Top Ten

April 16, 2013

Camosun to trim 15 positions

Camosun College students will face a 2% tuition hike next year, as the institution seeks to eliminate a projected shortfall of nearly $2 million. The school’s board of governors has, however, approved a balanced budget of $108 million for 2013-14 that will largely protect programs and limit layoffs, officials say. The budget partly relies on increased revenue from international students to offset rising costs and funding cuts from the BC government. Camosun expects to trim about 15 positions, mostly through retirements and voluntary departures. The number of layoffs will be limited to the equivalent of 1.3 full-time jobs, officials say. Times Colonist

uLaval defects from CREPUQ

Université Laval has abruptly resigned from the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities, saying the organization that has until now represented all of Quebec’s 19 universities no longer represents its interests. An official at uLaval said on Monday the decision to leave the organization is to help the university preserve its identity. “CREPUQ goes for the common denominator, when each university’s characteristics are unique.” uLaval rector Denis Brière, an outspoken critic of the unravelling financial situation of Quebec’s universities, said the university was “particularly worried” about this growing trend to “consider all Quebec universities as public and uniform institutions” that ultimately limits the ability of individual institutions to develop. The defection will mean a shortfall in revenue of about $650,000 that uLaval has been paying to belong. Montreal Gazette

Canada invests in college business innovation partnerships

The federal government announced yesterday a significant investment in Canada’s colleges and polytechnics through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The $12.5-million investment from the CFI's College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) will support 17 applied research projects at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics. The funding will help colleges across the country form partnerships with 89 companies. In addition to the CFI announcement, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a number of measures to strengthen Canada’s advanced research capacity. Among them was an additional $12 million per year to support the College and Community Innovation Program that supports projects at the community and regional level by helping colleges work with local businesses. Economic Action Plan 2013 also extended eligibility for industrial research awards to students in colleges and polytechnics. Canada News Release

Chancellor’s $5 million donations to uToronto’s Trinity College funds history centre

Trinity College at the University of Toronto is receiving a $5 million donation from its chancellor, the Honourable Bill Graham, to benefit the school’s Centre for Contemporary International History. The gift will provide a new “coherent, central home” for students researchers. Founded 2 years ago, the CCIH is a joint venture between Trinity and the Munk School of Global Affairs and will be renamed the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History. The $5 million donation is the biggest single gift ever to Trinity, said the school’s provost, and follows earlier donations Graham made to help establish the centre. Graham said “Trinity’s vocation for international relations certainly drew me to the fact that it was a logical place to benefit undergraduate students.” The funding will also enhance the centre’s ability to build relationships around the world, he said. uToronto News

Windsor mayor encourages uWindsor law school to take over downtown building

Mayor Eddie Francis is lobbying the University of Windsor to acquire and transform the Paul Martin Sr. office building into a downtown law school after the federal government told the city it wants to vacate the building. "I don't like to miss an opportunity," Francis said of the available landmark structure. During an editorial board meeting with the Windsor Star, uWindsor president Alan Wildeman said "no comment" when asked about the prospect. However, he did speak about the need for a new and expanded law school, about his desire to increase the university's downtown campus footprint and the local legal community's encouragement of a university law school presence in the core. Wildeman also spoke about some of his institution's growth challenges, including being faced with 2,000 applications for only 150 spaces in its law school. As part of the university's transformational strategy, getting an improved and expanded law school is something that will only be addressed in the next phase, set to begin in 2015 after the dust settles on the current $70-million downtown campus investment. Windsor Star

ACCC reports spotlight college industry and research partnerships

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges released yesterday 2 reports that highlight the innovations and applied research outcomes that colleges are delivering in partnership with small and medium-sized enterprises and community partners. “Smart Investments for Business” highlights projects of the federal College of Community Innovation program. The CCI program funds partnerships between colleges, institutes and polytechnics and all sectors of the economy and aim to stimulate entrepreneurship and contribute to economic growth and employment opportunities. “Stimulating Innovation for Small Businesses and Communities” celebrates research partnerships that respond to business needs. ACCC News Release

Lambton College partners with school district to offer STEM program

Lambton College and the Lambton Kent District School Board are partnering to form a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) pathway for high school students. There is an increase of STEM-related occupations opening in the Lambton County area, and the partnership aims to prepare students to fill these roles. The project will allow 25 Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students to attend Lambton full-time in their last semester of high school. While at the college, the students will be taught 2 secondary credits by a secondary teacher. Students will select one of the math courses which will be taught in a blended learning format. In addition, the students will take one or 2 dual credits that are directly related to their SHSM sector. Students who successfully complete all of the SHSM requirements will graduate with an SHSM Red Seal Diploma while being exposed to the college environment. Lambton College News

More graduates important to Toronto's prosperity, says report

A new report from the Toronto Region Board of Trade says Toronto's talent pool may not be deep enough for the city to make a move up the global ranks in terms of productivity and innovation. Though Torontonians are well-educated compared to other world cities, hidden weaknesses are holding it back from maximizing its potential, observes the board of trade's 2013 Scorecard on Prosperity. Among a dozen North American cities, Toronto's adults are second only to Calgary in the number of PSE credentials they hold, but Toronto has relatively few bachelor's and advanced degrees. Boosting more people into PSE "will improve the economic performance of the region," argues the Scorecard, noting there is "no room for complacency." Globe and Mail | Scorecard

Ottawa announces student loan forgiveness for family doctors, nurses working in rural communities

The federal government announced on the weekend that family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as family medicine residents in more than 4,200 rural communities across the country can now apply for Canada Student Loan forgiveness. Student loan forgiveness is available for up to 5 years for work in designated communities, which are communities with an urban core population of less than 50,000, outside of provincial capitals. Employment must have commenced on or after July 1, 2011. Nurses and nurse practitioners could receive up to $4,000 per year in Canada Student Loan forgiveness, to a maximum of $20,000 over 5 years. Family doctors and residents in family medicine could receive up to $8,000 per year, to a maximum of $40,000 over 5 years. Canada News Centre

7 in 10 Ontarians think Liberals broke tuition fee promise

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, 69% of Ontarians believe that the provincial government broke the spirit of its election promise to give students and their families 30% off the cost of tuition fees. The Liberal government, instead, recently announced a new tuition fee framework that allows tuition fees to increase between 3% and 5% annually for the next 4 years. The poll of 650 Ontarians also found that 77% of respondents support reducing tuition fees and 76% would support implementing a 2% surtax on incomes over $250,000 if it meant making education more affordable. CFS-O News Release