Top Ten

September 3, 2010

Innovation focus of COU's pre-budget recommendations

 In its pre-budget submission, COU urges the federal government to continue its investments, in partnership with the Ontario government, in both the operating and capital costs of high-performance computing (HPC) networks across Canada. COU states that HPC provides a critical platform supporting all of the country's "big science" initiatives and facilitates work on many important scientific projects. The organization proposes the creation of a new Ontario Innovation Fund to expand on FedDev Ontario's Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative. COU also endorses the recommendations outlined in AUCC's pre-budget brief. Read the pre-budget submission

Langara "a shade different from other colleges"

Langara College has started rolling out its new brand identity. The new logo reads: "Langara. The College of Higher Learning." The brand incorporates the phrase "A shade different from other colleges." Speaking of shades, Langara has adopted the colour orange, which, as described on a microsite devoted to the new look, is "intellectual," "ambitious," and "forward-thinking." The elements that make the college so different, the microsite states, are open admission, small class sizes, and high academic standards. The portal includes testimonials from graduates, and invites visitors to share what's new about them. Langara brand microsite

Quest U's NSSE scores highest among Canadian universities

In all 5 categories of the NSSE -- academic challenge, enriching education experiences, student-faculty interaction, active and collaborative learning, and supportive campus environment -- Quest University's average scores are far above those of the schools in the cohort samples, according to the 2010 survey results for the BC-based independent liberal arts and science institution. In most categories, Quest U's first-year students report a more challenging and enriching experience than fourth-year students at all other Canadian universities. Quest U president David Helfand says the NSSE results reveal that the institution's students "are engaged in the kind of genuine learning our new educational paradigm was designed to achieve." Quest U News Release | Squamish Chief

Mature student population rising at Canadian universities

Universities across the country are reporting a rising number in mature undergraduate students -- typically adults over the age of 25 who have been out of school for more than a year -- enrolling full-time in order to find new careers or to increase their competitive edge in a labour market still reeling from the recession. Last year, one-fifth of students at York U were mature students, 61% of whom were enrolled full-time. Dal and McGill both report that nearly all of the mature students registered for 2010 at their institutions are full-time. At Royal Roads U, which targets mature working professions, full-time enrolment among mature graduate students has jumped by 14% for the upcoming school year. Globe and Mail

Keyano expecting another enrolment increase

Enrolment at Alberta's Keyano College is expected to rise about 22% this year, the same percentage as the previous year. Keyano's VP of academics says the institution has worked hard at improving its services to students, streamlining the application and admissions process to make it more user-friendly. Keyano is in the midst of determining the number of programs it wants to introduce over the next several years. Administration is focusing predominantly on health and technology in terms of program expansion. Fort McMurray Today

NOSM hands out iPads to incoming students

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has given each student in the incoming class an iPad. The tablet will provide students with access to interactive medical applications, curriculum resources, and collaboration tools. NOSM is the first medical school in Canada, and third in North America, to distribute iPads to students as part of their technology package, paid for by student technology fees. NOSM News

uAlberta students develop campus-oriented iPhone app

The University of Alberta has a new application for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad designed to make life a little easier for students as they begin the new academic year. With the app, students can access campus maps and transit schedules, as well as keep track of class times and assignment due dates. The app was developed by 3 third-year computing science students who spent the summer working with uAlberta's Academic Information and Communications Technologies office. uAlberta ExpressNews

Fanshawe first Canadian institution to offer iCopeU

Fanshawe College is the first Canadian post-secondary school to provide its students with access to iCopeU, an online mental health resource for youth and young adults. The website includes community resource information, meditation and relaxation tools, and flash-animated games meant to help students develop personal coping skills. iCopeU also promotes awareness and referral to on-campus student services, extending the reach of Fanshawe's existing resources. Fanshawe News | iCope U Fanshawe

Trent to go bottled water-free

Trent University has adopted a policy that will ban the sale of single unit bottled water on its campuses by fall 2011. In support of the policy, which was initiated by Trent student leaders earlier this year, the university's Physical Resources Department will install drinking foundations in all facilities across campus, as resources permit. The University of Winnipeg was the first post-secondary institution in Canada to discontinue the sale of bottled water on campus. Trent News Release

Drake University's "D+" campaign: pass or fail?

The logo for Iowa-based Drake University's "Drake Advantage" campaign is a large blue "D+" -- the "D" stands for Drake while "+" represents the opportunities the institution offers students. Officials selected the logo specifically because it looks like a letter grade, which prompts people to do a double-take. It is for the same reasons, though, that some are criticizing the campaign. In response to faculty and alumni criticism, Drake concedes that faculty and staff should have be allowed to preview the campaign before it launched, but note the campaign received positive feedback in a testing with high school students. Over three-quarters of respondents said the viewbook cover grabbed their attention either a little or a lot. Close to 90% said the concept was unique from other institutional materials they have seen. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Des Moines Register