Top Ten

August 6, 2010

$182 million for CFI's Leaders Opportunity Fund

Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear announced Friday a $182-million federal investment in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leaders Opportunity Fund, which is designed to help Canadian universities to attract and retain the world's best researchers at a time of intense global competition for leading faculty. The funding will enable universities to strategically set priorities and acquire new infrastructure to support these top researchers and improve facilities and laboratories. The funding will ensure the CFI continues to carry out its mandate in 2012 and beyond. Industry Canada News Release

Quest U receives US accreditation

Last month, Quest University, a BC-based non-profit liberal arts and science institution, was awarded full accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE), an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education. In March, the AALE evaluation team spent a week at the institution to carry out a site evaluation. According to the award letter, the evaluation team's report "commended the excellence of your instructors and the high quality of your students who were unusually engaged, articulate and thoughtful." Quest U is also fully accredited by BC's advanced education ministry through its Degree Quality Assessment Board, making the institution one of the few universities in North America fully accredited in both Canada and the US. Quest U website

StatsCan figures do not reflect rising enrolment at MUN

Following the recent release of Statistics Canada data showing a continued decline in university enrolment in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University's vice-president academic reported that more recent figures from the university show a turnaround. The VP told the CBC that StatsCan's numbers are incomplete, as the agency's data stops at fall 2008, while MUN's published data goes further along to fall 2009. On his blog, MUN professor Dale Kirby plots both the StatsCan and MUN data. The agency's data is consistently higher because the figures reflect enrolments over a full academic year, while MUN's data only reports on fall semester enrolments. The more recent data from the institution shows the recent uptick in enrolment for fall 2009. The University of Saskatchewan has also questioned StatsCan's figures in the recent report. CBC | Adventures in Canadian Post-Secondary Education (Dale Kirby's blog)

Queen's seeks parliamentary approval to reduce size of trustee board

Queen's University will seek Parliament's approval to amend the institution's charter to decrease the size of the university's board of trustees from 44 to about 25. The number of faculty, staff, student, and University Council representatives would remain the same, while the graduate, benefactor, and School of Religion representatives would be phased out as terms expire. The board itself would elect fewer members. The board unanimously supports the plan, reflecting trustees' desire for a more engaged decision-making body, says the chair of the board's governance working group. Queen's News Centre

New residence, architecture school site among recent Laurentian board decisions

On his official blog, Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux recently reported on important decisions made by the university's board of governors at its meetings in June. Among them is the final approval for the construction of a 236-bed student residence to open in September 2012. This project will be 100% self-funded through residence fees, Giroux writes. The board has also approved a shortlist of 3 potential temporary sites to serve architecture students for 3 years, pending the construction of a permanent site for Laurentian's planned architecture school. Giroux reports that the university is on track to balance its operating budget in 2011-12. President's Blog

Renison's English Language Institute to set up satellite in Toronto

Renison University College's English Language Institute plans to establish a satellite campus in Toronto. Operated in partnership with Hudson College, a private school offering programs from pre-kindergarten through university and college entrance, the new campus will first offer the high-intermediate and advanced levels of the institute's English for Academic Success (EFAS) program. This program will accept its first students at the Hudson campus in September. Successful completion of the advanced level of EFAS satisfies the English language requirement of the University of Waterloo, of which Renison is a federated institution. Renison News Release

Cambrian breaks ground for Xstrata Nickel Sustainable Energy Centre

Last Thursday, Cambrian College held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Xstrata Nickel Sustainable Energy Centre. The 16,400-square-foot facility will provide opportunities for students, faculty, and the local community to acquire the skills and practical experience to become leaders in the green-collar economy. In addition to the main facility, the centre will feature 6 "Living Labs," which are designed to be used for research, education, and technology development by Cambrian students, entrepreneurs, primary and secondary school students, and the general public. Half of the labs have been in use since last fall. Cambrian News Release

Ivey student creates rap video in tribute to business school

Mike Lickver, an MBA-law student at the University of Western Ontario, has produced a light-hearted rap video paying tribute to the Richard Ivey School of Business. With music based on Drake's "Forever," the "MBA Forever" video, which has garnered a few thousands hits on YouTube, describes how Ivey and its students stand out, with references to rankings, grades, business cases, and leadership. Last February, Lickver created an 8-minute skit and music video called "Law School Husslin," which features some of his law school friends. When Lickver's MBA classmates saw it, they asked that he make one for the business side. The student says both videos have received positive reaction from alumni, professors, and classmates. Before graduating next spring, Lickver plans to release a sequel to Law School Husslin. London Free Press | Watch the video

Youth labour market improves over last year

Last month, employment increased by 4.5% for students aged 15 to 24 compared to July 2009, with the bulk of the gains for students between 20 and 24 years of age. Compared to 12 months prior, the unemployment rate for students aged 15 to 24 dropped 4.1 percentage points to 16.8% in July. Despite the increase in employment, the unemployment rate remains 3 percentage points above that of July 2008, a summer where student employment was particularly strong. Younger students had a more difficult time finding work in July than older counterparts. The unemployment rate for students aged 15 to 16 was 28.2%, compared to 18.2% for 17- to 19-year-old students, and 7.5% for 20- to 24-year-olds. Statistics Canada

Google to stop development of Wave

Because Google has not seen the user adoption of Wave it would have liked, the company announced last Wednesday it doesn't plan to develop the site as a standalone product, but will maintain Wave at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google products. Launched in May 2009, Google Wave was an online platform where groups could have real-time conversations, share documents and media files, and collaborate on projects. Expectations for Wave were high in academe, as some higher education bloggers had suggested that professors might use the site as a foundation for "whole interactive courses," while others had mused that Wave could challenge learning-management systems. Google Blog | Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)