Top Ten

December 6, 2010

Student arrested at Quebec education funding summit

A student was arrested inside a Quebec City hotel yesterday morning after allegedly storming a provincial government summit on university funding. A police spokesperson says the student was arrested for disorderly conduct, as thousands of students across Quebec began gathering for a protest outside the summit of government, education, and union officials. The rally comes the same day as a strike by about 60,000 university students across the province to protest the Quebec government's plan to end the tuition freeze. CBC

Ontario university librarians concerned about budget cuts, survey finds

According to a survey of academic librarians in Ontario, the province's university libraries appear to be bearing a large share of cuts as institutions struggle with budget cutbacks. 70% of academic librarians surveyed report that workloads have increased in the last 3 years to meet an enrolment increase of 28,000 accompanied by no discernible increase in the number of librarians. 71% say universities are using staff attrition to cut costs. 69% of respondents report that organizational change or restructuring had occurred in response to budget constraints, technological advancements, and expanded student enrolment. OCUFA News Release | Read the report

Enrolment at Ontario colleges up nearly 6%

According to figures released yesterday, final fall enrolment numbers show over 210,000 full-time students enrolled in Ontario college programs this academic year, up 5.9% over last year. In the past 4 years, enrolment at Ontario colleges has grown by 25.6%. The figures also show a significant increase in international enrolment -- the number of foreign students attending Ontario colleges is up 47.8%. Colleges Ontario News Release

Trent enrolment short of target

Trent University has fallen short of its recruitment projections, which will result in revenue shortfalls next year, says university president Steven Franklin. Although Trent recorded its highest total enrolment in history will just a little more than 8,000 full-time students this year, the university had anticipated about 150 more students. Missing that mark has revenue implications for the 2011-12 budget. Franklin says Trent will have to adjust its revenue expectations and re-examine its recruitment and retention strategies. Peterborough Examiner

UPEI prof proposes full-time university presence in West Prince

A sessional instructor at the University of Prince Edward Island led an open forum Saturday to discuss her concept of offering university courses in West Prince for local and international students wanting to improve their grasp of the English language. The instructor is proposing a core, in-depth English program, with a math component also offered. She proposes the campus offer first-year courses students would need to transfer to UPEI or any other university's 4-year program. While UPEI does offer courses in West Prince, it is not unusual for the courses to be cancelled because a minimum number of students cannot be attained or maintained. By having a cohort of international students, it would be easier to maintain enrolment numbers for other courses being offered in the area, the instructor suggests. Summerside Journal-Pioneer

Researchers may need more funding following census changes

Once the long-form census becomes voluntary next year, university researchers say they will no longer be able to reliably use data from it. As a result, they will need more funding from the federal government to purchase substitute data from private organizations. "A lot of our researchers are now going to have to use their federal grant money to purchase private data, so in a sense it is not really saving the federal government a lot of money that way, it's adding more costs to universities and colleges," says Canadian Association of University Teachers associate executive director David Robinson. Universities' research budgets are strained already, says the University of Winnipeg's vice-president of research. "We cannot fund internally all of the requests from our researchers to begin with and any additional strain on the budget would be a problem." Canadian Press

Textbook publishers worry copyright changes could hurt industry

Nelson Education's CEO laments that homegrown publications for Canadian students and educators could disappear if Bill C-32, new federal government legislation designed to overhaul the Copyright Act, becomes law. The new bill seeks to add education to fair dealing, which is the right to use copyrighted materials without permission of or payment to the copyright holder. Publishers argue the term "education" is too broad and could lead to widespread copying of textbooks, study guides, novels, and other publications that could be remotely justified as learning materials. “The risk is that well-meaning educators could be making multiple copies of these publications, completely destroying the market for our materials.” National Post

Majority of Canadians want PSE funding increased, poll finds

According to a recent poll, the majority of Canadians believe spending on higher education should be increased, even if it means paying higher taxes. The poll results show that a majority of Canadians are worried that the quality of PSE is suffering due to underfunding. Most are worried that the government is not doing enough to ensure access, and 48% of respondents say the most important thing governments can do is reduce tuition fees. 48% do not believe university and college teachers earn too much and most oppose freezing teachers' salaries. Over half of respondents believe cutting salaries would compromise PSE quality. CAUT News | Read the poll results

SMU seeks partners for stadium renovation

Saint Mary's University is looking for partners to help renovate or replace its 40-year-old Huskies Stadium, where concrete has crumbled away, creating uneven steps that are a danger to anyone walking up or down them. The university knows repairs need to be made or a new stadium built, but it cannot afford to do it alone. While SMU is not tapped out, it has already invested in other capital projects. CBC

Facebook redesigning profile page

Facebook is redesigning the profile page of its users to make it more of a reflection of their real lives and emphasize the photos feature. On its blog, Facebook says the changes, to be rolled out gradually, are meant to make it easier for users to tell their story -- who they are, where they work, and the most important people in their lives. A new biography section will feature a set of the most recent photos users have been tagged in. In addition to listing their job, users can now add the projects they worked on. Users will also be able to feature important friends in their profile. Facebook Blog | Associated Press