Top Ten

September 13, 2010

Computer glitch delays Alberta training grant payments

A computer software glitch has affected up to 3,600 students seeking funds from Alberta Works, a provincial government program for low-income individuals upgrading their education. The delays in processing applications for learner benefits has left many students facing eviction notices and with no means to pay for child care, tuition, or books. Alberta's employment and immigration minister said Friday that his department would issue emergency cheques within 24 to 48 hours to those facing hardships. Bow Valley College and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology have postponed tuition and fee payments for students still waiting for Alberta Works funds. BVC has also organized a food drive to help affected students. Calgary Herald | CBC

Arrests made after UBC frat party

Several arrests were made following a 2-day fraternity party at the University of British Columbia. The party began Friday night at UBC's fraternity village. About 1,000 people attended that evening's party, where personal property, such as laptops and stereos, were stolen. The party continued Saturday, with between 500 and 1,000 people attending. University RCMP went to the frat house Saturday night to respond to reports that a large fight had broken out. Several officers were assaulted while trying to break up the crowd. The president of Inter Fraternity Council at UBC says the problem was uninvited attendees. In a statement, UBC says fraternities must take responsibilities for their own parties, but the university will work to ensure such behaviour is not repeated. Vancouver Sun | CBC | CTV

Colleges Ontario releases 2010 results report

According to Colleges Ontario's' 2010 results report, full-time PSE enrolment at the province's 24 public colleges has increased by 22% in the last 4 years. Graduating rates at the institutions have risen by 11% since 2004-05. Since 2005, international-student enrolment has increased by over 50%. In the last 5 years, enrolment in OntarioLearn -- a consortium of 22 colleges designed to develop and deliver online courses -- has more than doubled. During the economic downturn, 85% of last year's graduates found work within 6 months following graduation, compared to the 75% employment rate for those with no PSE. The report states that Ontario's public colleges will be even more essential in the coming years, as the retirement of baby boomers and ever-evolving innovations develop a heightened demand for greater numbers of PSE graduates. Read the report

Record enrolment at SFU Surrey campus

At Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, a record number of students are hitting the books this fall, with over 5,200 undergraduate and more than 400 graduate students enrolled at the campus. This year the campus received an average of 3 applications for every seat, compared to a 2:1 ratio last year. According to preliminary figures, close to 25,000 students are enrolled at SFU this year, up about 3.8%. 800 new international students have registered this semester, an increase of 29%. Nearly 14% of currently registered students at SFU are foreign students. SFU News Release

Nipissing begins expansion of athletics facility

Nipissing University has begun a comprehensive expansion of its existing Robert J. Surtees Student Athletics Centre, which will provide more physical activity, testing, and demonstration space, as well as multi-purpose space for large venue activities. The expansion is the first phase of a $32-million, 3-phase project that entails state-of-the-art physical health research and active laboratory spaces and education areas for courses related to physical education. Nipissing News Release

uSask purchases farmland to relocate livestock operations

The University of Saskatchewan has finalized negotiations to buy 11 quarters of farmland south of Clavet in order to move urban livestock operations to a rural setting. The $2.4-million deal satisfies a number of requirements outlined in Vision 2057: University Land Use Planning, a process developed to ensure uSask can use urban lands to their highest potential over the next 50 years. One of those requirements was to find a new location for the Beef Research Unit. The purchase will take effect May 1, 2011. uSask On Campus News

NSAC veterinary technology program receives national accreditation

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has awarded full accreditation status to Nova Scotia Agricultural College's veterinary technology diploma program, one of the institution's most popular and highly subscribed programs. The accreditation ensures that program graduates will be eligible to write exams to become certified veterinary technologists. The current accreditation status is valid for 5 years as of July 2010. NSAC News Release

What the Canadian Class of 2014 knows

Inspired by Beloit College's annual Mindset List, UBC's Public Affairs office has written a list of influential Canadian experiences for this year's crop of first-year students. The first SMS text message was sent in 1992, the year incoming students were generally born. These students have always paid the GST, but do not remember former prime minister Brian Mulroney, whose government introduced the tax. If the Class of 2014 know Canadian actor William Shatner, it is more likely for his role on Boston Legal, and not for exploring space, the final frontier. UBC Reports

Summer labour market challenging for Canadian youth

The 2010 summer labour market was a challenging time for students between the ages of 15 to 24, with an average unemployment rate of 16.8% between May and August, Statistics Canada reports. Despite an improvement from last summer, when the unemployment rate for this age group was 19.2%, it remains high compared to that of summer 2008, when the rate was 13.6%. The percentage of 20- to 24-year olds employed averaged 66.5% this summer, up from 63% in 2009. The percentage of 15- to 19-year-olds working decreased slightly this summer, from 42.8% to 42.5%. The average number of hours students worked this summer was 23.6 hours per week, among the lowest since data was first collected in 1977. Statistics Canada

Ohio university attracts students with faux-express envelopes

One of the University of Dayton's most successful recruitment strategies involves an arrangement with UPS and DHL in which the university is allowed to send its viewbooks and other materials in envelopes bearing the UPS and DHL logos. Dayton does not pay for express delivery of the packages it sends this way; the university mails them through the US Postal Service. "We're sending a message that you are important" with the envelopes, says Dayton's VP of enrolment management. "We are saying that you are not going to be like bulk mail to us." The initiative strikes critics as being misleading. Some comments on the Inside Higher Ed article about Dayton's strategy consider the initiative deceptive or manipulative. Inside Higher Ed