Top Ten

March 23, 2010

Manitoba boosts operating grants to PSE institutions

As outlined in its 2010 budget, announced yesterday, the Manitoba government will provide public post-secondary institutions with a 4.5% operating increase. The province will allow for tuition increases of 5% at universities, and by $150 a year at colleges. Manitoba will increase apprenticeship training support by $2 million, provide additional resources for the Bright Futures fund to encourage at-risks students to complete high school and pursue PSE,  and increase funding to train more doctors and nurses. The province will allow students to access the Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate while they are still in school. The budget is allocating $271 million in capital investments for colleges, universities, and public schools. Manitoba News Release | Manitoba Budget 2010 Highlights | Manitoba Budget 2010

uMontréal students worry over exams, summer plans as lecturer strike continues

Striking lecturers at the Université de Montréal recently rejected the university's final offer, leading the institution to consider extending the winter term due to cancelled classes. Among students, the mood is tense, as a prolonged semester could impact summer jobs, travel plans, and graduate school applications. In a statement released last week, uMontréal accused the union of penalizing nearly 30,000 students and putting the winter term in jeopardy by rejecting the offer. On its blog on the negotiations, the union states the offer failed to address key bargaining issues, and urges administration to resume talks in order to find a resolution. uMontréal News (in French) | SCCCUM en négotiations (in French) | Montreal Gazette

Postscript:  Mar 25, 2010
The Université de Montréal announced Tuesday it will have to prolong the winter trimester, which would have ended on April 30, for courses affected by the strike by lecturers, which has now been going on for a month. Extending the winter session will push back the start date for the summer trimester. uMontréal is reminding striking lecturers that they cannot contact their students about course-related matters. uMontréal News (in French)

FNUC students plan "live-in" on campus until funding restored

Tired of waiting for answers on the fate of government funding for their institution, First Nations University of Canada students announced Monday plans to move into the campus yesterday afternoon and remain there until funding for the university is reinstated. "If it's a week, a month, a summer we're all going to stay there." Federal and provincial funding for FNUC is expected to be cut off at the end of the month. The governing Saskatchewan Party has faced calls from the opposition NDP to restore provincial funding, and to urge Ottawa to put back federal funding. Premier Brad Wall says the province is willing to reinstate funding, but only through a new partnership between FNUC and the University of Regina. Regina Leader-Post

Why so few women in STEM fields?

The answer partly lies in our perceptions and unconscious beliefs about gender in math and science, states the American Association of University Women in a new report examining the social and environmental factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in these disciplines. For example, the report notes that research profiled in the paper illustrates that negative stereotypes about girls' abilities in math can indeed measurably lower girls' test performance. Following a review of several case studies, the association makes recommendations in 3 areas: cultivating girls' achievement and interest in science and engineering; creating college environments that support women in science and engineering; and counteracting bias. Read the report

Woodstock invests in Fanshawe campus expansion

The City of Woodstock has approved a $1-million contribution to Fanshawe College's planned $14-million expansion of its Oxford campus in the southwestern Ontario city. The college is requesting $11 million from the federal Community Adjustment Fund for the project, and the municipal donation is a requirement of the grant. Should the grant be approved, the college will rename the campus the Woodstock Campus of Fanshawe College as a thank-you to city council for its support. Woodstock Sentinel-Review

UOIT to rename criminology, justice, and policy studies faculty

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is renaming its faculty of criminology, justice, and policy studies to the faculty of social science and humanities. UOIT's president say the new name, which comes into effect July 1, is more appropriate and will help prospective students and faculty more readily understand the faculty's work. Durham Region News

George Brown, McGill, UBC, uToronto among Canada's best diversity employers

George Brown College, McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Toronto are among the workplaces chosen as Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2010. Among the reasons George Brown was selected are its paid internship program for Aboriginal jobseekers and captioned media and e-text policy. McGill was chosen for offering employees training in cross-cultural communication and on how to integrate new deaf employees into the workplace. UBC is on the list for maintaining an Equity Office and operating an equipment accommodation fund for employees with disabilities. uToronto was chosen for its LGBT human resources committee and for requiring faculty search committees to make demonstrable efforts to recruit from a diverse applicant pool. Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2010

York U president calls for review of student election

York University president Mamdouh Shoukri has asked the school's ombudsperson to review the recent student election following a number of complaints from students regarding the conduct of the election. These complaints centre on the fact that a significant number of candidates from the "New York" slate were disqualified for various infractions. There were also complaints regarding allegations of conflict of interest, the appointment and independence of the chief returning officer, alleged breaches of security, and irregularities at polling stations. The ombudsperson has been asked to submit his report by the end of July. Y-File

uMoncton campus bar to close

The Université de Moncton's student bar is set to close on March 31 due to growing debt and dwindling interest from student drinkers. uMoncton's student federation president says the Osmose bar has accumulated $120,000 in debt over the past 2 years while paying as much as $20,000 a year for insurance. With the federation's own financial well-being on the line, its executive council decided it had to shut down the bar. While it is not clear when a student bar would re-open, the student leader says it will not be open when students return for class in September. Times & Transcript

Canadians spending more time on Internet than watching TV

According to a new national poll, the weekly Internet use of online Canadians has surpassed the number of hours spent watching television. Overall, Canadians are spending over 18 hours per week online, compared to 16.9 hours watching TV. Web use is up from 14.9 hours a year ago, and time spent watching TV is up from 15.8 hours. Males spend 20 hours a week online, compared to 16 hours among females. Overall, 18- to 34-year-olds are spending 20 hours a week on the Internet, compared to 18 hours for those over 35. Canadian Press | Ipsos News Release