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Officials at Australia's University of Sydney have issued an apology after a fundraising campaign -- fake transcripts marked "fail" sent to recent graduates -- backfired. The phony transcripts were meant to point out that dwindling financial-aid programs are forcing students to take on more employment, leaving them to neglect their studies and flunk. Rather than doling out cheques to support the alumni scholarship fund, hundreds of new graduates flooded the phone lines at the university's academic records office. Another product of the campaign -- a mock alumni dinner where tap water and baked beans were on the menu -- also left a bad taste in alumni mouths. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Sydney Morning Herald

uSydney fundraising campaign panics alumni Top Ten Tue, 07/01/2008 - 14:07

According to new UK government research, white teenage boys are less likely to pursue a university education than young men of Asian or African descent, despite having the academic achievement to attend PSE. In taking both gender and class into account, the report found white working-class men were 8.5 times less likely to go to university than black and Asian middle-class women. The report suggests efforts to reduce the gender gap should focus on intervening early in children's school lives. The Guardian | Read the full report

White males in UK less likely to attend PSE Top Ten Fri, 06/27/2008 - 00:37

On Tuesday, Google unveiled a new tool called Ad Planner, which allows advertisers to enter demographic factors of a target audience, and the tool will display the most-trafficked sites for that group. Unlike other web-tracking services like comScore and Nielsen Online, Google's new tool is free. Currently Ad Planner is available by invite only, and users must apply to try it out. Google recently launched Trends, a similar tool aimed at the general public. Inside AdWords | Wall Street Journal | CBC

Google Ad Planner can help design online campaigns Top Ten Wed, 06/25/2008 - 23:19

Alan Groveman, a psychology instructor, questions the pedagogical value of classroom clickers -- remote-like devices with which students make selections collected by a receiver in real-time. Initially, clickers may engage students, particularly the tech-savvy with rapid-fire fingers for text-messaging, but Groveman worries clickers promote a desire to achieve correct answers rather than to engage in critical thinking. He says the merit of such technology for student learning should be investigated. Inside Higher Ed

The case against classroom "clickers" Top Ten Tue, 06/24/2008 - 20:00

University of Minnesota researchers report that there are educational benefits to using social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. The study found that the sites help teen users improve upon their technological and communications skills through blogs, video creation and photo sharing. Countering previous research, the study also found low-income students were often just as tech-savvy as their peers. The study's lead author says in a video some senior students surveyed made use of the networking aspect of the sites to research prospective colleges and majors. Minneapolis Star-Tribune | UMN News | Watch the videos

Study finds educational benefits to social networking sites Top Ten Mon, 06/23/2008 - 21:51

If you've ever had trouble finding a particular recorded lecture online, the Open Culture blog will be able to help. Under its section "Free Online Courses from Great Universities," the blog provides a frequently-updated compendium of recorded lectures, categorized by subject or discipline. More than 250 courses are listed, and many are available for download onto an iPod. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Open Culture

Blog offers compendium of online video lectures Top Ten Sat, 06/21/2008 - 18:21




[images removed at the request of Getty Images]


In fall 2007, Lakehead University launched the much-anticipated sequel to its "Yale Shmale" campaign (a tough act to follow!). The "Do Something" campaign, featured on posters throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the theme of a microsite, presents prospective students with serious social issues, and the choice to "Do Something" or "Do Nothing." The campaign "positions Lakehead University as an ethical and socially responsible institution concerned about global issues, and draws on emotionally powerful images depicting climate change, pollution, poverty, and war."  Description of campaign | Media blocking chart

The campaign microsite,, provides access to facts about various issues; ask an expert; survey polls; a forum for visitors to share what they are doing to accomplish change; and contests - one geared to high school groups and another to individuals.

Lakehead Microsite

The "Do Something" campaign was awarded the Gold Prix d'Excellence by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) in the "Best ad or campaign" category, in June 2008.  Award media release


Lakehead urges students to "Do Something" Top Ten Thu, 03/14/2013 - 12:09

In his presentation at the 2008 AARAO Conference earlier this month, Academica Group's Ken Steele pointed out the benefits of utilizing social media in student recruitment. Web 2.0 is not about technology, but its use to fulfill people's desire to connect and be heard. At the bare minimum, PSE institutions should monitor what's being said in social networks, where students, applicants and alumni are driving the conversation. Ken recommends schools consider using Facebook, blogs, YouTube, podcasts and banner ads. Connecting with the Facebook Generation

Ignore Web 2.0 at your peril Top Ten Thu, 06/19/2008 - 22:12

On Tuesday, a judge approved an $11-million settlement between the state and 28 families of Virginia Tech shooting victims. As per the agreement, both Virginia Tech and the state deny liability for the shooting. Aside from the financial compensation, victims' families are entitled to meet with the state governor and senior Virginia Tech officials, and receive updates from campus and state police about their investigation of the shooting. The school is required to maintain an electronic database of records about the shooting, to which families will have access. Roanoke Times | Boston Globe | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Judge approves $11-million Virginia Tech settlement Top Ten Wed, 06/18/2008 - 21:40

Top universities in China are turning to alumni in an effort to broaden income sources. A number of Chinese university officials are keen to learn the US model of alumni relations and fundraising strategies. Fudan University is trying to create a stronger bond with alumni through events and services. Incentives for donations among alumni would be tax breaks for graduates living or working in the US. Ethical issues are being raised in the Chinese schools' foray into alumni donations, such as a thin line between fundraising and admissions. Forbes

Elite Chinese PSE eyeing alumni for donations Top Ten Tue, 06/17/2008 - 23:38