Top Ten

September 12, 2012

SAIT opens culinary campus downtown

Yesterday SAIT Polytechnic officially opened its new culinary campus in downtown Calgary. The 10,000-square-foot facility provides students enrolled in the Professional Cooking and Baking and Pastry Arts programs a chance to hone their craft while interacting with the public, serving hot and cold dishes to downtown residents and workers. The satellite campus has created additional spaces that will alleviate some of the pressure on the lengthy wait lists for the cooking and baking programs. Both programs have experienced 40% growth in the past 4 years. Calgary Herald

UoGuelph wants proposed housing land, lawyer claims

University of Guelph officials are opposing a private residence project because they hope to purchase the land on which it would sit, alleged a lawyer for Adobe Varsity Living, which is looking to build on the site of the current Best Western hotel near UoGuelph. On Monday the lawyer told an Ontario Municipal Board hearing he believes he can show "what (university officials) want to do is defeat this project so they can buy the property." He said he will cross-examine UoGuelph officials at length because he is suspicious of their motives for opposing the project. The hotel's former owner testified that UoGuelph never raised the possibility of purchasing the property until after the conditional offer with Adobe was settled. He said after he had entered the agreement with Adobe, UoGuelph officials approached him about selling. He testified he was not interested in helping the university buy the property from Adobe. He confirmed UoGuelph officials told him they wanted to use the hotel as a residence for female students after they converted a current woman-only residence into office space. UoGuelph, which is a participant in the hearing, is not expected to begin presenting witnesses until some time next week. Guelph Mercury

Ryerson in discussions to purchase site of former hotel

Ryerson University is in discussions to buy the former site of the Empress Hotel, which was destroyed by fire last year. Despite other major infrastructure projects, including the recently completed Mattamy Athletic Centre, Ryerson's VP of administration and finance says university administration is determined to acquire and develop the "strategic" property. The VP says Ryerson has been in discussions with the property's owners for a few months, but the talks have recently become more serious. Noting the property's modest size, the VP says the university has not determined what would go on the land. The site could accommodate an additional Dundas subway entrance, she adds. Toronto Star

St. Clair suspends intake for professional golf management program

Low enrolment has prompted St. Clair College to suspend student intake for its Professional Golf Management (PGM) program. Only 8 students enrolled for first-year studies in the program this fall. 6 remained at the college in the program while 2 others left for PGM programs elsewhere. Intake for the program was also suspended for the 2010-11 academic year in anticipation of relocating the program from Chatham to Windsor. Administration hoped shifting the PGM program to the main campus would spur enrolment. St. Clair will focus its energies on developing a sports management program that would tie in with the college's new HealthPlex, slated to open next year. Windsor Star

Queen's "Green Folder" initiative to help identify, respond to distressed students

A new resource to help Queen's University faculty and staff identify and respond to students in distress is being distributed across campus. An initiative of the institution's Mental Health Working Group, the "Green Folder" is a bright green, 4-panel file folder that includes information about the kinds of situations that may need attention and contact information for the many resources available to students on and off campus. There is also a one-page insert for easy reference. Faculty and staff can use the folder to store additional materials related to mental health and wellness, so that if a student is in distress and needs advice, response how-to's and referral information is readily available. Queen's News Centre

Undergraduate tuition fees up 5%

Statistics Canada reports that full-time undergraduate students paid 5% more on average in tuition fees for the 2012-13 academic year than they did last fall, following a 4.3% increase in 2011-12. On average, students paid $5,581 in tuition fees this year, up from $5,313 last year. Tuition fees rose in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador. Undergraduate tuition fees in Quebec rose by 10.1% to $2,774, but the newly elected Parti Quebecois government is expected to roll back that increase. On average, undergraduates in Ontario paid the highest fees in the country ($7,180), followed by students in Saskatchewan ($6,017). On average, graduate students paid 4.5% more this year, while average tuition for international undergraduate and graduate students rose by 5.5% and 2.6%, respectively. Dentistry and MBA programs remain the most expensive undergraduate and graduate programs, respectively. Nationwide, additional compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduates increased by 3.3%. Statistics Canada

Labour market not saturated despite more Ontario PSE grads, finds HEQCO

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario observes that since the 1980s, the Ontario labour market absorbed the increased supply of PSE graduates reasonably well. Although graduates' labour market outcomes did not greatly improve over these years, they were not at a disadvantage given the significant increase in the number of college and university graduates. Their labour market outcomes generally improve between 2 and 5 years after graduation, suggesting that it takes time for new graduates to secure suitable employment and that increased labour market experience is beneficial for positive labour market outcomes. Compared to the rest of the country, Ontario PSE graduates' labour market outcomes were variable, with generally stronger salaries, lower unemployment rates (until recently), and mixed results for overqualification. Research Summary | Full Report

New student enrolment at Durham College up 12%

With the 2012-13 academic year now underway, Durham College reports that it has welcomed more than 8,700 full-time students to its Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site since classes started on September 5. This figure includes more than 5,200 new students, marking a new student enrolment increase of 12%. New international student enrolment has risen by 85% with 141 new foreign students. Durham College News

Enrolment decline prompts international focus at Dal

A decline in local secondary school graduates enrolling at Dalhousie University has prompted the institution to focus on recruiting more international students. The number of NS high school graduates entering Dal has been steadily declining in recent years, and that figure is expected to decrease by another 20% over the next decade. Dal has approximately 17,000 students, but only half of those are Nova Scotians. International students represent 12% of Dal's student population. University officials would like to increase that proportion to 20% in order to maintain Dal's current enrolment figures. "One of the ways that we attract students, both to undergraduate and graduate programs, is by reaching out and creating partnerships with specific universities in other countries or with specific agencies or schools in other countries and agreeing that so many students will come to Dalhousie as part of that agreement," says Dal's assistant VP of student services. CBC

More than 700 Brazilian Science Without Borders Scholarship recipients studying in Canada

The Canadian Bureau for International Education reports that more than 700 Brazilian Science Without Borders Scholarship recipients chose Canada for their undergraduate studies this fall. The scholars are studying in all 10 provinces, at 51 universities and colleges, and primarily in engineering and science. The Canadian program focuses on undergraduates who will undertake studies and/or internships in Canada over 12 months. Afterwards, scholars will return to Brazil to complete their degrees. The program will ramp up over the next few years and CBIE hopes to double the intake of Brazilian students in the 2013-14 school year in order to meet the program's goals. CBIE News Release