Top Ten

April 1, 2013

Laurentian raises more than $65 million in Next 50 campaign

Laurentian University celebrated last Thursday the success of the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the institution's history. Launched as part of Laurentian's 50th anniversary celebrations, "The Next 50 Campaign" set a target of $50 million. The campaign has surpassed its goal, raising more than $65.2 million in private gifts alone, excluding investments made by government. Laurentian News Release

UBC proposes special college to attract international students

UBC plans to establish a special college for international students who struggle with English in order to welcome many more fee-paying foreign nationals to its Vancouver campus starting next year. While the proposal has not yet received final approval, it envisions a 12-month program for students who did not graduate from an English-speaking secondary school and need extra help adjusting to Western learning styles. During that time, the students would complete their first year of studies while benefiting from language instruction, small classes, and extra help. At the end of the program, successful students would transfer into the regular UBC stream for their second year as undergraduates. The intention is to increase diversity on campus, says UBC's vice provost, noting that the international students now attending UBC are mostly from International Baccalaureate programs and high schools that teach an international curriculum. Vancouver Sun

Royal Roads launches School of Education and Technology

Royal Roads University announced last week its new School of Education and Technology, part of its Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. "We're not offering programs to generate new teachers," said the faculty's dean. "We focus on expanding the expertise of existing teachers and administrators. In fact, we serve education in the broadest sense, since a significant number of our students come from organizations outside the traditional educational field." Royal Roads says the creation of the new school is an opportunity to build on the synergy of existing graduate credentials and master's degrees in instructional design, learning and technology, and educational leadership and management. Royal Roads News Release

Brock Centre for Liberal Arts looks to close Liberal Arts program

Brock University's Centre for Liberal Arts has submitted a statement of intent that it wishes to close the Liberal Arts program. Among the reasons for the proposed closure is the lack of student demand for the program and declining involvement by full-time, tenured (or tenure-track) faculty members over the years. As part of the approval process, the statement is available online to the Brock community to allow the opportunity for comment before moving to the next step of the internal quality assurance process. Brock News | Statement

WLU seeks provincial approval for Milton campus

In its pre-budget submission to the Ontario government, Wilfrid Laurier University calls on the province to approve planning funds for a WLU campus in Milton. Well known both within government and the community, WLU's proposal includes the university's desire to partner with a community college to provide the broadest possible range of PSE options to students and the community. WLU says the proposal benefits from broad-based support and includes a gift of 150 acres of land from the Town of Milton worth approximately $50 million. Amenities including a research park, housing, entertainment, and retail services will be part of a larger 400-acre privately-funded Milton Education Village development. WLU News Release | Pre-Budget Submission

McGill students aim to "demilitarize" campus

A student campaign to "demilitarize McGill" has intensified following the launch of a website detailing what students claim are McGill University's links to military research. It's a criticism university officials have long denied and the matter became contentious when McGill took steps to block a series of information requests from students by filing a motion with the Access to Information Commission. The Student Society of McGill University adopted last fall a motion supporting a campus free from weapons development and calling on the institution to "divest its holdings in private militias, private military contractors, weapons manufacturers and arms dealers, and to create and enforce a policy of allowing no future research on weapons, surveillance technologies with military applications...or any other project designed to facilitate the use of force." One of the reasons students have increased their pressure, says a member of Demilitarize McGill, is because the university does not have any kind of policy or guidelines regarding military research. The group will hold an outdoor teach-in about alleged military research at McGill tomorrow. Montreal Gazette

UoGuelph receives top marks in international student satisfaction survey

For the second consecutive year, the University of Guelph is the top-ranked university in Ontario for living and learning environment for international students, according to the 2012 International Student Barometer. UoGuelph ranked first for overall learning, living, and student support, and had the highest overall average in the survey. The survey included more than 161,781 international students from 193 institutions in 15 nations. About 338 of the international students who participated in the survey were from UoGuelph. UoGuelph News Release

uWindsor launches new grants to support online, distance courses

The University of Windsor's Office of Open Learning has announced a new grant program to provide assistance to departments that want to expand their online and distance offerings. The Open and Online Learning Strategic Development Grants will provide support in 3 categories: developing courses in new fully or substantially online programs (up to $50,000); developing new online courses, or substantial redevelopment of existing courses to an online delivery mode (up to $10,000); or developing or incorporating Open Educational Resources into an online course to enhance student learning. The Office of Open Learning's acting director says the grants are part of uWindsor's investment in bringing online learning into the mainstream. uWindsor Daily News

Survey explores state of community college alumni relations programs

According to a survey of 133 community colleges in the US and Canada, these institutions are likely to experience an increase in giving when they track and engage their former students. However, data indicate that community colleges have made minimal investments in staffing and resources to develop alumni relations programs. Conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the survey found that less than 60% of respondents said their institutions maintain a dedicated annual operating budget for alumni relations. Among those community colleges that specified the amount of their alumni relations budgets, the average annual amount was $23,611. The survey found that many community colleges do not have updated contact information for a large number of their alumni, although successful record-keeping appears to facilitate giving from alumni. 3 approaches to defining "alumni" seem to be used with frequency in community colleges, the survey found. More than two-fifths of respondents defined alumni as anyone who has ever taken one or more classes. Nearly 40% defined alumni as degree or certificate holders, and 30% defined an alumnus as anyone who has completed a certain number of hours or units. CASE News Release | White Paper

uAlberta first-year med students film Disney parody for prospective students

First-year medical students at the University of Alberta have produced a musical Disney parody video that welcomes prospective students by showing that their medicine program is much more than textbooks, tests, and all-nighters. The 8-minute Med School Musical features nearly all 167 students in the Class of 2016 singing, dancing, and acting. The students filmed, edited, and produced the parody, which features 4 different Disney songs, tweaked to poke fun at studying, stethoscopes, and lab coats. The video was first shown to medical school applicants who came to uAlberta during the entrance interview process in early March. Each year, first-year medical students from universities across Canada produce a legacy video to sell their school to prospective applicants. While most of these videos are watched by those with immediate interests in each school, one uAlberta student says he's noticed that medical students in other cities have taken note of the uAlberta video and have been spreading it within their communities. Edmonton Journal | Med School Musical