Top Ten

April 4, 2013

NS budget makes additional investment in student aid

Tabling its 2013-14 budget yesterday, the Nova Scotia government announced an additional $4.6 million in student assistance, for a total of $45 million. The province is allocating $2.7 million to increase the maximum weekly student allowance to $180 and $1.9 million to increase the loan-to-grant ratio to 60/40. The budget earmarks $28 million to maintain Nova Scotia's student bursary program to keep tuition at or below the national average on 2013-14.The government will also invest an extra $6 million in its Graduate Retention Rebate program and allocate $4.5 million to provide ongoing support for apprentices through in-class and online training opportunities. The government will continue to invest up to $25 million over 3 years in a PSE innovation fund, which is designed to help universities collaborate and create efficiencies. Budget Address | Budget

Ontario must play more active role in PSE system planning, says HEQCO panel

The Ontario government must adopt a more active, assertive, and purposeful role to drive PSE system-level planning and change, recommends an expert panel convened by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario that reviewed strategic mandate submissions from the province's public PSE institutions. The panel recommends that funding formulas should be amended to target some proportion of an institution's funding to the achievement of specific outcomes and tied to specific institutional mandates. The panel also recommends the removal of financial disincentives that impede the enrolment of foreign students in the Ontario system. Financial incentives to boost international student enrolment, particularly at the graduate level, should be created. The panel also calls for the evaluation of initiatives intended to increase the quality of the teaching and learning environment and the dissemination of evaluation results. HEQCO | Panel Report

uAlberta students, faculty hold "teach-in" to protest budget cuts

Students and faculty at the University of Alberta held a 2-hour "teach-in" Tuesday to protest the draft mandate letter the provincial government sent to the university. The government cut funding for PSE institutions by 7% and now plans to bring the schools under the banner of Campus Alberta to eliminate duplication of programs and reduce administrative costs. One student worries it will diminish the value of a degree from uAlberta. "I feel like the government is trying to level education across all of Alberta and make a degree from, for example, the University of Alberta, the same as a degree from Lethbridge or Athabasca," she says. "And I feel like it really takes the diversity out of programs and also makes a degree from the U of A not as important as other universities." uAlberta officials plan to respond to the province's letter next week. CBC

Queen's free speech wall removed for containing hate speech

On Tuesday, the Queen's Students for Liberty set up a free speech wall on campus. Like similar walls in campuses across North America, the idea was to have a space where students could write what they want without fear of censorship. But that evening, Queen's University had dispatched security personnel to seize the wall on the grounds it contained "hate speech" and "racial slurs," says the institution's provost. Because the free speech wall was on Queen's property, the installation was technically subject to the institution's Code of Conduct and Harassment/Discrimination Policy -- both of which officials cited in having it removed. In January, a free speech wall set up at Carleton University was torn down within 24 hours by a man claiming to be an anti-homophobia activist. Although the wall contained no anti-gay language, the man nevertheless argued the project was an "act of violence" against homosexuals. Queen's News Centre | National Post

Tyndale takes possession of new Bayview campus

On Monday, Toronto-based Tyndale University College & Seminary officially took possession of its new Bayview campus. The 56-acre property is the former home of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Banners, new signs, and flags announced the news that the institution had taken possession of the property. "The Bayview Campus is strategic to our ongoing mission," says Tyndale president Gary V. Nelson. "Our dream is that it will provide an environment that enhances academic programs, inspires students to live out their faith and engage with the communities of Toronto." Tyndale News

Centennial Ashtonbee campus expansion underway

Centennial College is expanding and modernizing its Ashtonbee campus, breaking ground last fall on the $38-million project. The makeover of Centennial's oldest campus includes the renovation of about 48,500 square feet of existing space and construction of approximately 40,000 square feet of new space. Once completed, the revamped campus will benefit from additional study and recreation space, improved wayfinding, more natural light, and an enhanced environment for campus users, Centennial says. As part of the project, the campus gym will have a second floor added above the existing structure to create space for workout rooms and related amenities. Funded wholly by Centennial, the Ashtonbee renewal project follows the transformation of the college's Progress campus. Daily Commercial News

Number of jobs requiring college, university education grows in past 2 years

Yesterday Statistics Canada released a report exploring employment changes across industries during the economic downturn and recovery. Employment changes across industries also changed the skill profile of Canadian occupations, the study notes. Between January 2011 and January 2013, occupations requiring a college education or apprenticeship training increased by 267,000, or 5%. Occupations requiring a university education rose by 120,000, or 4%. The report notes that growth was more mitigated among occupations requiring a secondary school diploma or less (+62,000, or +1%). Statistics Canada

York U student division reveals strategic plan

Last month York University's Division of Students unveiled its new strategic plan. Titled "Strategy for Success," the 5-year plan will guide the division to 2018. Among the division's commitments is ensuring all first-year students have access to programs that support their personal transition to York U and foster their continuing success and engagement. Another strategic priority is that by 2018 the division will provide the financial assistance that every student needs to meet their academic goals. The plan also focuses on student leadership and career development. "By 2018, we will offer co-curricular programs and services that empower our students to seek out and engage in leadership and career development opportunities," says York U's vice-provost of students. "We pledge to make a difference and support student engagement at York University." Y-File

New name, logo for Ivey

On Tuesday, Western University's Ivey Business School announced an evolution of the school's name and look. "When Western altered its visual identity last year, Ivey knew it needed to carefully consult and consider how to evolve its brand in order to ensure it maintained its high recognition on a world stage," says Ivey's dean. Changes include the adoption of a shorter version of the official name from the Richard Ivey School of Business to Ivey Business School, although many references will continue to be simply Ivey, and a new logo incorporating the Western U shield, colour, and name with Ivey's distinguished wordmark. The school's new building will continue to be known as the Richard Ivey Building. Western News (page 6 of PDF) | Ivey Visual Identity System

UCN launches new site

Manitoba-based University College of the North recently unveiled a redesigned website, whose homepage is dominated by a large, rotating graphic banner. Above the banner are tabs directing to information pertaining to future and current students, parents and family, faculty and staff, and the institution itself. Below the banner visitors to the site will find links to recent news, an events listing, and links to information about admissions, campus life, programs, and the library. The homepage includes links to UCN's Facebook page, YouTube channel, and LinkedIn profile. UCN website