Top Ten

August 12, 2011

Huron raises $14 million in "Touch the Future" campaign

Huron University College has raised $14 million in its "Touch the Future" fundraising campaign, exceeding its $12.5-million goal. In addition to surpassing its goal, the campaign's result more than doubled the previous campaign's result (1997-2002) of $6.2 million. Alumni contributions to Huron's most recent campaign were more than 6 times the result of the institution's previous fundraising effort. The funds raised will support a broad spectrum of educational programs and services at the University of Western Ontario affiliate, including academic chairs, scholarships, international study grants, the Silcox Memorial Library, the Chapel, and community-based learning programs. Western News

Universities prepare to watch out for students showing signs of distress

Universities across Canada will be keeping a watchful eye on their students, looking for signs of distress as the fall term kicks off. Many institutions are training residence dons and faculty to spot struggling students, part of a larger effort that has seen schools introduce suicide awareness campaigns, wellness classes, and stress-management workshops in recent years. The push comes as campus clinics scramble to assist a rising number of students seeking help for conditions such as depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress. Demand for mental health services "has grown exponentially" in the last decade, says the head of McGill University's mental health clinic, which last year saw about 1,500 new students in addition to those who return year-to-year, totalling more than 18,000 visits. Queen's University is expanding its mental-health services in the wake of the deaths of 6 students, at least 2 to suicide, in the last year. Over the summer Queen's hired 2 more counsellors, a mental health nurse, and a second part-time psychiatrist. Canadian Press

MUN revokes enrolment of student convicted in on-campus stabbing incident

After reviewing the case of Qian Tang, who was convicted of assault causing bodily harm as a result of an on-campus stabbing incident in March, Memorial University has decided to revoke Tang's registration immediately and suspend him until August 2012. During his suspension, Tan is banned from MUN's campuses and facilities and will not be allowed to register or enrol in any studies, including distance education courses. MUN News

VIU Cowichan campus ready for upcoming school year

Vancouver Island University's $27-million Cowichan campus is ready for the fall semester. The campus, part of the new Cowichan Place, features a state-of-the-art science lab, computer labs, multipurpose rooms, a 110-seat lecture theatre, cafeteria, kitchen, library commons, and study areas. A grand opening for the campus is tentatively scheduled for September 22. VIU News

Holland College opens Centre for Applied Science and Technology

On Friday Holland College celebrated the completion of the $17-million Centre for Applied Science and Technology at its Prince of Wales campus in downtown Charlottetown. The centre will allow the college to double student intake in its Bioscience Technology, Construction Technology, Environmental Applied Science Technology, and Wildlife Conservation Technology programs, as well as to increase intakes in Practical Nursing and Paramedicine. The facility incorporates green technology in its construction, and will serve as a "living laboratory" where students can study the various systems incorporated into the centre's design. PEI News Release

NB parents expected to contribute the most to children's PSE, report finds

An independent report on the student loan system across the country suggests parents in New Brunswick are being asked to contribute the most money toward their children's PSE. According to the research, which offers scenarios for different kinds of families and how much their children would likely be clawed back on loans, the New Brunswick government considers a family's discretionary income to be higher than in most places due to a lower cost of living. In March the provincial government reinstated parental and spousal contributions in assessing an individual's funding needs for college or university, a move that has drawn the ire of the New Brunswick Student Alliance, among others. Times & Transcript

Part-time registrations soar at Portage College

Once unable to fill its Educational Assistant and Early Learning and Child Care programs, Alberta's Portage College is now experiencing an unprecedented increase in part-time registrations for these programs. Since offering program courses on a part-time basis 3 years ago, registrations reached 500 in the first 2 years, jumping to nearly 900 this academic year. The part-time delivery model suits the programs' students, says Trent Keough, the college's president. Prospective students cited tuition costs and living expenses away from home as deterrents to studying full-time, and also indicated low wages and high debt loads as issues. Portage College News Release

New website for uWaterloo Stratford

The University of Waterloo’s Stratford campus has redesigned its website, whose new look and feel complies with the design of the uWaterloo site. The new site includes a photo and video player that better reflects the activities and brand of the campus, an events calendar, an expanded program area, and faculty and staff bios. The site also features a blog where faculty and staff can share experiences and knowledge about digital media, campus events, and the work of students in the Master’s of Digital Experience Innovation program. uWaterloo Stratford News Release | uWaterloo Stratford website

British student debt expected to double under new tuition fee regime

A new student survey suggests the average debt faced by British university graduates could increase from £26,100 to £53,400 when higher tuition fees are introduced. The survey, which garnered responses from more than 2,800 students from 115 institutions, finds that students currently owe a quarter of their debt to organizations other than the Student Loans Company, with 5% lent by banks and 2% by credit card companies. The Higher Education Funding Council for England has predicted a 2% decrease in undergraduate numbers in the first year of higher tuition fees. Times Higher Education

Kno to deliver e-textbooks to Facebook

Last week Kno, Inc., a California-based education software company, announced it will deliver more than 100,000 e-textbook titles to Facebook, giving students instant access to their textbooks and class materials. The company has also added new interactive features to its Textbooks for iPad application. The Journal feature allows users to automatically transfer images, highlights, stickies, text, and media from their textbook into a single digital notebook. With the QuizMe feature, students can turn any diagram into a multiple-choice quiz with a built-in self-assessment tool, real-time feedback, and grading. Kno News Release