Top Ten

September 28, 2011

UBC unveils Canada's largest fundraising, alumni engagement initiative

Yesterday the University of British Columbia kicked off a $1.5-billion fundraising campaign with a twin goal of doubling the number of alumni engaged in the life of the institution by 2015. In the planning years leading up to the campaign launch, UBC raised $760 million toward the final goal. The institution aims to double engagement to 50,000 alumni a year by the campaign's end. The "start an evolution" campaign is the largest fundraising initiative in Canadian university history. UBC's Okanagan campus aims to raise $100 million and double its own alumni engagement levels as part of the overall university campaign goals. UBC News Release | Campaign Website

uMontréal opens campus in Laval

On Monday, the Université de Montréal unveiled its new $51-million campus in Laval. The 6-storey facility has about 2,500 students enrolled in one of 37 bachelor and master's programs, including nursing, education, and psycho-social services. The university anticipates that by 2015, the campus will grow to approximately 6,000 students. uMontréal rector Guy Breton stresses that the Laval campus is not a satellite, but a bona fide campus. "We have reproduced the quality and excellence we have in Montreal." uMontréal News (in French) | Montreal Gazette

Laurentian outlines expansion plans for Barrie

On Monday, Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux appeared before Barrie city council to outline the institution's expansion plans, which include a new campus in downtown Barrie with enrolment of 3,000 students by 2020. With its board of governors having already committed $14 million toward the expansion, Laurentian has identified 10 possible locations for a standalone campus of approximately 162,000 square feet. Student housing and parking will also factor into the university's downtown presence. Giroux says he hopes Laurentian will sign an MOU with the City of Barrie over the next few weeks. Laurentian News Release

uWinnipeg board approves first phase of field house

The University of Winnipeg's board of regents has authorized a local architecture firm to produce drawings of a new mixed-use athletics complex and wellness centre that will offer students, inner-city residents, and youth new recreation options in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. Construction will begin next spring on the $37.6-million facility, which will include a new Lifespan Physical Activity Research Institute. In addition, the university will establish a Faculty of Kinesiology, effective July 1, 2012. uWinnipeg News

Royal Roads proposes student "village" in Colwood

Royal Roads University is seeking a partner to design, construct, finance, and operate a mixed-use village with new student residences, retail space, and a clock tower in Colwood, a city near Victoria. Under the Upland Village concept, first-phase construction could start next April and be ready by August 2013, with student housing being built first. The village concept is on undeveloped land leased from the Canadian government, which must give approval for construction, says a Royal Roads official. Land available for development is restricted as Hatley Park, where the university is located, is a national heritage site. Royal Roads hopes to boost enrolment by 50%, to 4,000, by 2017-18. The institution is projecting 1,400 on-campus students by then, creating a need for more housing. Vancouver Sun

$3-million gift funds new law chair at Dal

Philanthropist John McCall MacBain had donated $3 million to Dalhousie University to found the MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy. The chair will have a combination of teaching and research responsibilities that will attract students and academics to Dal, making the university the largest active health law and policy faculty in the country. Dal's Schulich School of Law is the first in Canada to offer health law as a specialization at the undergraduate (JD) level. McCall MacBain's donation is the latest as a result of Dal's "Bold Ambitions" fundraising campaign. Dal News

Enrolment rises at Algoma U

Sault Ste. Marie-based Algoma University reports that it has the largest student population in its history. Overall enrolment at the institution has risen by a projected 10% this year, compared to September 2010. Foreign-student enrolment has also increased at Algoma U. There are now 102 international students in degree studies, up from 83 students last September. Another 40 students are enrolled in ESL programming. Algoma U News Release

PEI NDP interested in streaming youth into health-care jobs

In an effort to attract and keep physicians on PEI as part of his party's health platform, NDP Leader James Rodd says he wants to go into junior high schools to find students who have an interest in the health-care field. An NDP government "would stream that person towards the end goal and provide incentives for those people to come back to Prince Edward Island," he says. "And if they spend five years, we would look after their tuition and the costs associated with that." CBC

Lakehead runs "Live and Learn" video contest

Lakehead University announced this week the launch of its "Live and Learn" video contest. The institution invites current students and alumni to produce a 90-second video to show how they "Live and Learn" at Lakehead. The deadline for submissions is October 25, after which point Lakehead judges will identify the semi-finalists from the favourite entries and upload them to the university's YouTube channel. Between October 26 and November 8, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite videos. The top 3 videos with the most "likes" will be eligible for prizes, which include an iPad, a $100 Future Shop gift card, and a Lakehead gear pack. Lakehead Communications Bulletin | "Live and Learn" Video Contest

Australia adopts student-visa changes

Concerned about the continuing decline in international student numbers, the Australia government has accepted all the recommendations made by an independent commission, whose report calls for the loosening of onerous immigration requirements for foreign students. The proposed changes include a more streamlined visa process for students coming to Australia for advanced studies, a new work visa for international students, and lower financial requirements for vocational-education students from nations such as China and India who are considered "high risk" for immigration. The Economic Times | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)