Top Ten

June 22, 2010

Local media investigates Durham College's abandoned international expansion

According to Metroland Durham Region Media Group's investigation into Durham College's failed international venture in the late 2000s, the college's board of governors was unaware the institution had established a campus in Panama until it received invitations to celebrate the campus's opening. Students at the Panama campus were told they would not be travelling to Canada for work placements, even though the offer was featured in promotional material. The students sued Durham for $3 million US, and the suit was dismissed. College president Don Lovisa says the offer to study and work in Canada, an offer Durham could not legally fulfill, was made by the Canada Technology and Research Centre, a private company to which the college's then-director of international business development was appointed interim director. Durham College later severed its ties with the CTRC. Durham College had invested $500,000 in the Panama campus, as well as $500,000 in a campus in India, which never welcomed a single student. Northumberland News | Durham Region News

Pay freezes, furloughs help uWinnipeg balance budget

On Monday, the University of Winnipeg's board of regents approved a balanced $100-million operating budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. To meet the financial squeeze facing uWinnipeg, a continued reduction of 3.5% in all department spending, significant pay freezes, and increased vacancy management is required. In March, senior administrators at the university announced they will take a pay freeze in 2010-11, following an up to 10% pay cut last year. Many unionized and non-unionized staff have voluntarily taken up to 10 furlough days to help balance the budget. uWinnipeg News Release

BC invests over $30 million in isotope research

Yesterday the BC government announced a $30.7-million investment in TRIUMF, one of the world's top subatomic physics labs. The funding supports ARIEL (Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory), a $62.9-million project to build an underground beam tunnel that will surround a ground-breaking linear accelerator. ARIEL will allow TRIUMF to broaden its research in producing and studying isotopes for medicine and physics. Based at the University of British Columbia, TRIUMF is owned and operated by a consortium of 15 Canadian universities. BC News Release

PSE transfer, applied research subject of Polytechnics Canada's recommendations to senate committee

In its recent submission to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Polytechnics Canada recommends the committee focus on 3 initiatives within federal jurisdiction that will ensure a high-quality workforce to boost Canadian productivity and prosperity. These include ensuring a transparent, accountable and fixed percentage formula for a Post-Secondary Education Transfer that protects the needs of Canadian learners; including college and polytechnic graduates in the renewal of the Federal Public Service; and ensuring a balanced approach to innovation by including applied research in all federal R&D spending. Read the submission

Prospect of local university discussed in Red Deer

School board and community representatives gathered in Red Deer last week to consider strategies of pursuing a local university. Pointing out that the central Alberta city is the largest urban centre in western Canada without its own university, the superintendent for Red Deer Public Schools notes that while Red Deer College serves the community well and offers a number of university programs, "for many, the opportunities at RDC are limited to a partial program that must be completed elsewhere." The superintendent for Wild Rose School Division, whose board sent a trustee to the meeting, says there are many questions to be considered, such as the faculties to be offered, any graduate programs, and funding sources. Red Deer Advocate

Algonquin College to phase out 11 programs

Following extensive internal and external consultation, Algonquin College released Monday its final report on its Strategic Programs and Service Planning Project, which recommends 51 new programs the school would like to introduce, 26 to expand, 9 to phase out with transition to new opportunity, and 11 to phase out. Algonquin's horticultural program, initially slated to be cut, will be among the 9 programs to be redesigned. Programs to be phased out include e-publishing, florist, police foundations-intensive, computer engineering technology, and child and youth worker-direct entry. Algonquin College News Release | Ottawa Citizen | Read the report

UNB recommended to expand co-op opportunities

In its submission to the University of New Brunswick's strategic planning committee, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce makes several recommendations on strategic directions for the university, one of which proposes that the university expand co-op opportunities to all faculties. The Chamber of Commerce suggests the co-op program be managed through one central office to make it easier for employers and students to ask about or suggest placements. Other recommendations include creating a business office, recognizing volunteer work with credit, offering increased flexibility and graduated programming, building partnerships with provincial universities, working with the province on credential recognition, and consulting with industry. Daily Gleaner | Read the submission

New gifts to uOttawa, uAlberta, TRU, UVic, McMaster

In the past week, several Canadian institutions have received donations ranging from $1 million to $3.5 million. An anonymous gift of $3.5 million to the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management funded the creation of the Father Edgar Thivierge Chair in Business History. The University of Alberta's faculty of rehabilitation medicine received a $1.5-million gift to establish the Dr. David Magee Endowed Chair in Musculoskeletal Research. Thompson Rivers University was given $1.5 million in support of its $32-million House of Learning project. A Victoria couple has donated $1.5 million to the University of Victoria's science faculty. McMaster University has received 2 separate $1-million donations, one for its Burlington campus, the other for its engineering faculty. uOttawa News Release | uAlberta ExpressNews | TRU News | UVic News Release | McMaster Daily News (Burlington campus) | McMaster Daily News (engineering faculty)

Quebec invests over $1 million to alleviate CÉGEP space crunch

Quebec's education minister announced last Friday over $1 million to help Montreal area CÉGEPs, where applications are up 8.7%, address the space problem for the upcoming school year. The funds include $600,000 to help Vanier College, Cégep André-Laurendeau, and Dawson College take in an extra 200, 250, and 300 students, respectively. Quebec is also investing $480,000 to help Dawson and Cégep Saint-Laurent reorganize their physical space to accommodate students. Quebec News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

Aboriginal gathering site planned for Royal Roads

In celebration of National Aboriginal Day on Monday, Royal Roads University president Allan Cahoon announced a traditional Aboriginal gathering site is being planned for the university. The school's Aboriginal relations co-ordinator says funding of up to $600,000 could be needed to create an "inclusive, respectful and educational" site that would recognize that Royal Roads is on Coast Salish land and act as a gathering place for all nations. Royal Roads is also looking for new ways to respond to First Nations' educational needs and meet the needs of Aboriginal leaders and the labour market. Victoria Times-Colonist