Top Ten

October 5, 2010

9 Ontario PSE institutions spending $1 million on lobbyists, reports NDP

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding to know why 9 provincial universities and colleges have been spending nearly $1 million on lobbyists to influence the government. According to documents the NDP obtained through freedom-of-information laws, Laurentian University had a lobbying contract worth $102,000, York University had 3 contracts totalling nearly $500,000, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology had a contract worth up to $130,000. Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy says the institutions have no reason to hire lobbyists, and that spending public funds on lobbyists is unacceptable. Canadian Press | OCUFA News Release | CFS News Release 

Ontario cuts funding to PSE outreach programs

The Ontario government has pulled funding to dozens of university outreach programs for children whose parents never enrolled in higher education. TCU Minister John Milloy says the province moved away from funding such programs last spring to address a gap in initiatives designed to keep first-generation students in school, adding that much of the outreach funding was never meant to be permanent. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is calling on the province to restore funding immediately to outreach programs and to establish an arm's-length foundation to carry out even more community-based outreach.

Alberta's Wildrose Alliance releases PSE platform

At the University of Calgary Monday, Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith announced her party's advanced education policies, which include a student loan forgiveness program for students who remain in Alberta, and capping annual increases in tuition and non-academic fees at the rate of inflation. The party promises additional spaces for high-demand programs by allowing provincial funding to follow the student, rather than providing block grants to institutions. The Wildrose Alliance pledges to remove parental income as a factor in approving student loans, offer tax incentives for private-sector endowment and scholarship funds, and provide royalties for commercialized patents stemming from public research grants. Wildrose Alliance PSE Platform | Calgary Herald

What is the value of a degree for Aboriginal Canadians?

According to a new brochure created by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada using Statistics Canada data, a university degree can ensure Aboriginal Canadians earn approximately 50% more in income over a lifetime than Aboriginal high-school graduates. Aboriginal Canadians with a university degree experience fewer and shorter periods of unemployment, and have significantly better health outcomes, AUCC notes. The Aboriginal youth population in Canada is growing at 3 times the national average, yet they are the least likely to graduate from high school, and even less likely to enrol in university. Despite universities addressing the unique needs of Aboriginal students through targeted recruitment campaigns, bridging year programming, and dedicated student centres, more must be done, says AUCC. AUCC News Release | The Value of a Degree for Aboriginal Canadians (AUCC brochure)

Ontario University Coalition unveils statement of principles

Created earlier this year, the Ontario University Coalition (OUC) -- comprising student, faculty, and union groups -- released yesterday its statement of principles. The coalition is united behind the following core beliefs: PSE should be affordable and accessible; PSE should be engaging and of high quality; high-quality PSE must include staffing levels that ensure manageable workloads; and PSE should be publicly funded. OUC states it will continue to advocate for public policy changes that reflect its core principles and call on the provincial government to more adequately fund higher education. CFS News Release | Ontario University Coalition website

Record enrolment at Dal

A record-high number of students have arrived this fall at Dalhousie University. Up by 812 students from last year, Dal is seeing its greatest enrolment jump since the "double cohort" in 2003 when Ontario eliminated Grade 13. The most recent figures show there are 12,591 undergraduate and 3,860 graduate students enrolled at the university. Dal has seen considerable jumps in the number of new students coming from Asia and the Middle East, as well as from across Canada. The number of foreign students is soaring to record highs, up by about 420 over last year. Dal News

TRU sets international-student enrolment record

Student enrolments at Thompson Rivers University have increased again this fall, led by a record number of 1,460 foreign students from over 70 different countries. This results in an overall enrolment increase of 2% for the fall 2010 term. The largest increases were seen in the business and nursing schools. The growth this fall follows a 7% increase in enrolments this past summer, and follows the pattern set by the 6.2% overall increase last academic year. TRU News

Vital Signs report highlights unemployment rate of university-educated immigrants

According to Canada's Vital Signs 2010, the annual report card on quality of life from the Community Foundations of Canada, in 2009, recent immigrants to Canada (who have lived here for 5 years or less) with a university education had an unemployment rate that was 4.1 times higher (13.9%) than that of Canadian-born workers with a university degree (3.4%). The report observes that at present, just over half of Canadians aged 15 and over have some form of PSE (50.8% in 2009). The proportion of the population with PSE qualifications has increased 2 percentage points from 2006, and 18.1 percentage points since 1990. Vital Signs Canada blog | Vital Signs 2010

Nipissing names Jon Dellandrea as chancellor

Nipissing University's board of governors has appointed Jon Dellandrea, who currently serves as a counsel to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, as the university's new chancellor. From 2005 to 2008, Dellandrea served as pro-vice-chancellor (Development and External Affairs) at the University of Oxford, where he launched a $2.5-billion fundraising campaign. During his tenure as vice-president and chief development officer at the University of Toronto, from 1994 to 2005, Dellandrea headed the single largest fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian universities, raising over $1.2 billion for student aid and endowed chairs. Nipissing News Release

UNB receives $1-million donation for human performance lab

The family of Andrew and Marjorie McCain has made a $1-million donation to the University of New Brunswick in support of the Human Performance Lab, based in the Richard J. Currie Centre. In honour of the gift, UNB has named the facility The Andrew and Marjorie McCain Human Performance Laboratory. The facility will allow the university to expand its research opportunities and increase the quality of life for New Brunswickers. UNB News | Daily Gleaner