Top Ten

November 3, 2010

SMU raises over $45 million in capital campaign

Yesterday Saint Mary's University wrapped up the most successful fundraising campaign it its history with a celebration honouring the donors and volunteers who made the effort possible. Launched in 2006, SMU's "Hearts and Minds" capital campaign drew in over $45.4 million, surpassing the campaign goal by more than 10%. 13 donations of over $1 million were made to the campaign, which has supported new buildings such as the Homburg Centre for Health and Wellness, student financial aid, and student services. SMU News Release

Ontario to attract international students with major scholarship program

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced yesterday that 75 international PhD students will receive full 4-year scholarships, each valued at $40,000 annually, starting in the 2011-12 academic year. The program is billed as the first of its kind in the country. The province will pick up two-thirds of the cost, while the host university will pay the remaining third. The University of Toronto will have the most scholarships with 15 spots each year, but of each of the 17 Ontario universities with doctoral programs will have at least 2. McGuinty made the announcement while speaking to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the final stop of a 6-day visit to China, which currently supplies about a third of Ontario's 38,000 international students. Globe and Mail

AUCC calls for international education strategy

A new brochure from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada shows that foreign student enrolment in Canadian universities has risen for the fifteenth year in a row, with an increase of 10% this year. There are now 90,000 full-time international students studying at Canadian universities, triple the number of students who came to Canada in 1998. Despite this success, the US, the UK, and Australia continue to outpace Canada in recruiting international students. "Canada needs a national strategy and government investment to aggressively build Canada's brand and to help attract the best and brightest students from around the world," says AUCC president Paul Davidson. AUCC News Release | The Value of a Degree in a Global Marketplace

Ontario universities doing more to implement green initiatives

Ontario universities are doing more than ever before to track and implement sustainability initiatives on their campus, according to a report being presented today at the Council of Ontario Universities' Going Greener Forum. Highlights of the findings of a survey on universities' environmental progress include new degree programs being offered to students that will build the skills needed for a green economy, a greater recognition of the importance of engaging stakeholders across campus in sustainability efforts, an increase in renewable energy being produced, and the growing accessibility of locally-produced food on campus. COU News Release

High school dropout rates falling, reports StatsCan

According to new Statistics Canada data, high school dropout rates in the country have been falling since 1990-91, when nearly 16.6% of young people had not completed a high school diploma and were not currently enrolled in school. The largest declines happened during the 1990s. By 2000-01, the rate had dropped to 11.1%. Decreases in the last decade were more gradual. By 2009-10, the dropout rate fell to 8.5%. During the deepest part of the recent recession in 2008-09, nearly one in 4 dropouts aged 20 to 24 were unemployed. Statistics Canada

Alberta considers increasing compulsory school age to 17

Alberta's education minister is giving serious thought to raising the compulsory school age to 17 as part of a broader effort to improve the province's high school completion rate. For most students, the move would require them to stay in school into their Grade 12 year. The change is one of many proposed for a new Education Act, expected to be introduced in the legislature next spring. Despite recent improvements, the number of students graduating from high school in Alberta continues to be a concern, as the province's high school completion rate within 5 years of starting Grade 10 remains below 80%. Calgary Herald

Who are the poorest students of them all?

According to a new survey by Studentawards Inc., of the 9 faculties surveyed, students in business, social sciences, and nursing are starting the academic year as the "poorest of them all." For the third consecutive year, all faculties report one year of college or university will cost them between $10,000 and $20,000. Of the 1,500 students surveyed, 76% said they will have to borrow money to fund their education. 31% of respondents said they will turn to parents and other relatives for financial help. 17% of students surveyed said they were unemployed this summer because they could not find a job. Of the 68% who reported being employed, 53% made less than $5,000. Studentawards Inc. News Release

SLC completes Brockville campus renovations

Tuesday marked the official opening of St. Lawrence College's revitalized Brockville campus, a project undertaken with funding from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Campus improvements include a new nursing lab, a firefighter training tower, new student association offices, new faculty offices, new distance education offices, updated change room facilities in the athletic centre, upgrades to the student courtyard, additional counselling space, and a café-like student commons. SLC News Release

TRU Open Learning Division opens office in Vancouver

Yesterday Thompson Rivers University's Open Learning Division (TRU-OL) held a grand opening celebration for its new Vancouver office. TRU-OL's vice-president says that OL administration always intended to have a Vancouver presence for the division in order to help fulfill its mandate to provide open and distance education to the province of BC. The new office will have a limited complement of staff to oversee the facility, which will be used for exam purposes and as space for OL staff and faculty members to conduct meetings and training. TRU News

SIAST campaign tells prospective students institution is their "answer key"

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology has launched a fall campaign encouraging students to explore PSE options sooner rather than later. The campaign's main marketing message -- "Life is multiple choice -- and we have the answer key" -- highlights reasons to choose the institution, lists program areas, and explains how to start exploring a future at SIAST. Advertisements encourage potential students to set up a profile on SIAST's prospective students' portal so that they may be the first to learn about events and news customized to their program interests. The campaign will run until the beginning of December. SIAST News Release