Top Ten

October 2, 2012

OACC responds to MTCU discussion paper

In a report prepared in response to the provincial government's PSE discussion paper, the Ontario Association of Career Colleges offers several recommendations to the government, including improving apprenticeship pathways by committing to include the career college sector in the apprenticeship model. OACC calls on the province to "assume a leadership role in fostering collaboration, respect and recognition among the four pillars of postsecondary education [apprenticeship programs, career colleges, community colleges, and universities] by implementing policies that reflect a fluid continuum of postsecondary education, rather than silos, through sector-wide quality program standards, transfer credits that encourage student mobility; and consultation with all stakeholder communities." Another recommendation is for the government to more fully utilize the career college sector resource in a bid to increase student choice, meet employer needs, and achieve and exceed the targeted PSE attainment rate in a cost effective manner that will provide extra savings to taxpayers. OACC's report notes that more than 67,000 students enrol in one of Ontario's 600 career colleges every year. These institutions employ more than 12,000 staff members, and save provincial taxpayers more than $1 billion a year while generating more than $94 million in business and payroll taxes. OACC News Release | Report

UoGuelph Gryphon Athletics launches $20-million fundraising initiative

On Monday the University of Guelph's Gryphon Athletics launched a $20-million fundraising campaign to increase capacity and opportunities for wellness at the institution and in the greater community. The funds raised will support initiatives that reinforce UoGuelph's position as a leader in university athletics and community health and well-being. This entails constructing and renovating a fitness and recreation complex. The campaign is part of UoGuelph's $200-million BetterPlanet Project. UoGuelph News Release

uToronto law school capital campaign receives $11-million gift

The University of Toronto Faculty of Law announced Monday a $10-million lead gift to its building campaign from the Honourable Henry N.R. "Hal" Jackman, a former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, a uToronto chancellor, and a long-time benefactor to the institution. The donation to name the Jackman Law Building is in addition to a $1-million gift made at the time of the campaign's launch last November, bringing the total amount of Jackman's donation to $11 million. His donation -- the largest gift to the law school to date -- brings the private fundraising total for the building to $32.5 million -- more than 90% of the overall goal for the campaign. Construction of the $54-million facility will begin next summer. uToronto Faculty of Law News

High debt, unemployment plaguing Canadian youth, report finds

In the 2012 edition of its Vital Signs report, the Community Foundations of Canada zeroes in on youth issues. Garnering data from various sources, the national report outlines key economic, educational, and societal factors affecting youth. The report observes that the average debt load for Canadian students is in the $20,000-$30,000 range and amassing debt may impact the ability of students to finish their studies, leading to a delay or break from education to join the workforce. Meanwhile, students seeking work to pay off debt often encounter grim job prospects. One out of 3 graduates aged 25 to 29 with a college or university credential moved into low-skilled work after completing school, the report notes. This past June, the youth employment rate stood at 14.8%, more than double the Canadian average. "Canada's youth are growing up in an era of complexity and uncertainty that has delayed, or even destroyed, the landmarks that once signaled a transition from one phase of life to another," states the report. "To address the serious challenges of our time -- from economic uncertainty to sustainability to support for an aging population -- we need to ensure that Canada's young people are healthy, educated and fully engaged." CFC News Release | CTV | Report

Western U mandate agreement emphasizes student success

Students are in the spotlight in Western University's strategic mandate proposal, which has been delivered to Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The 3 key priorities listed in the mandate are: strengthening the best student experience; providing a learning environment that fosters creativity through exploration, discovery, invention, and innovation; and transforming lives through knowledge transfer. A number of factors go into strengthening the best student experience, and chief among them is a plan to increase student mobility. Western U aims to have 10% of students gain international experience through study abroad, experiential learning, and exchange programs, as well as boost opportunities to participate in co-ops, internships, and community service learning programs. The institution plans to introduce a co-curricular record, and expand professional graduate program enrolment in response to demand and career opportunities. Western News | Strategic Mandate Proposal

Northern Manitoba Mining Academy, UCN Regional Centre open in Flin Flon

Last Friday marked the official opening of the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy, as well as its sister facility, the University College of the North Regional Centre, in Flin Flon. The Mining Academy is the result of a partnership among UCN, HudBay Minerals, the Northern Manitoba Sector Council, and the municipal, provincial, and federal governments. At the opening, UCN president Konrad Jonasson said he was proud that the institution is part of the Mining Academy, and that the facility will ensure that students have access to pursue careers in geological and environmental sciences. UCN News Release

uWinnipeg looking for new name for sports teams

The University of Winnipeg has initiated a consultation campaign to find a new name for its sports teams, which currently bear the Wesmen moniker, to make the name more gender inclusive. The name Wesmen is short for Wesley men, in reference to Wesley College, where uWinnipeg now stands. "The term itself is gender-confined and language matters, so this is one of those areas where we're thinking it's time for that kind of change here," says a uWinnipeg official. The institution plans to consult with a range of groups, including athletes, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and fans, about the name. Winnipeg Free Press | CTV

uOttawa launches professional skills development program for grad students

The University of Ottawa's Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Teaching and Learning Support Service have created a professional skills development program for master's and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The goal of the "Altitude" program is to help graduate students access the workforce by providing activities to develop professional skills that complement the ones acquired in graduate programs. In addition to skills in support of an academic career, the program will offer activities related to career development, communication and writing skills, ethics and social responsibility, leadership, and well-being. uOttawa News Release (in French and English) | Altitude

International enrolment boom at CNC

BC's College of New Caledonia reports a 16.5% increase in international students this year to 296, an all-time high for the institution. The college welcomed 100 new international students on campus last month, up from 70 in fall 2011. Overall enrolment totals 2,208 FTE students, down 7.5% from 2,387 FTE students in fall 2011. "There are several contributing factors, such as the improved regional economy and record high employment levels in the Prince George area," says CNC's VP of community and student services. "The decline in high school enrolments in the area also played a role." CNC News Release

SFU launches University Science Transition Experience Program for high school students

Starting this week, qualified secondary school students can receive high school credit for attending specially designed seminars offered by Simon Fraser University's science faculty. USTEP (University Science Transition Experience Program) is a free program that will lead high school students looking to enrich their education with an introduction to the university environment through a series of interactive sessions at the Burnaby campus led by SFU professors. The theme for this school year is energy and its many forms. Students will choose a topic based on the subject material discussed at the sessions and use that topic to propose and engage in a month-long project, with mentorship and performance assessments set by the students' teachers. SFU News Release