Top Ten

November 5, 2010

Ontario opposition parties criticize international student scholarship program

The Ontario government's new $30-million Ontario Trillium Scholarship, intended for international PhD students, is drawing criticism from opposition MPPs. The Progressive Conservative's PSE critic is calling on the Liberal government to cancel the program and divert the funds to Ontario students. "To give $40,000 a year to foreign students, that's just wrong. The money should go to Ontario families first," says PC Leader Tim Hudak. "It's quite disconcerting," says NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, noting that Ontario students already pay the highest tuition fees in Canada. Horwath says the government should review the program and determine if it really is the best way to invest in the province's education system and in its students. Ontario News Release | Toronto Star | Toronto Sun

Report proposes new methods to collect data on Aboriginal students in Ontario

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario commissioned the Canadian Council on Learning to conduct a study to help the provincial government determine the best way to collect data on Aboriginal PSE students. The report says the adoption of a standardized self-identification question should be part of a data collection method used by all provincial PSE institutions, ideally administered through a centralized process, such as Ontario's university and college application services. The report also suggests the Ontario Education Number system should be expanded across the higher education system. While this approach would improve educational data for all students, the study states, it would be particularly useful in measuring the effectiveness of government initiatives targeting under-represented groups. Report summary | Read the full report

Record enrolment at uCalgary

The University of Calgary achieved a record high in enrolment this September with 30,838 undergraduate and graduates enrolled at the institution, up 11.1% from 2007. The first to second year retention rate of first-year undergraduates has risen from approximately 83% in 2007 to 86% in 2010. Between 2008 and 2010, new undergraduate applicants increased by 7.3%, while new graduate applicants rose by 19.3%. UToday

Inaugural conference of BC colleges focuses on skills crisis

At BC Colleges' inaugural conference last week, the presidents of the consortium's 11 member institutions established a vision of all the colleges working together and responding with one voice to partner with the BC and federal governments, industry, non-profit organizations, and other PSE institutions to quickly address the looming skilled worker shortage. There is a strong commitment among the presidents for collaboration to boost participation rates among high school graduates, Aboriginal learners, immigrant learners, and the under-employed. The presidents are also committed to developing a framework for system-wide education planning that effectively responds to regional economic and skills development in BC. BC Colleges News Release

UNBC unveils new university plan

The University of Northern British Columbia has unveiled a new university plan that conveys a desire to be among the world's best universities by building on strengths related to the environment, First Nations, health and quality of life, the sustainability of northern communities, and the innovative delivery of courses and programs. The plan concludes with 6 goals: as Canada's Green University, be a leader in renewable energy; engage all undergraduate students in research or experiential learning; enrich the learning experience through new pedagogical models; increase the impact of UNBC's research by enhancing capacity and building external linkages; encourage a respectful, supportive, exciting, and friendly environment throughout the institution; and transform communities through the contributions of alumni. UNBC News Release

NS launches consultation on student assistance

The Nova Scotia government is seeking public input on how to improve the province's student assistance program. The province is holding 6 public meetings and a video conference in French this month, and welcomes submissions to the education department's website. Improving financial support for students with greatest need was a key recommendation in a review of Nova Scotia's university system. A report on the consultation will be delivered to the education minister in January. NS News Release

uWaterloo adopts new slogan

The University of Waterloo has a new tagline -- "Ideas start here." The university's Daily Bulletin says "the slogan is a new way of talking about that old Waterloo standby, 'innovation'." The "idea" or "innovation" theme is a powerful one in attracting students to uWaterloo, says Tina Roberts, the director of the university's marketing and undergraduate recruitment office. The new slogan is displayed on the university's homepage through a series of feature stories about "ideas that started at the University of Waterloo." uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

HEC Montréal accredited by CFA Institute

HEC Montréal announced Friday it has obtained official accreditation from the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute, an international body representing more than 100,000 members practising in 135 different countries and territories. "The CFA program is an essential international asset," says HEC Montréal's director. The business school says its students are in a good position to pass the 3 exams required to obtain the CFA charter. HEC Montréal News Release

Employment rate among Canadian youth unchanged

According to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey, the employment rate among 15- to 24-year-olds in October was 54.5%, unchanged from September. The unemployment rate for this age group rose a tenth of a percentage point, from 14.9% to 15%. Youth in Prince Edward Island made the most gains in October with a 2.5 percentage point increase in the employment rate in this age group, and Manitoba recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 61.4%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

International enrolment drops at American business schools

Fewer international students are enrolling in business schools in the US, forcing many institutions to recruit more aggressively worldwide to preserve what they say is an essential component of a school's credibility. According to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, foreign student enrolment at US business schools dropped to 24.8% in the 2009-10 academic year, down from 26.5% 2 years before. Improved schools abroad, tougher employment prospects in the US, and the expense of attending a US school have led to fewer international applications at many programs, several business school officials say. Wall Street Journal | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)