Top Ten

May 5, 2011

uToronto urged to reconsider real-estate decision involving affiliated high school

Dozens of University of Toronto Schools (UTS) students, parents, and alumni are urging the University of Toronto to reconsider its decision to tell the elite high school it must relocate by 2021. Ideally, UTS supporters would like uToronto to cancel its decision, but at the very least they want a do-over of the decision-making process, says the UTS alumnus spearheading the initiative. In accordance with a 5-year agreement, UTS submitted a redevelopment proposal in December, but uToronto decided it was not in the institution's best interest. A university official has noted that UTS has been independent since 2006, and the decision does not change its programming or academic affiliations. Globe and Mail

Fort Macleod approves land transfer for police college

The Town of Fort Macleod has approved the transfer of 320 acres of land to the Alberta government for use as the site of the new police college. The province announced last month the college will be fully operational in 2014 in the town. The government will start work this summer on the $117-million college, where 1,350 police and peace officers will receive training each year. Fort Macleod Gazette

Fanshawe's planned arts campus may be delayed

Citing jacked-up costs of purchasing downtown buildings and protracted negotiations with city hall that now appear nearly finished, Fanshawe College president Howard Rundle says the institution may not open its planned downtown London arts campus until September 2013, a year later than first projected. London is prepared, pending council's final approval, to commit $20 million to the campus, which will be housed in existing buildings within a defined district downtown. Because the district's boundaries are publicly known, property owners have increased their asking prices, and Fanshawe has not yet bought property. If the city approves the deal next week, Fanshawe expects to purchase at least one downtown building within a few months. The college projects its downtown campus enrolment could hit 1,000 over the next decade. London Free Press

Queen's business school receives $2-million donation

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario announced Wednesday a 10-year, $2-million commitment to the CA-Queen's Centre for Governance at Queen's University's School of Business. The donation will fund the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards Program, the CA Professorship in Accounting, and the creation of a Chartered Accountants Lecture Hall in the expansion of Goodes Hall, home to the business school. Queen's School of Business News Release | Kingston Whig Standard

Mount Royal to join CIS Canada West

Mount Royal University announced Wednesday that its Cougars athletic program will join the ranks of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, the most decorated of the 4 conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The Cougars will begin a 3-year probationary term this September and will start competing in Canada West in fall 2012. With its inclusion, Mount Royal is set to become the fifteenth member of Canada West. The institution will compete in the conference in men's and women's basketball, hockey, soccer, and volleyball. Mount Royal News | Calgary Herald

New University Service Centre at MacEwan

Tuesday marked the official opening of Grant MacEwan University's $20-million University Service Centre (USC), a 5,000-square-metre addition that is the new home to more than 200 university staff members. Build to LEED Silver Standard, the centre's water conservation measures will save up to 30% of water compared to a conventional building, and the facility also reduces energy consumption by up to 40%. The USC is part of the preliminary phase of MacEwan's vision for a single sustainable campus in downtown Edmonton. MacEwan News

Dal removes research reactor

Dalhousie University has removed its SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor, which was purchased in 1976 and used for research until 2008. The institution decided to decommission the reactor due to the retirement of the chief operator, and because it wasn't being used for the original research for which it was intended. Before Dal decides on the future use of the cleared-out site, it must be released by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Approval is expected by the end of this year. Dal News

AUCC launches "Ursula on Tour"

In an initiative of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Ursula -- a 40-cm-tall wooden polar bear -- is touring the country with a goal to present a slice of life from more than 20 universities in all 10 provinces. During her travels, Ursula will post her stories, photos, and videos to her blog, as well as provide updates through Twitter. She began her tour at Memorial University this week, and will work her way west through the Maritimes into Quebec until mid-June, when she -- like many students -- will take a summer break. Resuming in late August, Ursula's tour will take her through the western provinces and will wrap up in late October in Montreal, where Canadian university presidents will hold their annual meeting. AUCC News Release | Ursula on Tour

UK report urges "equitable" treatment for private education providers

The British government might consider offering private institutions cash incentives to encourage them to take over or merge with failing public universities, says a new study by the Higher Education Policy Institute. The report suggests private colleges could be given greater access to libraries, sports facilities, and social centres operated by public universities to make treatment of the 2 sectors more "equitable." In return for more public funding, private institutions should be subject to a more uniform and transparent regulatory regime, the study suggests. One option would be to ensure that both public and private institutions were accountable to a single "risk-based" accreditation system so that the whole sector faced the same checks. The report also recommends that private education providers -- and foreign institutions that set up in the UK -- be asked to secure licenses to operate as higher education businesses. Times Higher Education

Indian students changing preferences for study destinations

At the expense of Australia, the UK, and the US, whose visa and immigration policies have made them less attractive, a raft of new destinations such as Continental Europe, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, and China are emerging as the new red-hot education destinations for Indian students, reports the Economic Times. France and Germany have made calculated attempts to woo Indian students, offering more courses in English, boosting scholarships, and, in the case of Germany, providing subsidized education. The biggest beneficiary of this shift, the newspaper reports, has been Canada, where the number of Indian students jumped by 280% in 2010 compared to 2008. Economic Times