Top Ten

November 20, 2009

$15 million for research at uOttawa

The University of Ottawa announced Friday it has received over $15 million in research funding from the Ontario Research Fund -- Research Infrastructure program. The funds will support more than 130 researchers working on 22 projects, which include the development of technologies for monitoring and protecting local groundwater sources, molecular imaging, and how the body regulates the formation of fat, muscle, and bone as we age. McMaster University recently received $33 million for research under the same program. uOttawa News Release

Fanshawe breaks ground for Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies

On Friday, Fanshawe College held a groundbreaking ceremony at its London campus for its new Centre for Applied Transportation Technologies, which received over $31 million in joint provincial and federal funding. The 148,000-square-foot facility will include 16 classrooms, 13 labs, and 7 shops equipped to simulate real-world scenarios in trades and technologies that support the transportation industry. The centre will accommodate 1,500 full-time students, and will feature a range of environmental construction techniques, such as a green roof system over shop areas and solar hot water heating. Fanshawe Media Advisory

UWO ponders expanding enrolment of first-year undergrads

At a recent University of Western Ontario senate meeting, the provost and vice-president (academic) said UWO should consider new revenue sources in order to ease a possible financial strain in the next stage of university planning. One option would be to expand first-year undergraduate enrolment beyond the current frozen level of 4,350. Potential new revenue sources include high-end or elite undergraduate programs, course-based masters programs, offering graduate diplomas, increasing international student enrolments, and forming partnerships with the City of London and the private sector. Western News (page 3 of PDF)

CREPUQ argues Bill 53 undermines autonomy in managing programs, admissions

Appearing before the Commission des institutions last Thursday to present its position on Bill 53, the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities said the bill challenges the autonomy of the province's universities. Under the proposed legislation, the Office des professions du Qu├ębec, in co-operation with the education ministry, is making sure institutions and professional orders collaborate, so that if a professional order requires an individual to get additional training, the training is in fact offered by an institution and the person is permitted by the school to take the training. CREPUQ says such training must exists in a system that respects both a university's freedom to decide which programs shall be offered and its capacity to decide who shall be allowed to take them. CREPUQ News Release

Admissions up 11% at Laurentian

Laurentian University reports that first-year undergraduate admissions are up by 11% compared to fall 2008. Overall enrolment at the university has risen by 6%. French-language undergraduate admissions have increased by 26%, and enrolment in doctoral programs is up by 9%. Foreign-student admissions at Laurentian have risen by 40%. Laurentian News Release

Ottawa, BC invest in Kwantlen library expansion

The federal and BC governments announced last Thursday over $1.2 million from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program to support the expansion of the library at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Richmond campus. The renovation and expansion of the library will allow Kwantlen to meet the increased demands that come with being granted university status. Of the existing library space, the university will convert over 3,000 square feet of vacant tech services and archives space, and optimize existing checkout, vestibule, and library support spaces. The project includes space planning that will eventually allow Kwantlen to double the size of the collection available to students and the community. Kwantlen News Release

York University Busway opens

Friday marked the official start of a new rapid transit service from Toronto's Downsview subway station to York University. The Busway is part of a 2-phase approach to improve transit options to the university. The first phase provides 6 kilometres of bus-only lanes, connecting the northern terminus of the Spadina subway line at Downsview with York. The second phase is the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which will include a station at the university and is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. Ontario News Release

Solid majority of Canadians rate PSE quality "excellent/good"

In a recent Ipsos Reid poll, 71% of Canadians surveyed describe the overall quality of higher education at Canadian universities, colleges, and institutes as "excellent" (15%) or "good" (56%). 35% feel the quality has improved in the last decade, while 25% believe things have gotten worse. The poll found that Canadians with a post-graduate degree are more likely than those with much less formal education (high school or less) to feel the quality of education at Canadian institutions has gotten worse over the past 10 years. Ipsos Reid News Release

NSCC launches new TV spots

Nova Scotia Community College has produced a new pair of television advertisements. One features Edie Punt, a graduate of NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences, and the other Stan Johnson, a mature Aboriginal student enrolled in the college's Environmental Sustainability program. Each spot begins with a close-up of the individual, followed by animation to illustrate the individual's story. Another 2 ads are in the works, and they will go in-market after Christmas. NSCC TV spot (Edie) | NSCC TV spot (Stan)

Lincoln U requires obese students to reduce BMI, take physical-fitness course

At Lincoln University, a historically black institution based in Pennsylvania, students with body mass index scores above 30 -- the US Department of Health and Human Services' threshold for obesity -- must lower their BMI or pass a physical-fitness course before graduating. 25 seniors at the school who have neither proven they've lost weight nor signed up for the class are in danger of not being able to graduate this spring. Lincoln U's chair of health, physical education, and recreation department says he sees it as his "professional responsibility to be honest and tell students they're not healthy." The American College Health Association's president says the requirement "raises questions about personal rights and which trumps, personal rights or university policy." Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)