Top Ten

October 14, 2011

Schulich launches $100-million scholarship program

Mining magnate and philanthropist Seymour Schulich is investing $100 million in a scholarship program aimed at increasing enrolment in STEM subjects among students entering Canadian and Israeli universities. Under the Schulich Leader Scholarships program, all graduating secondary school and CÉGEP students in Canada and Israel planning to enrol in STEM programs in university are eligible for the award. Each selected individual will be granted $60,000 over 4 years. In 2012, a maximum of 25 Schulich Leaders will be chosen, followed by 50 in 2013, and 75 in 2014 and thereafter. Schulich has selected the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto to administer the program, in which 20 Canadian and 5 Israeli universities have been invited to participate. Schulich's gift is the second-largest endowment to Canadian academia in history, following Michael DeGroote's $105-million donation to McMaster University's medical school in 2003. UJA Federation of Greater Toronto News Release | National Post | Schulich Leaders Scholarships website

Sault College kicks off $6-million capital campaign

At a gala last Thursday evening, Sault College officially launched its $6-million "Inspiring Growth" capital campaign. The college has already raised $2.1 million toward its target. A good portion of campaign funds will go toward the second phase of Sault College's renewal project, which entails a $12-million student health and wellness centre. Campaign funds will also support scholarships and bursaries. Sault College News Release | Sault Star

$1.5-million donation supports McGill water resource management studies

McGill University's Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has received a $1.5-million donation from the Macdonald Stewart Foundation in support of water resource management studies. The gift will create the Liliane and David. M. Stewart Water Management Program, which will support a number of initiatives in the Department of Bioresource Engineering, providing additional funding to recruit and retain postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars and to create financial awards for top undergraduate and graduate students. McGill News Release

Oshawa committee approves Trent campus expansion

Earlier this month, Oshawa city council's development services committee approved an amendment to the Oshawa Official Plan to permit a university as an "additional use" on land on the southeast quadrant of King Street and Thornton Road. Trent forecasts its Oshawa campus will grow from about 900 students for the 2011-12 academic year to more than 2,500 in the next 5 to 7 years. "We're going to need more space for classrooms, offices, research space ... maybe even a residence," says Trent's VP of administration. A new city report states approving the amendment will provide greater visibility and prominence for the campus and better access to the university for pedestrians, cars, and public transit. Council will vote on the amendment at its meeting today. Durham Region News | Oshawa Express

Report observes benefits to simplifying institutional financial aid process

New research published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario suggests the application process for institutional financial aid can be shortened by as much as 80%, without compromising its effectiveness. Researchers created a 5-question loan calculator and compared it to the existing 25-question calculator at Brock University, which received over 600 applications for its entrance bursary in 2010. The authors found that in 91 cases, the short-form calculator produced the same level of bursary eligibility, with just 66 instances of significant differences between the 2 calculators. Unlike the short-form calculator, Brock's calculator asks students to estimate their future pre-study and in-study earnings, which may produce results that are not an accurate representation of an applicant's actual financial situation. The authors say a compromise between the 2 calculators to include information on marital status and number of dependents may offer the best balance between response burden for the student and accuracy in assessing need. Research Summary | Full Report

Enrolment continues to increase at Atlantic universities

Enrolments have risen in all key categories at Atlantic Canada's universities for the third consecutive year, according to preliminary figures released by the Association of Atlantic Universities. The region's universities saw a 1.5% (year-over-year) increase in full-time undergraduate enrolment, as well as a 2.3% increase in full-time graduate enrolment. First-year enrolment is up 2.6% this year, and enrolment among international students has risen by 14.2%. Atlantic Canada's declining demographic trend "is well-known, particularly among the 18-21 age group, however, our universities continue to defy that trend by attracting more and more students from within the region, across the country and from around the world," says AAU chair and Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell. AAU News Release

Dal combines academic cred and location in new recruitment campaign

What sets Dalhousie University apart -- "a world-class education fused with the friendly and fun culture of urban Halifax" -- is the approach of the institution's new recruitment campaign, whose creative includes statements such as "for a school that's almost 200 years old, we're surprisingly unstuffy. Must be the ocean air" and "the good news is your professor is your neighbour. The bad news is your professor is your neighbour." The campaign's website features 4 different faces each showcasing a different aspect of the Dal experience, as well as video testimonials from first-year students sharing their impression of life at the institution. This winter, the campaign will appear online and in bus shelters, shopping malls, transit, and cinemas in Alberta, BC, Ontario, and across the Maritimes. Dal News | Campaign website

UPEI program introduces university experience to future students

Staring this Wednesday, the University of Prince Edward Island will run a free, 5-week course to introduce students to the university experience. Offered over a MOOC (massive open online course) platform, "Experience U" will feature each week an introductory video giving an overview of topics to be covered, a live online event featuring discussions with current university students and professors, and an assignment. “Not only does Experience U give an overview to prospective university students, it also provides a glimpse of how university courses may be delivered in the future," says a UPEI official. Students in the program can choose to work in the open-course platform if they like, or put their work in their own space at their school or on the Web. UPEI News Release | Experience U

King's virtual business competition an international recruitment tool

In an effort to attract international students, King's University College is pitting high school students and their virtual firms against each other in a program called the Online Business Simulation Competition. Now in its third year, the competition is designed as a introduction to business for high school students in China and India. Participating students are assigned a role in their team's "company" and must determine the firm's business strategy for the equivalent of 8 years in the industry. Students play for a chance to win scholarships to King's. So far, just a handful of students have taken advantage of the scholarship, but King's expects the number of students who will come to the institution as a result of the program will increase. Western News

York U MBA first in Canada in Economist ranking

York University's Schulich School of Business is the top-ranked Canadian business school in The Economist's 2011 ranking of full-time MBA programs, placing 9th in the top 100. The school is also the sole Canadian business school to make the magazine's top 20 list. Other Canadian business schools to make the top 100 include McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management (64), Concordia's John Molson School of Business (80), uCalgary's Haskayne School of Business (81), UBC's Sauder School of Business (82), and HEC Montréal (96). The Economist uses 4 categories of information to produce its ranking and weigh them according to student feedback. The criteria are opening career opportunities (35%), personal development and educational experience (35%), increasing salary (20%), and the potential to network (10%). The Economist | Canadian Press | 2011 Full-Time MBA Ranking