Top Ten

April 2, 2012

uToronto arts and science faculty launches $250-million fundraising campaign

The University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts and Science recently kicked off its $250-million campaign. Unprecedented for an arts and science faculty in Canada, the fundraising initiative is a major component of uToronto's $2-billion "Boundless" campaign, which has already raised more than $1 billion. "We will seek philanthropic support to expand our innovative undergraduate programs that promote interdisciplinary thinking, first-year learning communities, international learning experiences and research opportunities. We will also seek to bolster our scholarship endowment to ensure access and opportunity to our undergraduates, and attract the best domestic and international graduate students," says the faculty's dean. The faculty has already raised $142 million, which is 57% of its goal. uToronto News

NSCAD delivers financial sustainability framework to province

NSCAD University has presented its "Framework for Sustainability" to Nova Scotia's advanced education department, detailing how it plans to balance its budget. Cost-saving measures include: tightening the timetable; administrative restructuring; an expense freeze; an increased rental footprint at the Granville campus; the introduction of some student fees; and job cuts through attrition and fewer part-time positions. NSCAD says it has made significant progress in terms of collaboration, which was a major theme of the Windsor report. Proposed collaborations include jointly offered core courses, electives, online classes, and full programs between NSCAD and PSE institutions including Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, University of King's College, and Nova Scotia Community College. Early indications are that NSCAD's enrolments for this fall are healthy, and the sustainability framework includes investments to boost recruitment efforts. The university aims to increase enrolment by 10% over the next 5 years. NSCAD News Release | Report | CBC

Collège d'Alma students ordered to end class boycott

On Friday, a Quebec Superior Court judge ordered a temporary injunction to end the student walkout at Collège d'Alma, a CÉGEP in the province's Saguenay region. The order meant that picketing in opposition to tuition fee increases had to end and students had to return to school on Monday. Students at the CÉGEP had voted to walk out in early March. The president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec says students will fight the injunction. Meanwhile, a Université de Montréal law student lost his bid Friday for a similar court injunction. The court ruled that there was no need for an emergency injunction becauses classes had resumed in the student's particular faculty. Collège d'Alma blog (in French) | CBC | Canadian Press

More reaction from PSE community on federal budget

Like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, several other post-secondary organizations praise increased government investment in research and innovation as outlined in the latest federal budget. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Polytechnics Canada welcome the funding allocated to the Canada Foundation for Innovation's College-Industry Innovation Fund. ACCC says new investments to support First Nations on-reserve elementary and secondary education will ultimately increase participation rates in higher education. The Canadian Bureau for International Education welcomes Ottawa's continued commitment to international education as signaled in the new budget. The Canadian Federation of Students criticizes the budget for not containing any student aid measures to offset students' rising debt loads. "Funding aimed at bridging academic research and the private sector would have been more effectively spent with improved financial assistance for students," says the president of Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. ACCC News Release | Polytechnics Canada News Release | COU News Release | CREPUQ News Release (in French) | CFHSS News Release | CBIE News Release | CFS News Release | CASA News Release

Faculty criticism results in delay of complete launch of uSask's revised BEd

The University of Saskatchewan's College of Education is delaying the complete launch of a revamped BEd program after some professors were critical of the planned changes. This September, one set of entering students will be the first to take a completely different set of courses, known as the 2012 program, while the remaining new students, along with current students, will carry on with the existing program from 1998. A critique of the revised program points to an overemphasis on Aboriginal readings in some courses to the exclusion of other marginalized groups, and suggests the program is lacking lessons on how teachers should teach a specific subject area. Due to the criticism, the college decided to try the program as just a pilot project in the fall. Meanwhile, the college has struck 2 subcommittees to address the contentious parts of the curriculum. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

George Brown College planning first residence

In the fall of 2016, George Brown College will open its first student residence in downtown Toronto. An 8-storey building in the Pan Am Games Village will be constructed to the college's specifications as a modern 500-bed, accessible facility that will meet LEED Gold environmental standards. There will be 2-bedroom units with kitchenettes, washrooms, common rooms, and study spaces, with state-of-the-art telecommunications built in. The residence will also feature a security system with card access, social spaces, laundry facilities, and extensive bicycle storage. George Brown College News

Langara receives $1.3-million bequest

A $1.3-million donation to Langara College will establish two $10,000 annual scholarships for journalism students. The endowment was bequeathed to the Vancouver-based college by the estate of Michael Mercer to honour the memory of his wife Jeani Read, who began her journalism career at the Vancouver Province. The scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants upon graduation, to provide support for approximately 3 months while they produce a major work of journalism. Complementing the scholarship is an endowed honorarium that will provide funds to compensate mentors of scholarship winners. Langara News | Vancouver Province

Algoma U seeks Ontario University Athletics membership

Currently competing in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, Algoma University has made a formal application to join Ontario University Athletics starting in 2013-14. Given that Algoma U has been an independent university since 2008, "it's time to adjust our varsity programming to reflect that fact," says president Richard Myers. "If we want people to think of us as a university, we should probably associate ourselves with our sister universities. The OCAA is an excellent organization, but playing in a league composed primarily of colleges sometimes leads to confusion about who we are and what we do, especially in Southern Ontario." A 5-person committee overseeing Algoma U's application will head to Sault Ste. Marie later this month for a site visit. Sault Star

Brescia unveils grad ring

Starting this year, every Brescia University College graduate will participate in a ring ceremony, where graduates will receive their unique Brescia ring. The event will be added to Brescia's Baccalaureate and Magisterial Ceremony, which celebrates the academic accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students. A formal ring ceremony will be introduced at Homecoming every year to allow for alumnae to participate in this latest Brescia tradition. Displaying the Brescia symbol, the ring is available in silver and yellow or white gold. Earlier this year, the University of Lethbridge introduced its official graduation ring. Brescia Ring

Finances not top concern for study-abroad leaders, survey finds

According to a new survey from the US-based Forum on Education Abroad, money is not the chief concern of study-abroad leaders. Respondents, who work in campus study-abroad offices or for program providers, cited students' ability to integrate into another culture as their top concern, followed by student preparation and helping students maximize their experience overseas. Program costs and the need for further financial support, which had ranked highest on previous surveys, were the fourth- and fifth-greatest issues. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)