Top Ten

June 30, 2011

Sprott-Shaw to close Duncan campus

BC-based Sprott-Shaw Community College will shut down its Duncan campus in September. Students enrolled at the campus received the news last week that their programs were being cancelled after the federal government removed the campus from its list of authorized institutions for student loans. A Sprott-Shaw official says about 90% of students studying at the Duncan campus receive government loans. The dropped designation stems from too many students not repaying their loans. Affected students will have to complete their studies at either the Victoria or Nanaimo campus. Staff at Sprott-Shaw's headquarters are working to relocate Duncan campus staffers. If relocations do not work out, layoffs are possible. Cowichan News Leader Pictorial

Ontario invests nearly $9 million in bridge training programs

The Ontario government is investing $8.8 million to renew 12 bridge training programs across the province. These programs help internationally trained workers adapt to the Ontario job market without having to repeat previous education or training, allowing them to develop the technical, cultural, and language-related skills needed to succeed. Since 2003, the Ontario government has helped about 41,000 newcomers in over 220 different professions. This current investment will help more than 2,200 highly skilled newcomers get the training they need to help them find a job that matches their education, qualifications, and experience. Ontario News Release

uLethbridge launches Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage with $2-million gift

Alberta-based art collector, political advisor, and philanthropist Jim Coutts has turned over his homestead property and a significant portion of his art collection to the University of Lethbridge. Valued at over $2 million, the gift comprises a quarter section of land, the original homestead, extensive gardens, restored buildings, and more than 200 items from Coutts' personal art collection. On Thursday uLethbridge formally recognized Coutts for his gift and launched the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage, located on the century-old property that once belonged to Coutts' grandfather. uLethbridge News Release

NBCC opens Fredericton campus

On Thursday New Brunswick Community College officially opened its Fredericton campus. Located at the University of New Brunswick, the $15-million campus covers 52,000 square feet and has a capacity of 400 seats. The campus will deliver programs in business administration, engineering technology, health, information technology, and social services. NBCC News Release

ACC completes Parkland campus expansion

Assiniboine Community College has officially completed the expansion of its Parkland campus in Dauphin, Manitoba. The $3.5-million project includes a 7,000-square-foot addition that houses a nursing laboratory, an expanded early learning centre, classrooms needed for community programming, and a 4,000-square-foot renovation of existing space. The expansion allows the institution to train an additional 30 apprentices annually, meeting the region's labour needs and honouring the Manitoba government's commitment to double apprenticeship opportunities in the province. Manitoba News Release

Conestoga takes part in international program to improve STEM education

Conestoga College is the first Canadian college to be chosen to participate in the HP Catalyst Initiative, a global social innovation program designed to build more effective approaches to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The network of 55 institutions in 15 countries will use an interdisciplinary approach and emphasize creativity, collaboration, and cross-cultural expertise to transform STEM teaching and learning, and to encourage students to use their technical and creative ingenuity to address immediate social challenges. The first phase of the project includes the development of a Business Math Lab, where students will use HP Tablet computers to hone their math skills and connect with other business students worldwide. Future plans include the use of online learning tools, e-texts, videos, an online learning community and collaboration software, and hands-on workshops and tutorials. Conestoga News

More Malaysian students choosing to study in Canada

Canadian universities have seen increased enrolment of international students, especially those from Asia, and the number is expected to continue to rise. Canada currently plays host to students from about 200 countries worldwide; almost half of these students are from Asia, with Malaysia being a major supplier. UBC has seen the growth in Malaysian applications first-hand, from just 20 applications in 2004 to more than 200 this year. Canada’s competitive education fees and a policy allowing students to stay to work after their studies has attracted students who, in the past, mainly preferred places closer to home like Australia or the UK.

Sauder, Danish business school form strategic partnership

Last week the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business and the Copenhagen Business School announced a strategic alliance to dramatically increase collaboration. Building on an active 16-year exchange partnership, the institutions signed an agreement providing stronger ties across a broad range of initiatives, such as academic programs, research, student and faculty exchange, and other scholarly pursuits. UBC president Stephen Toope says the agreement "represents an important landmark in the University of British Columbia's ongoing quest to open up the world to our students and faculty." UBC News Release

NYT Co., USC form online education partnership

The New York Times Company announced Monday a partnership with the University of Southern California to offer continuing education programs through the company’s online learning platform. The programs will comprise online courses taught by USC faculty and are aimed at a growing market of adults looking to pick up new skills. Students can earn certificates and, in some cases, transferable credits, and they will benefit from access to the Times archive and journalists as guest lecturers. There will be 7 programs and 40 courses total in this partnership, starting October 13, 2011. While these programs will not count toward any degree, the Times is pursuing partnerships with online learning companies, colleges, and universities in hopes that it might soon be stamping its seal on diplomas. Inside Higher Ed

Google develops new social network

Google has launched its latest attempt at an online social network, Google+, which aims to blur the lines between online and real-world interaction. Targeting the flaws of Facebook, Google+ attempts to reduce the rigidity and awkwardness of current online interaction, offering more ways to stay private or go public, and providing more meaningful choices in terms of friends and information disclosure. The service offers applications for selective interaction, online sharing engines, and a mobile feature that includes GPS locators, instant image upload and group messaging. Google+ is currently available on Android Market and the mobile Web by invitation only. Google Blog | Globe and Mail | Google+