Top Ten

August 28, 2010

uMontréal rector proposes solutions to Quebec university underfunding

Appearing before the Quebec National Assembly's Committee on Culture and Education last week, Université de Montréal rector Guy Breton stressed that as a research-intensive institution with a wide range of programs, uMontréal is disadvantaged by Quebec's funding formula, which is based on the average costs of the province's entire higher education network. Breton proposed 3 possible solutions to the chronic financial difficulties facing Quebec universities: flexible tuition fees based on discipline and on flexible financial aid; a general increase in tuition; and the creation of innovative fiscal measures to increase private funding. Instead of taxing businesses, as was proposed by uLaval's rector, we should foster a fiscal environment that would encourage businesses, which are the first to benefit from the expertise of graduates, to support universities, Breton said. uMontréal News

uAlberta second among Canadian institutions in research funding

The University of Alberta has quickly become one of the country's powerhouse research centres, ranking second in total research funding, behind only the University of Toronto and up from fifth in 2006. uAlberta will spend $514 million on research this year, over double its total from a decade ago. uAlberta has focused on research as a way to boost its national and international profile, the university's vice-provost says. The institution is home to 4 of the 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs announced in May, more than any other university. uAlberta has "done extremely well," says the president of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which will distribute the $200.50-million in federal research infrastructure funding announced last Thursday. Globe and Mail

CAUT outlines priorities for 2011 federal budget

In its pre-budget brief, CAUT recommends that, in consultation with the provinces, the federal government develop a pan-Canadian strategy to increase scientific research and improve the accessibility and quality of higher education. The strategy's key elements should include a $1-billion increase over the next 2 years in peer-reviewed and untargeted funding for basic research provided by tri-council; an increase over the next 3 years in the value of cash transfers for PSE so that the total transfer equals one-half of 1% of GDP; the creation of a Canada Post-Secondary Education Act; and the expansion of the Canada Student Grant Program to provide more assistance to students from low- and middle-income families and the provision of full financial aid for all qualified Aboriginal students. Read the pre-budget brief

BC high-school-to-PSE transition rate surpasses 80%

Over half of Grade 12 graduates in BC enrol in PSE almost immediately after finishing high school, with another 30% enrolling within the following 6 years, according to the government-funded Student Transitions Project. In fall 2009, 55% of students enrolled in a bachelor-degree program within a year of high-school graduation, up from 44% in 2002. The number of students entering PSE immediately after high school and are seeking other credentials, such as diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships, dropped from 56% in 2002 to 45% last year. According to STP research, female, ESL, and French immersion students are more likely to go directly into PSE after high school. Vancouver Sun

La Cité to open new campus in Orleans

This week La Cité collégiale will open the doors to its new site in Orleans, which will accommodate 300 construction trade students. La Cité's Research and Training Centre in the Construction Trades is slated to take in 750 additional students by 2013-14. The construction trade students are part of the booming enrolment of the college. For the second consecutive year, enrolment has risen by 10%, which La Cité president Lise Bourgeois calls "really spectacular" growth. CBC

Talks ongoing for Pan Am pool at McMaster

McMaster University is still unsure of its role in the 2015 Pan American Games, says president Patrick Deane. The university was identified as home for a training pool in the Game's bid document, but would need to come up with $20 million for the $45-million pool described in the document. Deane acknowledges that financing McMaster's part in the pool will be a challenge, but the way it would be funded and the depth of the financing can't be determined until the university and the Games organizing committee figure out what kind of pool is required. Given recent financial campaigns, McMaster cannot go back to the same sources for donations, Deane says. Hamilton Spectator

NS provides more funding to Dal med school

Nova Scotia's health department will extend another $700,000 to Dalhousie University's medical school following an external auditor's review of the school's funding situation. When it was released this spring, the health department's budget outlined a $2.5-million funding cut to the school, which the health minister said was made in error due to poor paperwork. In May, the heath and education departments reached a resolution on med school funding, restoring $1.4 million, the amount originally budgeted for post-graduate medical seats. An education department spokeswoman says a working group is still analyzing future med school funding. Halifax Chronicle-Herald | Read the report

uSask, STM reach agreement on Ogle Hall purchase

The Saskatchewan government has approved an agreement between the University of Saskatchewan and one of its affiliated institutions, St. Thomas More College, that outlines the university's purchase of Ogle Hall, which currently serves as a residence for about 50 uSask and STM students. The college will use the proceeds from the sale to develop its Catholic studies program. uSask will evaluate the options available for the facility's use when the transfer ownership takes place at the end of June 2011. Ogle Hall will continue to operate as a residence during the 2010-11 school year, after which students will have new options for on-campus accommodation. uSask News Release

Conestoga to house nurse practitioner-led clinic

A new nurse practitioner-led health clinic will open at Conestoga College's Doon campus in Kitchener, one of 14 being added across Ontario. The college's chair of nursing says the new clinic is "a wonderful opportunity for a true living lab for our learners who are already here." The clinic will offer the opportunity of hands-on practice for Conestoga's nursing students, as well as those in occupational and respiratory therapy, and the dietetics and paramedics programs. Waterloo Region Record

uWaterloo MUR office names winners of student video contest

The University of Waterloo's marketing and undergraduate recruitment office sponsored a contest this summer challenging current students to produce videos representing life at the university. The entries were posted on a Facebook page where people could vote on their favourite video. The Unaccompanied Minors, a campus-based a cappella group, won the contest and $500 to spend at uWaterloo's Retail Services stores for its video "Tik Tok U-Dub," a takeoff of Ke$ha's "Tik Tok." The winning and runner-up videos are available on YouTube. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin