Top Ten

April 12, 2011

Manitoba announces multi-year university funding arrangement, tuition fee increase cap

Tabled yesterday, the Manitoba government's 2011 budget states provincial universities will receive a 5% increase in operating grants in each of the next 3 years. The government is introducing a new policy to hold university tuition fee increases at the rate of inflation, while tuition fees will increase by $100 at colleges this year. The province will increase college operating grants, the Manitoba Bursary Fund, and the number of graduate scholarships at universities. Manitoba plans to update the legislation for Coll├Ęge universitaire de Saint-Boniface, and provide funding to develop a plan for the third phase of construction of Assiniboine Community College's new campus. The government will add more apprenticeship seats and develop more online apprenticeship training programs. Budget Address | Budget Highlights | Winnipeg Free Press

CREPUQ asks Quebec to reconsider strategy behind Bill 133

While the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities agrees with the goals of Bill 133, an Act respecting the governance and management of the information resources of public bodies and government enterprises, it believes the application of the principles of sound governance of information resources should be the responsibility of university boards of directors. CREPUQ says Quebec universities have already started executing sound governance practices, with particular concern to the planning and monitoring of information resource operations. Additional processes are likely to involve costs and delays that would complicate the management of information resources projects and activities, thereby compromising the institutions' objective to manage their financial resources as stringently as possible, CREPUQ argues. The organization proposes the signing of partnership agreements between the education ministry and each university, rather than legislation. CREPUQ News Release

Dal board approves Oceans Excellence Centre project

Dalhousie University's board of governors recently approved the $30-million Oceans Excellence Centre project. The 4-storey, 68,000-square-foot-complex will be added to the west end of the Life Sciences Centre, connected by a glass atrium with the Oceanography wing. The facility's major tenant will be Dal's Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology and his lab group. Construction of the centre begins this spring, with an estimated completion date of January 2013. Dal News

Whitby invests in Durham College expansion

The Town of Whitby has voted in favour of contributing $1 million over a 4-year period toward Durham College's expansion of its local campus. In 2009, the college's board approved a more than $30-million, 3-phase expansion and renovation project for the Whitby campus. The project is now entering its third phase, which entails the construction of a $12-million, 30,000-square-foot facility for hospitality, tourism, and food programs. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin next month and be completed by the end of the year. Durham Region News

uOttawa student government proposes co-ed residence rooms

While co-ed living arrangements at the University of Ottawa apply to 2 apartment-style dormitories where each student gets a different bedroom, the student federation would like to extend the policy to 5 other residences, including traditional dorms where 2 students share rooms. Students living in residences can make all sorts of decisions, but having the university decide who is able to be their roommate does not seem to make much sense, says a federation representative. As per uOttawa's perspective, many first-year students living in dorms are as young as 17, so letting them share rooms with members of the opposite sex might be a concern for parents. "We're dealing with individuals that are so young that keeping that policy for the time being just seems right," says a university housing official. Ottawa Citizen

Telfer launches alumni portal

The University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management has developed a new alumni website, which features a video of a group of students sharing their experience at the school. The site encourages graduates to share memories and photos of their days at Telfer, and to update their information to receive invitations to events and news. The website includes links to Telfer's Facebook and Twitter accounts. My Telfer

UBCO students produce lip dub

Like their counterparts at the Vancouver campus, students at University of British Columbia Okanagan filmed a lip dub last month, with the theme being a day in the life at the campus. "It will be a fun and dynamic way to showcase the Okanagan campus and everything it has to offer," one of student organizers said prior to production day. Choreographed to Mika's "Kick Ass," the video follows hundreds of participating members of the university community around campus, ending with the tossing of beach balls outside. By yesterday afternoon, the lip dub had garnered more than 2,000 views on YouTube. UBCO News Release | UBCO LipDub website

US grad school applications from international students up 9%

According to a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools, foreign-student applications to US graduate schools are up 9% over last year, with much of the growth fuelled by an 18% increase in applications from potential Chinese students. Meanwhile, applications from India and South Korea saw renewed growth following stagnation last year. Applications from prospective Indian students are up 7%, and Korean applications rose 2%. Applications from the Middle East and Turkey increased by 12% over 2010. Overall, three-quarters of US graduate programs reported an increase in overseas applications from last year to this. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report

International-student intake drops in Australia

Australian government figures show a 2.5% fall on last February's results of foreign-student enrolment. The decline is a sharp contrast to the average February enrolment growth rates since 2002 of 10% a year. The biggest drop was in the vocational sector, which saw a 21.5% decline in enrolments. Expecting to see the slump continue through 2011 and into the future, Universities Australia's chief says the problem has been caused by visa changes, the rising Australian dollar, aggressive competition in the foreign student market, and image problems such as attacks on international students. One of Australia's largest source markets for overseas students, China would look to countries such as the US and Canada if problems surrounding visa problems were not fixed, says a professor at Melbourne University's Centre for the Study of Higher Education. The Age

YouTube considered most useful teaching tool among social media, study finds

Garnering responses from more than 1,900 faculty members at various types of institutions, a new US study found that professors consider YouTube the most useful Web 2.0 tool by far, for both teaching and non-classroom professional use. Almost a third of respondents said they instructed students to watch online videos as homework, and nearly three-quarters said they thought YouTube videos were either somewhat or very valuable in the classroom, regardless of whether they use them currently. As for other tools, 53% of respondents think Twitter and 46% believe Facebook not only lack pedagogical value but in fact harm classroom learning. 36% of professors said they view wikis as having some value in the classroom. Inside Higher Ed