Top Ten

October 9, 2012

Maritime tuition fees rise between 2.5% and 4%

According to figures released yesterday by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, tuition fees paid by undergraduate arts and science students in Maritime universities this academic year range between $4,945 and $7,257. Tuition fees have increased between 2.5% and 4% over last year. In the Maritimes, ancillary fees range between $228 and $1,064. International students, who now represent more than 10% of students in Maritime universities, pay approximately double the fees compared to their domestic counterparts. International students' tuition fees for undergraduate arts and science range from $8,290 to $15,219. MPHEC News Release | Tuition Fees -- Tables

WTC celebrates new Fultz campus

Winnipeg Technical College held a grand-opening ceremony yesterday for its new campus on Fultz Boulevard. The new campus is home to existing WTC programs (such as Carpentry, Electrical Applications, and Technical Drafting), and makes room for new pilot programs and developing industry partnerships. The new campus complements WTC's renovated Henlow campus, which provides ample new space for students in variety of programs, such as Business Administrative Assistant, Hotel & Hospitality Services, and Auto Mechanics. The renovated campus also houses WTC's new Student Centre -- a café-style environment where students can relax and socialize, work on assignments at computer bays, and receive academic and employment assistance. WTC News

NBCC Saint John opens E-Building

New Brunswick Community College's Saint John campus officially opened its new $26-million E-Building on October 5. The 7,492-square-metre building is designed to meet LEED silver standards. The "E" in the building's name refers to energy, environment, and engineering technologies. A focal point on campus, the state-of-the-art facility showcases advanced green-energy systems, and it will serve as a teaching tool for energy, environment, and engineering technology students. NBCC News

Greater, more stable funding needed, TRU tells BC financial committee

Thompson Rivers University representatives told a BC financial committee last Thursday that the university needs greater and more stable funding from the provincial government. At the session, TRU president Alan Shaver said the institution was supposed to have 450 master's students, but today has just 100. "Right now we don't receive any funding for those students in our university, nor do those masters students get any funding in the form of scholarships from the province," Shaver said. "In other provinces like Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, they have provincial scholarship programs for graduate students." TRU's student union also called for more university funding, arguing that higher debt loads result in students not completing their degrees, hampering provincial competitiveness. The committee's chair said some PSE groups are asking for revisions to accounting rules that would allow them to spend differently but within budgets. Those changes would not cost the BC treasury. Kamloops Daily News

Globe series explores state of PSE in Canada

In Saturday's issue, the Globe and Mail kicked off "Re:education," a 2-week series that explores the roadmap for the PSE system that Canada needs to thrive. The series delves into several threads of the country's current university model, from the evolution of the lecture hall to digital learning and the role the private sector plays in overcoming financial strains. The Globe launched the series with a feature article on what is not working on today's campuses (a one-size-fits-all approach) and what needs to improve, touching on credential inflation, massification, advantages to and concerns over differentiation, and accountability. The series is supported by a number of interactive features and digital storytelling online, including a video mosaic of Canadian students and influential experts responding to the question: "What's the one thing you'd change in post-second ry education?"; online polling to ask readers whether today's education system has worked for them; interactive data and charts to explore matters such as tuition, debt, salaries, and employment; and video interviews with some of Canada's top academics and innovators. This is the latest theme the Globe is exploring in its editorial series, Canada: Our Time to Lead. Globe and Mail News Release |

Seneca outlines its future in SMA

In its draft strategic mandate agreement (SMA) sent to the Ontario government, Seneca College's vision entails building a different kind of school with a different kind of graduate. As per the vision, Seneca aims to be the preferred partner for colleges and universities, offering students the most innovative pathways in the province in a variety of distinct academic clusters (one objective is to build on the partnership with York University to create a new University of York-Seneca). The SMA states that every program at the college will embed cross-disciplinary and experiential learning and offer flexible learning options that allow students to learn during the day, in the evening, on weekends, in person, and online. Seneca News | SMA | Summary

McGill enrolment rises by 9%

McGill University reports a 9% increase in enrolment this fall, with the total number of students reaching 38,185, up from 37,216 at this time last year. At a recent board meeting, principal Heather Munroe-Blum said that through the development of a Strategic Enrolment Management Plan, McGill continues to tweak student growth in some areas, notably to add students in programs at Macdonald Campus, and in some programs where more students are needed, while perhaps trimming in some areas where there are stretched resources. Munroe-Blum noted that McGill continues to have a high proportion of doctoral students relative to the undergraduate population, and that while the institution falls short of most research-intensive universities in the US, which boast PhD rates of 40% to 60%, McGill's 25% leads in Canada, where the average is 15%. McGill Reporter

Algonquin College reports trades application boom

Algonquin College has encountered an increase across the board in trades applications, and significant jumps in a few programs. For example, applications to the power line technician program rose by 68% over a year ago. There are 48 students now enrolled in the program, with 189 individuals on a waiting list. The program's coordinator says it's impossible to keep up with demand. "It's actually kind of a sad thing because there are all these people who want to get in this program but we don't have the capacity and we probably won't be able to grow the capacity." CBC

GTHA transit forum focuses on PSE students

On September 28, York University was the venue for the inaugural Going to School: A Transit Summit, which brought attention to the importance of PSE schools as central transit nodes crucial to the mobility of an estimated 650,000 PSE students in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). One Toronto city councillor noted how the creation of universities in the GTHA has historically fuelled urban growth, but provincial and federal interest in universities of late and worsening regional traffic congestion mean the time to approve transit expansion is now. At York U's Keele campus, where a subway station for the forthcoming Spadina extension is currently under construction, 1,900 buses from 5 different agencies visit the campus daily, says York U's director of transportation planning. He called for more transit, particularly connections linking east and west, which he said were vital and would set the stage for the next 25 years of growth for the university. North York Mirror

US colleges increasingly finding online information damaging to applicants

US admissions officers are increasingly likely to find material on social media sites that may negatively impact applicants' acceptance chances, according to a survey by Kaplan Test Group. While a minority of admissions personnel surveyed said they consulted Google (27%) or Facebook (26%) on applicants, the percentage of those respondents who said they found something that negatively impacted an applicant's chances of being admitted nearly tripled in the last year from 12% to 35%. Offenses reported included essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in pictures, things that made them "wonder," and "illegal activities." Kaplan Test Prep News Release | Inside Higher Ed | Survey Highlights