Top Ten

April 4, 2011

UBC faculty of medicine receives $15-million gift

Yesterday the University of British Columbia announced a $15-million donation from Vancouver philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian for a new facility that integrates brain research and patient care. In honour of the gift, the largest made to date to UBC's faculty of medicine, the facility will be named the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. A partnership between UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health, the 12,500-square-metre centre is slated to open at UBC Hospital in 2013, and will bring together researchers and clinicians from a range of disciplines related to brain health. UBC News Release

uCalgary back on China's list of accredited universities

China has restored the University of Calgary's standing in the country, more than a year after uCalgary was removed from China's list of accredited institutions in a move that many suspect was linked to the Dalai Lama's visit in September 2009. In October, Doug Horner, then Alberta's advanced education minister, and uCalgary president Elizabeth Cannon travelled to China and raised the "delisting" during a meeting with Chinese government officials. Horner told the officials he understood their concerns and vowed that in the future, there would be better communication on matters affecting China. Horner "made it clear that our universities are autonomous and this shows a high degree of quality in our system." In a statement, Cannon says uCalgary values its relationship with the Chinese community, and it looks "forward to developing even stronger connections and partnerships in the future." UToday | Calgary Herald

Aboriginal PSE, Veterans' Learning Benefit subject of Liberal election platform

If elected May 2, the Liberal Party would invest an additional $200 million in its first 2 years to lift the cap on PSE funding for Aboriginal learners, as outlined in the party's election platform. Consistent with the approach of the Canadian Learning Passport, a Liberal government would explore with Aboriginal leaders ways to deliver resources to students and their families, with a key objective being to increase the retention of Aboriginal students in Canada's post-secondary schools. The Liberals also promise to re-finance the First Nations University of Canada and create a Canada M├ętis Scholarship program. The platform includes a proposed Veterans' Learning Benefit, which would provide full support of the costs of up to 4 years of college, university, or technical education for Canadian Forces veterans following completion of service. Yesterday the Liberals pledged to restore full university status to Royal Military College Saint-Jean. Liberal Platform | Montreal Gazette

uToronto forestry faculty may lose independence

The University of Toronto's forestry faculty was the first of its kind in Canada, and second in North America, but is now also one of the smallest, with a dozen professors teaching fewer than 80 graduate students. For that reason, uToronto administration has deemed the faculty "not financially viable," says the forestry dean. Administrators are expected to force the forestry faculty to join a larger faculty, which would mean it would lose its autonomy. Forestry professors worry the move will eventually kill off a training ground for thousands of conservationists and ecological experts. No restructuring can occur before fall 2012 as negotiations have been slow. Globe and Mail

Nipissing, Canadore students in battle with schools over fees

Canadore College and Nipissing University have been in a legal battle with their students over millions of dollars in fees collected over an 8-year period to fund a student centre expansion and renovation project. The institutions' student associations say the parties cannot agree on how the fees should be spent and want the administrations to turn over control of the funds. The student groups claim Nipissing and Canadore have refused to release to them the funds collected from students to finance the project. The institutions contend that upon request, with supporting documentation, the schools have always provided funds to move ahead with renovations. According to an Ontario Superior Court ruling, if the parties cannot agree, the court could impose a scheme to follow through with the project. North Bay Nugget

NSCC students allege heavy duty truck course is "grossly inadequate and unsafe"

Students in the heavy duty truck and transport course at Nova Scotia Community College's Marconi campus have signed their names to a letter addressed to NSCC acting president Don Bureaux stating that for months they have had to endure delays in moving into a new shop, a lack of tools and broken equipment, and numerous safety violations. The course instructor has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into an incident in which a truck's transmission collapsed a half-metre to the floor when it slipped off its supporting jack, which hadn't been attached to a safety chain as there wasn't one in the shop. Students met with Marconi's trades and technology academic chair and NSCC's dean of trades and technology yesterday to address their concerns. Marconi's principal says the students have all the tools they need for the course and will "meet their learning outcomes in a safe environment." Cape Breton Post

Capilano proposes new waterfront campus

Capilano University has its eyes set on another location in North Vancouver's Lower Lonsdale area, with the proposal coming foward as the city considers its Lower Lonsdale pier development site plan. Capilano is looking to lease about 10,000 square feet on the waterfront to build another campus site. President Kris Bulcroft says the new location would provide "an enhanced environment for community-based learning." The university's proposal has been turned over to North Vancouver city staff and will return to city council for further consideration. North Shore News

Sheridan reports record number of applicants to Mississauga campus

Although Sheridan College's new Mississauga campus is still under construction, there's already a waitlist for students hoping to attend the campus, known officially as the Hazel McCallion campus, this fall. Sheridan officials say prospective students have applied in record numbers to the campus, many of them seeking entry into business diploma programs. A Sheridan official says this is the first time in the college's history that it has had to waitlist programs so early in the application process. Mississauga News

NAIT joins Polytechnics Canada

Polytechnics Canada announced yesterday the addition of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to its national membership. NAIT has chosen to join the organization because of its commitment to foster and grow students' innovation and entrepreneurship skills. With the addition of NAIT, Polytechnics Canada now represents 10 institutions across Canada, with the other members being Algonquin College, BCIT, Conestoga, George Brown College, Humber, Olds College, SAIT Polytechnic, Seneca, and Sheridan. Polytechnics Canada News Release

Yale to open first foreign campus in Singapore

Yale University and the National University of Singapore have agreed to establish a college in Singapore that will be Yale's first campus outside Connecticut. To open in 2013, Yale-NUS College will have an inaugural class of about 150 students, eventually expanding to 1,000. The campus will have a residential education model, and its curriculum will combine Western and Asian perspectives with 2 years of general education before concentration on a major. Associated Press