Top Ten

June 4, 2012

Chinese student at Niagara College found dead

Niagara College announced Saturday that the body of a missing international student from China has been found. The student disappeared after entering the Niagara River on May 26, and was found by the United States Coast Guard on June 1. This announcement comes immediately after the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa warned Chinese citizens studying or traveling in Canada to “strengthen their personal security.” Niagara College News Release | Globe and Mail

$22 million announced for auto sector research

The AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence announced $22 million in funding for 40 automotive research and development projects at Canadian universities. The Canadian Government contributed $10 million toward the project, while automakers, manufacturers and suppliers contributed $12 million. The projects will fund 200 researchers and 400 graduate students. AUTO21 News Release

TWU “university district” plans contested by Metro Vancouver Board

The Metro Vancouver board of directors is attempting to quash a bylaw passed by Langley Township council that approves an expansion of Trinity Western University. The board argues that the bylaw is not compatible with the Regional Growth Strategy or Langley’s Regional Context Statement. TWU maintains that the proposal has been approved by the BC government and is consistent with Langley’s Regional Context Statement. In a statement posted to their website, TWU argues that the “Township of Langley went through the appropriate public consultation processes, and we are surprised that that was not respected.” TWU’s proposed development would include classroom space, housing, and commercial and recreational use. TWU Statement | Aldergrove Star

UoGuelph Vet College to close Avian/Exotic animal clinic

The Ontario Veterinary College announced it will close its avian and exotic animals clinic at the end of June. Despite the clinic’s popularity among pet owners, the clinic was forced to close because of budget constraints and the loss of its exotic animal specialist, who has taken a new position in the United States. The 16 veterinary medicine students currently on rotation at the clinic will be assigned to new placements. Guelph Mercury

RRC Construction Management degree gets national accreditation

Red River College’s Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management degree program has received national accreditation from the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS). The 4-year degree, which was launched in 2010 in an effort to address skills shortages in the construction industry, combines academic study and co-op work placements. Nancy Wheatley, Interim Dean of RRC’s School of Construction and Engineering Technologies, said that RRC created the program due to “industry consultations that told us industry needs construction managers with technological knowledge and managerial expertise, and that graduates from a program such as this would find jobs.” Red Blog

uCalgary drawn into controversy over attendance at political fundraisers

Documents released Friday as part of a Freedom of Information request show that the University of Calgary may have given $10,000 in “indirect contributions” to the Alberta PC Party from 2004 to 2008. The documents suggest that the university funneled the donations through lawyer Joe Lougheed, the son of former premier Peter Lougheed, by billing the university in the amount of tickets for a political fundraiser. Lougheed also arranged tickets for university officials for several other fundraising events. Lougheed maintains that he brought university officials to the fundraisers as his guests. The PC party maintains that it did not know the origin of the payments and has referred the matter to the province’s chief electoral officer. Recently similar issues have arisen with uLethbridge, Athabasca U, GPRC, Portage College, and at SFU in BC.
Calgary Herald (documents) | Calgary Herald (PC reaction)

Survey explores what Chinese students seek in a university

A new survey sheds light on Chinese students studying in the United States. The survey of 18,000 students found that 25% of students can afford to pay less than $10,000 per year, compared to 53% that can afford to spend more than $40,000 per year. The study also found that 18% of the students had "advanced" English-language proficiency, which would allow them to participate in seminars, compared to 44% with functional language skills and 38% with poor language skills. A separate study of 817 high school students found that students ranked their preferred institution based on the availability of their major, largely because in China students apply directly to a major rather than an institution itself. Student safety, approach to education, cost, and institutional ranking were the other factors students considered when selecting a school. Inside Higher Ed

Studies find youth smoking, drinking in continuing decline

The latest Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) found that the smoking rate of Canadian teens continues to fall. During the 2010/2011 school year, 2% of students in Grades 6 to 9 smoked daily, compared to 5% in 2008/2009. The rate of daily smokers in Grades 10 to 12 also declined from 13% in 2008/2009 to 10% in 2010/2011. Drinking rates also fell in 2010/2011, with 45% of students in Grades 7 to 12 reporting drinking in the last year compared to 53% in 2008/2009. 21% of students reported smoking marijuana, down from 27% in 2008/2009. The Record | uWaterloo News Release | Youth Smoking Survey Results

Enrolment growth in graduate Science and Engineering slows

New data from the National Science Foundation shows that enrolment in graduate studies in science and engineering in the United States increased by 30% in the past decade, from 493,300 students in 2000 to 632,700 students in 2010. However, the study shows that the rate of growth slowed between 2009 and 2010, with gains of only 1.7% in science and 4.0% in engineering. Biomedical engineering was the fastest growing field, with a growth rate of 165% over the last decade and a 7.5% gain between 2009 and 2010. Women’s participation rose from 41.2% in 2000 to 43.2% in 2010, but peaked in 2007 at 44%. National Science Foundation

Twitter use among teens climbs to 25%

A new Pew Research Center report observes that some 15% of online adults in the US use Twitter as of February 2012, and 8% do so on a typical day. 26% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49, the report states. Among the youngest Internet users (18- to 24-year-olds), 31% use Twitter, up from 18% in May 2011 and 16% in late 2010. The report states that 20% of Internet users ages 18-24 now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9% in May 2011. Read the Report