Top Ten

September 26, 2012

McGill principal on how PQ minority government might affect university

At the first session of McGill University's senate for the 2012-13 academic year, principal Heather Munroe-Blum discussed the results of the recent Quebec election and how a Parti Québécois minority government might affect the institution. One of Munroe-Blum's main concerns is the impact the annulled tuition hike would have on McGill. Unless the government had other plans for university funding, the tuition freeze would present McGill with a "significant budgetary challenge," the principal said. "There will be an impact over the next five years of $77 million to the budget of McGill beginning with a $5-million immediate budget deficit over and above our deficit for this coming year." Munroe-Blum spoke about the effect the tuition-hike repeal would have on students. "For the past eight years, 30 per cent of net new tuition increases at McGill go into student support as dedicated student financial support," she said. "A decrease in overall tuition revenue will impact the growth of that envelope." McGill Reporter

UBCO opens Reichwald Health Sciences Centre

Last Thursday marked the official opening of the new home of BC's Southern Medical Program, which will see physicians completing their medical training for the first time in the Okanagan. Constructed with a $32.7-million investment by the provincial government, the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC's Okanagan campus accommodates 32 first-year medical students, bringing the number of first-year medical students in BC to 288. The 4,266-square-metre centre features high-tech classrooms and lecture theatres networked with the other 3 medical program locations in Vancouver, Victoria, and Prince George. The centre also includes small-group teaching rooms, teaching and research labs, administration and faculty offices, and a human kinetics lab. BC News Release

uOttawa breaks ground on Advanced Research Complex

On Tuesday the University of Ottawa held a ground-breaking ceremony for its Advanced Research Complex (ARC), taking the next step in becoming the country's science and engineering powerhouse. The ARC will be home to 2 separate research efforts -- the revamped uOttawa Centre for Advanced Photonics and a cluster of state-of-the-art geoscience laboratories. Through the Canada Foundation for Innovation's New Initiatives Fund and Leading Edge Fund, the federal government is contributing $5.5 million toward the ARC's construction. An additional $7.2 million will go toward state-of-the-art equipment for 2 labs. uOttawa News Release

Queen's to offer accelerated route to medical school

Queen's University has launched an educational initiative to seek out and accept 10 exceptional high school students from across Canada who wish to pursue a medical career. In a blog post, the health sciences dean at Queen's says accepted students, who will come from a pool of nominees for a Queen's Chancellor Scholarship, will complete 2 years of undergraduate studies in the arts, sciences, or computing before taking up a spot in medical school 2 years later. The Queen's University Accelerated Route to Medical School is an effort to reduce the amount of time it takes to graduate qualified physicians in a system than can require up to 15 years of medical training, depending of the field of specialization. The dean says Queen's is the first university in the country to develop this kind of educational strategy. Queen's Health Sciences Dean Blog | Toronto Star

7 Ontario universities form University Credit Transfer Consortium

7 Ontario universities (McMaster, Queen's, UoGuelph, uOttawa, uToronto, uWaterloo, and Western U) have joined forces to develop a sweeping credit transfer initiative. Students will be able to count any first-year arts and science course taken for credit at a participating institution in the University Credit Transfer Consortium for general credit at their home university. The institutions have agreed on specific course equivalencies across more than 20 of the most popular and high-enrolment courses. The consortium says the blanket agreement will provide clarity and enhanced flexibility for students pursuing a bachelor's degree at any of the 7 universities. University Credit Transfer Consortium News Release

TRU-OUC Research Centre opens

Thompson Rivers University solidified its relationship with the Open University of China (OUC) last Friday as officials from both institutions cut the ribbon on the TRU-OUC Research Centre in Kamloops. The collaboration between the 2 universities involves a broad range of academic activities, including Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition training. Similar to TRU, the OUC runs a credit bank with the functions of credit accreditation, transfer, deposit, and withdrawal. The bank allows learners to establish lifelong learning portfolios and accredit or receive certificates for various learning achievements. The bank conducts accreditation and transfer of credits between degree and non-degree continuing education, and bridges and connects various types of learning achievement. TRU News | Kamloops This Week

Record enrolment at Lambton College

Lambton College is boasting record enrolment figures for the 2012-13 school year. The Sarnia-based institution has seen an 8% increase in enrolment this year, bringing the number of first-year students to 2,075 and the overall student population to 3,494. Lambton places first among Ontario colleges with a confirmation growth of 17.6% over last year. "We are thrilled that students are making Lambton their college of choice," says president Judith Morris. "Our career-focused education and training programs are attracting these students, with particular credit being given to those not coming directly from secondary school and international students." Lambton College News

Council for Higher Education and Accreditation creates international division

The US-based Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) has established the CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG), arguing that as internationalization grows there is pressing need for PSE institutions worldwide to collaborate on the development of a shared global system of quality assurance. CIQG membership is open to accredited US PSE institutions, institutions from other nations in good standing with their national quality assurance bodies, recognized or government-sanctioned accreditation and quality assurance organizations, PSE associations, government agencies, businesses, and corporations and foundations. CHEA plans to appoint an advisory council later this month to provide guidance on what issues the quality group should emphasize. The ultimate goal is for universities worldwide to shift from competition to cooperation, united by shared purpose of strengthening community and ensuring students are receiving the highest quality PSE, wherever they are. CHEA News Release | University World News | CIQG website

GMAT exam-taking reaches record volume

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that last year, which saw the introduction of a new GMAT Integrated Reasoning section, was a record year for the exam. A total of 286,529 GMAT exams were written, with 831,337 score reports submitted to 5,281 graduate business and management programs worldwide -- all historic highs. GMAT exam volume for the 2012 testing year (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012) was up by 11% compared to 2011, and 8% higher than the previous record of 265,613 in 2009. GMAC News Release

US survey explores social media's role in students' college search process

A recent US survey observes that for recruitment purposes, the number of social media accounts might not be nearly as important as what PSE schools do with the technology. Of the more than 7,000 college-bound high school students surveyed, about two-thirds use social media to research institutions, and more than a third of those respondents use social media to help decide where to enrol. Nearly 75% of respondents said they check Facebook at least once a day, while more than half never used Twitter, the next-most-visited social network. Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram were even less popular. The findings suggest the way to get a high return on investment is to focus on engagement. Prospective students want to be able to communicate with people, but who they want to communicate with differs. White students were the most likely to want to communicate with current students, while Hispanic and black students wanted to communicate with admissions counsellors. White and Asian students were more likely than black and Hispanic students to want to connect with admitted students. Inside Higher Ed