Top Ten

June 21, 2010

Ontario MTCU receives 423 complaints

According to the Ontario ombudsman's annual report, released last week, the province's Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities had a total of 423 complaints in the last fiscal year. 120 complaints were about OSAP, 94 related to colleges, and 23 related to apprenticeships/work training. The report states that universities, which fall outside the ombudsman's jurisdiction, were the subject of 33 complaints, with most about policies and practices relating to discipline, record-keeping, and course administration. Read the report

AFN paper outlines steps to improve First Nations education outcomes

As part of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day yesterday, the Assembly of First Nations released a discussion paper titled Taking Action for First Nations Post-Secondary Education: Access, Opportunity, and Outcomes. The paper sets out 7 steps to improve First Nations education outcomes: accessibility, accountability, data collection and reporting, recognizing and ensuring student success, program effectiveness, support for First Nations institutions, and leveraging of other sources. The report also outlines key roles and responsibilities of all parties and presents options, from a First Nation perspective, on the best approaches for delivery and enhancement of existing programming. AFN News Release

Canadian universities demonstrate strategic approach to Aboriginal student success

Yesterday the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada released a report on the programs and services Canadian universities offer to Aboriginal students. Based on survey responses from nearly two-thirds of Canadian universities, the report shows that compared to 2005, 62% of respondents report more Aboriginal programs, courses, and students; 47% report increased funding for academic programs targeted to Aboriginal students; and 28% report allocations of over $500,000 for Aboriginal-focused facilities and activities. Overall, the AUCC study observes that universities are moving toward more concerted, strategic approaches, with responsibility for all aspects of Aboriginal education increasingly assigned to the most senior levels of institutional leadership. AUCC News Release | Read the report

Colleges Ontario environmental scan highlights lagging funding

Colleges Ontario's 2010 Environmental Scan reports that despite the positive impact of the province's Reaching Higher Plan on operating grants for colleges, real operating funding per student in 2009-10 was about 7% lower than it was in 1994-95. Per student revenues from operating grants and tuition fees for Ontario colleges continue to be the lowest among Canadian provinces, the scan observes. Funding (per student) for Ontario colleges continues to significantly lag that for high schools and universities. Colleges Ontario 2010 Environmental Scan

PEI announces location for Holland College West Prince campus

The Prince Edward Island government unveiled yesterday the location of the future Holland College West Prince campus -- the corner of Main and Church Streets in Alberton. The 22,000-square-foot campus, which will begin accepting students in fall 2011, will house 2 large trade shops, several classrooms, and multi-purpose rooms. In March, the PEI government and Holland College announced a $6-million expansion of the college in western PEI, which includes satellite locations in O'Leary and Tignish. PEI News Release

uWindsor breaks ground for engineering complex

On June 11, the University of Windsor held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Centre for Engineering Innovation, to which the federal and Ontario governments contributed $80 million under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The 300,000-square-foot facility will be a living building where students can learn from the electrical, mechanical, civil, and environmental engineering systems displayed throughout the centre. When completed, the centre and uWindsor will accommodate an additional 400 students and associated faculty and staff, as well as house 150 research associates. uWindsor News

New academic model for TRU Williams Lake campus

Thompson Rivers University plans to roll out a new academic model for its Williams Lake campus with the intent to boost enrolment and student success. The university's provost has put administrative and marketing support toward a cohort model to guarantee courses in the campus's first and second-year university offerings in arts, first-year sciences, and university preparation. TRU is launching a 3-year cohort program at the Williams Lake campus starting in September. TRU News

Program cuts at UoGuelph

Although the University of Guelph will continue to offer a bachelor of arts in organic agriculture until at least 2014, the institution has no plans to reconsider the 11 other programs and majors it eliminated last year, including women's studies. In addition to last year's cuts, UoGuelph decided this spring to eliminate its rural development and sociology major, and cut minors in educational psychology and environmental studies. The university will also replace an earth surface science major with environmental geoscience and geomatics. Guelph Mercury

Saskatchewan makes changes to student financial aid program

Last Friday, the Saskatchewan government launched new enhancements to the province's student financial assistance program and a marketing campaign that demonstrates the benefits of the program. With the changes to the program, full-time students can earn as much as they choose during their study period without affecting their eligibility for financial assistance, interest rates will be reduced to prime on repayable Saskatchewan loans, and ownership of vehicles by students is allowed without affecting the level of financial assistance. Saskatchewan News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

StatsCan article explores pathways of apprentices

According to a recent article from Statistics Canada, half of the 29,501 individuals newly registered in an apprenticeship program in 1995 completed their program at the end of the 11-year study period in 2005. 42% never completed a program, and some 8% were still registered at the end of the study period, having neither completed nor discontinued a program. Apprentices in 4-year programs were as likely to finish their program as their peers in programs of shorter duration, such as 2-year or 3-year programs. Those who completed apprenticeship programs took a median time of 5 years to finish, while discontinuers spent a median time of 4 years in their program before leaving. Statistics Canada