Top Ten

January 27, 2010

uOttawa waives tuition, residence fees for Haitian students

The University of Ottawa announced Tuesday it will cover tuition and residence fees this term for the 23 Haitian students attending the institution on a student visa. Shortly after the earthquake, uOttawa president Allan Rock met with the students, some of whom were grieving lost relatives, others unsure of the whereabouts of their families. They also expressed concern they would not be able to pay their tuition for the semester. Rock says that after the meeting, uOttawa decided that waiving the fees was "the right thing to do." uOttawa News Release | Ottawa Citizen

Expelled McMaster student receives jail sentence for residence fire

A former McMaster University student was sentenced Tuesday to 2 years less a day in jail for an October 2008 arson that endangered the lives of fellow residents of a university dormitory and cost McMaster over $5 million. Emerson Pardoe, a first-year student at the time, set of pile of newspapers on fire as he was riding the elevator to the third floor of Brandon Hall. Pardoe is also ordered to serve 3 years on probation, and is prohibited from possessing weapons, ammunition, and explosives for 5 years. Hamilton Spectator

Charges dropped against UWO student subject of video-captured arrest

Charges have been dropped against Irnes Zjelkovic, a 22-year-old University of Western Ontario student whose violent arrest on campus in October was caught on video and posted on YouTube. The Crown agreed to stay the charges as long as Zjelkovic continues to receive psychiatric treatment. The young man's lawyer says the decision is a relief for his client. In November, the lawyer announced intentions to file a lawsuit, which would likely involve UWO, campus police, and London police. Reviews of the arrest by UWO and London police are ongoing. London Free Press | AM 980

$32 million for research projects in NB, PEI

The federal government announced this week nearly $32 million under the Atlantic Innovation Fund for R&D projects in New Brunswick and PEI. NB will receive $19.6 million for 9 projects, while PEI will get $12.3 million for 7 projects. The University of Prince Edward Island and its vet college will receive a total of $4.3 million for 3 projects, and the University of New Brunswick will be given a total of $5.9 million for 3 projects. Ottawa announced Monday close to $17 million under the AIF for 7 research projects in Nova Scotia. ACOA News Release (PEI) | ACOA News Release (NB)

CREPUQ urges Quebec to make education province's top priority

Yesterday the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities presented its pre-budget proposals to the province's financial minister, recommending that education be made the top priority in Quebec. CREPUQ also suggests the province recognize the importance of increasing overall funding for education in general and universities in particular; set ambitious objectives regarding increasing the proportion of university graduates, offering more continuing education, and boosting financing for university research; and commit to making Quebec's university system a national and international leader. CREPUQ News Release

UBC clinical teaching building opens at Kelowna hospital

BC Premier Gordon Campbell was in Kelowna Monday to celebrate the opening of the University of British Columbia's new clinical academic campus at Kelowna General Hospital. The facility will be the home of the Southern Medical Program, which opens in 2011. The 34,000-square-foot building features a 180-seat lecture hall, a library created for both hospital and academic use, videoconferencing suites, and clinical skills and resource rooms for medical undergraduates and post-graduate residents. BC News Release

First Peoples House opens at uVic

On Monday, the University of Victoria officially opened its First Peoples House. The $7-million facility was designed in a Salish long house style and reflects the traditional and modern values of the Coast and Straits Salish peoples, in whose traditional territory the university is located. The First Peoples House features uVic's Office of Indigenous Affairs, space for elders-in-residence, Aboriginal student counselling services, classrooms, reading and study group space, and a ceremonial hall. The First Peoples House is one of several Aboriginal gathering places at public post-secondary institutions receiving funding from the BC government. UBC recently opened an Aboriginal Student Centre at its Okanagan campus. BC News Release | uVic News Release

Updated Carleton master plan recommends facelift for key buildings

An updated master plan presented to Carleton University's board of governors yesterday calls for a major facelift to some of the key facilities on campus. The plan states the campus community has "a poor opinion" of the exterior of the MacOdrum Library, and recommends creating a new fa├žade on the quad and building an addition to "hide an eyesore" of the loading dock and create more space. The plan also states replacing Paterson Hall and the Life Sciences Research Building would boost academic space and create a "dramatic reorientation" of the campus to Rideau River. This would be accomplished by developing a long green courtyard leading to the river. Ottawa Citizen

uToronto leading Canadian university in CASE District II Accolades Awards

The winners of CASE's 2010 District II Accolades Awards have been announced, and the University of Toronto is the top Canadian winner with 5 awards (1 gold, 3 silvers, 1 bronze) and an honourable mention. York picked up 3 awards (2 golds, 1 silver) and an honourable mention, and uWaterloo received a gold and 2 bronzes. Ryerson earned 2 silver awards, and McMaster picked up a gold and an honourable mention. UoGuelph earned a gold, and Brock received a bronze. List of 2010 Accolades Award winners | uToronto News

Online enrolment at US colleges up 17%

According a new survey from the Sloan Consortium, fall 2008 online enrolments at American colleges were up 17% from the year before, with about 4.6 million students taking at least one course online. The 17% growth rate far exceeds the 1.2% increase in overall PSE enrolment in the same period. The survey notes that the recession's impact has been greatest on demand for online courses, with 66% of schools reporting increased demand for new courses and programs, and 77% seeing increased demand for existing courses and programs. The survey found that public institutions are most likely to believe that online learning is critical for their long-term strategy. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the survey