Top Ten

March 3, 2010

Federal throne speech focuses on skilled workforce, innovation

In its throne speech yesterday, the federal government announced it will continue to provide enhanced support for skills, apprenticeships, and training for Canadian workers. Ottawa promises to expand opportunities for top graduates to pursue post-doctoral studies and to commercialize their ideas. The throne speech states the government will launch a new digital economy strategy. Ottawa will extend support for advanced research, development, and prototyping of new space-based technologies. The government will collaborate with Aboriginal communities, provinces, and territories to reform and strengthen education, and to support student success. Read the throne speech

BC budget commits nearly $2 billion for PSE

The BC government's latest budget, announced yesterday, maintains funding for post-secondary schools at $1.88 billion for 2010-11, including a $55-million increase added in the 2009 budget for institutions. This year's budget contains an increase of $11 million over last year in order to fund a committed expansion of medical training spaces across the province. The budget reiterates the province's commitment to relocate the Emily Carr University of Art + Design to the Great Northern Way campus, and to provide HST rebates to universities and public colleges. BC News Release | BC 2010 Budget and Fiscal Plan

MUN freezes grad student funding

Memorial University has temporarily frozen its graduate student funding in a bid to get a $2-million shortfall under control. The school of graduate studies' dean says enrolment has grown faster than provincial funding. The president of the university's faculty association says not only will the freeze affect faculty and students who are conducting research, but also the institution's reputation. MUN professor Dale Kirby says the move is inopportune, given that the university's strategic plan calls for an increase in the proportion of grad students. St. John's Telegram | CBC | Adventures in Canadian Post-Secondary Education (Dale Kirby's blog)

Second Career program to survive upcoming Ontario budget, says TCU minister

Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities John Milloy says the province's Second Career program, designed to help laid-off workers retrain and return to the workforce, will last its full 3-year session, despite burning through its initial funding and nearing the end of a second infusion of cash. Milloy says his department has "eliminated" a backlog built up last fall when 10,000 new applicants in August and September used up funding meant to last another 18 months. Toronto Star

uToronto students to vote on fee for aquatics centre for Pan Am Games

Later this month, students at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus will be asked in a poll to contribute $30 million to a $170-million aquatics facility, one of the planned on-campus venues for the 2015 Pan American Games. The fee proposal will add $280 to the cost of an academic year for undergraduate students, taking effect in 2014. A Toronto city councillor says if students reject the fee, organizers will have to find more funds or move elsewhere. Globe and Mail

London board of control endorses UWO, Fanshawe land plan

London's board of control has endorsed details of a plan to give land worth up to $6 million to the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College to draw industrial development. Of the 52 hectares at London's Innovation Park, the city would give 10 to UWO and 4 to Fanshawe. The endorsement came with a UWO official promising that a major project, expected to bring tens of millions of dollars in investment, would be unveiled in the coming weeks. The endorsement goes to city council next week. Western News | London Free Press

Ryerson to turn to private sector for residence expansion

According to The Eyeopener, a student newspaper, Ryerson University will soon put out requests for proposals asking private developers to add up to 2,000 residence spaces to accommodate the school's growing student population. Ryerson president Sheldon Levy says he wants to expand the campus and link Maple Leaf Gardens with residences, though actual locations would depend on the proposals received. Levy says turning to the private sector is the only option to increase housing. "It becomes the difference between affordable and not affordable." The Eyeopener (student newspaper)

Striking CNA workers vow to stop campus cleaning

Striking workers at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Burin plan to stop management from cleaning the facility. Garbage has been piling up at the campus since November, when about 15 workers began a strike. Last month, students complained the school was becoming filthy due to lack of cleaning, and the Newfoundland and Labrador government assigned 2 managers from the transportation department to do the cleaning. The strikers say they will no longer allow the managers into the campus. CBC

SJU faculty join OCUFA

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations announced yesterday that the St. Jerome's University Academic Staff Association is the organization's newest member. Founded in 1865, SJU is an affiliate of the University of Waterloo. By joining OCUFA, SJU faculty and librarians will benefit from the experience and resources of academic staff across the province. OCUFA News Release

Enrolment boom at U Sainte-Anne

Nova Scotia's Université Sainte-Anne reports that for the fifth consecutive year, the number of students enrolled at the institution has increased. Despite a difficult economic and demographic situation in the province, 495 students were registered at U Sainte-Anne in February, up 6.5% from October 2009. International-student enrolment is up 10%, with 14 nationalities represented at the main campus in Pointe-de-l'Église. The university also reports that enrolment in its French-immersion department is up 15%. AUFC Newsletter (in French)

McGill tie, worn by Team Canada head coach, a hot commodity

McGill University's red silk ties are sold out after the merchandise was made popular by McGill alumnus and Canada's Olympic men's hockey team head coach Mike Babcock, who wore the "lucky" tie to Sunday's gold-medal match with the US. The manager of McGill's bookstore says "in a good month we might sell two ties," but now there is a waiting list to buy it. The tie has its own Facebook page with over 1,300 fans. Babcock's father says his son takes every opportunity to celebrate his alma mater. "He's very proud to be a McGill alumni." Toronto Star | McGill Bookstore website | "Mike Babcock's McGill Tie" Facebook page