Top Ten

February 20, 2013

BC makes $46-million cut to PSE

According to BC's 2013 budget, the province's advanced education ministry will receive $46 million less over the next 3 years. Universities, which have been calling for more seats to meet demand, will have to find savings in administration and discretionary spending. BC's finance minister says the government will add buildings and equipment at colleges and universities to boost skills training. The executive director of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC says the ongoing cuts, along with rising costs, will hurt students and the economy. With its budget BC introduced the new BC Training and Education Savings Grant. For those born in 2007 or later, the grant will provide a one-time $1,200 grant toward a BC resident child's Registered Education Savings Plan after the child turns 6 years old. The goal of the new grant is to help families start saving for their child's PSE sooner. BC Budget 2013 | Victoria Times-Colonist

Ontario addresses youth unemployment in throne speech

In its throne speech, delivered Tuesday, the Ontario government said that to address the serious issue of youth unemployment, it will work with high school educators, colleges, universities, training partners, and employers to establish opportunities for youth to enhance their skills, find placements, internships, and co-op programs, and gain valuable, real-world experience. The province said it will continue to offer its 30% off tuition grant and expand the availability of French PSE programs in central and southwestern Ontario. Ontario Throne Speech

CBIE responds to proposed changes to student visa program

The Canadian Bureau for International Education is commending Citizenship and Immigration Canada's efforts to strengthen the integrity of the International Student Program. Under proposed changes, the immigration department would work with provinces and territories to establish a framework to designate educational institutions that will be allowed to host international students. If an institution is not designated, it would be able to continue offering programs of 6 months or less to foreign nationals in Canada on regular visitor visas. The proposed amendments would also give the immigration department the authority to request evidence from study permit holders to verify their compliance with permit conditions. CBIE says it "believes that the vast majority of international students who come to Canada are bona fide and truly intend to study here according to the conditions of their study permit. However we understand that those who are not bona fide may damage our educational institutions and be a detriment to Canada. Moreover we agree that non-quality, non-bona fide institutions which attract students here are injurious to individuals and to the reputation of our education system overall." With regard to designated institutions, CBIE urges CIC to recognize the increasing importance of various kinds of pathway programs leading to PSE, and that Canada has an array of quality private institutions that offer education and training. CBIE Comments and Recommendations to CIC

Winter enrolment at Durham College up nearly 11%

Durham College is reporting a 10.7% increase in winter-term enrolment over the same period last year with 8,818 students currently enrolled in full-time, post-secondary studies. Durham also notes that January application numbers are up by 5.36% compared to last year, along with a 10.76% increase in confirmations. Durham College News

International enrolment expected to rise at NIC

North Island College's International Education has grown "significantly" over the past year, says an NIC official. Enrolment figures have increased by 30%. About 150 students from 28 different nations will come through NIC during this academic year, and the institution expects that figure to rise to 175 next year. "The coming year will see International Education investing in student scholarships to encourage domestic students to study abroad and international students to study at NIC," the NIC official says. "Funding will also be in place to assist faculty interested in pursuing international experiences." North Island Midweek

Queen's to name main and west campuses

Queen's University is embarking on a Campus Master Plan, which will suggest mixed uses for the west campus, creating a vibrant destination that will appeal to more individuals and increase planned activities there. Consistent with the goal of obtaining greater integration of academic and co-curricular activities between the main and west campuses, Queen's plans to name the 2 locations, identifying both as central to the institution's mission. One suggestion is to name the west campus the Sir John A. Macdonald Campus to recognize the 2015 bicentennial of Macdonald's birth. Suggestions for naming the main campus include Sydenham Campus, Summerhill Campus, or perhaps a name recognizing the First Nations ancestry of the area. There are now 4 Kingston campuses - main, west, Innovation Park, and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Creating meaningful linkages among the campuses is a priority for Queen's and the Campus Master Plan. Queen's News Centre

11 Canadian institutions win CASE District VIII Awards

11 Canadian PSE institutions were among the winners in the 2013 CASE District VIII Communications Awards, which were announced last week. The Universities of Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba were the top winners, each picking up 6 awards. Other Canadian winners include NAIT, NorQuest, SAIT Polytechnic, SFU, uLethbridge, uSask, UVic, and Yukon College. 2013 CASE District VII Awards

Rogers TV program provides behind-the-scenes look at Western U

In partnership with Rogers TV, Western University has launched Western Revealed, a new program giving the local community a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities, projects, and programs that make the institution one of Canada's best. The monthly, half-hour show debuted Tuesday, and featured the Porch Light Program, which provides new international female students the opportunity to connect with women living in the London area; research on the social behaviour of insects and on how children learn math; and the law faculty's Community Legal Services. "It's a way for the community to get to know Western better than they have in the past," says Western U's media and community relations director of the series. "The show tells stories about the kinds of quality people we have at Western, their personalities and the commitment they have to Western and the London community." New episodes will air on the third Tuesdays in March, April, and May. Western News Release

Donations to US colleges increased by 2.3% in 2012

US PSE institutions took in $31 billion in donations in the 2012 fiscal year, a 2.3% increase over 2011's total of $30.3 billion, according to a new report from the Council for Aid to Education. Although the increase in donations was well below last year's 8.2% rise and amounted to just a 0.2% increase when adjusted for inflation, analysts interviewed by The Chronicle of Higher Education said they were largely encouraged by the report, which is based on the council's annual Voluntary Support of Education survey of more than 1,000 colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

GMAC launches "soft skills" test

Yesterday the Graduate Management Admission Council introduced Reflect, a new service to assess the "soft skills" of students. GMAC hopes that business schools (and employers and other PSE institutions) will use Reflect to identify students' personality-related skills, and to help students develop their strengths and compensate for weakness. The 45-minute test consists of more than 500 short-answer questions (many of them true/false or yes/no). People who take the test will get a report on how they score in 10 areas (such as collaboration, drive, and resilience), as well as strategies based on their skill level. GMAC News Release | Inside Higher Ed