Top Ten

September 21, 2010

International students pump $565 million into Atlantic Canada's economy

According to a new report from the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training, foreign post-secondary students contributed $565 million to Atlantic Canada's economy in 2009-10. Broken down by province, the estimates are $286.6 million for Nova Scotia, $170.7 million for New Brunswick, $70.1 million for Newfoundland and Labrador, and $37.5 million for Prince Edward Island. The report also includes a summary of unprompted survey comments from international students. The comments touch on high tuition fees, the need for better funding, lack of employment opportunities and services, education and living experience, and discrimination based on race/ethnicity. Adventures in Canadian Post-Secondary Education (Dale Kirby's blog) | Read the report

How Langara integrates foreign students into Canadian life

Langara College wants its international students to participate in Canadian life before transferring to national universities, so in 2006 it launched the Langara PLUS Program to help such students track their extracurricular activities. The college encourages students to participate in 4 types of activities -- study-skills workshops, social events, recreational activities, and lifestyle workshops -- and record them using the Langara PLUS "passport." International students are less likely than Canadian students to have worked part time or volunteered -- experiences universities often look for in applications -- in part because many are from cultures that emphasize studying. Langara's international-services co-ordinator calls the program "a carrot for students to get them involved, to be part of things, in the hope that it helps them down the road." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

$3 million for enrolment support at Sudbury institutions

On Monday, the Ontario government announced over $3.1 million in funding for Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal as part of the 5-year Open Ontario Plan to help increase enrolment and support programs. Laurentian will receive over $1.5 million, Cambrian more than $1.2 million, and Boréal nearly $450,000. Rick Bartolucci MPP News Release

Record enrolment at MHC

As of last Monday, enrolment at Medicine Hat College reached 3,001 students, the highest fall headcount the college has ever encountered, and an increase of nearly 5% over the same time last year. Student satisfaction has also hit record levels at the institution. In a survey, 93% of respondents were satisfied with the quality of teaching, and 98% said they would recommend MHC to another person. The college's Vera Bracken library received a 100% satisfaction rating from surveyed students. MHC News Release

More students seeking mental health services at Loyalist College

Just 2 weeks into the new school year, staff at Loyalist College's mental health clinics are dealing with a spike in the number of students seeking advice about relationships, anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and more serious mental health related concerns. Most students seen by staff are recent high school graduates and have never lived away from home, students who are at higher risk of making mistakes during the early parts of the term. There has also been a change in the demographics of students seeking help, fuelled by an influx of Second Career students and injured workers who have been out of school for several years. Belleville Intelligencer

UWO signs MOU with Western China School of Medicine

On Monday, the University of Western Ontario's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry signed a memorandum of understanding with the West China School of Medicine at Sichuan University to allow Chinese PhD students to study at both institutions, graduating with dual degrees. PhD students from China are expected to start studying at UWO next year. The vice dean of education at West China School of Medicine says UWO is an attractive partner for its students. "It is very progressive, high tech in the field of medicine, imaging and medical education." Western News | London Free Press

$1-million donation to Carleton fosters student entrepreneurialism

Last Thursday, Carleton University announced a $1-million gift from Ottawa entrepreneur and Carleton alumnus Wes Nicol, whose donation will establish the Nicol Challenge -- a series of campus-wide initiatives aimed at encouraging all Carleton students to develop entrepreneurial skills and find innovative solutions to real-world problems. The centrepiece of the Nicol Challenge will be an entrepreneurial competition in which students submit their ideas to address a real-world need or opportunity. Entries judged to be the most creative and feasible would receive recognition and a monetary reward from a fund endowed by Nicol's gift. Carleton News Release

Highlights from CAUT's post-secondary almanac

In its Almanac of Post-Secondary Education in Canada for 2010-11, CAUT provides facts and figures on finance, academic staff, students, universities and colleges, research, and libraries, as well as other provincial, national, and international data. Between 1978 and 2008, the proportion of university operating revenue from government sources dropped from 84% to 58%, while the proportion from tuition fees rose from 12% to 35%. Full-time university enrolment jumped from 580,400 in 1998-99 to 796,400 in 2007-08, a 37% increase over the decade. At the end of 2008, Canadian PSE institutions had accumulated nearly $9 billion in endowment funds, calculated at market value, down 20.3% over 2007. In 2007-08, Canadian universities received over $6 billion in sponsored research revenue, up 6.1% from 2006-07. Read the almanac

Niagara College environmental program awarded national accreditation

Environmental Careers Organization Canada has accredited Niagara College's one-year environment management and assessment graduate certificate program, making it the first time this type of program has received the accreditation in Canada. "This accreditation tells employers that our graduates have completed a curriculum that meets a national standard and are able to hit the ground running, making an immediate impact within the environmental industry," says the chair of the college's School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. Niagara College News Release

COU unveils new website

The Council of Ontario Universities has redesigned its website to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate. Dominating the homepage is a rotating graphic banner that point to issues such as student success, sustainability, research, and the impact of Ontario universities. Also new to the website are news updates from the provincial government and COU's member institutions. COU website