Top Ten

February 14, 2011

UWO volleyball players safe after team bus catches fire

Members of the University of Western Ontario's men's and women's volleyball teams escaped unharmed after their charter bus caught fire Sunday evening while travelling on Highway 401 near Ingersoll, Ontario. Around 8 pm, the bus driver pulled over after noticing smoke coming from the back of the vehicle, and the players, returning to London following games in Toronto, got out before flames tore through the bus. The bus driver was taken to hospital with minor injures. A second bus took the teams back to campus later in the evening. An assistant coach with the men's team says there were laptops, shoes, study notes, house keys, and team jerseys lost in the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Western News | London Free Press | Canadian Press

More international students coming to Canada

According to preliminary data released Sunday, last year Canada admitted 280,636 permanent residents, the highest number of legal immigrants welcomed in more than 50 years. In 2010, Canada continued to welcome a high number of temporary residents, including 96,147 foreign students. That is 28,292 more international students admitted than in 2005. According to a report released in late 2009, international students are estimated to contribute over $6.5 billion to Canada's economy every year. CIC News Release

US, Canadian institutions see endowments rebound

The second annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments shows a significant increase for the 2010 fiscal year compared to 2009, giving a positive sign that the market downturn might be easing for US and Canadian post-secondary schools. In this year's study, 865 US and Canadian institutions were ranked by their endowment market value, with participating schools representing more than $46 billion US in combined endowment assets. The data reveals an investment return average of 11.9% in the 2010 fiscal year, a sharp increase over the average -18.7% return for 2009. Among Canadian institutions, the University of Victoria showed the biggest jump in endowment market value, with a 34% increase to $237 million US in 2010 from $177 million US in 2009. Each of the 23 Canadian institutions in the study made gains in endowment market value. NACUBO News Release | University World News | NCSE Public Tables -- Endowment Market Values

NSERC distributes $23 million to research networks

The federal government announced Friday a $22.5-million investment from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to support research networks at 4 PSE institutions -- the British Columbia Institute of Technology, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Windsor. The research networks focus on the integration of wireless communications technology for vehicles, the detection and deactivation of dangerous bacteria in food and water, the development of a new-generation electricity system, and the development of new technologies to preserve marine and freshwater habitats. NSERC News Release

uManitoba commerce program offering direct entry to high school graduates

This fall, the University of Manitoba's business school will allow top high school graduates to enrol directly into the commerce program. uManitoba president David Barnard says deans and department heads have acknowledged that their best prospective students are also getting accepted by other institutions, who offer direct entry into the students' major in first year. Most uManitoba students decide on a major for second year, after completing University 1 -- their first year, in which students must pick among a range of arts and science courses. Barnard says the new direct-entry policy, which will expand to at least 5 other faculties in September 2012, stems from a review of University 1's first decade. The program will continue, but the difference will be that the top high school students, who know what they want to study, will be certain they have a spot in the faculty of their choice. Winnipeg Free Press

uCalgary presents action plan on undergraduate student engagement

The University of Calgary is holding a town hall today to get the campus community's feedback on the 3-year action plan on undergraduate student engagement, to be presented by the NSSE Action Team. The plan includes an objective and several strategies for each of the following focus areas: teaching and learning environment; program design and planning; academic advising/learning support; and enriching and active co-curricular experiences. Among the broad strategies are promoting student engagement in the classroom, reviewing the university's academic program mix, ensuring students have access to the courses they need to complete their degrees, engaging all first-year students in preliminary educational planning advising sessions, and increasing time students spend on campus. NSSE Town Hall | Undergraduate Student Engagement 3-Year Action Plan

Most Quebecers polled do not want Bill 101 extended to CÉGEPs

According to a new poll, most Quebec residents, including a majority of francophones, do not want to see restrictions on who can attend English CÉGEPs. Although language activists in the province support extending Bill 101 to colleges, 53% of francophones polled said they prefer to see freedom of choice maintained. Only 38% of francophone respondents said they favour toughening language laws to prevent francophones and allophones (individuals whose mother tongue or home language is neither French nor English) from attending English CÉGEPs. Among non-francophone respondents, 80% said they were opposed to extending Bill 101 to colleges. Overall in Quebec, after taking into account the responses of non-francophones, the poll found 58% did not want Bill 101 applied to CÉGEPs. Montreal Gazette

"Word clouds" part of new uWindsor marketing campaign

This week the University of Windsor is rolling out its spring marketing campaign, titled "Think UWindsor." The print and online advertisements feature "word clouds" listing the university's attributes, which were identified by students to represent their perception of uWindsor's strengths and points of pride on campus. uWindsor students were photographed for the print and online ads. They also performed the voice-over work for radio ads and participated in TV commercials. The multi-media campaign will run in southwestern Ontario markets and in the Toronto area. The initial launch is timed to promote interest in the university's spring open house on March 4. The campaign will ramp up again in May to encourage students to accept their offers of admission. uWindsor Daily News | Think UWindsor

Indian business schools decry new rule on admissions

India's top private business schools plan to challenge a new rule they claim limits their autonomy. The rule effectively prohibits the schools from conducting their own admissions tests and holding their own interviews with prospective students -- responsibilities to be taken over by Indian states. The business schools have petitioned for a court order to stop the rule from taking effect. Without such an order, the schools say they would not accept students who go through the state-run admissions process. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

US women's college uses Valentine's Day to connect with admitted applicants

At Meredith College, a North Carolina-based women's college, Valentine's Day has become a time to reach out to applicants with personalized notes that include big red hearts. This year, the institution mailed about 650 valentines to its admitted applicants, including those who have already sent deposits. The tradition, which began 5 years ago, has proven popular among students, who have even reciprocated the gesture. There are some signs that Cupid is playing a bigger role in the admissions process. Last year, the University of Chicago sent applicants student-penned "love letters," accompanied by a pennant and scarf, for Valentine's Day. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)