Top Ten

April 29, 2010

Probe sought into uOttawa's conduct relating to on-campus talk

Canadian Friends of Burma, a human rights group, is accusing the University of Ottawa of "spying" and attempting to stifle free speech after senior administrators considered preventing a well-known Burmese activist from giving a speech on campus. Over a dozen internal e-mails show uOttawa was concerned about a talk by human rights activist Ka Hsa Wa at a December 2007 campus event on the alleged human rights abuse by French oil conglomerate Total SA in Burma. The event was advertised to take place at uOttawa's Desmarais Building, named after Canadian billionaire Paul G. Desmarais, a former Total SA board member. The e-mails show that when the speech went ahead, school administration sent at least one unidentified person to monitor what was said, take notes, and report back. Canadian Friends of Burma plans to ask the Ontario government to grant the province's ombudsman to investigate the conduct of uOttawa administrators relating to the event. The revelations contained in the e-mails comes on the heels of a letter sent from a uOttawa VP to US conservative pundit Ann Coulter asking that she exercise restraint in a talk at the university that was later cancelled. National Post

$25 million for global security centre at uToronto Munk School of Global Affairs

Yesterday the federal government announced it will give $25 million to create a centre for the study of global security issues at the University of Toronto's new Munk School of Global Affairs. The university announced the creation of the school earlier this month with a $35-million gift from gold-mining magnate Peter Munk and a $25-million contribution from the Ontario government. The federal funds, to be provided over 4 years, will be used for the renovation of the centre's facility in a century-old former federal government building and for operating costs. Office of the PM News Release | uToronto News | Globe and Mail

uWindsor strategic plan a "doable" blueprint

Unveiling a draft of the University of Windsor's strategic plan Tuesday, school president Alan Wildeman told the university's board of governors that the document will provide a blueprint for uWindsor long into the future but must be "believable and doable," based on the realities of enrolment, prevailing economic conditions, budgetary considerations, and the institution's place in Ontario's PSE system. The plan has set 5 main priorities: to provide an exceptional and supportive education experience; to create a more research-intensive university; to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff; to engage the community in partnerships to strengthen the local economy; and to promote international engagement through foreign-student recruitment and student and faculty exchanges. Windsor Star

Mount Allison's financial well-being a priority for university president

Recently reappointed to a second 5-year term as Mount Allison University's president, Robert Campbell says he will aim for a legacy of financial sustainability at the institution while ensuring it remains competitive in an aggressive market for students. Campbell is currently trying to attract private funding for Mount Allison on a cross-Canada tour to promote the university. An $86-million fundraising campaign is set to wrap up 3 years earlier than projected; Mount Allison has already raised $76 million in what was supposed to be a 10-year campaign starting in 2004. Campbell calls himself the "university's No. 1 fundraiser," tasked with attracting support from both traditional and new sources to maintain that financial capacity in order for the university to maintain its programs. Telegraph-Journal

Upper-year students concerned about ability to pay off debt, study finds

A survey released yesterday observes that upper-year Canadian students are concerned about their ability to pay off their debt and are even more concerned about the time it will take to do so. Students with debt were also more concerned than those with no debt regarding finding a job in their field of study, a job with a salary they desired, and a job in a place they desired to live. Students with debt reported that they were slightly less likely to stay and find work in their field of study in their province of study after completing their degree than their peers without debt. The report is the second of 3 derived from the "Canadian Student Survey," conducted in the fall term of the 2009-10 academic year. ANSSA News Release | Read the survey

Parental education, income significant determinants of PSE participation

In a review of research on factors influencing participation in higher education, published in the April 2010 issue of Statistics Canada's Education Matters, researchers conclude that family income, parental education, and factors such as aspirations and preparation for a post-secondary education are all significant determinants of who goes on to PSE. While parental income and education appear to be the main background factors, there are a number of other factors influencing PSE participation, such as academic success in high school and a student's score on indicators of high school engagement and academic self-efficacy. The effect of parental education decreases when such factors are taken into consideration, leading to the conclusion that the overall effect of parental education is exerted at least partly through the role parents play in encouraging stronger academic performance, better study habits, and more positive attitudes towards school. Statistics Canada

Aboriginal people in Ontario more likely to have apprenticeship or trades training

According to a new report from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Aboriginal people in Ontario are completing college and other non-university certificates at rates comparable to the overall population, and are slightly more likely to earn apprenticeship or trades certificates than the general population. As a group, M├ętis people are completing high school and college at levels close to the overall population in Ontario, and are more likely to attain apprenticeship or trades certificates than Aboriginal people overall or the general population. Approximately 72% of Aboriginal people in Ontario ages 25 to 64 have completed some level of schooling, including secondary school, college, or university. This is about 14 percentage points lower than the total population. Ontario Trillium Foundation News Release | Read the report

Queen's expands family medicine residency program to Durham Region

Queen's University announced Wednesday a $1-million investment to help build a new health-care training facility at the Lakeridge Health Oshawa hospital. Starting in July 2012, some of Queen's family medicine residents will live and train in Oshawa and the surrounding area for their entire 2 years of residency, with the new Lakeridge Health Education and Research Network Centre as their academic home. The $1-million investment comes from funding through Ontario's health ministry for a $6.6-million initiative to expand the university's family medicine residency program to Oshawa, Belleville, and Peterborough. Queen's News Centre | Durham Region News

Humber opens home renovation lab at Orangeville campus

On Wednesday, Humber College held a grand opening ceremony for its new Home Renovation Technician Program Building Lab at its Orangeville campus. The 8,500-square-foot indoor construction lab features fixture mock-up stations, a work study area, and a 30-seat wireless classroom. As part of the program requirements, students must build one-and-a-half story homes, incorporating home construction and basic building systems, including building codes. Humber News

US admissions officials urged to consider volcano's impact on international applicants

The US-based National Association for College Admission Counseling is asking member institutions to consider the effect of the Icelandic volcano eruption on international students and students residing overseas who may not be able to meet the May 1 deadline to let schools know if they are accepting offers of admission. A statement from NACAC notes that the ash from the volcano has caused delays of materials sent by colleges to applicants and vice versa. The statement says it should also be noted that this will have an effect on students' potential scores on IB/AP/A level exams as many of them have been stranded away from their schools. NACAC Statement