Top Ten

December 3, 2009

Dozens charged in alleged student loan fraud in Quebec

Quebec Provincial Police have charged 25 individuals with fraud over $5,000 and using false documents in an alleged $2-million to $3-million student loan fraud at Night Hawk College, a private computer training school based in Gatineau. The Quebec Ministry of Education alleges the suspects used false admission applications to obtain thousands of dollars in grants and loans for courses at the college, but never attended classes. The ministry says suspects posing as students received funds for tuition between 2005 and 2008. The accused are to appear in court in March to enter pleas. Ottawa Citizen

Lakehead shutdown to go ahead despite faculty criticism

Lakehead University will move ahead with its proposed 4-day shutdown the week before Christmas, despite strong opposition from the institution's faculty association, who say the plan violates members' collective bargaining agreement. Some faculty members say they plan to show up for work anyway. Lakehead's president maintains the school will be closed, unless an arbitrator decides otherwise. The closure will reportedly save Lakehead nearly $1 million in operating costs, but the faculty association's president asserts that figure decreases significantly once legal costs for the arbitration are factored in.

Parents criticize WLU's proposal to move some sports teams to Brantford campus

Angry parents of student athletes at Wilfrid Laurier University say the school has bungled a proposed move of some varsity sports to its Brantford campus. WLU is considering relocating teams such as men's and women's rugby and figure skating in an effort to boost Laurier Brantford's profile. One parent says student athletes were not properly informed, and that a move to Brantford "is not a decision that shines well on this institution." Another parent calls the proposal "ridiculous" because athletes would face a 2-hour return trip to the Brantford campus to train and play games. WLU's athletic director says if the moves are ratified, the school would consider providing transportation for players between the Waterloo and Brantford campuses, at least in the short term. Any move will require approval from the university's student advisory committee. Waterloo Region Record

Chapel at STU found vandalized

St. Thomas University officials are searching for answers after the chapel in George Martin Hall was vandalized late last month. A university spokesman says a Bible was marked, passages were highlighted, and a priest's cincture was stolen. Fredericton police are investigating the incident. STU has made changes to security at the chapel. The spokesman says no cost was incurred as a result of the vandalism. Daily Gleaner

CAUT opposes NSERC's new grant programs

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has written to the president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to express its opposition to 2 new grant programs that will support research for company-specific problems. The letter states NSERC must remain a granting council that enables peer-reviewed fundamental research. CAUT says it should have been consulted before NSERC established these programs. The association fears this new direction is a result of NSERC's council now having half its members from the private sector, and many of them are not even scientists.

NOSM to join uWaterloo centre in Huntsville

Huntsville town council has unanimously agreed to invite the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to join the University of Waterloo facility in the town's research park by September 2010. Researchers at the medical school hope to occupy 1,000 square feet in the uWaterloo environmental research building and establish a Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and Human Health. A contractual deal between uWaterloo and NOSM is being worked out. Huntsville has a lease agreement with uWaterloo, with which the medical school will have a sub-lease. Huntsville Forester

Queen's debates tuition freeze for foreign graduate students

Today the Queen's University board of trustees will debate a tuition freeze for international students. The freeze would apply to all foreign masters and doctoral students' tuition fees for 2010-11. Tuition for international undergraduate students would be excluded from the freeze. The exceptions are the Schools of Policy Studies, Urban Planning, Business, and Rehabilitation, all of which face tuition increases. Queen's Journal (student newspaper)

UWO revises graduate recruitment strategy to ensure funding allocation

If it doesn't meet graduate enrolment targets set by the province by 2011-12, the University of Western Ontario will miss out on millions in funding, and therefore the institution is shifting its graduate recruitment strategy to make sure government funding allocated for graduate expansion does not go untapped. While UWO is on track to meet enrolment projections set by faculties, these projections fall short of targets related to provincial funding for graduate expansion. To meet funding targets, the school must bring in 260 new domestic doctoral students each year. UWO's approach is to forgo the large showcase or open house graduate recruitment initiatives in favour of targeted faculty and program recruitment. The university is also boosting its presence at conferences where senior undergraduates will be attending. Western News (page 3 of PDF)

UOIT takes over Durham College's daycare centre

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology has taken over a child care centre formerly operated by Durham College, which decided to close the centre following repeated deficits. The new daycare centre operates as a non-profit, standalone entity, and as such, the centre has more flexibility in managing its budget and the intent is that it will be self-sufficient. It will also run all year round, eliminating a previous shutdown period during the summer. Durham Region News

Boréal wins national marketing award for "Mon Choix Smart" campaign

At the 39th Annual Canadian Marketing Association Awards Gala last Friday, Collège Boréal picked up a silver award for its "Mon Choix Smart" 2009 campaign. The award was given out in the NFP/Fundraising/Public Service category under the Promo discipline. In June, Boréal earned a silver award in the 2009 Summit International Creative Awards for a television spot produced for the campaign. 2009 CMA Awards