Top Ten

February 25, 2014

Quebec budget includes 3% increase to PSE, research, science, tech

The Quebec 2014-15 budget, tabled last week, outlines a  3% funding increase to the Ministries of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology; and Education, Recreation and Sports—despite an overall budgeted growth in spending of only 2%. The government has yet to release details on the allocation of funds for specific programs or institutions. The budget also includes a plan to review the fees payable by foreign students at Quebec PSE institutions, “with a view to striking a better balance between the [students'] contribution and that of the government.” According to the document, the cost of education for foreign students totalled $573 million in 2011-12, $318 million of which was funded by the government. Fédération des cégeps News Release | Montreal Gazette | Budget

CUP lays off entire part-time staff

The Canadian University Press (CUP) student newspaper network has announced that it will be laying off all 12 of its part-time staff members, effective March 12. “The decision was based solely on CUP’s dire financials, which constitutes a state of emergency for our organization,” reads a statement by CUP President Erin Hudson. The organization, which has lost 35 of 90 member newspapers in the last 10 years, is launching a fundraising campaign on Indigogo this week to raise $50,000 to support its operating budget. “Our goal is to raise enough funds to stabilize and reinstate staff positions next year,” says Hudson. Statement | Maclean’s On Campus

Conestoga working with city to expand Guelph campus

Conestoga College is looking to expand its Guelph campus, and the city is currently working with Conestoga, the University of Guelph and Wellington County on the details, reports the Guelph Mercury. A recent report by Guelph’s Finance and Enterprise Services recommended that council endorses Conestoga's expression of interest for such an expansion with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. MTCU earlier this year released a framework on proposals for campus expansions. While the framework did not specify when the ministry would be taking the proposals, an MTCU news release said the call would go out in “early 2014.” Guelph Mercury

McMaster’s “Tapestry” project gets $6.4 million

McMaster University has received $6.4 million from Health Canada for a pilot project that will improve the quality of life for older adults and at-risk individuals living on their own. Called TAPESTRY (Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality), the program will send community volunteers into the homes of seniors to determine what services they might need. The volunteers will work with a primary health team, and use electronic health record technology created at McMaster. In addition to funding from Health Canada, the project is supported by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the McMaster Family Health Organization. McMaster News Release

SFU launches new Canvas LMS

Simon Fraser University has launched a new learning management system (LMS) that uses the Canvas system, used at only one other Canadian PSE institution, according to SFU. “With Canvas, classrooms are no longer bounded in physical terms,” says Martin Laba, the Canvas project’s Academic Community Engagement Director. “Teaching practices and learning experiences are participatory, collaborative and active models of engagement.” SFU explains that its implementation of the Canvas LMS is unique because “the system resides on SFU’s own server,” due to the fact that “BC’s strict privacy laws rule out use of the standard cloud-based version.” SFU has also recently launched an Apple and Android-supported app to go along with its Canvas LMS. SFU News Release

Carleton launches first Canadian MBA in Colombia

Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business has launched the first Canadian MBA in Colombia, which will be offered in Bogotá, in partnership with Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración (CESA). The part-time MBA will begin in April, and students will also take classes developed by CESA – making them eligible for an additional CESA qualification. Two-thirds of the Carleton content will be delivered in English and one-third in Spanish. Sprott also delivers an MBA in Shanghai in collaboration with Donghua University; launched in 2005, more than 120 students have graduated from the program. Carleton News Release

Ryerson to use former Maple Leaf Gardens for sports broadcast program

Ryerson University has launched a new BA in Sport Media that will use the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) as its training grounds. The 60 students enrolled in the program will use the arena for classes and to cover sporting events. The centre will also house a production studio. The program will partner with industry leaders; its advisory committee includes Hockey Night in Canada announcer Jim Hughson and director Joel Darling, and Scott Moore, the President of Rogers Broadcasting. “It's an elite team we're hoping to have come out of here,”  says Charles Falzon, Chair of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts School of Media and one of the creators of the new BA program. Toronto Star

Alberta colleges contributed $3.6 billion to provincial economy in 2011-12

A recent study of 8 colleges in Alberta shows that participating institutions and their students in 2011-12 contributed $3.6 billion in income to Alberta’s economy, which is equal to approximately 1.5% of the province’s GDP. The report also reveals that while students at participating colleges paid a total of $129.4 million to cover the cost of tuition and other fees, they will receive $1.8 billion in increased earnings over their working lives. They will also receive an average annual internal rate of return of 20.8%, says the report. It says the annual rate of return for taxpayers is 11.4%. Economic Impact Fact Sheet

Report recommends introducing high school streams later

A new report by independent advocacy group People for Education says students shouldn’t have to decide between taking academic or applied classes in high school until the “upper secondary” years—grades 10 and 11. Based on surveys of Ontario schools and international evidence, the report concludes that the current age at which students choose their stream (grade 8) in Ontario is too young, and that the province should follow the lead of countries like Finland, Spain and Poland in changing that age. The authors say choosing too early can affect students’ academic achievement, limit or cut off PSE options and even influence whether they graduate; they add that the students most affected are those from lower income households. Toronto Star | Full Report

UCLA launches crowdfunding platform

The University of California, Los Angeles has launched its own crowdfunding platform, UCLA Spark, to help raise money for faculty and student organization projects. “[UCLA Spark] utilizes social media to connect donors with faculty and students campus wide, introducing them to the broad scope of research and programmatic activities," explains a UCLA media release. "We recognized the need to address some of the more unique funding opportunities that provide vital resources to a myriad of projects and promote them in a fresh, new way," says Nancy Katano, UCLA Executive Director of Corporate, Foundation and Research Relations. In May 2013, Carleton University launched its “Future Funder’ microgiving platform. Campus Technology