Top Ten

August 26, 2010

Ottawa invests over $200 million in CFI funds

Yesterday the federal government announced a $200.5-million investment in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's Leading Edge Fund and New Initiatives Fund, which will support the renewal and expansion of research infrastructure across the country to support top researchers and improve laboratories and facilities. The government says the funding will help develop, attract, and retain the world's best researchers at Canadian universities while strengthening the country's long-term economic competitiveness. Industry Canada News Release

Lansbridge University responds to accreditation loss

In a statement, Lansbridge University president and CEO Ernest Smith says New Brunswick's PSE department "completely undermined" the private online institution's ability to inform students of the results of an MPHEC report before they heard of them second hand. Smith says Lansbridge received the report last Friday afternoon, at which time the PSE department issued a release on the revocation of the school's degree-granting designation. Lansbridge has concerns about the department's conclusions, and will soon be preparing its response to them. The school is "stunned" as to why its license was revoked, Smith says, stating that Lansbridge's "programs have been deemed by our students and faculty as above average, and we have never had a complaint about our programs." Lansbridge University News Release | Daily Gleaner | CBC

More Alberta students seeking financial aid

Alberta's advanced education ministry anticipates an increase of up to 18% in the number of students receiving financial assistance from the province this year, on top of the 24% increase last fiscal year, when 46,315 students got a loan. The province expects to distribute $206 million in student loans this year. A ministry spokeswoman says the rise in the number of students receiving loans is not surprising, given that more people tend to enrol in PSE during a recession. Calgary Herald

Few NB students applying for debt reduction program

After the first year of New Brunswick's Timely Completion Benefit program, which caps a student's debt at $26,000 if they finish their degree on time, just half the students expected to participate in the program asked for the debt relief. The province's finance minister says the government could do a better job of informing graduates about the debt-relief options available to them after they complete their studies. The New Brunswick Student Alliance is lobbying the province to ensure enrolment in the program is automatic, instead of being done by application. CBC

McMaster forms partnership with China Scholarship Council

On Wednesday, McMaster University signed an agreement with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) intended to attract more graduate students from China to the Hamilton-based university. Ever since McMaster began co-ordinating its recruitment efforts with the CSC in anticipation of the agreement, applications from China grew by 13% this year, and the number of Chinese students accepting offers from McMaster increased by over 30%. The university also recruited 8 CSC-funded students for the 2010-11 school year, the first year covered by the new agreement. McMaster's graduate studies dean says the agreement addresses the Ontario government's goal of boosting international enrolment, adding that the new students will bring about $480,000 to the university through the program. McMaster Daily News

Enrolment rises at CÉGEPs

According to preliminary figures from the Fédération des cégeps, 172,518 students are registered this fall at Quebec's 48 CÉGEPs, representing a 2.2% increase over enrolment numbers at this time last year. Enrolment growth is the highest in Montreal, where there are 1,874 more students enrolled this fall compared to last year. Nearly half of the students enrolled this fall are taking pre-university studies. Fédération des cégeps News Release (in French)

STM appoints interim president

On Wednesday, St. Thomas More College, an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan, announced the appointment of Dr. Ken Smith as acting president of the institution, effective October 1. Smith's appointment comes after current president Fr. George Smith was elected Superior General of the Congregation of St. Basil in July. A former instructor and associate dean of uSask's business school, Dr. Smith also served as the university's registrar, a position he held until his retirement in 2002. Dr. Smith has also been a member of STM's board of governors, and served as board chair from 2002 to 2006. STM News

Queen's, School of Religion contemplate integration

The principals of Queen's University and Queen's School of Religion (formerly Queen's Theological College) have agreed in principle to enter into discussions on the possibility of fully integrating the school back into the university in 2012, the centenary of the current affiliation agreement between Queen's and the then-Theological College. Queen's separated from the Presbyterian Church in 1912 in order to become eligible for provincial funding as a non-denominational institution, and the federal government at the time incorporated the original Theological College as a separate body. Since then, Queen's and the School of Religion have had separate charters, which will be reviewed as part of integration discussions. The School of Religion's principal says the discussions will strengthen the school's recently adopted strategic plan. Queen's News Centre

Mount Allison opens wellness-themed residence in renovated historical house

Mount Allison University held an open house Wednesday to unveil The Anchorage, a newly renovated historical home to be used as a student residence. Built in 1893, the house underwent a $500,000 renovation, with many original elements preserved. The Anchorage is a part of the university's Small Residence Experience. Just as other smaller residences are themed -- Carriage House (allows pets) and Cuthbertson House (sustainable) -- The Anchorage is designated as a wellness residence, whose focus is to promote healthy eating, fitness, good study habits, academic achievement, and extra-curricular involvement. Mount Allison News Release

uWinnipeg buys condemned home

The University of Winnipeg has purchased a derelict West End house that was recently condemned because of extreme squalor. uWinnipeg's senior executive officer says the university will take possession of the property in October, and will likely tear down the home, weather permitting. With the purchase of the house, uWinnipeg now owns an entire block of Spence Street, and that existing space could be developed into a multi-purpose athletic complex for soccer, wrestling, and track, the university official says. Winnipeg Free Press