Top Ten

August 24, 2010

Aboriginal, international education key to Canada's economic recovery

At a meeting earlier this month, Canada's premiers made education, skills, and labour market development priority items in their discussions on the country's economic recovery. Increased Aboriginal educational achievement and greater participation in higher education are essential goals, as boosting Aboriginal participation in the workforce will contribute to Canada's future success. On the subject of international education, the premiers are directing education ministers to work with immigration ministers to further develop an international marketing action plan by next March that identifies areas for investment and opportunities for federal-provincial collaboration on marketing. The premiers have agreed to work with Ottawa to address key barriers in attracting foreign students. Council of the Federation News Release

Adjust CÉGEP courses for "reform" students, says FEQC

The Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FEQC) is calling on the Quebec government to adjust the CÉGEP curriculum to better suit the needs of students who have gone through the province's elementary and secondary school reforms. The student organization makes several recommendations for specific adjustments to academic programs and course material to help facilitate the reform cohort's transition to CÉGEP. These include adding algebra to the first-year math curriculum and a second advanced French course to cover various literary genres -- areas to which the reform cohort was not adequately exposed, says FEQC. Quebec's education minister says she is willing to modify certain courses and teaching practices over the next few years if students educated under the reform do not perform as well as others. FECQ News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

OUSA outlines vision for Ontario Online Institute

Yesterday the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance released a student vision for the design and execution of the Ontario Online Institute, an initiative the provincial government announced in its throne speech in March. Based on consultation with students and online-learning experts, OUSA's report covers issues relating to the affordability, accessibility, accountability, and quality of the online learning experience. OUSA recommends the Institute be designed as a consortium of colleges and universities that would share online courses, resources, and infrastructure. To overcome the obstacles associated with such a decentralized model, and to ensure students can navigate the system with ease, provider institutions should work together to develop integrated systems of admissions, student support services, quality assurance, and credit transfer. OUSA News | Read the report

Queen's report lays out recommendations for university's future

On Monday, Queen's University's academic writing team submitted to principal Daniel Woolf its report on the future direction of the institution. The 41-page report includes 5 sections (planning for the future, differentiating Queen's, the core missions, the learning experience, and the Queen's community) that present goals for Queen's with recommendations for each. Goals include capturing the essence of what studying at Queen's involves, and ensuring that this unique experience is preserved and enhanced; increasing opportunities for interdisciplinarity; increasing international engagement; and preserving a sense of community, congeniality, and co-operation at the university. Queen's is welcoming feedback on the report through an online forum. Queen's News Centre | Read the report

George Brown College considers new campus in northwest Toronto

On George Brown College's list of 4 potential expansion projects submitted to the Ontario government is a new site in Weston, a northwest Toronto neighbourhood. The proposed campus is one of the college's options to ease space crunch at the institution, where "(student) demand really far outweighs the space that we have available." George Brown has 2 main campuses, and is in the midst of building its third on Toronto's waterfront. According to proposal details, the project would entail the conversion of a vacant office/retail building immediately west of the rail corridor in Weston.

TWU breaks ground for science facility expansion

Trinity Western University held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the $3.3-million expansion of the Neufeld Science Centre, which will add 8,624 square feet of science and technology research labs and teaching space for TWU's nursing, chemistry, and biology programs. The project will allow up to 50 more students to conduct research and provide modern facilities for students and staff "so we can do cutting edge, world-class research right here at Trinity Western University." Construction is slated for completion by mid 2011. Langley Advance

RRC begins construction of new energy centre

Yesterday Red River College launched construction of a new home for its power engineering program at the Notre Dame campus. The 6,545-square-foot, 2-storey extension to Building J will provide enlarged lab and shop space for the program along with new classroom and office areas. The new facility will be completed in 2011. The project is one of several funded by the Knowledge Infrastructure Program; already underway are new greenhouses and a landscape construction shop at the Notre Dame campus, and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute at the Exchange District campus. Manitoba News Release

New degree moratorium won't affect VIU, says president

Vancouver Island University president Ralph Nilson is not concerned about the BC government's 6-month moratorium on new degree programs, stating that "good planning" over the years by university administration has already identified what programs are required to serve the needs and the economies of residents of the mid-Island region. Nilson says VIU's programs should be sufficient as BC reviews programs for 6 months to ensure post-secondary schools are offering programs that are regionally co-ordinated and linked to future labour-market demands. Nanaimo Daily News

Concordia UC launches new logo

Concordia University College of Alberta, based in Edmonton, recently unveiled its new visual identity, which speaks to the complexity of the institution's history, architecture, geography, and what it is as a faith-based institution. The door in the logo is a replica of the entrance to Schwermann Hall, expressing Concordia's architectural and historical presence at the Highlands campus. The 4 curved lines underneath the door represent the banks and waters of the North Saskatchewan River. As the largest independent degree-granting university in Alberta, Concordia puts the emphasis on "university" in the wordmark, allowing the rest of the face to be in regular weight. The old logo will be retired at the end of the year, and Concordia's crest will remain in use as the school's official seal. Concordia UC News

Trend in Canadian universities letting students select own roommates

A number of Canadian universities have adopted Web applications to help students find and choose their own roommates before moving into residence. New to the University of Toronto's housing website is Roommate Finder, where students log in with a screen name, pick an avatar, and fill out elaborate questionnaires about their study habits and social lives. York University, Mount Royal University, and the University of Calgary all use StarRez, through which students answer 30 questions on topics ranking from drinking habits to political views. The program calculates the results and pulls up a user's top 20 roommate matches. Critics of these tools say university-arranged roommates are better equipped to learn about conflict mediation, and also question how secure information is on the online profiles. Globe and Mail