Top Ten

September 1, 2010

SSHRC distributes over $190 million for research, grad scholarships

Yesterday the federal government announced $190.5 million in SSHRC grants and scholarships to support close to 4,000 of Canada's best researchers. The announcement includes over 2,000 master's, doctoral, and postdoctoral scholarships and fellowships providing students and new scholars with training to increase the pool of talented graduates available to the country's private, public, and non-profit sectors. SSHRC News Release

uCalgary introduces new controls to manage research funding

The University of Calgary has adopted new controls on the management of millions in research funding after federal granting agencies raised concerns over grant accounting at the institution. After a second tri-council review concluded that uCalgary had an "unsatisfactory" framework for ensuring grant funds are used according to federal requirements, university administration warned researchers that $81 million in federal research funding could be at risk unless action was taken to fix the problem. There is additional staff to help researchers manage grants, and an advisory team is now in place to oversee new policies and address any compliance or eligibility issues. Calgary Herald

ACCC outlines priorities for next federal budget

In its pre-budget submission, ACCC recommends the launch of a national dialogue to develop an action plan to mitigate an anticipated workforce shortfall and the consequential damage to the Canadian economy. A necessary condition for alleviating the advanced skills crisis, ACCC states, is to increase PSE access for groups that generally fare poorly in the labour market: immigrants, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and those with low literacy rates. The organization calls for annual $22-million investment to market Canadian education internationally and expand international mobility for Canadian students. Other recommendations include encouraging Canadian students to study abroad and investing in Aboriginal programs and services at colleges. ACCC News Release | Read the pre-budget brief

CCL calls for comprehensive PSE institutional classification system

In a new report, the Canadian Council on Learning argues that the country does not have a clear framework describing the many changes that have occurred in the higher education sector within the last decade. The paper sets out to explain the effects that evolutionary and legislated system-design changes can have on students' understanding of Canada's PSE sector, how it functions, and the range of opportunities it provides. Without a new approach to classifying PSE, students may run the risk of making choices that limit their option of pursuing progressive levels of education. CCL News Release | Read the report

Campus leaders turn to social media to increase visibility

In response to rising demand from students and parents in a highly competitive market, campus leaders, including those at Queen's and UoGuelph, are creating social media accounts, writing blogs, and using face-to-face meetings to become more visible, foster a greater bond with students, and assist with recruitment. On visits to high schools, Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux invites students and parents to add him on Facebook. Such open access reflects the changing role of university presidents and the kinds of people being chosen for the job, says Academica Group's Ken Steele. With the position becoming more politicized, Ken suspects people becoming president are generally more gregarious and outward-looking. Not all campus leaders should be expected to act in this manner, Ken notes. Talking to students via social media seems silly on a small campus, says Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell, who has strong ties with undergraduate students. Globe and Mail

How will your student recruitment efforts be different this year?

Microsites, mobile apps, virtual campus tours, viral videos, social media strategies, and good old-fashioned print -- social and technological trends are changing the recruitment landscape, while new institutions and intensified competition is upping the ante in many regions of North America. What are you planning or hoping to do differently this year? What do you think other institutions will be doing? Please share your thoughts on our Question of the Month page, and read the thoughts of other Top Ten subscribers.

Funding freeze forces Calgary institutions to turn students away

A PSE funding freeze in Alberta has meant a large number of students are being turned away by several Calgary institutions. As a result of the freeze, uCalgary, Mount Royal University, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are all maintaining last year's enrolment numbers for the 2010-11 academic year. "Unless something changes with funding, (enrolment) will be flat for a year or two," says Mount Royal's VP academic. Bow Valley College is not in the same situation, as full-time career program enrolment at the school has increased by 21%. The college's north campus, which opened in May, added space for 500 more students. Calgary Herald

Enrolment boom at UBC-O

UBC's Okanagan campus will welcome 1,832 first-year students this year, up by 22% over last year. In addition to recruiting its largest-ever incoming class this year, UBC-O will have a total of 7,004 students, nearly double the 3,516 students the campus had when it launched 6 years ago. Total graduate enrolment at the campus is 531, a 20% increase from 2009. The number of new foreign students at UBC-O is up by 66%, and the undergraduate international total at the campus is 410, a 40% increase over last year. UBC News Release

John Abbott College breaks ground for Science and Health Technologies building

John Abbott College held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for its Science and Health Technologies building, which will house the CÉGEP's science and health science-related programs. The only CÉGEP to offer the pre-hospital emergency care and bio-pharmaceutical technologies programs in English, John Abbott anticipates that the construction of pharmaceutical production and pre-hospital emergency care labs will enable it to accommodate 4 new student cohorts. The facility, which will cost over $30 million, is slated for completion in fall 2012. Quebec News Release | West Island Gazette

$5 million for skills training in BC

The BC government announced yesterday a $5.2-million investment for a second year of training programs to help nearly 1,000 unemployed and low-skilled British Columbians acquire the skills needed to transition back to the workforce, get a better job, or further their education. The province is providing $1.5 million to BCIT, NVIT, Royal Roads U, SFU, and UNBC to fund additional training programs for over 250 students. $3.7 million has been provided to the labour market consortium, comprising 15 colleges and universities, to fund training for approximately 700 students across BC. BC News Release