Top Ten

November 1, 2011

York U launches Lassonde School of Engineering with $25-million gift

Yesterday York University announced a $25-million donation from mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde for an expanded engineering school at the institution's Keele campus, to be named the Lassonde School of Engineering. Since 1963, York U has wanted a full-scale engineering school, yet it still has only approximately 300 students in specialized programs. Now the institution is spending $100 million, including Lassonde's donation and $50 million from the Ontario government, on a new faculty and facility expected to accommodate 2,000 students by 2020. York U News Release | Globe and Mail

Schism between architecture, engineering at McGill suspected in architecture director's departure

The Montreal Gazette reports that many of those bewildered by Michael Jemtrud's abrupt resignation in June from his position as director of McGill University's architecture school believe he was forced out. In a memo responding to an external review concluding the school should be given faculty status and that its placement within the engineering faculty was "problematic for all," then-engineering dean Christophe Pierre wrote that "the faculty is less convinced than the reviewers are that all is well within the school" and referred to a "divergence of opinion" with regard to Jemtrud's leadership. Jemtrud left shortly after an informal non-confidence vote in June. Some of his detractors say he might have been too ambitious and that he alienated some staff members with his ideas and favouritism of like-minded individuals. However, in an open letter, a group of former and current students accuse senior officials in engineering of having been "unsympathetic" to the unique demands of architecture, and say the incident raises questions about "institutional practices and the future of architectural education." Montreal Gazette

JIBC celebrates new Victoria campus

Last Thursday, the Justice Institute of BC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new campus in downtown Victoria. Just a few blocks away from JIBC's original Government Street location, the new campus provides additional classroom space to meet the rising demand for justice and public safety education programs in southern Vancouver Island. The campus also allows for dedicated space to include a paramedic simulation room, which is key for the training of emergency medical responders. JIBC News

COU report outlines new approach to quality assurance at Ontario universities

Ontario universities are at the forefront of national efforts to ensure students, employers, and institutions in other regions of Canada know what skills, knowledge, and understanding students have acquired from their programs, according to a new report from the Council of Ontario Universities. The paper explains how universities define degree level expectations -- the creative and intellectual development students will obtain from a particular degree, and how these expectations are incorporated into curriculum and the learning outcomes of specific courses. Degree level expectations and learning outcomes are at the centre of the province's new Quality Assurance Framework, which sets out requirements for new program approval by the independent Quality Council, for cyclical reviews by universities, and for periodic auditing by the Quality Council. COU News Release | Read the report

Quest U students give institution strong marks in NSSE

According to the latest National Survey of Student Engagement results for Quest University, a BC-based independent liberal arts and science institution, 84% of responding fourth-year students reported that they "very often" asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions compared to an average of 26% of fourth-year students at other Canadian universities. 91% of first-year students reported giving in-class presentations "very often" or "often" compared to an average of 17%. 62% of fourth-year students reported having received "prompt written or oral feedback from faculty on assignments" compared to an average of 11%. 58% of responding fourth-year students felt their education at Quest U "very much" equipped them to "solve complex, real-world problems" compared to 21% at other Canadian universities. Quest U is in its fifth academic year, having graduated its first undergraduate class this past spring. The institution welcomed its largest first-year cohort this fall with 146 students. Squamish Chief

Providence Theological Seminary introduces RPL policy for graduate admissions

Christian professionals looking to study at the master's level no longer require an undergraduate degree for admissions at Manitoba-based Providence Theological Seminary, whose new Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy will offer acceptance to those with a learning equivalent to a BA. The seminary's associate registrar says the new policy will save students money and encourage individuals already working in church and para-church ministries to pursue further education. There are also plans to develop and implement an RPL program for Providence University College. Providence Theological Seminary News

uToronto top Canadian research university on Research Infosource list

The University of Toronto has placed first in Research Infosource's annual list of the top 50 research universities in Canada. uToronto also took the top spot in the medical/doctoral category. The University of Waterloo and the Université du Québec à Rimouski ranked first in the comprehensive and undergraduate categories, respectively. Research Infosource reports that research income for the top 50 universities totalled $6.5 billion in the 2010 fiscal year, an increase of 3.6% over Fiscal 2009. Research Infosource also highlights the institutions that made the greatest gains in research publication intensity between 2004 and 2009. The top universities in each category are uToronto (medical/doctoral), York University (comprehensive), and Ryerson University (undergraduate). Research Infosource News Release | Top 50 Research Universities List 2011 | Research Universities of the Year 2011 | Spotlight on University Research Publication Intensity Growth 2004-2009

Nipissing Muskoka campus opens first residence

Saturday marked the official opening of the first residence at Nipissing University's Muskoka campus in Bracebridge, Ontario. Offering students a 2-bedroom or 4-bedroom suite, the 3-storey, 23,000-square-foot residence has room for 53 students. Each suite is fully furnished with private bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a full bathroom for every 2 students, wired and wireless high-speed Internet access, and telephone and cable TV access in each bedroom. The residence also features laundry facilities and common meeting areas. The federal government provided funding for the project under the Community Adjustment Funding program. Nipissing News Release

uWinnipeg opens new restaurant

On Friday, the University of Winnipeg opened Elements, a new 83-seat restaurant located in the institution's Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex. Elements is operated by uWinnipeg's arm's-length culinary company Diversity Food Services, whose mandate is to serve organic, locally grown food of an ethnically diverse variety. Since Diverse Foods' inception in 2009, food sales at uWinnipeg have increased by 20%. uWinnipeg News

St. Clair in talks to house long-term care facility

St. Clair College president John Strasser says the Windsor-based college and Schlegel Villages Inc. are discussing whether a proposed 256-bed long-term care facility will be located at the institution's main campus. After its first choice site fell through, Schlegel renewed its interest in St. Clair, whose attractions include the new applied health sciences building, health care programs, and recreational amenities. Schlegel officials have offered no date by which a site selection will be made. Windsor Star