Top Ten

September 29, 2011

SFU student fatally shot in parkade next to Surrey campus

Maple Batalia, a 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student, was shot early Wednesday morning on the third floor of a shopping-mall parkade next to the university's Surrey campus. She was taken to hospital, where she died. A notice on SFU's website says Batalia was enrolled at the Burnaby campus, and was at Surrey with friends. The university is offering counselling to students at the Surrey and Burnaby campuses. An SFU spokesman says the library was closed when the shooting happened but that there are many public locations on campus where students can study throughout the night. A security guard is stationed in the main lobby of the building. The RCMP state that other than the fact the homicide occurred near the Surrey campus, they do not have further reason to believe that students there are at risk. Surrey RCMP News | SFU website | Vancouver Sun | Globe and Mail

uSask receives $10-million donation for Health Sciences project

Philanthropists Les and Irene Dubé have made a $10-million gift to support the University of Saskatchewan's Health Sciences project. The donation will ensure the completion of the capital project. In honour of the gift, the Health Sciences building's library and 500-seat lecture theatre will be named the Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences Library and the Leslie and Irene Dubé Theatre. The facility will promote collaboration, resource sharing and research partnerships, and will help uSask educate health professionals using a team-centred approach. uSask News

Kwantlen launches new brand

The past, present, and future combine in a new brand for Kwantlen Polytechnic University, states a video on the BC-based institution's new look. The logo -- a bold "K" flipped 90° counterclockwise -- is inspired by Kwantlen's name and the heritage of First Nations. The university says the logo's representation of outstretched arms, outstretched wings, and an open book reflects its values and approach to education. The "wings" in the new logo symbolize Kwantlen's Eagle mascot, and represent the many athletic and recreation programs at the institution. Kwantlen has also redesigned its website, which reflects the new visual identity. The homepage links to the Smarten Up @ Kwantlen contest, whose prize is a 2011 Smart Car. "Introducing a new, smarter, ambitious, better looking, innovative, adventurous, socially aware, transformative, bolder us," states the contest website. Kwantlen News Release | Kwantlen website | Watch the video | Contest website

UWO proposes downtown campus

The University of Western Ontario wants to build a campus in downtown London, on the civic complex site that includes city hall, Centennial Hall, the Centennial House apartment building, and Reg Cooper Square. UWO president Amit Chakma told city council's finance committee members Wednesday that the institution is prepared to move into Reg Cooper Square, should the municipality decide to move out of the existing city hall. If city hall becomes available, Chakma said UWO would be interested in creating what it calls "Western Centre," which would likely provide space for growing graduate, professional, and continuing education programs. That centre would also include student residences in Centennial House apartments, and any number of activities in Centennial Hall. London's Fanshawe College has plans to open a downtown arts campus. London Free Press (downtown UWO campus) | London Free Press (Q&A with Amit Chakma)

uCalgary aims for top 5 status by 2016

The University of Calgary released its new strategic direction Wednesday with a vision to become one of Canada's top 5 research universities by the institution's 50th anniversary in 2016. uCalgary is currently eighth in Canada for research funding, but president Elizabeth Cannon says the criteria she wants the institution to live up to go beyond attracting funding by looking at what the outcomes of its research are. Developed through Project Next, the strategic direction, titled Eyes High, outlines 3 foundational commitments: sharpen focus on research and scholarship; enrich the quality and breadth of learning; and fully integrate the university with the community. The document also articulates 8 core values shared by the institutional community: curiosity; support; collaboration; communication; sustainability; globalization; balance; and excellence. uCalgary News | Eyes High | Calgary Herald

uAlberta opens Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science

Earlier this month, the University of Alberta officially opened its Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, a 50,000-square-metre building designed to foster an interdisciplinary approach to research, teaching, and discovery. The centre provides space for the increase in students and researchers resulting from a boost in the number of science programs. The facility offers over 6,000 undergraduate science students access to labs and world-class professors, and provides research space for 1,100 faculty and staff. uAlberta president Indira Samarasekera says the centre "marks an opportunity to take education and research to a new level in Alberta -- to build scientific infrastructure that rivals the best in the world." uAlberta News

Concordia students upset by reduced representation on board

On Wednesday, Concordia University's board of governors adopted recommendations from its Ad Hoc Governance Review Committee and Special Joint Committee of the board and senate on bylaw amendments to help strengthen governance at the institution. Students are upset that the number undergraduate student representatives on the board will drop from 4 to one. "Students are not valued here," says Concordia Student Union's president. "The university has taken a massive step backwards." Fred Lowy, Concordia's interim president, says while he understands the students' unhappiness, every constituency has reduced its representation as the board is shrinking from 40 members to 25. While the revised board would allow for an alternative undergraduate representative, the student union president says students expect more of Concordia. "What has always made Concordia unique is the student participation," says the Graduate Students' Association's president. "The mere fact that the board could consider such a motion will be seen as an intentional humiliation." Concordia News | Backgrounder | Montreal Gazette

Debt levels associated with medical education costs rising

According to the 2010 National Physician Survey, debt levels associated with the costs of a medical education continue to rise. In 2010, 23% of medical residents surveyed estimated having more than $120,000 in education-related debt by the time they complete their residency training, compared to 17% in 2007. The highest proportions of residents with more than $120,000 in debt were in Memorial University (47%) and Northern Ontario School of Medicine (44%), while the lowest proportions were reported in Université Laval (6%) and Université de Sherbrooke (7%). Nearly a quarter of medical students surveyed reported planning to select a specialty with a higher earning potential, and 17% plan to choose a shorter residency program to begin paying off their debts sooner. 2010 National Physician Survey Backgrounder | CBC

SLC student population nearly doubles in last decade

St. Lawrence College reports that first-year enrolment at the institution is up 5%. Current total enrolment is more than 6,500 students, with 4,729 at the Kingston campus, 1,062 in Cornwall, and 739 in Brockville. The college welcomes international students from more than 40 countries this year in a wide range of programs. An SLC official says that over the past decade, the institution's population has nearly doubled. Community Service, Health Sciences, and Justice Studies programs remain the most popular for students. SLC News

US campuses strive to keep up with students' data demand

A number of US institutions are in a state of perpetual upgrade, introducing more Internet capacity and mobile access points to keep up with the needs of increasingly mobile students and faculty. Experts say the real issue is not the growing array of devices students bring to campus, but the video-based content they're going after. "At the end of the day, we want (students) to have good capacity for recreation," says an official at St. Louis-based Washington University, which doubled its bandwidth this summer. "They live here, too. We want to make sure they are doing what they want to do." Hesitant to put individual caps on student usage, some institutions focus on controlling traffic during peak hours, while ensuring academic needs are still met. Student expectations also frame the way colleges think when renovating or building new classrooms and dormitories; plans include enough wireless access points and additional plug-ins to accommodate students' multiple devices. This summer, Cornell University students petitioned the institution to remove its Internet bandwidth cap. St. Louis Post Dispatch