Top Ten

March 8, 2010

Higher education major focus of Ontario throne speech

In its throne speech yesterday, the Ontario government unveiled its 5-year Open Ontario Plan, in which colleges and universities will play a key role. The plan begins with increasing PSE spaces by 20,000 students this year. The plan intends to raise the province's post-secondary attainment rate to 70%. The plan also targets e-learning with the creation of the Ontario Online Institute, meant to give students access to the best professors in top university programs from their home computers. The province intends to aggressively promote its post-secondary institutions abroad, and increase international enrolment by 50% while maintaining spaces for Ontario students. Ontario News Release | Read the throne speech

WLU, professor in academic freedom dispute over Brantford property issue

A Wilfrid Laurier University professor opposed to the demolition of some historic buildings in downtown Brantford, on land WLU has eyed for redevelopment, says she was rebuked by school officials after sending an e-mail to the contracted demolition company warning of potential controversy, an e-mail that upset the City of Brantford. The point of contention is that Lisa Wood used her institutional e-mail account that identified her as an associate professor. In conversation with Laurier Brantford, the city's mayor stated Wood purported to represent the university because she had used her school account. A university spokesman says professors must make it clear that when they speak out, they are speaking for themselves. A grievance officer with WLU's faculty association says an identifying tag at the bottom of Wood's e-mail does not constitute representing the university. Waterloo Region Record

Student expelled from private Halifax college wins court case

Last Friday, a Nova Scotia small claims court ruled in favour of a dissatisfied student expelled from the Halifax campus of the Centre for Arts and Technology, a private institution. The student was kicked out last September after he reportedly violated a policy banning students from speaking negatively about the school when he told a pair of prospective students on a campus tour that the centre is a waste of money. The court found the expulsion was unjust because the school did not inform students about such a policy. The school has been ordered to refund the student $15,600 in tuition, and pay $100 in damages. Halifax Chronicle-Herald

uCalgary investigates racist graffiti on student election campaign posters

The University of Calgary is investigating an incident in which campaign posters belonging to a pair of candidates in a recent student election were marked with racist graffiti. On one poster of a female Muslim student, swastikas were drawn on the forehead of the woman's picture, along with an arrow pointing to her hijab with a note reading, "This is a hate crime." University officials say the vandals have not been caught, and the school will be watching carefully to see if a trend forms. Calgary Herald

Fanshawe proposes $14-million expansion in Woodstock

Last Thursday, Fanshawe College officials presented to Woodstock city council a plan outlining a $14-million expansion of the school's existing facility in Woodstock, while asking the city for a $1-million contribution to the project. Fanshawe has submitted an application for $11 million under the federal Community Adjustment Fund for the project. The college plans to put $1 million of its own funds towards the expansion, and raise another million through a capital campaign. Should all funding be received, the expansion would be complete by spring 2011. Woodstock Sentinel-Review

SFU opens 3D digital theatre

Last Friday, Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus unveiled its new digital theatre, the result of a complete retrofit of the 200-seat Westminster Savings Centre Union Theatre, the largest lecture theatre at the campus. Surrey-based Lightyear Digital Theatre donated over $400,000 worth of equipment, software, and installation to the theatre. The facility's features include an active 3D display, surround sound, and digital broadcast capabilities. SFU News Release

Co-op students find better work, earn more, study finds

A 3-phase study from the University of Waterloo finds that co-op students earn higher salaries and get more prestigious jobs following graduation compared to their non co-op counterparts. Drawing data from Statistics Canada's Youth in Transition Survey, the study reports that women are more likely to be in co-op at the college level, and men at the university level. Those in university co-op programs tend towards studies in engineering, applied and physical sciences, and mathematics, while college co-op students tend to express an interest in the humanities and the fine and applied arts. Waterloo Region Record

Majority of students concerned about meeting university costs, survey finds

According to a survey released yesterday, nearly 60% of students reported being very or somewhat concerned with having sufficient funds to pay for their university education. If faced with a $1,000 tuition increase, students were more likely to say they would take out more loans or work more to meet costs. The survey observes that students from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds were more likely to change habits, drop courses, leave PSE, and take on loans if facing cost increases. The report is the first of 3 derived from the "Canadian Student Survey," conducted in the fall term of the 2009-10 school year. CASA News Release | Read the survey

uAlberta invites students to assess drinking habits using online tool

The University of Alberta is encouraging students to take an online survey called "Check Yourself" to assess the impact of their alcohol consumption. A coalition of uAlberta student services groups hopes the survey's results will help the groups better understand issues surrounding student drinking and how to reduce alcohol-related problems on campus. The University of Western Ontario is offering a similar assessment to its students. uAlberta ExpressNews | Check Yourself

Brescia principal launches blog

Colleen Hanycz, the principal of Brescia University College, an affiliate of UWO, recently launched a blog called "The Weekly LEADer," which began as an internal communication in the fall. Hanycz is committing to writing at least weekly until the end of April. Should response be as favourable as it has been to the internal communication, the blog will run from September through April in the years ahead. Western News | The Weekly LEADer