Top Ten

October 23, 2012

Globe releases 2013 Canadian University Report

Yesterday the Globe and Mail published its annual Canadian University Report, in which small and very small institutions were graded highest by their students in several categories. Under the "most satisfied" category, 8 very small universities (Acadia, Bishop's U, Concordia UC, Redeemer, The King's UC, TWU, Huron, and King's at Western U) received an "A" grade. The other universities to get an "A" in this category are Western U (large) and UoGuelph (medium). In "campus atmosphere," Bishop's U, Redeemer, The King's UC, and TWU earned an "A+", a grade also awarded to UoGuelph. Acadia, Concordia UC, The King's UC, and TWU received an "A+" in "quality of teaching and learning." 15 small and very small universities got an "A+" in "class sizes." The only A-level grades in "instructors' teaching style" went to 15 small and very small universities. 3 large and medium institutions -- McGill, uWaterloo, and Queen's -- received an "A+" in "reputation with employers." The report includes an exploration of PSE in 2020, profiles on Quest and Ryerson Universities, and the merits of attending a large or small university, as presented by the presidents of Western U and Mount Allison. Canadian University Report 2013

BVC records discovered on improperly recycled computer server

Bow Valley College administration is confident the private records of close to 200,000 students, employees, and contracts dating from 1991 to 2010 are secure after a computer server was not recycled properly and ended up in the hands of a private citizen. Earlier this year, BVC sent 21 computer servers to an electronic recycling company. It was later determined that 13 of them contained no personal or private data, and of the 8 remaining servers, the most critical has been recovered. BVC president Sharon Carry says that through its ongoing investigation, the college has determined that there is a low risk that the personal data contained on the server has been used or shared by an external source. In light of the incident, BVC will now handle every step of the decommissioning of computer servers internally. BVC is in the process of reaching out to all affected individuals, advising them of their right to file a complaint with the privacy commissioner, with whom the college is cooperating. BVC President's Message | Calgary Herald

Western U reaching halfway point in $750-million fundraising campaign

As of September 30, Western University's fundraising initiative garnered more than $373.5 million, putting the institution less than $1.5 million away from the campaign's financial midway point of $375 million. Western U launched the current campaign in 2007 with the goal of raising $500 million by 2014. Last fall, the institution refocused the initiative, revealing a new goal of raising $750 million by 2018. Western U's order of priorities is $267 million for students, $218 million for faculty, $163 million for programs, and $102 million for infrastructure. Among the unique aspects of the campaign, the VP of external relations points to the first-time inclusion of student support services for everything from mental health and career services to teaching innovation and student success services. The aim is not only to assist students, but also to significantly shift the way they have been supported in the past. Western News

Fleming proposes Applied Learning Enhancement Strategy in draft SMA

In its strategic mandate submission, Fleming College outlines its Applied Learning Enhancement Strategy, which pledges that all programs have a substantial work-integrated learning (WIL) component and that standard and protocols are in place to steer the successful participation of faculty, students, and employers. Fleming says the strategy "will ensure the readiness of graduates for work, extend and deepen our collaboration with employers, develop new levels of education and work integration, and contribute to regional economic development." WIL is the foundational strategy for Fleming's new Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre. The college says the centre will operate in collaboration with industry and district school boards which will help design programs and pathways that make it easier for students to choose the trades as their career path. Fleming News Release | Fleming SMA

Canada has made the most progress in the education domain, CIW finds

In its second composite index, the University of Waterloo-based Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) reports a 24% drop in Canadian wellbeing between 2008 and 2010. From 1994 to 2010, Canada's GDP grew by nearly 29%, while improvements in Canadian wellbeing over the same period experienced an increase of just 5.7%. The CWI observes that education is the domain in which Canada has made the most progress since 1994, improving by 21.8%. There are positive changes in the ratio of students to educators in public schools (+13.6%), the percentage of 20- to 24-year-olds in the Canadian population completing high school (+6.5%), and the percentage of 25- to 64-year olds with a university degree (+57.9%). The CIW does note some bad changes in education. For example, the basic knowledge and skills index for 13- to 15-year olds has dropped slightly by 0.5%. CIW News Release | Report

More Canadian universities recruiting in India

Some Canadian universities have recently begun pursuing the Indian student market. The University of Winnipeg started recruiting undergraduate students in India 18 months ago. The institution has already attracted 45 students and hopes to reach 100 by next fall. St. Thomas University is just getting started in India. The Fredericton-based institution has recruited 5 students already and hopes to double that. "Look at the high school demographics for New Brunswick for the next 12 years. We are down every year," says STU's international recruitment coordinator. "We must either increase our intake from the Maritimes or look internationally. We want to diversify the experience for our students but there is a financial part, too." The University of Windsor has recruited 2,000 Indian students and close to 6,000 international students since deciding 15 years ago to become "Canada's leading international university." There are now 180 Indian students in engineering at uWindsor, up from 70 to 75 three years ago. India remains a priority market for York University, which is ramping up its recruitment efforts in the country. York U's international recruiters have been targeting India through various initiatives, such as direct travel to the region, welcoming groups from India onto York U's campuses, and continuing the ongoing communication with prospective students. Postmedia News | Y-File

Mount Allison to renovate Hammond House for use as President's residence

Mount Allison University's Hammond House -- Sackville's only National Historic Site -- will undergo a $1.3-million renovation and restoration to return to its original purpose at the university and serve as the President's official residence. Built in 1896, Hammond House was acquired by Mount Allison in 1958, used as the President's residence until 1975, and then functioned as an administrative building until 2009. Hammond House will become the President's official residence in September 2013. Mount Allison says it will sell Cranewood, which has served as the President's residence since the institution acquired it in 1975. Mount Allison News

FedNor invests in Canadore's Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production

On October 18, the federal government, through FedNor, announced a $1-million investment in Canadore College's new Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production. The investment will allow Canadore to renovate more than 5,300 square feet of existing space at its Commerce Court campus, buy equipment, and install the required information technology infrastructure to establish a state-of-the-art innovation centre. FedNor News Release

McMaster to open lounge for off-campus, commuter students

Off-campus and commuter students at McMaster University will soon have a space on campus to call their own. The Off-Campus Resource Centre, along with the Students Union and the Society of Off-Campus Students, are temporarily turning the former location of a campus restaurant into a lounge for off-campus and commuter students. Made possible with funding from the Student Life Enhancement Fund, the space will be called "The Lodge." To be open Monday through Friday, The Lodge will consist of a study area, a dining area, and a games room with couches, tables, a microwave, and a fridge. The goal is to have the lounge open by the end of October and, should it prove popular, find it permanent space on campus. McMaster Daily News

"We've never heard of you, either"

That was the message adorned on hundreds of official debate T-shirts that Florida-based Lynn University -- the venue for Monday's US presidential debate -- distributed to students over the past several days. "A lot of alums say to me that they wish our school were more widely known," says Lynn U president Kevin M. Ross, who came up with the idea for the shirts. "And I think it’s something that has bothered students from time to time." Hosting the presidential debate is a good way of raising Lynn U's national profile, Ross says. The 50-year-old institution has also sought to employ the debate as a learning experience for its students, adding 80 classes related to the presidency and political debates. The shirts quickly became one of the most popular aspects of the debate at Lynn U; demand for them had been "second only to tickets to the debate itself," says Ross. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)