Top Ten

August 18, 2010

BC imposes 6-month freeze on new degree proposals

The BC government has imposed a 6-month moratorium on new degree programs offered by provincial post-secondary institutions. BC's advanced education minister says the province wants to make sure schools are offering programs that are regionally co-ordinated and linked to future labour-market demands. Royal Roads University president Alan Cahoon says the moratorium is a positive move, in that it sends the message that the government wants better co-ordination between institutions on program offerings. The president of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC says the decision was poorly communicated and badly timed, as many educators are away on vacation and now have little chance to submit new proposals before the August 25 cutoff. Globe and Mail

CFHSS lays out priorities for 2011 federal budget

In its pre-budget submission, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences identifies several elements to be considered for future investments in the country's innovation capacity. These include the development of clusters of global expertise at Canadian universities; support for skills development and mobility nationally and internationally; and training of next-generation research talent by offering opportunities to work with the best researchers and users in public, private, and voluntary sectors. Read the pre-budget submission

Herd of UVic rabbits allowed to relocate to Texas

BC's environment ministry has approved a transport and export permit to allow up to 1,000 University of Victoria rabbits to move to a rescue ranch in Texas. UVic had hoped to trap most of the rabbits this month before students return to campus, but a rabbit activist obtained a temporary injunction from the BC Supreme Court. The university is challenging the injunction, and the case heads back to court Friday. UVic is planning to trap and either kill or sterilize and relocate up to 1,000 on-campus rabbits, leaving only 200 animals in a designated area. UVic News Release | Victoria Times-Colonist

uSask, uToronto among international partners in lecture-capture technology development

The Universities of Saskatchewan and Toronto are among over a dozen North American and European institutions that have partnered in the development of Matterhorn, an open-source technology that enables classroom lectures to be recorded and made available on the Internet. Accessible to any academic institution, Matterhorn is free and offers specifications for low-cost, low-energy, high-quality lecture-capturing hardware. This fall, uSask will pilot the Matterhorn technology in 5 classrooms offering 15 courses. Based on student demand and Matterhorn's lower cost, uSask's University Learning Director hopes to see that number rise to about 100 courses in 3 years. uSask News Release | Matterhorn

New synthetic turf field at UoGuelph

On Tuesday, the University of Guelph opened its newly constructed Varsity Field, the institution's first outdoor synthetic turf field. The $1.8-million field will be home to field hockey, football, soccer, and rugby teams for practices. The field will also be used for intramural sports, and will be open to the public for rental opportunities. The Varsity Field is part of UoGuelph's athletics facility master plan, which includes additional synthetic turf fields, construction and renovation of a student fitness and recreation complex, and renovations to Alumni Stadium. UoGuelph News

UBC working to increase national, international brand awareness

The University of British Columbia is planning a campaign to raise its profile and reputation in Canada and worldwide. The campaign will target several groups, including foreign students, opinion leaders, the business elite, policy makers, and academics. "This is a very different approach to student recruiting, this is trying to change the perception of UBC." The campaign may include a mix of film, print, and social media. UBC has an advertising budget of around $800,000 for the national brand campaign this year. The campaign will be in market next month across Canada, and will extend to international markets in 2011. News Release | Marketing Magazine

Georgian College encourages prospects to check out school's "playlist"

Georgian College has launched a recruitment campaign to draw prospective students to its website by offering downloads of free music in "Put Georgian on your playlist." The campaign features original music produced by college staff, students, and alumni. There are also a few non-Georgian songs as bonus tracks from local musicians. People are encouraged to visit the website often as new songs will be added throughout the year. Playlist will be promoted at various college information sessions and at secondary schools across Ontario. Georgian College News | Georgian College Playlist

uOttawa produces video series for new students

The University of Ottawa recently launched a series of 4 online videos designed to help first-year students find their place at the institution. Hosted by a fourth-year arts student named Emmanuelle, the videos cover a number of topics that concern incoming students, such as how to access and use online tools for students, financial aid and awards, and first-year orientation. The video series includes an interview with uOttawa president Allan Rock, who responds to questions posted by prospective students on Facebook. The videos are available in both English and French. Watch the videos (English) | Watch the videos (French)


When a lip dub produced by UQAM students caught the eyes of several members of Dalhousie Student Union's orientation week committee last year, it was too late to think about planning their own. They returned to the idea this year, resulting in a video using Katy Perry's "California Gurls" (rebranded as "Dalifornia Gurls"). The production, which took place August 8, yielded over 40 student participants. As of yesterday morning, the video has garnered over 11,700 hits on YouTube since its release last Friday. The video is getting positive feedback, judging by comments posted on YouTube. Dal News | Watch the video on YouTube

British university mistakenly sends out 2,500 acceptance notices

A computer glitch has resulted in 2,500 applicants to the University of Middlesex receiving acceptance letters from the institution in error. Middlesex has sent both text and e-mail notifications to affected applicants clarifying the situation. The applicants who received the erroneous notices already had conditional offers from the university, and were waiting on exam results before receiving unconditional offers. Middlesex will consider each applicant as usual once they get their test results. CNN