Top Ten

March 4, 2010

Billions for PSE infrastructure, research, training in federal budget

As outlined in its 2010-11 budget, announced yesterday, the federal government will provide $1 billion to support deferred maintenance, repair, and construction at post-secondary institutions. Ottawa is committing $1.9 billion to enhance the availability of training, including $80 million for the Apprenticeship Completion Grant and $55 for youth employment. Among its investments in research, the government will provide $135 million over 2 years to the National Research Council's regional innovation clusters program, increase the combined annual budgets of Canada's research granting council by an additional $32 million a year, and double the College and Community Innovation Program budget with an additional $15 million per year. Ottawa is also allocating $45 million over 5 years to establish a post-doctoral fellowship program. Budget 2010 | Budget in Brief

York U may suspend student over anti-Semitic postings

York University says it is taking measures that could result in the suspension of a student being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police hate crimes and extremism unit over anti-Semitic content posted online. In a letter to the university's president, the Canadian Jewish Congress calls for the student's immediate suspension, and asks that he be barred from campus until the police investigations are complete. National Post

Postscript:  Mar 9, 2010
York University has suspended a student under police investigation for posting anti-Semitic content online. The student has been ordered to appear before a disciplinary panel, and cannot attend classes in the meantime. The Canadian Jewish Congress is "now breathing a sigh of relief" knowing that the student has been suspended. "York has done the right thing." National Post

Ryerson racism report not thorough, say critics

In interviews with the National Post, some Ryerson University students and professors say that in its year-long investigation into on-campus racism, a task force did not thoroughly investigate allegations of racism or offer individuals or groups the chance to respond. "That report was in some ways very damaging to the Ryerson community because so much context was missing." The report's co-chair says the task was not to investigate individual complaints, but to look at issues from a policy point of view. However, there are examples in the report that are wrong, or missing context known to task force members, says the journalism school's chairman. National Post

PSE affordability focus of ANSSA budget recommendations

In its pre-budget submission to the provincial government, the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations makes several suggestions to mitigate financial barriers to higher education. Recommendations to the province include introducing a student debt cap, expanding the study grant program, and eliminating differential tuition fees for out-of-province students. If NS is serious about retaining youth, the report states, it should drop its graduate tax rebate program and develop a comprehensive retention and attraction strategy. Read the pre-budget submission

Ontario colleges challenged for space amid rising demand

Ontario colleges are trying to solve an over-crowding problem at a time when overall applications are up 14%. The schools are requesting $160 million from the province to create the space needed. A vice-president at Humber College, which received the largest number of applications among Ontario colleges, says additional funding would allow the school to meet demand for programs at its Lakeshore campus, and expand options at the North campus, where some of the greatest growth in enrolment is occurring. Premier Dalton McGuinty says the upcoming budget will address the "college space crunch." Toronto Observer

MacEwan to shut down pool for expanded fitness centre

Grant MacEwan University will close its aquatic facilities as of July 1 in order to expand its fitness centre, which, unlike the pool, does not suffer from a lack of users. Closing the pool will save the university about $500,000 annually, which can be put towards reducing a $5.5-million shortfall. The $700,000 retrofit of the facility will take 3 months. MacEwan recently began a $20-million expansion of its downtown Edmonton campus. Edmonton Journal

Ontario toughens rules for training security guards, private investigators

Schools in Ontario that provide substandard security and investigator training will be subject to police and government investigation if they do not comply with new provincial regulations. As of April 15, those applying to become security guards or private investigators must undergo a mandatory training program and pass a test in order to be licensed. Starting July 16, previously licensed holders need to pass a standardized test to renew their licenses. The new rules follow a Toronto Star investigation into unregulated security academies. Ontario News Release | Toronto Star

Simcoe County contributes to Lakehead Orillia capital campaign

On Wednesday, the County of Simcoe announced a $1-million contribution to Lakehead University's $20-million "Your Bright Future" capital campaign for its new Orillia campus, which is set to welcome students this September. The university has so far raised $3 million under the campaign. County of Simcoe News Release | Huronia Business Times

Dal seeks community input on Saint John med school curriculum

Dalhousie University held public sessions in New Brunswick last week to find out what qualities Maritime patients would like to see in future doctors. The university will use the input from these sessions, as well as those held in Nova Scotia and PEI, to help design the curriculum for the new medical education program in Saint John, set to launch this September. The program will train 30 New Brunswick students, who are expected to spend their first 2 academic years in Saint John, while their third and fourth year will involve clinical rotations at hospitals in 4 anglophone regions across NB. CBC

Millennials may become most educated generation in US

Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation in American history, reports a new study from the Pew Research Centre. Census data shows that among 18- to 24-year-olds, a record share of 39.6% was enrolled in college as of 2008. About half of Millennials currently enrolled in high school or PSE plan to pursue a graduate or professional school degree. Millennials outpace older Americans in nearly all types of Internet and cell use, the study states. 75% of Millennials have created a social networking profile. This generation is more likely to connect to the Internet wirelessly when away from work or home, post videos of themselves online, and use Twitter. Read the executive summary | Read the full report