Top Ten

May 27, 2010

Budget cuts could affect BVC's redevelopment plans

At the grand reopening of Bow Valley College's $82-million north campus Wednesday, college president and CEO Sharon Carry noted that whether a 7-storey south campus can be filled by its opening in 2013 will be a question for the future, as the college is facing operating funding challenges. BVC's vice-president of learning says the college is operating under harsh economic realities and will have to consider making program and staffing cuts over the next year. BVC has to look at innovative ways to cut costs and increase revenue, the VP says, which may include cancelling low-enrolment programs and expanding online learning opportunities. Calgary Herald

Former UVic computer store manager accused of fraud

A former manager of a University of Victoria computer store is under investigation for allegedly defrauding the university of over $137,000. Kevin Burns was fired last May after UVic received a tip about 5 unusual transactions. An internal audit found that Burns had allegedly created as many as 22 fictitious customer accounts through which he processed 207 fraudulent refunds between January 2006 and April 2009. According to court documents, the money went in Burns' personal accounts. A UVic spokeswoman says a recent decision to move the computer store to the campus bookstore has put more checks and balances in place to prevent future problems. Victoria Times-Colonist

Very few Canadian undergrads study abroad, study finds

According to a new study, fewer than 3% of Canadian undergraduates venture to another country as part of their studies, even though most say they are interested in global issues and are attracted to the notion of studying abroad. The study reports that money, difficulty in meeting degree requirements, and lack of awareness of opportunities all contribute to the low showing. The results come as many nations are making it easier to study abroad. In the US, for example, a bill before Congress proposes funding for one million Americans to study abroad each year. The study's lead researcher says if Canadian institutions believe foreign study experience is important, then they ought to make it as easy to study abroad as it is to study at their own campuses. CBIE Media Release | Read the report | Globe and Mail

Liaison College to open new culinary school in northern Ontario

Liaison College, an Ontario-based private career college specializing in culinary arts training, will be opening a new culinary school at the Eagle's Earth Cree and Ojibway Historical Centre, owned by the Constance Lake First Nation. The school will train Aboriginal students to be cook/medics to work in remote northern camps. In addition to culinary training, Liaison College will also provide emergency and standard first aid training as cooks typically fill the role of medics in remote camps. The school expects to train 72 students per year. Wawatay News

New location for Toronto Film School

RRC Institute of Technology, a division of Fredericton-based Yorkville University, announced Tuesday the re-launch of its Toronto Film School in the heart of Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. RCC Institute of Technology's president believes the new location will be both convenient and exciting for students and faculty. The president says it is only fitting that the campus is located in the very centre of downtown Toronto "and it is our hope that our students will capture some of the buzz and excitement of the Plaza in their productions." Toronto Film School News Release

Conestoga opens roofing skills centre at Waterloo campus

Tuesday marked the official opening of the new Conestoga/OIRCA Roofing Skills Training Centre, a project of Conestoga College and the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association. Based at Conestoga's Waterloo campus, the 12,400-square-foot facility features 2 spacious classroom areas, a large shop area presenting space to work on several roofing skills projects employing various techniques, and an outdoor, canopied project work area. Conestoga News Release

Strong need for more education opportunities in Calgary-area communities, survey finds

In a survey of over 700 residents and employers in Calgary-area communities, 73% of respondents believe there is a need for more locally-delivered education and training opportunities. 41% of those surveyed say they would prefer classroom instruction offered in their local community, 22% would prefer online learning options, and 24% state they would take whatever option best fits their personal circumstances. 95% of respondents cite costs and 91% identify travel time to schools in Calgary as significant barriers to accessing PSE in the city. Other factors include flexibility of class schedules and work and family responsibilities. High River Times | Okotoks Western Wheel

Expanding PSE collaboration part of Ontario premier's Middle East mission

During a lunch yesterday with political and business leaders in the West Bank as part of a trade mission to the Middle East, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty committed to exploring new ways in which to build upon existing collaborative relationships between Palestinian and Ontario universities. Partnerships already exist in a variety of fields, such as engineering, environmental sciences, justice, and health. Current collaborations include faculty, post-doctorate, and graduate student exchanges, as well as research funding. Representatives from McMaster, uToronto, UWO, and York were part of the trade mission to the West Bank. Ontario News Release

US colleges get creative in saving money

A number of American post-secondary schools are coming up with creative money-saving measures as budgets tighten. Vermont-based Middlebury College saves $27,000 annually on its food budget by having students make granola. Florida's Saint Leo University has saved $24,000 by removing water coolers from campus, $107,000 by doing away with personal printers, and $9,000 by conforming text-messaging plans to actual usage. Ohio-based Miami University runs a program called Leveraging Efficiencies and Aligning Needs, which convenes focus groups to discuss potential spending cuts. Adopted ideas include asking students to cut off their steam heaters over winter break ($66,000 in savings) and eliminating bottled water from campus hotel rooms ($16,000). The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Boycott called for Middlesex U over philosophy program shutdown

Over 1,200 academics worldwide have signed an online petition calling for the academic boycott of Middlesex University after the British institution announced last month the closure of its philosophy program. The signatories will refuse to deliver talks at Middlesex U, encourage colleagues to reject job offers from the university, and refuse to visit the campus for any reason other than to protest the decision to close the philosophy program. In a statement, Middlesex U cites low enrolment and limited research funding as reasons for its decision. Read the petition | Statement from Middlesex U