Top Ten

September 28, 2012

Queen's unveils $500-million Initiative Campaign

Queen's University is reaching out to its famously faithful alumni with the launch of a $500-million fundraising campaign. The Initiative Campaign has quietly been underway for years, and has already garnered close to $300 million. Queen's aims to reach the target by 2016 -- the university's 175th anniversary -- and to secure promises of an additional $100-million in planned estate giving. Raising funds for a proposed student life and wellness centre is a key goal for Queen's, which in recent years has been a prominent voice on student health issues, particularly mental health. After constructing a costly student and athletics centre, Queen's intends to use more of the funds to enhance the student experience and less for capital spending than in recent years. One central priority is to increase the endowment for student support in the form of scholarships and bursaries based on merit and need by up to $80 million. Queen's will consider expanding newer experiments such as the Innovation and Global Leadership Initiative, a program jointly hosted this year by the business and engineering faculties, which awarded 20 students $7,000 each to spend the summer receiving a hands-on education in entrepreneurship. Queen's has developed a website dedicated to the Initiative Campaign. Queen's News Centre | Globe and Mail | Initiative Campaign website

Ontario MTCU launches Mental Health Innovation Fund

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities recently announced the launch of a Mental Health Innovation Fund. The fund will consist of $7 million annually until 2015 and was established to identify gaps in current mental health support services on campuses, promote best practices across the PSE sector, and foster partnerships within local communities. The ministry will welcome proposals from the PSE sector over the course of the next month, emphasizing that successful proposals will have to demonstrate innovation, facilitate partnerships, and address current service gaps in mental health service provisions. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, which called for such a fund in a policy document submitted to the province in May, says it is "pleased that the government has taken this recommendation and turned it into action that has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of students." OUSA News Release

Makeup classes leaving Montreal students feeling overwhelmed

For thousands of students in Montreal, makeup sessions for faculties whose students boycotted classes last semester wrapped up on the weekend, after about 5 weeks of intensive classes that left many students feeling overwhelmed. A UQAM law student told the Montreal Gazette that the makeup semester has been non-stop work, with classes on Friday nights and Saturdays, and high-pressure situations such an exam worth 100% of her grade. While not denying how challenging the makeup term has been, students who supported the boycott at least believe their sacrifices paid off after the new PQ government annulled the tuition hike. It's been very stressful and difficult for everyone, "but I have no regrets about the strike because we were victorious," says a uMontréal student. "We're paying the price, but at least we succeeded." UQAM's compressed fall term starts today and will end before Christmas, while uMontréal's fall semester will stretch until January 18, meaning students may have work to do over the Christmas break, and the year will end about 2 weeks late as well. Montreal Gazette

Dal introduces Rowe School of Business

Dalhousie University's School of Business has adopted the name of its stalwart champion, Kenneth C. Rowe. The university held an official naming ceremony Friday at its Faculty of Management building, which already bears Rowe's name, to unveil the Rowe School of Business logo. In October 2011, Rowe, a prominent Nova Scotia businessman and executive chairman of IMP International, donated $15 million to the business school, the largest gift ever to Dal from a Nova Scotian. His intent in making the donation was to challenge the business school to transform itself by building upon its established record of excellence to better prepare students for competing on the global stage. At that time, Rowe rebuffed Dal president Tom Traves' offer to name the school after Rowe, stating that his donation was "a challenge to the faculty, not just to stick a name on a building." At the naming ceremony Friday, student and school representatives offered their own reasons for insisting that Rowe accept the honour. Dal News

Academica survey finds service levels not keeping pace with international enrolment on Canadian campuses

At the OECD's Institutional Management in Higher Education General Conference in Paris last week, Academica's CEO Rod Skinkle presented findings from our survey of senior institutional administrative staff on international recruitment. The report, co-authored by Mr. Skinkle, Prof. Sheila Embleton and Prof. Ted Hewitt, revealed that while 75% of respondents said their institution plans to boost international enrolment, nearly half are concerned with their school's ability to maintain on-campus social and community integration, and one-third said there will be challenges ahead in understanding and providing for students' cultural and religious needs. Skinkle said that although respondents predict positive effects from international enrolment increases, including additional revenue, that remained unproven. Skinkle also highlighted Academica's 2011 ISPS survey of more than 5,000 Indian high school students, which observed mismatches between what international students were seeking and what Canadian institutions were offering. Ken Steele and PI's Rod Skinkle and Prof. Sheila Embleton will present more data and discuss implications at the CBIE conference in Montreal this November. Times Higher Education

Boréal opens new Toronto campus

On Thursday Collège Boréal officially inaugurated its new campus in downtown Toronto. The 47,000-square-foot campus provides double the space of Boréal's 2 other Toronto locations, whose services are now being housed in the new location. With 10 specialized labs and 12 classrooms, 3 of which are equipped for teleconferencing, the new campus also integrates the Employment Options services that Boréal provides. In the past decade, Boréal's client growth has increased exponentially in Ontario's central-southwestern region. By 2015, the college expects to increase the number of PSE programs offered in this region to 30. Boréal News Release

Ground broken for 2015 Pan Am Games facility at UTSC

Sport and government officials joined the University of Toronto Scarborough and the community in celebrating the ground-breaking Thursday on the new Pan Am Games aquatic centre and field house being built on campus. The Pan Am and Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House will accommodate swimming and fencing events at the 2015 Games. It will feature 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools, a diving tank, dry-land training facilities, flexible gym space, and a track and fitness area. The overall project will cost $205 million. In 2010, UTSC students approved a levy that will result in a $30-million contribution over approximately 25 years to the facility. UTSC News

UBC, Langara launch Aboriginal Transfer Program

UBC and Langara College have partnered to develop a transfer program to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students working toward a university degree. The first of its kind in BC, the UBC-Langara Aboriginal Transfer Program will offer up to $8,500 in scholarships to Aboriginal students, as well as guaranteed admission to UBC's arts faculty and personalized support from Aboriginal advisors at both PSE institutions. Program students will complete one or 2 years at Langara, including the new Aboriginal Plus Program, which is designed to prepare students for academic success through workshops, extracurricular events, and support from Aboriginal faculty and staff at both schools. Langara students who meet program requirements will get guaranteed admission to the arts faculty at UBC's Vancouver campus. By maintaining high academic standards, students in the program will be eligible for the scholarships. Planning is underway to expand the transfer program to other UBC faculties. UBC News Release | UBC-Langara Aboriginal Transfer Program

92% of Emily Carr grads surveyed working and growing BC's creative economy

According to a recent alumni survey, 92% of responding Emily Carr University of Art + Design graduates are working and directly supporting growth in BC's creative sector, an increase of 6% compared to a previous survey conducted in 2006. Among the 92% of respondents working, 29% are creative entrepreneurs who own their own business, are self-employed or are themselves employers. Alumni hold a wide range of positions and work at companies from diverse industry sectors, with employers including Apple, Twitter, and Vancouver Coastal Health. 83% of employed alumni said their field uses the skills they developed at Emily Carr, and 73% of alumni-based companies are based in BC. Emily Carr president Ron Burnett says the survey results "affirm our vision which is to build Emily Carr’s Great Northern Way Campus and place us at the centre of a new social, cultural, educational and economic engine for British Columbia." Emily Carr News Release | Alumni Survey Infographic

Enrolment rises at Providence

Providence University College, based in Otterburne, Manitoba, reports that new student enrolment is up by 25% over last year. Overall, 284 students have registered at the Christian institution -- an increase of 11%. Interim president David Johnson notes that the retention rate at Providence is also up significantly. Providence News