas decorated with colours and textures evoking the 4 elements -- fire, water, earth, and wind. BC News Release

Niagara College launches Wine Visitor + Education Centre

Earlier this month, Niagara College held an opening ceremony for its new Wine Visitor + Education Centre at its Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Set in the school's teaching vineyards, the $3.6-million centre will showcase and promote the Ontario and Canadian wine industry, provide wine tourism information services, and feature academic and wine industry programming. The centre is part of a $90-million campus redevelopment plan that includes major projects at the college's Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campus. Niagara College News Release

McGill students approve Sustainable Projects Fund

In a referendum last week, McGill University students endorsed plans to create a Sustainable Projects Fund. Starting in January, students will pay 50 cents per credit into the fund, which will be used to finance ideas from students, faculty, and staff that make the campus a better place. Since McGill has promised to match whatever money comes in through its student unions, the fund is expected to bring in approximately $840,000 per year over a 3-year trial run. Montreal Gazette

RDC picks up several North American marketing awards

Red Deer College has won 6 Medallion Awards from District 7 of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations, which recognizes excellence in college publications and marketing efforts. RDC picked up silver awards in the viewbook, radio advertisement, promotion campaign, and colour publication categories, and earned bronze awards in the promotional video and brochure categories

uWinnipeg, OCAD websites among Canada's top 50 websites

The websites for the University of Winnipeg and the Ontario College of Art and Design are among Canada's top 50 websites, as defined by Some criteria looks for include whether the site is organized and easy to navigate, has a good balance of colours, delivers content in a quick and effective manner, and features a good selection of photographs and unique written content. uWinnipeg launched a redesigned site in April. uWinnipeg News Release

Record number of foreign students in US in 2008

According to new data from the Institute of International Education, the number of international students attending American colleges hit a record high in the 2008-09 academic year, capping 3 consecutive years of vigorous growth. Approximately 671,616 foreign students attended US institutions last year, an increase of nearly 8% from the year before, and first-time-student enrolment grew by almost 16%. In terms of where students are coming from, the top 3 countries are India, China, and South Korea, all of which account for over 41% of foreign students in the US. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)