Top Ten

April 19, 2011

NL continues tuition fee freeze

The Newfoundland and Labrador government will make an additional investment this year of $6.4 million to maintain the tuition fee freeze at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic for the 2011-12 school year, as outlined in the province's 2011 budget, tabled yesterday. The province will invest $19.8 million over 3 years for maintenance projects at MUN, as well as $7.7 million over the next 2 years for laboratory upgrades at the university. CNA will receive $3.2 million over 3 years for repairs and maintenance, and $7 million over 3 years for lab and shop modernization. The government will allocate $15.4 million over 3 years to provide additional incentives to employers to hire apprentices, especially from under-represented groups, such as women, Aboriginal people, and persons with disabilities. Budget Speech | Budget Highlights

NBCC meeting job market needs despite slowed expansion, says president

There will be fewer new New Brunswick Community College seats and programs when students return to class this fall due to provincial funding cuts, but NBCC president Marilyn Luscombe says the system is adapting to meet labour market demands. NBCC was expecting 496 new student spaces for the 2011-12 school year, but reduced provincial funding has cut that number to 250, part of a $4.25-million investment in 425 community college seats, including 100 for Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and 75 for New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. The announcement follows the previous Liberal government's multimillion-dollar investment to bring the total of new seats province-wide to 1,400. Now in Opposition, the Liberals criticize the governing Progressive Conservatives for wasting that investment and restricting access to education and job training. The province's PSE minister says the changes met the needs of the community college system in a responsible manner, adding that empty seats could still be filled in subsequent years. NB News Release | Daily Gleaner

Declining domestic enrolment a budget challenge for TRU

Declining Canadian student enrolment remains the single greatest budget challenge Thompson Rivers University faces over the next decade, the institution's senate heard Monday. TRU's vice-president of finance showed a presentation indicating that domestic enrolment has been flat over the last 5 years. Despite that, overall student numbers have increased due to strong growth in the number of foreign students. Declining numbers of K-12 students in the region, at the least, highlights the dangers down the road, the VP said, adding that TRU will need to find a way to offset declining Canadian student numbers without relying entirely on international student growth. The institution's grant from the BC government will be $64.2 million in the next year, about half of TRU's total revenue. Domestic tuition makes up about 20% of revenue, with the remainder coming from other sources, such as foreign student tuition. Kamloops Daily News

uMontreal rector outlines institution's internationalization plan

In a speech last week at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, Université de Montréal rector Guy Breton underscored that the university has truly become international within the last decade, welcoming twice as many foreign students and forging ties with a network of 400 institutions worldwide. "In the university sector, research is at the forefront of internationalization," Breton said, adding that uMontréal, along with its affiliates École Polytechnique and HEC Montréal, is the largest research hub in Quebec with more than a hundred research centres and 130 Canada Research Chairs. In the coming years, uMontréal intends to increase by half the number of students who go on internships abroad, attract even more international students and researchers, and maximize its returns on its international activities to the benefit of all its partners. uMontréal News

CREPUQ lays out election priorities

The Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities invites all federal party representatives to reserve a prominent place for innovation and academic research. One key issue Canada must address is funding for indirect costs of research. CREPUQ says it is generally estimated that indirect costs make up 50% to 65% of the funds invested directly in a research project. These percentages are recognized by the Quebec government, whose budget documents note that "federal underfunding of the indirect costs of research conducted by (Quebec) universities represents a shortfall of approximately $90 million for 2007-2008 alone." Another key issue is funding for the costs of operating and maintaining university research infrastructure, to which the federal government must pay special attention. Such issues affect our whole society, and are critical factors that affect our ability to recruit and retain high-calibre researchers, says CREPUQ's president. CREPUQ News Release

Tyndale to consolidate campuses

For the continued growth and success of its student body, Toronto-based Tyndale University College & Seminary will consolidate its main operations at the new Bayview Avenue campus after the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and Toronto Catholic District School Board move into their new locations in 2013. The Bayview Avenue campus has ample room for future growth with over 35 classrooms, more than 200 dorm rooms, multiple sports amenities, and 56 acres of land. The institution will continue to increase its presence on the new campus as space becomes available. Tyndale's board of governors will explore all options for the best use of all the institution's assets to ensure responsible stewardship of resources and to maximize opportunities for expansion and impact of programs. Tyndale News

UOIT develops master plan for downtown Oshawa

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology released Monday a framework and action plan to guide the smooth transition of the institution's downtown campus location into a strengthened downtown Oshawa. UOIT anticipates that the number of students attending classes downtown could more than triple by 2015. To accommodate such growth, UOIT has evaluated the existing inventory of building space, available land, hard services, social services, transportation and parking, environmental sustainability, and accessibility. In response, the master plan sets out a path that will allow responsible growth to 2015 and beyond to 2030. The document includes an urban planning framework that will guide UOIT and the city to help ensure that growth is carried out in the most impactful manner. UOIT News Release | Read the master plan

40% of McMaster undergrads polled would not consider staying in Hamilton

According to a poll conducted by the McMaster Students Union (MSU), 40% of responding undergraduate students would not consider living in Hamilton and commuting to study or work after graduation. 24% of respondents would flat out refuse to look for a job in the city, while 34% would consider applying for a job in Hamilton only after looking elsewhere first. The poll suggests 54% of respondents are unlikely to recommend Hamilton to others on their social networks. The MSU and city economic development experts agree on 3 main factors as to why undergraduates are ready to leave Hamilton following graduation: perception of the city; the lack of awareness among students of what Hamilton has to offer off-campus; and the hassle of getting out of the McMaster "bubble" -- meaning campus and adjacent neighbourhoods -- to go downtown. Hamilton Spectator

Uncomfortable work environment drives women out of engineering jobs, study finds

New research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee observes that women are more likely to leave engineering jobs because of an uncomfortable work climate than for family reasons. One-third of women surveyed who did not enter engineering following graduation said it was because of their perceptions of the field as being inflexible or the workplace culture as being non-supportive of women. The study found that women's decisions to stay in the field are best predicted by a combination of psychological factors and factors related to the organizational environment. Female engineers who were treated in a condescending, patronizing manner, and were belittled and undermined by their supervisors and co-workers, were most likely to want to leave their companies, according to the study. UWM News | McClatchy-Tribune Information Services | Read the study

Over 1.2 million Chinese students studied abroad in 2010

According to new figures from China's education ministry, the country has the largest number of overseas students in the world, with a record 1.27 million studying abroad at the end of 2010. About 285,000 of them were new students who started their overseas studies last year, up 24% over 2009. Self-financed students now represent the largest group of those studying abroad, and among the more than 100 nations they selected, over 90% of students chose to study in the top 10 destinations -- the US, Australia, Japan, the UK, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, France, Germany, and Russia. China Daily