Top Ten

December 2, 2011

Seneca student reports homophobic attack on campus

An Iranian immigrant who came to Canada to flee persecution in his native country for being gay says he has been severely shaken following an assault at Seneca College that resulted in his throat being cut. The 29-year-old victim says he was waiting for a friend at Seneca when someone he recognized from one of his courses looked at him suspiciously. The same man reappeared moments later, accompanied by a woman believed to be his girlfriend. The victim says the man pulled his hoodie over his head and began to beat him. The woman held the victim down while the attacker punched him repeatedly for several minutes. Some students stood around and videotaped the assault, during which the victim was subjected to homophobic slurs and had his throat cut by a sharp pencil. The victim was able to break free when a stranger intervened and he ran into his program coordinator to report the incident. A 21-year-old man has been charged with assault with a weapon. The victim says he shared classes with the accused, but they never spoke to each other. Seneca's dean of students says the accused has been suspended until the police and the institution complete their respective investigations. Postmedia News

Sheridan celebrates new Mississauga campus

Last Thursday marked the official opening of Sheridan College's Hazel McCallion campus in Mississauga. Named after Mississauga's mayor, the campus is a 4-storey, 155,000-square-foot facility featuring 33 state-of-the art learning spaces, including a collaboratory, lecture hall, and mobile/flexible classrooms. The project received a combined $31.2-million investment from the federal and Ontario governments. The provincial government has committed $60 million to construct the second phase of the campus. Construction is set to begin next fall. Sheridan News Release

uMoncton students stage fake wedding to protest changes to student-loan assessment

The Université de Moncton's student union held a mock wedding last Wednesday in protest of the New Brunswick government's decision to reinstate the parental contribution in the provincial student loan assessment. A student who starts attending a post-secondary school within 2 years of graduating from secondary school is considered financially dependent on their parents. Both affected by the changes, the students who played bride and groom pledged to take each other as husband and wife and claim each other on their student-loan applications until they can be declared officially independent of their parents. The government has said the measure will save the province $1.6 million, but the student union's president argues that it works out to $8 million less in financial aid for New Brunswick students because the province covers just 20% of the total cost of student loans. Times & Transcript | CTV

York U environmental studies faculty receives $1-million donation

HSBC Bank Canada has donated $1 million to York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies, making it the single largest corporate donation ever made to this field of study in Canada. The gift will create scholarships worth $5,000 for 15 to 20 students who are academically strong, face financial need, and participate in some type of community service in this field. The gift also sparks a $1-million matching investment from the Ontario Trust for Student Support Program, resulting in a $2-million permanent endowment for undergraduate environmental studies. York U News Release | Toronto Star

During BCTF job action, school districts make provisions for students planning to apply to PSE

As part of the BC Teachers' Federation's continuing job action, teachers are not producing report cards; however, school districts and teachers are making provisions for Grade 12 students who need their grades in order to apply for post-secondary admission and scholarships, but the procedure varies by school district. For example, in Burnaby, students can request grades from teachers and take them to the school office, where an official transcript can be generated for use in applications. Enrolment officials at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University say applicants can self-report their grades, which are later verified by the province's education ministry. Vancouver Sun

Nipissing students give university strong marks in NSSE

According to Nipissing University's results in the National Survey of Student Engagement, 91% of responding first-year students reported a favourable image of the university, and 80% said the institution placed a substantial emphasis on academics. 82% of surveyed senior students said they would have chosen Nipissing again if they could start their university career over. Nipissing achieved scores well above the Ontario mean in 3 of NSSE's 5 benchmarks: Supportive Campus Environment, Active and Collaborative Learning, and Student-Faculty Interaction. Nipissing News

uCalgary opens trading and finance lab

Last Wednesday marked the opening of the N. Murray Edwards Trading & Finance Lab at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business. The 18-seat lab will be used in Haskayne's investment, risk management, and capital budgeting courses. Students from across the institution will be able to access trading and risk management software and information in the lab for hands-on practice. "This lab will help improve the competitive advantage that University of Calgary students have, setting us all up for success when we graduate and seek employment in industry," says a finance student at the institution. uCalgary News

The challenges of branding Canadian PSE internationally

A paper published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education explores Canadian PSE institutions’ efforts to recruit international students and brand Canadian PSE internationally. While the report welcomes a more coordinated brand, it cautions against an over-reliance on international students. The paper argues that government funding should increase, and that institutions should make investments that enhance the student experience, including the academic experience, rather than superficial additions geared toward increasing rankings. The report also urges institutions to encourage Canadian study abroad, as Canadian students are effective brand ambassadors. Read the report

New transition program at WLU helps open doors to PSE

Launched in September, Wilfrid Laurier University's "Building Bridges to Success: Creating Links to Post-Secondary Education" is a transition program for students facing financial or other barriers to higher education. It gives senior high school students the opportunity to discover what it takes to be successful at university. The program has 2 components: a 4-month university credit course and a 2-month program focused on study skills. Program participants can experience the extra-curricular life of a university with a student card that gives them all-round access to campus life. The first dozen high school students in WLU's program will complete their first university credit this month. Over the next 5 years, more than 200 students will benefit from the program. WLU News Release

Carleton launches new Web, mobile resources for prospective students

Carleton University's Undergraduate Recruitment Office has developed a new admissions website, a mobile application for prospective students, and a new recruitment video. Each program description on the admissions site is designed to provide a quick overview of the program, including available degrees, co-op information, career options, and links to admissions requirements. With the Carleton Admissions app, users can read future student news, follow the university's student bloggers, register for events, book a campus tour, and explore the school's photo and video galleries. The 3-minute "Discover Carleton University" video features footage of the institution's campus, classrooms, support offices, athletic facilities, and residences, as well as testimonials from current students. Carleton News Release | Undergraduate Admissions site | Carleton Admissions app | Video Gallery