Top Ten

August 20, 2010

uRegina faculty association critical of FNUC restructuring

In response to the First Nations University of Canada's $3-million restructuring plan, the University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA) states it is "saddened and disappointed at the nature and severity of the cuts," and regrets that FNUC chose to limit URFA's role in its plan. The termination of 29 faculty and staff members "is a tragic loss to the institution," with many years of experience and knowledge "being lost with direct repercussion on the extent and quality of Aboriginal education programming." URFA also suggests it is "short sighted" of the Saskatchewan and federal governments to have placed ongoing funding in jeopardy. Saskatchewan Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris dismisses the criticism, pointing to the MOU signed between FNUC, uRegina, Saskatchewan, and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. The province has restored its annual funding to FNUC, while future federal funding will continue on a proposal basis. Norris says he is optimistic Ottawa will continue to support FNUC. URFA News Release | Regina Leader-Post

Lakehead president's vision for Orillia campus

At a media conference last week, Lakehead University president Brian Stevenson said that without the Orillia campus, Lakehead would be hard-pressed to meet its enrolment targets and compete with other institutions. By 2013, the university aims to boost enrolment to 9,000 students, with a large number of these students coming from the Orillia campus. Lakehead also plans to expand the Orillia campus in order to provide more opportunities and choices for students. The university also aims to be among the top 25 research-intensive institutions in Canada, which means increasing research productivity and funding. Lakehead News Release

NB makes $5-million capital, equipment investment in Saint John med program

The New Brunswick government announced Friday a $5-million investment enabling Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB) to establish and equip research laboratories. $2.6 million will fund the completion of the DMNB building, while the remainder will be used to outfit the labs with research equipment. Dalhousie University's medical school program is based at the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus. NB News Release

UBC med school aims to increase socioeconomic diversity

The associate dean of admissions at UBC's medical school wants to make the university the first in Canada to address the fact that a disproportionately large number of med students are wealthy city dwellers. One suggested method to increase the school's socioeconomic diversity is to have current UBC students from rural and/or lower-income backgrounds visit high schools to show students that a career in medicine can be within their reach. The associate dean hopes to work with UBC's student financial assistance and award office to remove financial barriers to attending med school. He hopes to implement some initiatives in the fall. Georgia Straight

Queen's community discusses learning experience

At a second town hall meeting on the future direction of Queen's University, 45 participants -- mainly faculty and staff -- talked about the Queen's learning experience. One professor suggested that an undergraduate education should provide students with a core set of skills, regardless of discipline. Another faculty member said the institution's reputation for offering a strong undergraduate education has suffered due to provincial funding shortages, and suggested the university communities come together to lobby the Ontario government for more financial support. One student raised the issue of teaching and delivery of programs, asking the academic writing team, which held the meeting, if it has looked at the methods of evaluating class instruction. Queen's News Centre

WLU launches Strategic Investment Fund

During its 2010-11 budget process, Wilfrid Laurier University reallocated 0.5% of base funds to create a Strategic Investment Fund, designed to finance initiatives that support student success, improve academic and administrative operations, and further the institution's mission. WLU is inviting members of the university community to propose initiatives to be supported by the fund. The university will favour applications that contribute to enhanced student recruitment, retention, and success; show capacity for sustainability and future development; and identify assessment and accountability measures. WLU Campus Update

TRU anticipating increased enrolment

Following a 5-year slide, Thompson Rivers University saw a 6% increase in full-time equivalent students last year. With an increasing number of applications, the institution hopes for another enrolment boost this year. TRU officials attribute the success to new marketing efforts and greater focus on attracting and retaining students. Another significant factor is other universities raising their grade-level requirements. TRU is expecting growth in international student numbers to be at least 5% higher than in 2009. Kamloops Daily News

CFS-O calls for research funding improvements following cabinet shuffle

The Ontario chapter of the CFS hopes the province's new minister of research and innovation, Glen Murray, will use his position to make major improvements to the way post-secondary-based research is funded in Ontario. Provincial and federal research funding for academic institutions tends to favour industry and commercial-driven areas of study, CFS-O states, which not only limits research innovation, but also leaves most Ontario graduate students unable to access this funding. The organization says public research funding has not kept up with graduate enrolment, which has placed additional pressure on grad students who drive basic research at universities. CFS-O News Release

Quebec receives poor grades on high-school diploma attainment

While Quebec performs well with regard to PSE attainment, the province lags behind the other most populous jurisdictions in Canada (Alberta, BC, Ontario) and some OECD nations when it comes to the percentages of citizens with a high school diploma, according to the Quebec Employers Council's first Report Card on Quebec Prosperity. In 2008-09, nearly 12% of persons aged 20 to 24 in Quebec did not have a high school diploma and were not in school, the highest proportion among the 4 provinces, resulting in a "D" grade in the category. Quebec received a "B" for the percentage of the adult population lacking a high school diploma, ranking fourth out of the 4 represented provinces, and placing twelfth out of 33 provinces and OECD countries in this category. Quebec Employers Council News Release | Report Card on Quebec Prosperity

US graduate admission offers to foreign students rise 3%

Admissions offers by US graduate schools to foreign applicants rose by 3% from 2009 to 2010, reversing a 1% drop the previous year, according to a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. Meanwhile, offers to US citizens dipped by 1% in the last year. Offers to applicants from China are up 16%, the fifth consecutive year of double-digit gains. Admission offers to applicants from India and South Korea dropped 4% and 7%, respectively. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)