Top Ten

January 29, 2010

Saskatchewan considers cutting off funding to FNUC

In light of allegations of financial impropriety at the First Nations University of Canada, the Saskatchewan government could soon cut off funding to the institution, the province's advanced education minister stated last Thursday. Should Saskatchewan freeze the funding -- between $4 million and $5 million a year -- Ottawa would likely follow suit and terminate its $7.3-million grant to FNUC. The minister met with the University of Regina's board of governors last week to discuss how the university could help FNUC students if the situation continues to deteriorate. Globe and Mail | Regina Leader-Post | CBC

Student loans impact borrowers' financial positions post-graduation

According to a new Statistics Canada study, an increase in student-loan reliance and debt loads has had an impact on individual students' financial positions following graduation. The study found that 57% of the graduating class of 2005 had student loans, up from 49% a decade before. Between 1995 and 2005, average student debt on graduation grew from $15,200 to $18,800, and the proportion of borrowers who graduated with debt loads of at least $25,000 jumped from 17% to 27%. Among PSE graduates, the study observes, borrowers were less likely to have savings and investments and to own their homes, and had on average lower assets and corresponding lower net worth than non-borrowers. Statistics Canada | Read the study

OCUFA conference examines recession's impact on universities

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations held a conference late last month titled "Financing Higher Education in the Current Economic Climate," bringing together speakers from universities, research institutes, governments, and the private sector in Canada and the US. The conference was designed to reflect on the current downturn's impact on universities, examine trends in PSE financing, and consider implications for the future. OCUFA has posted on its website some of the material presented at the confernece. 2010 OCUFA Conference

AUCC to hold symposium on North-South partnerships

National and international experts will gather in Ottawa tomorrow and Wednesday for a symposium hosted by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to discuss key issues, challenges, and best practices for North-South partnerships in relation to universities' internationalization efforts. The symposium will feature new research from AUCC, guest speakers from the South, plenary sessions, and discussion. AUCC Media Advisory

UPEI boosting Aboriginal student recruitment efforts

The University of Prince Edward Island is exploring several methods to attract Aboriginal students to the institution, where only 1% of the school's students are of Aboriginal descent. A local artist is working on 7 carved poles, to be installed outdoors on campus, to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture. The poles will be unveiled in late March as part of a 2-day celebration of Aboriginal culture at UPEI. In additional to on-campus cultural events, the university has organized Aboriginal career fairs, and is sending Aboriginal students and staff to public schools to encourage Aboriginal youth to pursue a university education. CBC

NorQuest joins northern Alberta-NWT learning centres initiative

NorQuest College is the latest post-secondary institution to join Alberta-North, a group of schools that collaborate to provide access to higher education to communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Alberta-North supports and maintains a network of more than 85 learning centres called Community Access Points. In addition to NorQest, Alberta-North partners include Athabasca University, Grande Prairie Regional College, Keyano College, Northern Lakes College, Portage College, and Aurora College. NorQuest News Release

NWRC residence project approved by municipality

Saskatchewan-based North West Regional College has been given the green light from Meadow Lake city council to construct a 40-unit student housing complex. The college's president says student housing has been identified as a significant barrier to success for many students, and new, safe, and affordable housing for students would encourage growth for the school and the community. Construction on the residence will begin this April, with a completion date of March 2011. Meadow Lake Progress

Fleming students vote on levy for athletic upgrades at Lindsay campus

Students at Fleming College's Frost campus in Lindsay are taking part in a referendum that will decide the future use of the school's athletic complex. If students vote in favour of renovations to the complex, the cost would be about $450,000 and paid for by students through a fee of $14 per term per full-time student. A "yes" vote would result in the indoor tennis courts being shut down to make room for a multi-sport gymnasium, effectively ending the community tennis program. Lindsay Post

UQAM launches second phase of "L'effet UQAM" campaign

Last February, the Université du Québec à Montréal unveiled Phase 1 of its "L'effet UQAM" promotional campaign, which highlights the benefits of the institution's research and creativity. The first phase of the campaign featured profiles of 15 prominent UQAM professors describing the impact of their work. The university has now launched Phase 2 of the campaign, which focuses on 7 young, up-and-coming faculty members. "L'effet UQAM" is running at Montreal-area CÉGEPs, online, and in certain publications. UQAM News (in French)

Media use among youth on the rise

According to a new study from the US-based Kaiser Family Foundation, children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day consuming some form of media for fun, an hour and 17 minutes more than they did 5 years ago. The survey shows kids now spend more time listening to music, playing games, and watching TV on their cellphones than talking on them. Among those surveyed, 47% of heavy media users reported earning mostly Cs or lower at school, compared to 23% of light users. Kaiser Family Foundation News Release | Associated Press | Read the study