Top Ten

April 28, 2011

Legislation proposes full university status for CUSB

Yesterday Manitoba's advanced education minister introduced legislation that would result in full university status for Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (CUSB), whose new name would be Université de Saint-Boniface. Under the legislation, the institution would become an independent university but remain affiliated with the University of Manitoba. The university status would give the school greater flexibility in affiliating with other PSE schools around the world. CUSB's board chair says the legislation is a reflection of the institution's modern role as Manitoba's only French-language university and will help the school better serve its students. Manitoba News Release | CUSB News Release | FAQs

UQTR launches new brand

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières unveiled Tuesday its new brand, positioning itself as a university that knows how to amaze its various audiences and differentiate itself by the quality of its achievements, facilities, academic programs, and research. This new brand is expressed in the slogan "Savoir. Surprendre." The phrase appears in the university's new logo, which incorporates the colours green and gold. The 3 bands of green in the coat of arms represent the 3 education cycles (bachelor's, master's, and doctorate) and the 3 components of the university community (students, faculty, and staff). The 3 mortar boards in the gold band running across the coat of arms depict the 3 missions of UQTR: teaching, research, and community service. UQTR News Release (in French)

Parents write to Quebec ed minister demanding that children be admitted to CÉGEP

Concerned about the space crunch at English CÉGEPs, parents of students with the Lester B. Pearson School Board have written to Quebec's education minister to demand that students be admitted to colleges. The letter urges the minister to reconsider a "wait-and-see" attitude and suspend the penalty to colleges who exceed their enrolment cap. The parents got an acknowledgment, but no commitment from the minister to do anything to address the issue. The president of the school board's Central Parents Committee says while the education ministry has put demands on school boards to set measurable targets to increase graduation rates, there is no plan in place to accommodate those students in CÉGEP. The board is considering adding Grade 12 to some schools, at least, in part, to give students who don't get into college a chance to continue their education. Montreal Gazette

Hope College proponents denied crucial funding

The Rural Alberta Development Fund (RADF) has rejected Hope College's $1.1-million grant request to finance the proposed health-focused college in Drumheller. The RADF board justified its decision on its perception that there would not be sufficient practicum availability in the region to support students' education. Hope College's project leader says the group will seek further explanation from the RADF board on its decision and determine if there are grounds to seek appeal. Over the next month, Hope College's administration and board will assess potential options for moving forward and make a decision as to whether or not to continue to target the development of the college in Drumheller. Hope College News Release | Drumheller Mail

NAIT students challenge proposed athletics fee increase

On Monday, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's board of governors will consider more than tripling the institution's athletics and recreation fee, from $43 to $140, which would bring the fee in line with those at other Alberta PSE schools. Administration has yet to show if the fee hike will result in better services and equipment for students, says the president-elect of the NAIT Students' Association (NAITSA), who adds that students need an opportunity to voice their opinions on any potential fee increase. A NAIT spokeswoman says the school decided not to hold a referendum on the fee increase because of the high cost of such a vote. In a NAITSA survey, 88.4% of responding students opposed the increase, and more than half said they work out off-campus. NAITSA News Release | Edmonton Journal

uToronto to take over location of affiliate university prep school

Earlier this month, the University of Toronto informed the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), its affiliated merit-based university preparatory school, that it will not accept UTS' proposal for a $48-million refurbishment of the aging property, and is giving the school until 2021 to relocate. uToronto decided the proposal "was not in the long-term best interest of the university" and it did not want to pursue a plan that would reserve the location "for a non-university use in perpetuity." uToronto is not sure what it will do with the site, although it plans a redevelopment that would serve as a "gateway" to its downtown campus. Renowned for generating generations of outstanding graduates, the 101-year-old UTS is committed to staying downtown. In addition to fundraising, it plans to negotiate with uToronto for financial relocation assistance. Globe and Mail

Algonquin College reveals design for new Pembroke campus

On Wednesday, Algonquin College unveiled the design for its $36-million waterfront campus in Pembroke, scheduled to open in fall 2012. Among the campus' many features is Renaissance Hall, a focal point in the facility that will include a student commons, cafeteria, and access to student services. The 2-storey Kathleen and F. Allan Huckabone Library will face the Ottawa River and be showcased near the front entrance to the building. The campus will feature 16 classrooms and 9 laboratories, including 3 nursing labs, a science lab, and an automotive shop. Most of the project's funding will come from the college with the help of its students' association, which has committed $4.3 million to support the addition of student recreational and social space. A community capital campaign is underway to raise $2.5 million for the project. Algonquin College News

Acadia redesigns website

Wednesday marked the launch of Acadia University's new-look website, whose homepage features videos, photos, and articles accessible by clicking large, rotating graphics. The homepage also includes links to the university's viewbook, social media accounts, and AcadiaTV feeds. New to the homepage is a scrolling marquee featuring popular site destinations such as Performing Arts and the International Student Centre. Acadia News | Acadia website

WLU Brantford new member of OCAA

Ontario Colleges Athletics Association's (OCAA) executive director announced yesterday that Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus has joined the OCAA, effective May 1. Laurier Brantford's men's and women's soccer teams will begin competing in the 2014-15 season, and men's and women's basketball will join OCAA in the following season. The campus will join 30 OCAA member institutions, which compete in 15 varsity sports, 9 league sports, and 6 tournament sports. WLU News Release

Texas higher ed agency welcomes governor's $10,000 degree plan

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is embracing Governor Rick Perry's challenge to create bachelor's degree programs costing no more than $10,000, with textbooks included. The plan is "entirely feasible," says the board's commissioner, whose organization is not looking to replace existing degrees or artificially push the costs of those down, but rather looking to provide alternative options for low-income students. Board officials say elements of a low-cost bachelor's degree could include online classes, open-source textbooks, flexible course formats, and a carefully structured curriculum with few options for electives. Key to any plan would be buy-in from faculty members and rigorous standards. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Texas Tribune | Austin American-Statesman