Top Ten

February 4, 2011

Students, CUPE critical of NS university funding plan

Students and union leaders in Nova Scotia say they are disappointed by the provincial government's plan to allow tuition fee increases capped at 3% and reduce university funding by 4%. Nova Scotia's representative of the Canadian Federation of Students says the current NDP government "has let students down despite promising to decrease tuition fees while they were in opposition." An estimated 2,000 students took to the streets of Halifax last week to protest the cost of PSE in Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, the president of the CUPE local representing teaching assistants and part-time faculty at Dal, MSVU, and SMU says in regards to the 4% cut in university grant funding, "we certainly don't think the reductions should come at the expense of front line staff like TAs, or full and part-time faculty." CUPE News Release | CFS News Release | CBC

Ottawa increases transfer to Quebec student-loan program

The federal government announced Friday that PSE students in Quebec will benefit from increased federal funding to the province. For its student financial assistance program, Quebec will be receiving a payment of approximately $275 million for the 2009-10 academic year, an increase of $150 million compared to 2008-09. The payment to Quebec has increased due to changes made to the Canada Student Loans Program in 2009, as well as a 10% increase in the uptake of student loans and grants across the country. Since they do not participate in the federally run Canada Student Loans Program, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec each receive an annual payment to operate their own student aid programs. HRSDC News Release

Health-focused college for Drumheller inches closer to reality

After a year of work toward creating a post-secondary school in the central Alberta town of Drumheller, Hope College has now officially been registered as a non-profit institution. The college will submit a proposal to the Rural Alberta Development Fund before March 17, with a response expected within a month stating if it is accepted. Hope College will focus on the health field, with plans involving 3 different start-up diploma courses: licensed practical nursing, physical therapy assistant, and business administration. Plans are to build programs to the degree level once student enrolment grows over the first 5 years of the school's life, says the project manager for the college. The opening of Hope College is planned for fall 2012. Drumheller Mail

Northern College president calls for further investment in Ontario college system

In pre-budget hearings late last month, Northern College president Fred Gibbons said if the Ontario government wants to see the province's college system grow and improve, it will have to spend more money. Gibbons said at the hearings that his institution is experiencing huge enrolment growth, but provincial funding has not kept pace, adding that colleges are funded at a lower level than universities and college tuition fees are kept at a lower level. Investment in colleges is necessary if Ontario is to reach its goal of 70% PSE attainment, said Gibbons, who also noted that these institutions are the solution to the gap existing between the unemployed and the skills required for emerging sectors. Timmins Times

New-student enrolment for winter term up 3% at Fleming

Fleming College continues to grow with a 3% increase in new students who began their first term at the Peterborough-based institution last month. January enrolment at Fleming has jumped to 942 first-semester students this year from 915 in 2010, and from 854 in January 2009. The School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, based at the Frost campus in Lindsay, and the School of Law, Justice and Community Services saw the most growth in new students. Since fall 2007, total first-time fall term enrolment at Fleming has risen by more than 1,000 students, or 20%. Total fall enrolment last year increased 5% over 2009. Fleming College News Release

Queen's set to begin construction of performing arts centre this spring

With the $63-million capital funding now in place, construction is scheduled to start this spring on Queen's University's Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. The complex, slated to open in fall 2013, will feature an acoustically-superior concert hall, a "black box" theatre, a screening room, and rehearsal space. The City of Kingston is refurbishing the nearby JT Tett Creativity Centre for local artists and arts groups. A report expected by summer will propose a sustainable model for a cultural arts facilities plan for both the university and the municipality. Queen's News Centre

AUCC shares its perspective on copyright changes

In its submission to the House of Commons Legislative Committee on Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada recommends a proposed requirement to destroy reproductions of lessons be eliminated, noting that requiring lessons to be redeveloped over and over again "would waste educational resources and discourage the use of online learning in Canada." Other issues and recommendations focus on statutory damages, fair dealing, digital locks, and library exceptions. Read the submission

Durham College launches student-operated restaurant

Thursday marked the official launch of Bistro Max, a restaurant operated by students in Durham College's new one-year Culinary Skills certificate program. As part of the program's Food Service Operation course, students will open Bistro Max, which is located at an Oshawa high school, to the public for a 10-week period during February, March, and April, where they will prepare and serve 3-course meals from a biweekly, rotating menu. While students currently use the high school for practical lab work, they will eventually study in the new 30,000-square-foot facility being built for students in hospitality, tourism, and food programs as part of Durham College's Whitby campus expansion. Durham College News Release

SAIT launches Canada's first BSc in Construction Project Management

SAIT Polytechnic announced Friday it will offer this fall a Bachelor of Science in Construction Project Management, the first program of its kind in Canada. The 4-year program will apply theory, immersive learning, and technology training to address the scientific management of construction projects. The degree will be the second offered by SAIT, whose other baccalaureate degree is a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting). SAIT News Release

Employment rate among Canadian youth remains steady

According to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey for January, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds employed was little changed last month and their unemployment rate rose by 0.6 percentage points to 14.4%, as more young people searched for work. Compared to 12 months earlier, employment and the rate of employment for Canadian youth were virtually unchanged. 15- to 24-year-olds in PEI made the most gains in January with a 2.8 percentage point increase in the employment rate in this age group, and Alberta recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 61.3%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey