Top Ten

September 14, 2012

uToronto medical school launches $500-million fundraising campaign

On Thursday the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine celebrated the launch of its $500-million fundraising initiative, a cornerstone of uToronto's overall $2-billion "Boundless" campaign. Through its campaign, the medical school aims to transform health care by training future health care leaders and putting scientific discovery into action. The faculty has already raised $252 million in its campaign, which is the largest-ever fundraising initiative for a medical school in Canadian history. uToronto Faculty of Medicine News

Deal allows alternative proposals for uSask medical school restructuring

University of Saskatchewan president Ilene Busch-Vishniac has brokered a deal to give College of Medicine faculty a chance to design their own reorganization. Medical professors, residents, and students have been at odds with uSask administrators since the spring, when the provost's office released a restructuring concept paper for the college. The proposal, which entails creating 3 new divisions within the medical school to stimulate more research and give the dean more power to assign teaching duties, must be approved by the uSask university council before it is implemented. A deal struck last week gives medical faculty more input into the structure and a 3-month period to propose alternatives. A 16-member dean's advisory council is expected to present an alternate plan to university council at its December meeting. If the committee does not have an alternate plan by December, administrators will resubmit the original proposal for university council approval. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | uSask College of Medicine Concept

UBC opens clean energy facility

On Thursday the University of British Columbia opened its $34-million clean energy facility, making it the first Canadian university -- and one of a few institutions worldwide -- to produce both clean heat and electricity for its campus from renewable bioenergy. The Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) will generate enough clean electricity to power 1,500 homes and will supply up to 12% of UBC's heat requirements. It will reduce the university's natural gas consumption by 12% and campus greenhouse gas emissions by 9%. UBC researchers, students, and partners will use the 4-storey, 1,900-square-metre BRDF to research, develop, and evaluate bioenergy and other clean energies, processes, and technologies. UBC News Release

CASA outlines priorities for next federal budget

In its pre-budget submission to the federal government, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations recommends that Ottawa increase funds distributed by the Canada Student Grants Program by 25% per qualified student. Other recommendations include expanding opportunities for fast-track permanent residency for international students, exempting in-study income from federal student loan assessment of borrower assets, and removing the 2% funding cap on the Post-Secondary Student Support Program for Aboriginal students and ensuring that the program is adequately funded. CASA also calls on the government to enact legislation requiring the tri-councils to ensure that all findings produced with publicly-funded research are made available in an open-access format. CASA Pre-Budget Submission

BCIT president on the "hard truths" about BC's economy

Writing for the Vancouver Sun, BCIT president Don Wright states that "building a foundation for prosperity in BC requires an understanding of the 'hard truths' defining our challenges and our choices" -- increasing productivity is the only sustainable way to improve the standard of living, and the distribution of income in BC has become steadily unequal over the past 30 years. There are multiple causes behind these truths, writes Wright, but there is an important factor that is common to both: human capital. He goes on to say that we must grapple with hard questions about investment in education if we are going to make any headway against these hard truths: Are we sure the significant investment in PSE creates as much human capital as it could? Are we adequately focusing our resources to ensure quality PSE is broadly accessible to everyone who will benefit from it? Are we investing in the right proportions across the PSE spectrum? Wright concludes that he is "convinced that, unless we as a society are prepared to grapple with these and other hard questions in a meaningful way, we have little hope of making any substantial progress on the hard truths of BC's dismal productivity performance and its increasingly unequal distribution of income." Vancouver Sun

$1.5-million donation to Western U supports corporate law teaching and research

Woodbridge Company Limited president and CEO W. Geoff Beattie and Torys LLP have donated $1.5 million to Western University, which has matched the gift to create a $3-million fund to establish the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and support the Torys LLP Corporate & Securities Law Forum. The forum delivers a number of new initiatives and programs, including the Torys LLP Negotiation Competition and the Torys LLP Business & Law Pre-Eminent Scholars Series. Western News

uWinnipeg graduate enrolment up nearly 12%

Preliminary enrolment figures from the University of Winnipeg show that the institution has experienced the strongest growth in graduate programs, which saw an 11.85% increase compared to this time last year. Undergraduate enrolment is up by 0.6%, and overall enrolment has increased by 1.1%. Enrolment of first-year students self-identifying as Aboriginal is also strong at 12.03%, making uWinnipeg one of the top universities in the country for Indigenous participation. uWinnipeg News Release

Record international enrolment at Camosun

Camosun College has recorded its largest-ever intake of international students this month, with a 27% increase over this time last year. As of September 12, the college has enrolled over 578 international students from 53 nations -- an increase of more than 120 students since September 2011. Camosun has aggressive international student recruitment targets that are in line with the BC government's plan to boost international-student enrolment by 50% by 2015. "Our expectation is that we will continue on an international student growth track that will see upwards of 700 international students at Camosun in September 2013," says the director of Camosun International. "We intend to continue focusing on our key student recruitment markets while opening new markets in Russia and Eastern Europe in the coming year." Camosun News

UPEI asks campus community for input into improving institution

The University of Prince Edward Island is asking students, faculty, and staff for suggestions on how to improve the institution. They are being asked to submit their ideas online to UPEI's Dare to Dream campaign until October 5. After that, a UPEI committee will review the submissions and file an action plan to the institution. People are asked to consider what kind of UPEI they want in 5 years, how it can continue to improve the student experience it offers, and how it can best serve the province. CBC | UPEI Dare to Dream Campaign

StudyinBC contest invites international students, alumni to share their stories

StudyinBC, a resource developed by the BC Council for International Education, has launched a contest that gives participants the chance to share how international students and alumni study, play, and have fun in BC. International students and alumni will have the opportunity to submit a blog post, photo album, or video focused on different themes, such as holidays and festivals, food, tips and advice, sports, studying, and working. Contestants will have the chance to win the new iPad3. The contest closes October 31 and winners will be announced on November 5. BCCIE News Release | StudyinBC Contest