Top Ten

June 1, 2015

UPEI releases 2015–16 budget with 3% tuition increase

The University of Prince Edward Island's board of governors has approved its 2015–16 operating budget. Among the challenges faced in the budget were flat enrolment numbers, inflationary effects, and deferred maintenance costs. The balanced $107 M budget includes a 3% tuition increase while sustaining core programs and services. With an average increase of $170 per year per student, UPEI's tuition remains among the lowest in the Maritimes. Administrators focused on developing a budget that would have a minimal impact on the institution's workforce, and was able to maintain a 72% allocation to salaries and benefits through vacancy management and attrition. UPEI News Release | CBC | Full Budget

UoGuelph opens $25 M livestock research centre

The University of Guelph on Thursday celebrated the opening of the new Livestock Research and Innovation Centre Dairy Facility. The state-of-the-art, $25 M facility will support multidisciplinary research on livestock production, health, and welfare, as well as on environmental, social, and economic issues facing the dairy industry. It features a maternity wing and nursery, high-tech sensors for observing feeding behaviour, a metabolic research wing, and a robotic milker capable of recognizing individual animals. The project was supported by $20 M in provincial funding provided through the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and $5 M from industry partners and Dairy Farmers of Ontario. UoGuelph News Release | Guelph Mercury

CFI announces recipients of $333 M in infrastructure funding

The Canada Foundation for Innovation on Friday announced that 87 projects will benefit from a total of $333 M in funding for research infrastructure. These projects include a collaborative effort by scholars at Carleton University, McGill University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Victoria to develop new components for the ATLAS detector at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Switzerland, which enabled the discovery of the Higgs boson; studies at Toronto General Hospital into healing human organs outside of the body for transplants; and research at Ryerson University into the social and cultural impact of the "Internet of Things." CFI News Release | CFI News

Donations to RRC, Campus Montreal establish research chairs

Campus Montreal—a joint fundraising campaign between HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, and Université de Montréal—and Red River College have each received donations to establish new research chairs. The Sisters of Charity of Montreal, also known as the Grey Nuns, donated $1.5 M to Campus Montreal to establish the Marguerite d'Youville Research Chair in Humanistic Nursing at uMontréal. The Grey Nuns will also solicit additional donations to contribute a total of $5 M to the Campus Montreal campaign. RRC received $1 M from Paul and Gerri Charette to establish a research chair for the School of Construction Engineering Technology. RRC will also benefit from matching funds from the province. RRC News Release | uMontréal News Release

New Liberation Scholarship Program will support Canadians studying in the Netherlands

As part of their visit to Canada, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands have announced the new Liberation Scholarship Program, which will provide 70 scholarships for Canadian students wishing to study at Dutch universities. The scholarships, named in recognition of Canada's participation in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War, will be offered for the 2015–16 academic year. Paul Davidson, President of Universities Canada, said, "we commend the Netherlands for their commitment to fostering international partnerships and for their investment in Canadian students. Canada's universities are proud to be at the forefront of this historic relationship between Canada and the Netherlands." University Affairs

Southeast Regional College looks forward with brand refresh

Saskatchewan's Southeast Regional College unveiled a new look last month as the institution celebrated its 40th anniversary. A refreshed logo and new colours are meant to suggest creativity, energy, and movement, as well as the responsiveness and flexibility of the college. Also, Southeast President Dion McGrath said that the college is hoping to renew its connections with the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan to better help students launch their education prior to pursuing a university degree. McGrath said that Southeast used to provide more university programming, but shifted focus following faculty retirements and changes in the labour market. He added that the school is working on having its Estevan campus accredited as a university satellite campus. Southeast News Release | Estevan Mercury

Queen's, SAIT surveys suggest strong employment outcomes for graduates

Recent surveys out of Queen's University and SAIT Polytechnic have good news for graduates of those institutions. Queen's has shared its results from the 2013 Ontario University Graduate Survey (OUGS), showing that 92% of its graduates were employed six months after graduation, compared to an average of 87% for Ontario's universities. In addition, the National Baccalaureate Graduate Outcomes Survey (NBGOS) showed strong two- and five-year employment rates. Meanwhile, according to a SAIT survey, the average salary of one of its graduates has increased by 13%, a higher rate than the national average. 94% of 2014 SAIT graduates who responded to the survey were employed, with 95% of those finding jobs in Alberta. Queen's News | SAIT News Release

Confederation looks to attract out-of-region students

Confederation College President Jim Madder has set his sights on students from outside the institution's traditional catchment region. In a state-of-the-college address delivered on Thursday, Madder said that the future success of the school will be measured by its ability to attract students from elsewhere in Canada—especially the Greater Toronto Area—as well as from other countries. "One of our greatest challenges is the percentage of youth is expected to decline 1 to 3% for the next eight years. If we don't replace those students, we're going to lose programs and services," he said. Confederation has already implemented programs designed to attract at-risk high school students as well as Aboriginal learners.

Students leave $5 M in scholarships on the table each year

A new study has found that more than $5 M in scholarship funding went unclaimed by Canadian college and university students, most often because nobody applied for the money or because nobody fit the award criteria. Western University Financial Services Manager Valerie Sarkany said that at her institution, 98% of scholarships are claimed; what is left over sits in the scholarship account until the next year. Sarkany said that most scholarships are awarded automatically to make sure that the funding reaches students who need it. One problem is a lack of information; many students across the country are unaware that there are scholarships offered year-round. London Free Press

Researchers hope "invisible learners" can help unlock secrets of successful online education

In an article published at Inside Higher Ed, Royal Roads University's George Veletsianos discusses the importance of researching what he calls the "invisible learners taking MOOCs." Veletsianos and his colleagues are engaged in what is reportedly the largest series of interview studies on MOOC learners, and in the article shares three initial findings. First, he notes that successful online learners typically have sophisticated study skills and have developed elaborate learning strategies. Second, flexibility is often essential for engaged participation on the parts of students. Finally, for many students, learning is an emotional experience. Veletsianos and his colleagues hope that by better understanding "invisible learners," they will be able to build a better online learning experience for all students. Inside Higher Ed