Top Ten

April 28, 2015

Fires displace students at Arctic College and uMoncton

A fire that broke out in a room at Nunavut Arctic College’s Ukkivik residence in Iqaluit over the weekend has displaced about 30 students. Although the fire was contained to the one room, the building’s sprinkler system was activated, causing significant water damage to the building. The residence was also used for a number of classes, which will be rescheduled for an alternate location to ensure that students are able to complete their studies on time. No one was harmed during the fire, and all affected students have been moved to alternate accommodations. Also, a fire in an apartment building near the Université de Moncton displaced more than 20 students last week. Students are being housed in a hotel while damage is assessed. Arctic College News Release | Nunatsiaq Online | CBC | Metro News

Postscript: April 28, 2015

A 34-year-old man has been charged with arson following a fire that displaced approximately 30 students living at Nunavut Arctic College's Ukkivik Residence. No staff or students were hurt in the fire, which broke out at about 10:30 pm on Friday. RCMP have not yet provided any additional details on the suspect or the circumstances of the fire. CBC | Nunatsiaq Online

CBU fiscal plan includes four years of tuition increases

Cape Breton University's board of governors on Friday approved a $48.9 M operating budget as well as a four-year fiscal plan that aims to deal with what is projected to be a $16.5 M cumulative deficit by 2016. Students will see a fee increase of 3% this year, with increases of no more than 6% in each of the following three years; at that point, CBU students' tuition will meet the current average tuition rate for the province. The budget also introduces a number of cost-reduction measures, including cuts to staffing costs and to the CBU Athletics Department. CBU President David Wheeler said that he feels "a huge amount of regret over this," but emphasized that the cuts and the tuition increases were made necessary by limited government funding. He added that CBU's situation illustrates the need for a national zero-tuition policyCBU News Release | CBU Tuition Policy | Chronicle-Herald (1) | Chronicle-Herald (2) | CTV | CBC

ECUAD breaks ground on new campus at Great Northern Way

Emily Carr University of Art + Design has broken ground on its new campus at Great Northern Way. The institution has outgrown its current Granville Island campus; the new campus will offer state-of-the-art facilities for up to 1,800 students. The campus is projected to cost up to $122.65 M, with $101.65 M coming from British Columbia and the remaining $21 M raised by the university. “The new campus will be the beginning of a creative cultural precinct and a centre for 21st-century learning in art, design, media and applied research,” said ECUAD President Ron Burnett. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2017. Emily Carr Release | BC Release

UoGuelph board approves budget, including tuition increases

The University of Guelph board of governors has approved the institution's 2015–16 operating budget, which includes a tuition increase of 2.95% for most entering and continuing domestic undergraduate students, an increase of 1% for graduate students, and increases of 5% for students in professional programs and for new international students. There will be no increase for continuing international students. UoGuelph said that it anticipates an enrolment decline of approximately 350 students next year, which will affect its revenues. Student representative Peter Miller was the only board member to vote against the budget. Students protesting a tuition increase disrupted a planned April 16 meeting of the board. UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

CNC makes cuts, but hopes dental assisting program can be saved

The board of governors of the College of New Caledonia approved $2.8 M in budget cuts. The cuts include more than 30 layoffs, reduced counselling services, and reduced daycare spending. CNC also temporarily suspended its two-year dental hygiene program and its one-year dental assisting program; however, the college hopes that it will be able to offer a revised version of the latter program in September. If the program is reinstated, it could mean that some of the planned layoffs will be rescinded. "I feel that we've made the best choice given the circumstances," said incoming board Chair Vincent Price. Prince George Citizen

Postscript: May 22, 2015

The board of governors at the College of New Caledonia have announced that the institution's dental assisting program will go ahead in the fall. The program had been suspended in April; however, board members at that time indicated that they believed there was a chance that it could be saved. The province reportedly committed to providing $268,000 in one-time funding to help keep the program going. The announcement could mean that some planned lay-offs will be rescinded; however, CNC was not able to confirm any numbers by press time. Prince George Citizen

AB mulling differentiated model for Campus Alberta grants

Plans to introduce a differentiated funding model for Alberta's PSE institutions mean that some institutions could receive a bit less and others more from their Campus Alberta grants in 2016–17, reports Metro News. "We do anticipate that institutions that can generate additional revenue will not need as much reliance on government grants," said John Muir, spokesperson for AB's Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education. While some have expressed concern that differentiated funding could lead to competition between institutions, Mount Royal University President David Docherty said he believes the model can work as long as the true cost of delivering programs is considered. Metro News

uMontreal sells $31 M Outremont convent

The Université de Montréal has reportedly sold the former convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saints-Noms-de-Jésus-et-de-Marie, located in Montreal’s Outremont neighbourhood. The identity of the new owners and the sale price have not been revealed. The property is valued at $31 M, according to the City of Montreal, and would need around $140 M in renovations to bring the building up to code. Some members of the local community are concerned that private developers have purchased the former convent; a sale of the property fell through in 2012 after a coalition of students and staff initiated legal action to stop the deal. uMontreal is currently involved in a $350 M campus developmentproject in the Outremont area. CBC

Queen’s opens new nano-fabrication lab

Queen’s University is celebrating the opening of the new Kingston Nano-Fabrication Laboratory (KNFL). The new lab, located in Kingston’s Innovation Park, is a partnership between Queen’s and CMC Microsystems, with funding from the federal and provincial governments. The lab will allow researchers and graduate students to access highly specialized nano-technology equipment and expertise in order to develop prototypes. Researchers and companies will also be able to access engineering services in order to advance nano-technology innovation in various fields. The new facility will be part of Embedded Systems Canada, a $50 million, five-year project involving more than 350 university researchers at 37 institutions. Queen’s News | Kingston Whig-Standard

Corinthian to close remaining US campuses, affecting 16,000 students

Effective April 27th, Corinthian Colleges has closed all 28 of its remaining campuses, affecting some 16,000 students. This comes less than two weeks after Corinthian Colleges was fined $30 M for misrepresenting placement rates. Referencing this fine, as well as a pending lawsuit in California, CEO Jack Massimino blamed “the current regulatory environment” for preventing Corinthian from selling its holdings to “several interested parties.” The company is working with the government and other schools in order to ensure continuity of education for the affected students. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education |LA Times | Corinthian Release

Postscript: May 5, 2015

Corinthian Colleges has filed for bankruptcy in the US. The news comes not long after Corinthian announced the closure of its remaining campuses. US federal officials are now trying to find debt-relief solutions for students who claim that they were “defrauded” by the for-profit college. US Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said that “we will do everything we can to get defrauded borrowers the relief to which they are entitled by law.” The Chronicle of Higher Education |Inside Higher Ed

Chinese limits on executive MBAs threaten foreign program enrolment

The Chinese government has barred government officials and managers of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) from attending expensive courses “or other training programs, which seemingly for study, are actually for networking and making friends,” explicitly singling out executive MBA programs. Experts say this is the first time that China’s anti-corruption push has directly affected Western university programs. “The education sector is not immune from all of the roller-coaster rides of cultural differences and government interventions and regulatory issues that don’t make sense from a Western perspective,” says Ira Cohen, Executive Vice President of Universal Ideas, a Chinese education consulting firm. So far, the impact has been felt most strongly by China’s own business schools. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | The Wall Street Journal(subscription required)