Top Ten

October 21, 2011

Skilled trades training, tuition subject of Manitoba throne speech

In its throne speech Thursday, the Manitoba government confirmed Red River College's plan to build a new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre. To be one of the largest capital developments in the history of the province's college system, the 320,000-square-foot centre will allow for all construction trades and related programs to be housed in one single location. The throne speech states skilled trades training will expand in rural regions of Manitoba, and a Journey Person Business Start Program will offer support to rural and northern residents to start their own businesses. The province will freeze tuition fee increases to the rate of inflation, reduce interest rates on student loans to prime, and amend student aid rules to ensure youth in Manitoba can graduate with a reduced debt burden. Manitoba Speech from the Throne | RRC News

Dal business school receives $15-million donation

On Thursday, Dalhousie University celebrated a $15-million gift from prominent Nova Scotia businessman Kenneth C. Rowe to the institution's School of Business. The donation will be used for a number of projects at the school, such as new scholarships, student competition funding, enhancing faculty research opportunities, and increasing the school's profile. The gift -- the latest in Dal's $250-million "Bold Ambitions" campaign -- is the largest ever to the university from a Nova Scotian. Dal News

BC, Atlantic colleges prepare for expansion following awarded shipbuilding contracts

Following BC-based Seaspan Marine Corporation's win of an $8-billion shipbuilding contract, educators, industry leaders, and government have begun talks to determine what trades need immediate attention, and how institutions can best align training plans to respond to "some pretty critical needs," says BC Colleges president Jim Reed. Camosun College president Kathryn Laurin says the contract will drive expansion of programs in marine-associated trades, such as metal fabrication, sheetmetal, and welding. New Brunswick Community College president Marilyn Luscombe says her institution is ready to do its part to support the need for well-trained workers following the $25-billion contract awarded to Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding. Holland College anticipates enrolment in its trades programs will grow following the successful contract bid. Prior to the announcement, Nova Scotia Community College students were hoping Irving Shipbuilding would win the contract. One student told the CBC that it's a chance for job security following graduation and the luxury of living at home in the Maritimes. BC Colleges News Release | Victoria Times-Colonist | Vancouver Sun | Daily Gleaner | CBC (Holland College) | CBC (NSCC)

Sudbury launches learning city initiative

Last Wednesday, Cambrian College hosted the launch of the Greater Sudbury Learning City initiative, which works toward creating an environment for life-long learning. The project is in response to the fact the city lags in several educational areas. The percentage of Sudburians without a high school degree is above the Ontario average; similarly, the percentage of those with a bachelor's degree is below the provincial average. The project's steering committee is considering a public education campaign about the importance of investing in higher education. Sudbury Star

Ottawa to spend $11.3 billion on S&T

Statistics Canada forecasts that spending on science and technology (S&T) by federal departments and agencies will reach $11.3 billion for the fiscal year 2011-12 on a current dollar basis. The post-secondary sector will continue to be the top recipient of the federal government's extramural S&T spending at $3.3 billion. Most of the S&T spending directed to PSE institutions is projected to come from the 3 granting councils: NSERC ($967 million), CIHR ($930 million), and SSHRC ($625 million). Statistics Canada

Capilano U looking to pursue Indian student market

Representatives from Capilano University are part of a BC post-secondary contingent joining Premier Christy Clark's delegation to Asia next month to pursue an untapped international student market: India. "Our Indian numbers are just starting to grow," says an official at Capilano U, where the majority of international students come from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. She cites 2 main reasons why Indian students like Capilano U: its Fine and Applied Arts program, and the smaller university setting. Changes in attitude from Canadian immigration officials in India have inspired the university to seek international students in India, the Capilano U official says. North Shore Outlook

Ryerson top in Ontario in applications to available university spots

According to fall 2011 enrolment and application figures, Ryerson University is first among Ontario universities for applications to available spaces. Overall, the institution received approximately 9 applications for every available first-year spot: 63,642 applications for just over 7,000 spaces. With regard to total applications, Ryerson is second in Ontario both in overall applications and among those who select the institution as their first choice. Ryerson News Release

Olds College working on construction of hotel complex, Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship

Construction is underway for Pomeroy Inn & Suites and the Canadian Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship (CIRE) at Olds College. The Pomeroy Inn & Suites will feature a 4-star hotel, restaurant, and convention centre with a commercial kitchen suitable for training. Situated within this complex, the CIRE will create new curriculum for credit-based and continuing education in countryside management. Olds College News

uWindsor to offer bilingual political science program

Next September, the University of Windsor will offer its first-ever English-French specialization in political science. A total of 14 courses in the new bachelor degree program will be offered in French. There is demand for French-language courses in the Windsor area, says a uWindsor political science professor, who adds that the program will help individuals who want to work in the public service. As part of the program, students in their third year will be able to take a number of courses at the bilingual University of Ottawa. Windsor Star | CBC

US campuses embracing mobile apps, slow in adopting Cloud Computing

Across all sectors of PSE in the US, the 2011 Campus Computing Survey observes big gains in the proportion of institutions that have activated mobile applications. Among surveyed community colleges, for example, the numbers more than tripled, from 12.4% last fall to 40.9% this year. The survey reveals that institutions have been slow to move key operational and research functions to Cloud Computing. For example, just 4.4% of responding senior campus IT officials reported that their institution has moved or is converting to Cloud Computing for ERP (administrative system) services. The survey observes continuing shifts in the learning management system (LMS) market. 50.6% of respondents reported that their college uses various versions of Blackboard as the campus-standard LMS, down from 57.1% last year. Blackboard's major competitors are gaining share, and several new LMS providers are generating significant interest. 90.1% of respondents agree or strongly agree that "eBook content will be an important source for instructional resources in 5 years," up from 86.5% in 2010 and 76.3% in 2009. 2011 Campus Computing Survey