Top Ten

January 22, 2010

McGill could lose provincial funding over MBA tuition hike

Quebec's education minister says she will cut some funding to McGill University if it follows through on plans to increase tuition for its MBA program to $29,500. Michelle Courchesne says McGill never asked approval from the ministry for the tuition hike, which would have been rejected anyway, because "the increase is so dramatically high that it's not possible." An editorial appearing in Friday's Montreal Gazette points out that the McGill-uMontréal executive MBA charges $65,000 for tuition, and fees for McGill's masters program in manufacturing management total $30,000. The editorial states Quebec should stay out of McGill's way if it "doesn't have the political courage to increase tuition fees across the board." CJAD | Montreal Gazette

NS government's prepayment to universities criticized

Appearing before the Nova Scotia legislature's public accounts committee last week, a partner at Deloitte & Touche questioned the government's decision to advance next year's funding to provincial universities. When Deloitte accountants audited the previous Tory government's budget last summer, they recommended the current NDP government stop the prepayment of funds to universities. The government added $341 million to their fall budget when it included the university prepayment, and that amount comprises the largest part of a projected $525-million deficit. Premier Darrell Dexter says his government prepaid the university funding for 2010-11 because the previous government had already made the agreement. Halifax Chronicle-Herald | UNews

Explosive device found at NWCC Terrace campus

An RCMP bomb squad has disposed of what has been called an "improvised explosive device" found last Thursday at the Terrace campus of Northwest Community College. While the campus was not evacuated after the device was uncovered, evening classes were cancelled. First described as a suspicious package, the device was found in an area of buildings on the eastern edge of the campus. Terrace Standard

uManitoba prof complains of doctoral student being reinstated over "exam anxiety"

A University of Manitoba professor alleges a PhD candidate twice failed a comprehensive exam, then appealed to be reinstated on the basis he suffers from extreme examination anxiety. The professor has filed a complaint to the uManitoba senate claiming a senior administrator reinstated the student, ruling his PhD will be determined solely on his dissertation. The professor says uManitoba has reprimanded him for allegedly revealing to members of the school community details of the student's medical condition, which are protected under provincial privacy legislation. Last year, uManitoba's disability services office registered 136 students who have medical certification that they suffer from exam anxiety and must be accommodated with another form of assessment. Winnipeg Free Press

UQO opens new campus in Saint-Jérôme

On Friday, the Quebec government celebrated the inauguration of the new Université du Québec en Outaouais campus in Saint-Jérôme, to which the province is contributing $55 million. The campus is expected to accommodate over 1,000 students, and offers 10 programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including early childhood education, nursing, and social work. Quebec News Release (in French)

$9 million for SNOLAB researchers

The Ontario government announced last Thursday over $9.3 million to support 120 researchers at Laurentian University, Queen's University, and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOLAB), an underground science laboratory specializing in dark matter and neutrino physics. The announcement is part of the Ontario Research Fund--Research Infrastructure Program, which will support over 3,300 researchers across the province over the next 4 years. Ontario News Release | Queen's News Centre

Dal in talks with for-profit PSE firm to recruit foreign students

Dalhousie University is looking to partner with Navitas, an Australian-based for-profit education company, in order to bring more international students to the campus. Under the proposed partnership, Navitas would help set up a small college within Dal. For foreign applicants who do not meet Dal's academic requirements, but whom Navitas believes could eventually become successful students, the college would offer university preparation courses. Student would pay Navitas the equivalent of international student tuition at Dal, and Navitas would pay the university royalties and fees for the use of resources. The company has established colleges at Simon Fraser University and the University of Manitoba. UNews

Expansion in Red River College's future, says outgoing president

In his final interview with the Winnipeg Free Press before moving to Ontario to head Sheridan College, departing Red River College president Jeff Zabudsky acknowledges there's been much discussion about establishing a third campus in southeast Winnipeg. The college is looking at a campus to be shared by Peguis and Fisher River First Nations, and in downtown Portage la Prairie, with the closed-down Victoria School building as a preferable location. While Red River now offers degrees in nursing and construction management, Zabudsky says no one is advocating turning colleges into universities. The college's focus will continue to be training Manitobans in the applied skills needed to meet the province's economic needs. Winnipeg Free Press

uCalgary ponders revising non-academic misconduct policy

At a meeting early next month, the University of Calgary's general faculties council will consider implementing a new non-academic misconduct policy. Under the proposal, a university-wide committee, rather than individual faculties, would handle cases of non-academic misconduct. A university administrator says the proposal reflects student concerns with the clarity of the current policy and a desire to pursue more options when applying sanctions. uCalgary's student union has proposed the policy be amended so students can seek legal council for non-academic misconduct cases if they face concurrent criminal charges. The Gauntlet (student newspaper)

Record number of NBCC/CCNB graduates employed in province

According to a survey of New Brunswick community college students who graduated in 2008, 94% of employed graduates found work in the province last year, up from 90% the previous year. The level of employment related to training was 83% in 2009, down from 85% in 2008. The overall employment rate for 2008 graduates was 88% a year following graduation, compared to 92% for 2007 graduates. NB News Release