Top Ten

April 9, 2010

Judge approves $10-million class-action lawsuit against George Brown College

An Ontario Superior Court judge has certified a $10-million class-action lawsuit alleging that George Brown College misled students about what they would get out of a business program. A pair of former students of the college's international business management program claim it did not have the ability to confer the industry designations it promised. They filed the suit in October 2008, and the judge has now certified it as a class-action suit representing 119 former students. Canadian Press

York U releases report on Israel/Palestine conference

On Friday, York University released a report on the institution's experience with the Israel/Palestine conference held last June, which was at the centre of controversy when Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear requested a review of SSHRC funding for the event. The report's author, former Supreme Court of Canada judge and University of Toronto president emeritus Frank Iacobucci, notes the many challenges faced by the event's organizers and the university. He also notes York U's commitment to principles of academic freedom, and that, despite controversy, the conference proceeded as inten ded by the organizers. Iacobucci recommends the need for a forward-looking, collegial discussion aimed at identifying the core values associated with academic freedom at the university, and to develop a statement of best practices. Y-File | Read the report

7 Ontario universities violate gender equity policy for athletic scholarships

In 2008-09, 7 Ontario universities violated the gender equity guidelines of Ontario University Athletics regarding scholarship distribution. Female student athletes received more scholarship money at UoGuelph, Nipissing, and uOttawa, while men got more money at Lakehead, McMaster, WLU, and uWindsor. As members of the OUA, the institutions are required to give no more than 55% and no less than 45% of funding to one gender. The OUA's executive director says the committee that looks at financial awards will notify the violators and ask for an explanation. Because the collection of award data is still in its infancy, the OUA is focusing on education rather than imposing sanctions on violators. CBC

NSERC distributes $472 million in grants and scholarships

On Friday, the federal government announced $472 million in grants and scholarships distributed through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, to be shared by nearly 5,000 Canadian students and researchers based at universities across the country. Some 2,815 scholarships at the master's, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels will be awarded through various NSERC scholarship programs. NSERC News Release

McMaster searches for funding for Pan Am facilities

"We need to find some creative way to come up with the money" for McMaster University's facilities for the 2015 Pan American Games, says the school's vice-president of university advancement. McMaster could need $20 million for its portion of the 50-metre training pool, which is $5 million more than the cost in 2008 dollars originally forecast when the university agreed to be part of the Games bid. The VP says McMaster is unlikely to seek a levy on tuition to help finance the pool, as students have already pitched in for the athletic and student centres. Students at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus recently approved a levy to help pay for the Pan Am Games competition pool and additional sports facilities. Hamilton Spectator

$4 million for new Georgian College campus in Collingwood

The federal government announced last Thursday a $4-million investment in a new Georgian College campus in Collingwood through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Georgian president Brian Tamblyn says a new consolidated campus will allow the Collingwood location to continue to expand its enrolment by as much as 20% annually. The college will announce the location of the new Collingwood campus later this month. Georgian College News

Over $3 million for enrolment support for Kingston institutions

The Ontario government announced last week $3.47 million in additional funding to Queen's University and St. Lawrence College to help support enrolment and programs for students this year as part of the province's 5-year Open Ontario Plan to create new opportunities for jobs and economic growth. Queen's will receive $1.97 million, and SLC is getting $1.5 million. SLC News Release

Student engagement a priority for uWaterloo

Speaking at an on-campus town hall meeting last Thursday, the University of Waterloo's president and provost spoke of a renewed emphasis on student quality of life, engagement, success, and retention. Students should be engaged "with the institution, with their professors, and with each other," said the provost, promising "some significant changes," including a reorganization of student services. Stress is a major issue for students, said president David Johnston, who praised the leader of uWaterloo's counselling services and his work in identifying problems that keep students from flourishing. Johnston said he worries "that our kids are so career-oriented and so focused that they don't have enough joy in that four-year or five-year period." uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Online enrolment more than doubles at NWCC

BC-based NorthWest Community College reports that online enrolment through its continuing education and industry training department is more than double last year's enrolment. 207 students completed distance courses during the 2009-10 fiscal year, up from 93 students in 2008-09. The department offers a number of career training programs in areas such as media, design, health care, fitness, management, finance, and hospitality. Through its online partner, Ed2Go, NWCC also offers shorter courses in subjects such as writing, photography, accounting, personal development, and computer applications. NWCC News Release

NBCC launches new website

We've recently noticed that New Brunswick Community College has a redesigned website. Dominating the vibrant homepage is a large rotating graphic banner promoting the college's Information Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, and Environmental Technology programs. The banner includes a link to NBCC's Student for a Day program, where prospective students can meet with instructors and connect with current students to get a better idea as to what college is all about. The homepage features brief testimonials from current students and graduates. NBCC website