Top Ten

May 10, 2011

Job vacancies, salary freezes help uWinnipeg balance budget

The University of Winnipeg's balanced budget is coming at a cost -- $4 million worth of jobs are being left vacant at the institution, up from $2.6 million this academic year. uWinnipeg will restructure several key areas, including the University of Winnipeg Foundation, after its capital campaign closes in September. The foundation will still handle endowment funds, but fundraising staff on contracts could see their positions end. Senior executive and middle management salaries have been frozen again for the 2011-12 budget year. uWinnipeg is adding 31 tenure-track faculty positions while decreasing reliance on sessional instructors and contract faculty. uWinnipeg News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

London approves $20-million contribution to Fanshawe arts campus

By a 10-5 vote, London city councillors approved granting up to $20 million for Fanshawe College's downtown School of Applied and Performance Arts. Half of the municipal funding is an "economic development" grant; the other half will offset renovation costs if the college buys "heritage" core buildings constructed before 1950. Of the $20 million Fanshawe must supply for the project, it is hoped $6 million will come from the Ontario government, and the remainder from fundraising and the college's reserves. Fanshawe expects to open the campus in September 2013. London Free Press

University grads fuelling growth at colleges

The biggest area of growth in Canada's college system is post-university students, who are treating colleges and polytechnics as de facto finishing schools. At Humber College this fall, 31% of incoming students had a degree or some post-secondary studies. At BCIT, 20% of incoming students have undergraduate degrees, and another 30% have some PSE but no degree or credentials. Colleges and polytechnics are working to attract more high-school graduates by advertising and appealing to parents, constructing new facilities and offering degrees, while selling the merits of a practical, skills-based education. In the coming years, research suggests, college grads will be in demand over university grads by a ratio of 6 to 1, the reason being demographics and a shifting economy. Some experts suggest a mash-up of the university and college experiences could lead to a kind of hybrid degree -- students could spend 2 years reaping the benefits of a bachelor degree, then spend the next 2 years studying a job-related field. Globe and Mail

uAlberta students' reliance on loans rising, says students' union

University of Alberta students are increasingly turning to the government to help pay for their education, according to figures released by the institution's students' union. In the 2010-11 academic year, borrowing rose 20%, from $66 million in 2009-10 to $80 million, according to the student government. Since 2006-07, the uAlberta loans total has risen by more than 46%, or $25 million, while tuition fee increases for various programs at the university have averaged an increase of 7% to 15% over that time. "With this jump (in borrowing) we see that costs of postsecondary are becoming more prohibitive," says the students' union's vice-president external. "Mounting debt can force qualified and talented students to drop out of school, or not attend at all." Metro News

More nurses working in Manitoba

According to new data from Manitoba's nursing colleges, the province saw a net increase of 494 more nurses over the last year. At the end of 2010, there were 17,118 active practising nurses in Manitoba, reflecting a total net increase of 3,026 nurses from 1999. The new Manitoba Nursing Labour Market Supply report shows that total enrolments in nursing education programs have more than doubled since 1999 due to seat expansions at several post-secondary institutions. Manitoba News Release | Manitoba Nursing Labour Market Supply -- 2010

StFX opens Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership

Former US President Bill Clinton and former Canadian Ambassador to the US Frank McKenna will provide the keynote addresses during a ceremony today to officially open the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership at St. Francis Xavier University. McKenna, who is the chair of StFX's board of governors, donated $1 million toward the $10-million centre, which has attracted participation and sponsorship from prominent business people across Canada. The centre will support targeted initiatives in the fields of business, health, and public policy, including a global placement program to provide students and faculty with increased international experience. StFX News

uWindsor to house centre for wind turbine technology

The University of Windsor has reached an agreement with Denmark's Bruel and Kjaer, a world leader in noise and vibration equipment, to establish a centre for the study of wind turbine technology and renewable energy. The agreement will see Bruel and Kjaer supply $1.4 million in noise and vibration measurement equipment for research projects conducted by uWindsor faculty and students in the Centre for Engineering Innovation, now under construction. Windsor Star

York U adopts new sustainability policy

Late last month, York University's board of governors approved a new sustainability policy for the institution. The policy focuses on 6 main areas, one of which is to work toward being a sustainable university, defined as "one that enhances the ecological functioning of its campuses; models knowledgeable, active and responsible global citizens; and does so within an integrated, long-term framework of full-cost economic and environmental accounting." As per the policy, York U will strive to be at the forefront of sustainability research and education, and use its capacity and expertise to promote sustainability within and beyond the institution. Y-File

Loyalist College launches diploma program for nursing graduates in India

Loyalist College is offering an Applied Health Administration program that has been specifically designed for practical and B.Sc. nurses who have trained and graduated from English nursing programs in India and would like to hone their skills in preparation for employment in Canadian medical offices. The program will be delivered over 5 semesters starting this month, with additional cohorts beginning in September and January. The first semester will be completed through online studies at one of 3 colleges in India, and the 4 remaining semesters will be completed at Loyalist College. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible to remain and work in Canada for 3 years with a post-graduate work permit. Loyalist College News

UK proposal would allow richest students to pay for extra places at top universities

Teenagers from Britain's wealthiest families would be able to pay for extra places at the most competitive institutions under government proposals that could allow universities to charge some British students the same tuition fees as international undergraduates. The move would give more students the chance to attend their first institution of choice. Currently, the government sets a quota of undergraduate spots English universities are allowed to offer each year. Under the plans, employers and charities would be encouraged to sponsor "off-quota" places. Ministers argue the creation of extra seats will boost social mobility by freeing more publicly funded spots for undergraduates from poorer homes. The proposals are likely to be criticized as a means for the richest to "buy places" at a time when the government is to cut 10,000 publicly funded seats. The Guardian