Top Ten

February 15, 2011

Renowned gene researcher lured to McGill receives $5-million budget

After pioneering work in Britain, France, and Japan, Canadian Mark Lathrop -- one of the world's leading genomics researchers -- is returning home to lead the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre. The president and CEO of Génome Québec describes the hiring as a "vote of confidence" and an "endorsement of the quality of genomics research" being done in Canada. McGill's dean of medicine says the recruitment of a star genomics researcher such as Lathrop "represents not only a gain for us, but also for Quebec and Canadian science and industry." Lathrop's appointment includes a $5-million budget, funding that can be used to attract other researchers. The money comes from the $30 million the Quebec government provides to Génome Québec as part of the provincial innovation strategy. Quebec News Release (in French) | McGill News Release | Globe and Mail

Justice group claims Mohawk College's security fees are discriminatory

A Montreal-based organization hosting a tour by an anti-Israel American scholar is accusing Mohawk College of "administrative discrimination and harassment" after the institution asked for a security surcharge for an upcoming lecture. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East suggests Mohawk is trying to block the February 19 lecture by Norman Finkelstein, and is warning it will seek an injunction against the college. Mohawk says its decision to require more security for Finkelstein's lecture has nothing to do with his controversial message. "The issue isn't the subject matter, it's the security of people who will be in the room at the college Saturday night," says a Mohawk spokesperson, who adds that the school has very limited staff on campus Saturday night and that it decided to hire extra staff after hearing from both Finkelstein's supporters and critics. Hamilton Spectator

Lakehead law curriculum approved

Lakehead University announced yesterday that it has received curriculum approval from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the first approval for a new law degree program in Ontario in more than 4 decades. The curriculum approval is one of the final steps in the approval process, which will culminate in the submission of the proposal to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. "The addition of a law school will position Lakehead University to better achieve its strategic priorities, including serving Northwestern Ontario and the special needs of Aboriginal communities," says president Brian Stevenson. "The new law degree program will enhance access to justice in the region." Lakehead News Release

UPEI, developer sign MOU to operate real estate institute

Yesterday the University of Prince Edward Island and Homburg Group, a real estate development firm, signed a 5-year MOU to bring university accredited real estate education to the province. PEI's advanced education minister says the partnership will preserve UPEI's status as the province's only university while allowing for university education in real estate. Last fall, the PEI government announced it was planning to introduce legislation to allow for new degree-granting arrangements in the province. UPEI president Wade MacLauchlan spoke out against the idea, arguing that it would undermine the university's reputation. The province later withdrew the proposed legislation. Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

$45-million Active Living Centre "to be amazing" for uManitoba

100,000 square feet of gleaming fitness facilities will transform the entryway to the heart of the University of Manitoba's campus, says president David Barnard, who is thrilled at the prospect of a $45-million fitness centre that comes with $22 million in government funding in return for the university's giving land for the new football stadium project. The Active Living Centre, whose name is a working title, will feature a student agora, multi-purpose rooms, a 200-metre track, and a 12-metre climbing wall. "It's going to be amazing for the university," says uManitoba's director of recreation services. The centre, which could open by late 2013, is expected to be the largest fitness facility in Manitoba. Winnipeg Free Press

Enrolment rises at MUN Grenfell campus

Memorial University's Grenfell campus has experienced slight increases in enrolments this school year. The fall 2010 term saw enrolments grow to 1,244, up from 1,226 in fall 2009, and the winter term has brought an additional 48 students over the same time last year. In terms of individual course registrations, students at the Corner Brook-based campus are taking more courses this term, an increase of 5.4%. Grenfell's manager of student recruitment is confident that new marketing and recruitment initiatives at the campus will help sustain the positive enrolment trend. In addition of ongoing recruitment efforts across Canada, the recruitment office is introducing new incentives focusing on potential students in Nova Scotia. On the international scale, Grenfell is targeting markets in Belize, Bermuda, Tanzania, the UK, and Zimbabwe. Grenfell News Release

StatsCan paper explores determinants of educational attainment among second-generation Canadians, Americans

In a research review, Statistics Canada notes that in Canada, parental education is less important as a determinant of educational attainment for children in immigrant families than for those with Canadian-born parents. Less educated immigrant parents are more likely to see their children pursue higher levels of education than their Canadian-born peers. On average, children of immigrants in Canada have educational levels significantly above those of their peers with Canadian-born parents, while in the US, educational levels are about the same for both groups. In both Canada and the US, second-generation children attain higher levels of education than third-and-higher generations. In Canada, children of Chinese, South Asian, and African immigrant groups register superior educational attainment levels to those of third-and-higher generations. Read the research paper

JIBC launches 5-year strategic plan

The Justice Institute of British Columbia has completed a new 5-year strategic plan to guide its work as a PSE institution. To achieve the school's vision (a world leader in justice and public safety education and research) and mission (innovative education for those who make communities safe), the plan calls for JIBC to expand its reach with a focus on 2 over-arching goals: educational excellence and student success. The goals are complemented by a number of cross-institutional initiatives, including enhanced learning support services, international education, and applied research. JIBC News | Strategic Plan 2010-2015: New Directions

NBSA outlines priorities for next provincial budget

In its pre-budget submission to the New Brunswick government, the New Brunswick Student Alliance proposes 3 targeted investments to guarantee a quality higher education system and increase access to the system and persistence within it. The alliance recommends extending the funded tuition and ancillary fee freeze, increasing the operating grant transfer to public universities by 4%, and transferring the budgeted $3.5-million for the tuition tax credit to up-front grants for under-represented groups. NBSA News Release | Read the pre-budget submission

Acadia environmental science program earns national accreditation

Acadia University's Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program has received accreditation from the Canadian Environment Accreditation Commission. The commission is part of Environmental Careers Organization Canada and its accreditation process shows students, parents, educators, and industry that PSE environmental programs have met a national standard. Launched in 1995, Acadia's program is one of only 3 accredited university programs in environment science in Canada. Acadia News Release