Top Ten

February 3, 2010

Former Seneca president predicts "severe" unemployment crisis in Ontario

Due to inadequate skills and education, over 700,000 Ontarians will be unemployable by 2021, according to a report released yesterday by former Seneca College president Rick Miner. This figure would be in addition to the 5% of individuals who are traditionally unemployed, bringing the total to over 1.1 million unemployed. Miner says it can be conservatively estimated that at least 75% of workers in Ontario will need post-secondary credentials by 2021 if they are to be employable in the province's new innovation economy. However, should current trends continue, only about 64% of Ontario's workforce is actually expected to acquire such credentials by that point. To address this challenge, Miner says Ontario must adopt a strategy to increase the level of education and training in the province. Colleges Ontario News Release | Globe and Mail

$56 million for new NSERC strategic research networks

The federal government announced Tuesday grants totalling $56 million over 5 years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support 11 new strategic research networks. The networks will be led and co-ordinated by researchers at UBC, UNB, uCalgary, McGill, uMontréal, uToronto, McMaster, uManitoba, and uLaval. NSERC News Release

Quebec to offer expedited Canadian citizenship to international students

Leading a delegation of university leaders on a mission to India, Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced Monday that, beginning February 14, foreign students who graduate from Quebec universities will get a "certificate of selection" that would put them on a fast track to Canadian citizenship. After students receive the certificate, Ottawa will then perform security and health checks before awarding citizenship. The move is likely to encourage Indian students to consider studying in Canada, especially in light of British authorities temporarily suspending all student-visa applications from northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh over suspicions of fraud, and recent racial violence against Indian students in Australia. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Gaps remain between educational attainment of anglophone, francophone Quebecers

Francophones in Quebec are more likely than their anglophone counterparts to drop out of high school and less likely to have a university degree, according to findings released Tuesday by the Institut de la statistique du Québec. The high school education gap between francophones and anglophones is significantly less pronounced among youth than in the oldest age groups -- 19 percentage points for those 75 and older compared to 3.5 for the 25-34 age group -- reflecting a catching up of francophones to anglophones. However, the gap in university educational attainment -- about 10 percentage points -- is not less in the youth population than in the older age group. Institute de la statistique du Québec News Release | CTV

Increased per-student funding, faculty hiring among CFS-Ontario's framework recommendations

In anticipation of a new funding framework for Ontario's PSE system, the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter presented to the provincial government yesterday their funding proposal to enhance the quality of higher education. The report calls on the province to increase per-student funding to universities and colleges to be above the Canadian average. CFS-Ontario recommends the new framework dedicate investments to hire 5,000 more faculty, address deferred maintenance, and expand the number of teaching and graduate assistantships. The report also suggests Ontario allocate core funding to institutions to rely less on private-sector funding in order to protect academic freedom and quality of education. CFS News Release | Read the report

Donations to uLethbridge top $8 million

In 2009, nearly 1,500 individuals and organizations partnered with the University of Lethbridge to raise close to $8.4 million. Of those donations, $4.5 million was raised to support student awards. uLethbridge president Bill Cade says attracting new donors and maintaining solid relationships with existing donors led to the increase in giving from 2008, when the university raised over $7 million. uLethbridge News Release

Tyndale appoints new president

Tyndale University College & Seminary announced Tuesday the appointment of Dr. Gary Nelson as the Toronto-based institution's new president and CEO, effective July 1. A graduate of the University of British Columbia and the California-based Fuller Theological Seminary, Nelson will come to Tyndale following a 10-year tenure as general secretary of the Canadian Baptist Ministries. Tyndale News Release

UBC mulls purchase of Vancouver Island land for research forest

For over a year, the University of British Columbia has been negotiating with Western Forest Products to buy 12,000 hectares of private land on southwestern Vancouver Island for the university to run as a research forest. Negotiations have hit a financial impasse, but both parties say the door is still open if price and conditions are right. UBC had to make a business case to its board that light, sensitive forestry could generate enough funds to pay for the land, but the figures did not match the lumber supplier's expectations. Victoria Times-Colonist

TRU runs Facebook contest for Open Learning tuition

Thompson Rivers University's Open Learning division has launched a contest in which participants can win a $9,500 tuition credit by creating a Facebook group describing how winning the contest and completing their education will make a difference in their lives. Contestants are to invite friends to both join their groups and become fans of Open Learning's Facebook page. Every friend a contest group has in common with Open Learning's Facebook page equals one entry. The contest runs until April 18. In 2008, the University of New Brunswick launched a Facebook-oriented tuition credit contest called "Only One U". "Grow Your Education, Compete to Complete" contest

Giving to US colleges down 12%, survey finds

According to the Council for Aid to Education's annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, charitable contributions to American colleges and universities dropped 11.9% in 2009, the steepest decline since the council began collecting national data on fundraising in 1969. Giving was down particularly among private undergraduate schools, who reported a decline of 18.3%. Among the types of donations, capital gifts dropped 25%, while giving for general operating support was down by less than 1%. Alumni participation declined from 11% in 2008 to 10% in 2009, the lowest level ever recorded on the survey. CAE News Release | Inside Higher Ed