Top Ten

June 14, 2011

Conference Board analysis finds link between Canada's innovation performance, number of PhDs

According to the Conference Board of Canada's latest "How Canada Performs" analysis, the country's relatively low number of individuals with advanced degrees could be contributing to Canada's failing grade on innovation. The Conference Board found a positive relationship between higher PhD graduation rates and a nation's patenting activity. Canada ranked 14th out of 17 countries on patents by population and last on PhD graduates. The Conference Board also found a link between PhD graduates and business expenditures on research and development (BERD). In addition to having relatively few PhD graduates per year, Canada continues to be a laggard with regard to BERD, ranking second to last. Conference Board News Release

Nipissing to reduce seats for teacher education

Nipissing University will accept about 50 fewer education students this year as Ontario's education ministry reduces how many new teachers are produced in the province. The reduction in teacher spots is happening across Ontario and reflects marketplace conditions, says the university's associate dean of education. A Nipissing spokesman says the institution does not know if the decrease in the number of students will affect faculty staffing. North Bay Nugget

McGill med school applications rise after university drops MCAT

A year after eliminating the requirement of the Medical College Admission Test, McGill University's Faculty of Medicine says its decision has been staggeringly successful, with the number of applicants increasing from 1,689 last year to 2,538 this year. McGill removed the MCAT from its admission requirements last July, aligning itself with francophone or bilingual universities in Canada that also do not require the MCAT because the test does not have a French equivalent. Montreal Gazette

MUN med school looking to increase Aboriginal student enrolment

Memorial University is trying to convince more Aboriginal people in Newfoundland and Labrador to become doctors. For the past month, 5 Aboriginal students have been shown the life of a doctor in Labrador. MUN's medical school is setting aside 2 spots to increase the number of Aboriginal doctors. CBC

Number of Aboriginal graduates would soar if learning gap closed, says activist

Canada could be producing 4,200 more home-grown university graduates annually and reap an estimated $401 billion more in economic productivity over 25 years if it closes the "tragic" learning gap between Aboriginal people and the rest of Canada, said National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation president Roberta Jamieson at a conference on natives and higher learning at Queen's University Monday. If the learning gap were eliminated, some 5,200 more Aboriginal students would earn a degree each year than the current 1,500, Jamieson said. In a speech at the conference, Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, called on Canada "to smash the status quo -- there is a funding gap of $2,000 to $7,000 per student that is completely unacceptable." Toronto Star

Boréal launches second phase of Societal Project

Community members and representatives of Sudbury's cultural industry gathered at Collège Boréal Monday for the unveiling of the components of the second phase of Boréal's $27-million Societal Project, an occasion at which Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Rick Bartolucci announced a $1.2-million investment in the project. The second phase entails the addition of 30,000 square feet of new space, including a music laboratory, a recording studio, a 350-seat amphitheatre, a black-box studio, 2 classrooms, a scene construction shop, and a multi-purpose space for large cultural gatherings. Boréal News | Sudbury Star

Bishop's U launches $8-million energy efficiency project

Bishop's University is undertaking a $8-million energy efficiency project, a campus-wide initiative to significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas production at the institution. The project involves upgrading campus lighting with energy efficient fixtures and optimizing the campus building automated controls for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to meet the needs of each building and room. The largest and most costly element of the initiative is the implementation of a geothermal district heating system. Once completed, the project will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60%, natural gas usage by 64%, and will eliminate the use of oil for heating. Bishop's U News Release

New Confederation College president sets goals for institution

Jim Madder, Confederation College's incoming president, will bring a 3-pronged focus to the Thunder Bay-based institution: community; people; and leadership development. Madder wants the college to support the various communities in the region, through means such as helping enable economic development. He says he wants to ensure Confederation properly serves Northwestern Ontario as a whole. In addition, Madder pledges to continue the efforts of outgoing president Patricia Lang in making the campus more environmentally conscious. Confederation recently launched a 5-year Campus Environmental Action Plan. Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal | Confederation College News Release

uWaterloo Executive Council outlines priorities for the year

A 10-point program of "Executive Council priorities" was approved at a retreat last month by the University of Waterloo's top administrators. Among the "specific foci for 2011-12" being considered are developing the Student Success Office, including activities related to first-year transition and students-at-risk; starting a process of reducing the high student/faculty ratio; attracting international students, but from a broader geographical base; and developing means of refreshing "co-op." uWaterloo Daily News

Britain to cut student visas by a quarter-million

According to Britain's Home Office, the number of student visas issued by 2015 will be cut by 260,000. An estimate released Monday suggests the recent changes to Britain's student visa system will also reduce the number of visas issued to students' dependents by 100,000 by 2015. University leaders argued against a harsh crackdown when the British government announced plans to reduce annual net migration to under 100,000, pointing to the vital income brought in by fee-paying international students. Times Higher Education