Top Ten

September 16, 2010

uToronto top Canadian institution in revised THE rankings

The University of Toronto is the top-ranked Canadian university in this year's Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which split from QS this year (the latter's 2010 rankings listed McGill as the top Canadian institution) and partnered with Thomson Reuters to expand the amount of data used in the rankings exercise. uToronto placed 17th overall, followed by UBC (30) and McGill (35). The other Canadian universities to make the top 200 are McMaster (93), uAlberta (127), UVic (130), uMontréal (138), Dal (193), and SFU (199). Absent from this year's top 200 list are uWaterloo, UWO, uCalgary, and Queen's. Academica Group's Ken Steele says the benefit to the ranked Canadian institutions will mostly come from the boost to their reputation among foreign students looking to study in Canada, who pay more attention to international rankings than Canadian students. THE World University Rankings 2010 | Globe and Mail | Margin Notes (University Affairs blog)

University tuition rises 4%

For the 2010-11 academic year, Canadian full-time undergraduates paid 4% more on average in tuition than they did the year before, reports Statistics Canada. Students this year paid an average $5,138, up from $4,942 in 2009-10. On average, undergrads in Ontario paid the highest fees ($6,037), followed by those in New Brunswick ($5,516). Students in Quebec ($2,415) and Newfoundland and Labrador ($2,624) continue to have the lowest tuition fees in the country. On average, graduate students paid 6.6% more this year, while international undergraduate and graduate students paid 5.2% and 5.9% more, respectively. The most expensive undergraduate and graduate programs this year are dentistry and MBA programs, respectively. Nationwide, additional compulsory fees for Canadian undergrads increased 7% over last year. Statistics Canada

Toronto college students affected by delays in background checks

Some Toronto college students are being denied entry into placements at hospitals, schools, and daycares due to delays in getting police background checks, and some worry they will lose a year of their education. At least 44 Humber College nursing students have been told that if they do not get police clearance by Monday, they cannot continue in a clinical course that includes placements in health-care facilities and schools. The issue lies with changes to "vulnerable sector checks" implemented by the RCMP in March. Such checks can now take up to 4 months, where before they would take just 4 to 6 weeks. "Dozens and dozens" of students are being impacted, says the chairperson of Centennial College's child and family studies department. Colleges are working with placement agencies in an effort to address the problem. Allowances are being made in some cases; student teachers, for example, can start placements as long as they can prove they have applied for a criminal check and sign a form disclosing any criminal offences.

McMaster engineering alumni make $3-million donation to university

A class of McMaster University engineering graduates from 1962 have come together to donate over $3 million to the university's engineering faculty, the largest gift the faculty has ever received. The donation will establish the Class of '62 Mechanical Engineering Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship and a fund for sustainable entrepreneurship. The chair will investigate how public policy can be developed and implemented to foster entrepreneurship in sustainable technologies. McMaster Daily News | Hamilton Spectator

Racist graffiti found in UoGuelph residence

Through e-mail and YouTube, University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee has publicly condemned incidences of racist graffiti found marked on the walls of a hallway in one of the student residences. In his video message, Summerlee says the university has "absolutely rejected the concepts and notions of fundamentalism, dogma and bigotry." If a resident is found guilty of the acts, he or she faces automatic eviction from residence. If found guilty by a judicial committee, the student could be fined and/or suspended or expelled. Guelph Mercury

SIAST nursing students take classes in movie theatre

First-year nursing students at Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology's Kelsey campus in Saskatoon are taking classes in a local movie theatre. The popularity of the nursing program prompted SIAST officials to look for a large lecture hall off campus. The Galaxy Theatre, which SIAST rents twice a week, can hold over 360 people in each of its 2 main theatres, and the big screens can accommodate PowerPoint presentations and DVDs. The theatre provides portable trays for notebooks and laptops. Other institutions that run classes in cinemas or entertainment complexes include Ryerson University and Dawson College. CBC

StFX invites students to "capture the X-factor"

Later this month, St. Francis Xavier University will launch its "Capture the X-Factor" campaign, a video submission which challenges students "to describe not only the tangible elements (of academic life), but also the exhilarating atmosphere that saturates campus life." Students will vote for their favourite entry online. The votes count for 60% of the winning submissions, while the remaining 40% will come from a panel comprising StFX's director of students, an alumnus, a student union member, and a member of the recruitment team. The campaign will run until the end of October. StFX News Release

Manitoba eases permanent residency application for grads

The Manitoba government announced yesterday changes to its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to make it faster and easier for international students to stay and work in the province. Starting next year, international graduates from a PSE program of at least 2 academic years at a provincial institution will be able to apply to the PNP in advance of receiving a job offer. Ontario announced this week that international students who graduate from master's programs in the province can apply for permanent residency without a job offer. Manitoba News Release

Wickenheiser to join uCalgary women's hockey team

Yesterday the University of Calgary announced that Hayley Wickenheiser, who captained the Canadian women's hockey team to Olympic gold in February, will join the university's Dinos for their 2010-11 CIS season. She has enrolled in uCalgary's kinesiology faculty, having completed approximately half the coursework necessary to receive a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree. Over her career, Wickenheiser has won 3 Olympic gold medals and 6 gold at the women's world championship. uCalgary Dinos News | Calgary Herald | Globe and Mail

Carleton, uOttawa students living in Quebec ineligible for U-Pass

Students who attend university in Ottawa and reside in Gatineau are not eligible for OC Transpo's pilot U-Pass program because Gatineau is under the jurisdiction of a separate transit authority, which has not signed on to the program. A Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) spokesperson says the deal was too expensive for the transit authority, which already offers its own discount pass for students under 21. Student unions at Carleton and uOttawa have been fielding complaints from students disqualified from the program. Students will try to get the STO to join the program when the pilot comes up for review next summer. CBC