Top Ten

October 13, 2010

Ottawa distributes $15 million under College and Community Innovation Program

The federal government announced Tuesday that 11 colleges will receive nearly $15 million under the College and Community Innovation Program, a tri-council initiative that enables colleges to develop or expand research transfer activities in their communities through partnerships with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. Projects receiving funding include improving the performance of renewable energy technologies, finding sustainable solutions to the pollutants and wastes generated by industries and municipalities, and producing innovative bio-based products. NSERC News Release

BC Colleges outlines priorities for next provincial budget

In its recent presentation to BC's Select Standing Committee on Finance, BC Colleges notes that in order to continue to effectively educate and train British Columbians, the province's public colleges will require a sustainable operating base. In 2011-12, BC Colleges states, there needs to be an increase to the operating base to accommodate inflation and other contractual or statutory increases to operating budgets. The organization also calls on the province to restore the annual capital allowance to pre-2009 levels, and to establish a 3-year, $30-million capital renewal fund. BC Colleges also recommends the province make a new funding commitment to support increased access and success for Aboriginal students, immigrants, and students with disabilities. BC Colleges

Enrolment rises at NSCC

Nova Scotia Community College experienced a 2% growth in enrolment for the 2010-11 academic year, which is consistent with the additional provincial funding provided to improve access to in-demand programs. This fall, there are 10,669 students enrolled in certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma programs. In addition, there are 90 students continuing in one-time funded programs that began last year. Over the course of the full school year, another 18,000 Nova Scotians will sign up for programs at NSCC. NSCC News Release

Ken Steele on today's university applicants

In the latest issue of OCUFA's Academic Matters, Academica Group's Ken Steele writes that prospective Canadian undergraduates are becoming more diverse, more focused on career outcomes and financial ROI, better informed and more aware of the variety of PSE options available to them. In light of this evolution, we can reasonably expect Canada's universities to become more responsive to economic and labour market changes, more innovative in interdisciplinary and applied programs, and more competitive and data-driven when promoting their programs to prospective students, Ken states. Forward-looking institutions are finding ways to set themselves apart with regard to learning style, research expertise, campus experience, and employment outcomes. "This diversification of institutional approach and positioning not only helps ensure the survival of longstanding universities in regions facing population decline, but also serves Canadian students by offering them clearer choices among a broader range of educational options," Ken writes. Academic Matters

Historic UBC music venues reopen following $22-million renovation

2 University of British Columbia concert halls officially reopened Tuesday after a $22-million renovation. Constructed in 1925, the Old Auditorium's $21-million makeover was funded by $12.2 million from the UBC Renew fund, with the remainder provided through fundraising efforts. The renovated facility features new rehearsal spaces, a new box office, expanded reception space, new stage lighting, a new orchestra pit, and new theatre seating. Formerly the Recital Hall, the newly renamed Roy Barnett Recital Hall received $1 million in upgrades from a $2-million donation from UBC alumnus Roy Barnett and his wife Gunilla. BC News Release | UBC News Release

Lethbridge approves grant for uLethbridge student housing expansion

Lethbridge city council has approved a $3.5-million grant toward the construction of nearly 400 additional student housing units at the University of Lethbridge. A $2-million portion of the funding will support a new 300-unit apartment complex adjacent to other residences on the southern part of the campus. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2012, with a completion date of September 2012. The remaining funding will be used immediately to develop 62 units in University Hall, as well as 37 more units within the existing Aperture Park residences. It's expected that students will be able to occupy those new units as early as next fall. Lethbridge Herald

uToronto top Canadian institution in global research rankings

The University of Toronto has placed first among Canadian universities in the 2010 SCImago Institutions Rankings, which analyzes the scientific output  from 2004 to 2008 of over 2,800 research institutions and organizations worldwide in higher education, government, health, corporate, and other sectors. uToronto placed 8th overall, and the University of British Columbia (36), the University of Alberta (57), and McGill University (59) ranked among the top 100. 35 other Canadian post-secondary institutions made the list. SIR World Report 2010

Ottawa to spend over $11 billion on S&T

Statistics Canada reports that the federal government's spending on science and technology (S&T) is expected to reach $11.7 billion in the 2010-11 fiscal year. Of that amount, Ottawa intends to spend $7.4 billion on research and development. Of the total S&T expenditures, $5.9 billion is expected to be spent within the federal departments and agencies, and $5.8 billion will be directed to other sectors, such as higher education, business, private non-profit organizations, and foreign and other entities, to support their S&T activities. About three-quarters of federal S&T spending is anticipated to be allocated to natural sciences and engineering, and the remainder to social sciences and humanities in 2010-11. Statistics Canada

ACCC forms partnership with network of Brazilian PSE institutions

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges has signed an MOU with the Conselho Nacional das Instituiçoes da Rede Federal de Educaçäo (CONIF), the national council of the 42 Brazilian institutions of professional education, science, and technology, to initiate collaboration between Canadian colleges and institutes and their Brazilian counterparts. Under this umbrella agreement, additional MOUs were negotiated between individual Canadian and Brazilian institutions with common programs. The agreement will enhance the collaboration between ACCC and CONIF in the areas of technical and professional education, promote student and faculty exchanges, and develop joint initiatives, for example, in applied research. ACCC News Release

Students' alcohol intake increases while studying abroad, study finds

New research from the University of Washington observes that study-abroad students are likely to increase or even double their alcohol intake while they are away. The study found that students who travelled to Europe, Australia, or New Zealand drank more heavily while abroad than those who went to Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, or Africa. Students who were under the legal drinking age in the US increased their drinking while abroad by about 170%, while the overall increase was about 105%. Researchers note that excessive drinking abroad places students in greater danger as they do not know local laws and customs. University of Washington News | Canadian Press | Inside Higher Ed