Top Ten

September 29, 2010

Carleton staff approve strike mandate

On Tuesday, Carleton University workers voted 83% in favour of giving a strike mandate to their bargaining representatives. More than 800 professional, office, and technical employees at the institution have been without a contract since June 30. Outstanding issues include pension and job security. Meanwhile, members of Carleton's academic staff association will hold a strike vote early next month. CUPE News

UWO staff to hold strike vote

The University of Western Ontario's staff association will hold a strike vote on October 5. The association, which represents close to 1,000 staff working in faculties and administrative units across campus, has been involved in 4 months of contract negotiations with UWO. According to the association, the key issues are money and job security. Meanwhile, members of UWO's faculty association are taking part in a strike vote this week. Western News | AM 980

MBA applications rise in Canada

A stronger economy, international marketing campaigns by business schools, and the federal Post-Graduation Work Permit program are being credited for the increase in applications to full-time MBA programs in Canada. The Graduate Management Admissions Council reports that 62% of Canadian business schools received more applications for full-time MBA programs this year than in 2009. The council points to one key difference between Canadian and American business schools, the latter of which have seen declines in applications: 12-month full-time programs at Queen's and UWO's Ivey, whereas full-time programs in the US are typically 2 years. Applications are up about 10% across MBA and executive MBA programs at Queen's, and Ivey, McGill, UBC, and York U report increases this year. Of the 32 full-time MBA programs offered through 18 Canadian business schools, 77% reported an uptick in foreign applicants this year. Globe and Mail

China seeking half a million foreign students by 2020

As part of its new education plan, China has set a goal of having half a million international students by 2020, more than doubling the 2009 figure of 240,000. The director-general of the education ministry's department of international co-operation and exchange says China's effort to encourage more overseas students to study in the country is "an important part of the country's diplomatic work to show Chinese culture to the global community." The top nations sending students to China this year are South Korea, the US, and Japan, the ministry reports. China Daily | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

MESA report examines timing of PSE decision-making

According to new research from the MESA Project, based on the Longitudinal Survey of Low-Income Students, nearly half of low-income students make their decision about whether to attend PSE before they reach Grade 9. The study notes that late deciders are much more likely to leave PSE without graduating, while early deciders are more likely to have savings for higher education. Early deciders spend comparatively less time in paid work and more time studying while in PSE, the report states. The study finds that the timing of students' decision differs across various individual and family characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, and parental education. College students in the survey sample are much more likely than university students to be late deciders. Read the research brief | Globe and Mail

Recession slows PSE student employment

According to a new Statistics Canada article, during the 2009-10 academic year, about 542,000 PSE students aged 15 to 24 held jobs, representing an employment rate of 45%, down from 48% in 2007-08, just before the recession. Between 2007-08 and 2009-10, employment among full-time PSE students declined by 30,000. Of those who were employed during the academic year, 90% worked part time. Although students worked one hour less per week after the recession, hourly wages rose from $10.75 to $11.80. As a result, average earnings for employed students remained at $6,300 during the 2009-10 school year. Women, students aged 20 to 24, and Canadian-born students were more likely to work during the school year. Statistics Canada | Read the article

Enrolment boom at Sheridan

This year, Sheridan College welcomed 16,000 students to its Oakville and Brampton campuses, an increase of 12% over 2009. Enrolment figures for the Oakville campus indicated a 5% increase, while the Brampton campus experienced a record 20% increase. The number of international students at Sheridan has more than doubled over last year's figure to 1,200 students this year. Sheridan News Release

$8 million for MUN Ocean Sciences Centre

Newfoundland and Labrador's Research & Development Corporation announced yesterday an infrastructure investment of over $8.3 million for Memorial University's Ocean Sciences Centre. The funding will be used to build new infrastructure at the centre that will include a deep-sea water supply to provide consistent, low temperature sea water year-round. The investment will also support the development of a bio-containment facility for research on infectious diseases affecting marine animals, as well as invasive aquatic species. NL Release

Funding problems stall uSask Aboriginal student centre project

A lack of funding has stalled the University of Saskatchewan's Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre, designed to house resources and amenities for Aboriginal students. The university has secured just a third of the estimated $15 million needed to build the centre, as private donations have been slow. uSask officials are exploring funding with the provincial and federal governments. The project is ready for construction as soon as funding is secured. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

COTR breaks ground for Aboriginal gathering place

The College of the Rockies held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for its new Aboriginal gathering place, which will be constructed primarily by the college's trades training students. Once completed, the octagonal structure will incorporate green technology, and will feature large open space for cultural and ceremonial events, offices, and a fully equipped kitchen. The gathering place is one of 27 being built at public PSE institutions across BC through a $13.6-million investment from the province. BC News Release