Top Ten

April 21, 2011

York U boosts security following student's death

York University has increased security patrols at its Keele campus following the homicide of Qian Liu, a student who lived in The Village, a private housing development south of the campus. Since April 19, York U's security services have increased patrols within campus boundaries. Paid-duty police officers are patrolling the campus from 7 pm to 3 am. Off campus, the institution has been working with the Toronto Police Service, which has stepped up patrols in The Village, including undercover officers and uniformed officers on bikes. On Thursday, York U's student federation hosted a forum to hear students' concerns over safety at the institution. The federation's president calls for compulsory diversity training for all students and compulsory safety training for all newcomers to Canada, like Liu, who came from China last fall to study English. The man accused in Liu's murder had studied at York U, where he had been a student politician. York U News Release | YFS News Release | Globe and Mail |

VIU reimburses students in excess of $1 million following faculty strike

Vancouver Island University has paid over $1 million to reimburse tuition fees to about 1,200 students -- 250 full-time equivalents -- who opted out of some or all classes after the recent faculty strike. Students had until April 19 to choose whether to withdraw from classes after the month-long labour dispute. When bargaining reached an impasse earlier this month, faculty members voted 90% in favour of ending the strike and classes resumed on April 12. With so little time left to finish the spring term, VIU gave students at its 4 campuses the option to finish out the academic year or get their tuition back. The reimbursement is worth nearly 1% of VIU's annual budget. Nanaimo Daily News

Meeting enrolment targets key for UWO budget

The University of Western Ontario is under significant pressure to meet its enrolment goals in order to have enough money available to follow through on plans outlined in its 2011-12 budget. In the past, UWO has held firm on an undergraduate enrolment target of 4,350 and placed a strong focus on increasing graduate enrolment. The current plan calls for increasing master's enrolment by 50% and PhD by 100% between 2006-07 and 2016-17. In this budget, UWO is doing its part to accommodate the Ontario government's push to add about 41,000 extra university spaces. The institution plans to expand its first-year intake to 4,900 by 2013-14, including 400 extra spots for international students by 2014-15. UWO also plans to increase grad student enrolment to 5,210 in 2014-15. To help support the extra students, the institution is introducing a new revenue-sharing model for faculties, which gives a portion of enrolment-related revenues back to them. Western News

Free tuition attracting more Canadian students to Germany

An increasing number of Canadian students are studying in Germany, where tuition is free for both citizens and foreigners. Currently, there are 534 Canadians enrolled at German universities, up 52% since 2002. Free tuition is not the only factor drawing Canadian students to Germany. Over the past few years, German institutions have been phasing out the old diplom and magister degrees -- difficult to translate for Canadian employers -- in exchange for North American-style bachelor's and master's degrees. Another barrier prospective students have overcome is the lack of German language skills, which is less of a problem now as the number of bachelor programs taught in English has surpassed 100. Maclean's OnCampus

University learning skills services improve grades, retention when delivered early, studies find

Workshops, tutoring, and training programs in areas such as writing support, study and exam preparation can have positive impacts on student performance and retention when delivered to students early in their university experience, according to new papers commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. However, as these kinds of services tend to demand only occasional and short-term commitments from students, the impact on overall grades is relatively limited. Examining the delivery and impact of Brock University's Learning Skills Service programs, the research observes that students who took part in these programs typically saw positive results within the school year; however, their success was not tied to repeated participation. The research found no connection between multiple use of these programs and continued increases in academic performance. Read the paper (Learning Skills Services) | Read the paper (Online Writing Skills Workshop/Essay-Zone)

Canadore to expand residence capacity

Canadore College will add 236 beds to its residence capacity in the next year to accommodate living quarters for full-time students from outside the region. As a result of demand for student housing, Canadore will build a new apartment complex with construction beginning the summer, ready for a fall 2012 move-in. The facility will add 200 beds to the North Bay-based college's current complement. In order to immediately address the under-capacity issue, the institution will offer 36 rooms at its new Canadore Loft Residence complex. The addition of the new beds will increase Canadore's overall residence capacity to 733 spots. Canadore News Release

New $5-million national internship program pairs grad students with industry

Last Wednesday marked the launch of Connect Canada, a $5-million, 5-year national internship program that is expected to place 750 graduate students at companies across Canada in all economic sectors. About 50 companies have already pledged support for close to 500 placements with Connect Canada. AUTO21 Inc. and the University of Windsor's Centre for Career Education will operate the program, which is funded by the federal government through the Industrial Research and Development Internship program. Connect Canada News Release | Windsor Star

More nursing student spaces for BC's Interior

The BC government announced Thursday a $2-million investment to add 24 first-year nursing student spaces in the province's Interior. Under a partnership between Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus, nursing students will have the option to complete the first half of the 4-year bachelor of science in nursing program at the college, then join other third-year nursing students at UBCO, where they will complete their degree requirements together. The partnership means that, starting in 2015, up to 134 nursing students will graduate from UBCO each year. BC News Release

Grenfell to offer Canada's first master's program in environmental policy

Over the next few months, Memorial University's Grenfell campus will be busy recruiting students for its master of arts program in environmental policy -- Grenfell's first graduate program and the first program of its kind in Canada. Grenfell's acting vice-president says the program will contribute to student recruitment and retention by building on the campus' strengths for environmental research and education in Atlantic Canada. The program will have its first full class of students in fall 2012. Grenfell News

Wood-fuelled plant to heat SFU Burnaby campus

Simon Fraser University and SFU Community Trust are partnering with Corix Utilities to develop a community-based energy utility that will provide thermal energy to the Burnaby Mountain community. The distict energy system, involving a high-efficiency heating plant using recycled wood waste as the primary fuel source, will produce heat for SFU's entire campus and future homes in the UniverCity residential district. The new central heating plant, in conjunction with an option for green electricity generation, will reduce the university's heating greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, saving the institution the cost of carbon offsets. The combined heat and power project will have a total capacity of 36 megawatts, enough to supply over 90% of the total annual energy needs for SFU and UniverCity combined. The University of Northern British Columbia and Nova Scotia Agricultural College use wood-fuelled plants to heat their campuses. SFU Backgrounder