Top Ten

August 23, 2010

NB revokes Lansbridge University's degree-granting designation

The New Brunswick government announced Friday it has revoked Lansbridge University's degree-granting designation following a review of a number of assessments conducted by MPHEC and evidence collected by independent inspectors engaged by the province's PSE ministry. The department will hire a registrar and an inspector to help oversee the wind-down of programs offered by the Fredericton-based private online institution. The registrar will help students who are unable to complete their programs by offering to place them in compatible programs offered by other schools. Lansbridge must wait one year before applying to have its designation reinstated. NB News Release

uManitoba locks out security staff

27 University of Manitoba security personnel were locked out Friday evening after the university and the staff's union were unable to reach an agreement in last-minute negotiations through a conciliator. One of the union's biggest concerns was uManitoba's request to drop staffing levels, allowing security staff to patrol alone instead of in pairs. The union fears the move could put guards, students, and "all persons on university grounds in jeopardy." uManitoba stated Friday it will use the services of one or more security firms to ensure appropriate levels of security are maintained. Negotiations resumed yesterday. Security services update | Winnipeg Free Press

Postscript: Aug 25, 2010
University of Manitoba security personnel will return to work today after the majority accepted in a vote yesterday a tentative agreement reached between the university and the staff's union on Monday. The security staff were locked out Friday after last-minute talks with a concilliator failed to result an agreement. uManitoba website | AESES website

CAUT offers $1-million support in NOSM strike

On Friday, CAUT presented a $1-million cheque to the union representing 152 striking clerical, administrative, and technical staff at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The funding will be used to rent trailers, pay legal expenses, and cover other costs of mounting a strike. Ongoing issues include hours of work, overtime, sick leaves, family leaves, and wages. NOSM states its negotiations with the union are impacted by recent provincial legislation and policy statements regarding compensation restraints for employees, including a 2-year wage freeze. The fiscal plan, NOSM states, does not provide it with funding for incremental compensation increases for new collective agreements, which is particularly challenging for the school as it manages a structural deficit. Sudbury Star | NOSM News Release

IP income in university sector exceeds $53 million

Intellectual property income at reporting universities and affiliated teaching hospitals totalled $53.2 million (current dollars) in 2008, according to a Statistics Canada survey released yesterday. About 81% of universities and affiliated hospitals surveyed were engaged in intellectual property management in 2008. The value of research contracts undertaken was estimated at $2 billion, up 55% from 2007. In 2008, the number of new inventions disclosed and reported by surveyed universities and affiliated hospitals was 1,613, representing a 20% increase from the year before. Read the survey

College campus among recommendations for Guelph downtown development

A college campus is one of several capital projects suggested to stimulate and manage growth in Guelph's downtown core. A city report called the Downtown Directions Document states that an applied arts and technology college or a University of Guelph satellite campus would "emphasize (the city's) role as a creative and innovative place, and support the diversification of Guelph's economy." The report has been sent to the city's community development and environment services committee for consideration. Guelph Mercury

Bay offers uWinnipeg space for Aboriginal centre, programming

The Hudson's Bay Company has approached the University of Winnipeg to develop some vacant space in the downtown Bay building for both institutional and other purposes. uWinnipeg is considering transforming the building's 2 vacant floors into a national Aboriginal centre focusing on research and cultural issues. The plan also involves relocating the university's existing undegraduate and graduate Aboriginal programming into the Bay building. uWinnipeg's senior executive officer says the potential at the Bay location is so immense that the university is seeking out partners, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to develop the concept of a hub of indigenous studies, culture, and art. Winnipeg Free Press

York U to host more Pan Am events

Already a venue for tennis for the 2015 Pan American Games, York University has signed a letter of intent with the Games organizing committee regarding the construction of a stadium at the Keele campus to host the track and field events during the Games. The organizing committee also announced yesterday that it plans to add athletics and rugby events at York U. The chair of the university's alumni association says that hosting these games would boost the student experience at York U and "raise our profile and our ability to attract the best of the best in every arena." York U News Release | Toronto 2015 News Release

Foreign students more attracted to Sudbury, not likely to stay

The Globe and Mail reports that Laurentian University has been successful in attracting more international students, but getting them to stay in Sudbury following graduation is a different matter. This year, Laurentian yielded 952 international applications, over double the amount 3 years ago. While there are no figures available for how many students settle locally, a Laurentian dean estimates it's only about 10%. Arguably the most important factor in keeping newcomers around is interesting, well-paid work in their field of study. Universities can help develop opportunity by connecting students to local employers through work programs. 4 years ago, the Canadian government loosened restrictions on student visas to allow off-campus work, and Laurentian, like most institutions, still has not full taken advantage of it. Globe and Mail

Ontario streamlines financial aid application process

The Ontario government announced yesterday changes to make it easier to apply for student aid. Under the changes, students will fill out fewer forms for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and Student Access Guarantee (SAG) funds, those who complete their OSAP application will be automatically evaluated for SAG funding, and recipients of the Ontario Access Grant and Distance Grant will have their aid directly deposited into their bank accounts starting in January. In March, Ontario announced a $81-million investment to expand student aid and to modernize OSAP, whose changes take effect this academic year. Ontario News Release

uToronto top Canadian institution in Webometrics ranking

The University of Toronto is the highest-ranking Canadian university in Cybermetrics Lab's biannual Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which measures universities' performance and impact through their Web presence. uToronto placed 31st overall. The other Canadian institutions to make the top 100 are UBC (38), uMontréal (60), SFU (66), uAlberta (68), McGill (81), and UQAM and uWaterloo (tied at 97). Harvard University took the top spot worldwide. Webometrics Ranking of World Universities