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According to a new US study, Democrats spend more on higher education than do Republicans. Schools in close proximity of statehouses have an edge over other campuses, the report found, as do those with more alumni in key positions in state government. In a forthcoming 20-year study, researchers found a link between Republican legislative strength, Republican governors, and the relative strength of governors and lower levels of state spending on colleges. Both studies suggest research universities tend to be favoured in states with a flagship and multiple research universities. Inside Higher Ed

US studies find Democratic states appropriate more PSE funding Top Ten Thu, 06/11/2009 - 17:06
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According to the latest Giving USA report, donations to American education organizations fell by 5.5% in 2008. These organizations received nearly $41 billion last year, or 13% of the $307.65-billion donated in total. The decrease in overall giving was much less than some had expected, as the economy did not start becoming really "scary" until the fourth quarter. The Giving USA Foundation predicts declines in 2009 due to continuing economic problems. Statistics Canada reported this week that the donor rate for Canadian education and research organizations dropped 6% between 2004 and 2007. Giving USA Foundation News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Giving to education in US drops nearly 6% Top Ten Wed, 06/10/2009 - 16:37
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Total minutes spent on social networking sites has increased 83% year-over-year in the US, according to new data from Nielsen Online. Between April 2008 and April 2009, total minutes spent on Facebook jumped nearly 700%, while there was a whopping 3712% increase in time spent on Twitter. Although time spent on MySpace dropped 31%, the site is #1 when it comes to streams and total minutes spent viewing video. MySpace visitors spent 384 million minutes watching video on the site in April, while Facebook users spent 113.5 million minutes viewing video. Nielsen Online News Release

Time spent on social networks up 83% Top Ten Wed, 06/10/2009 - 08:56
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A number of American universities have developed or are interested in developing their own fragrances. Last August, Pennsylvania State University launched its exclusive women's perfume and men's cologne, which contain notes reminiscent of the school's colours and landscape. The University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill's scent was designed to embody the campus' old southern charm. The scents are created by Masik Collegiate Fragrances, which is currently working on scents for 5 other universities. A portion of each bottle sold goes to the clients' scholarship and athletic funds. CASE Currents (requires professional membership) | Masik Collegiate Fragrances

Trend in US institutions creating signature scents Top Ten Mon, 06/08/2009 - 22:41
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In an analysis of contemporary data, researchers from the University of Wisconsin--Madison document a pattern of performance strongly suggesting that the primary cause of the gender gap in math performance is changeable sociocultural factors, not biology, as has been argued. The researchers suggest US culture instills the belief that math talent is innate, whereas in other countries math performance is linked to effort. Given more education and career opportunities in fields requiring advanced knowledge of math, the researchers say, women will learn and perform math very well. U of Wisconsin--Madison News Release

Culture, not biology, responsible for math gender gap Top Ten Fri, 06/05/2009 - 16:33
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A trend in "Class of 2013" groups created by users posing as real incoming students for marketing purposes, first reported in the US in December, is making its way through Canada. Matthew Melnyk, a liaison officer at Brock University, recently came across a group on Facebook called "Grads of 2009 (Canada)" linking to 16 other groups targeting applicants to Canadian universities. In her investigation of these groups, Melissa Cheater found that several had the same administrators or used the same language. A Ryerson University 2013 group even encouraged members to spam other Ryerson 2013 groups for the chance to be promoted to administrator status. Melissa Cheater's blog | Matthew Melnyk's blog

Postscript: Jun 17, 2009
This week, the Globe and Mail and "Margin Notes," a blog on University Affairs' website, cover the trend of illegitimate "Class of 2013" groups popping up in Facebook we mentioned earlier this month. Globe and Mail | Margin Notes

Postscript: Jul 2, 2009
Further to his investigation into fraudulent "Class of 2013" groups on Facebook, Brock University liaison officer Matthew Melnyk has come across some "Class of 2014" and "Class of 2015" groups targeting future high school graduates for marketing purposes. On his blog, Matthew points to a page called "Highschool Grads of 2010: University & College Class of 2014," which urges fans to promote the page to their friends. The page includes a link to a page for "Eruption Promotions," which claims to be "your source for the craziest university parties."  The company is linked to another company called "Neesh Marketing," which is currently recruiting girls who can "light up a room." Matthew Melnyk's blog

Postscritpt: Jul 7, 2009
Monday's issue of the Toronto Star included an article on the trend of illegitimate Facebook groups targeting future PSE students we have mentioned in the Top Ten. The article mentions an incident in which a "major event promotion company" allegedly tried to bribe and blackmail an incoming Dalhousie University student in order to become administrators of his Facebook group. Toronto Star

Postscript: Nov 24, 2009
Further to his investigation into phoney "Class of 2013" groups on Facebook, Matthew Melnyk, a liaison officer at Brock University, has uncovered some "Class of 2014" groups that appear to be disingenuous. On his blog, Melnyk lists Facebook groups for a dozen Ontario institutions. The titles of the groups are similar, and the groups share the same administrators. While he cannot speak for other institutions on whether or not they feel these groups pose any significant risks for their students, Melnyk writes the people creating these groups do not have students' interests at heart, and that is problematic. Matthew Melnyk's blog

Illegitimate "Class of 2013" groups for Canadian institutions on Facebook Top Ten Mon, 11/23/2009 - 16:41
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As another means of revenue, Facebook has introduced an internal payments system in which users can purchase Facebook "credits" to be used to buy virtual goods from either third-party applications or the social networking site itself. Serving as the payment provider, Facebook will capture a percentage of every transaction. Facebook hopes to encourage more commerce on the site by offering site-wide currency. The revenue generated from the payments system could soon represent a third of Facebook's income. Financial Times

Facebook introduces payment system Top Ten Wed, 06/03/2009 - 16:15
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According to a new study from the University of Minnesota, college-going veterans in the state and their classmates have similar overall health issues, but female veterans are much more likely to have been sexually assaulted. 43.5% of college-going female veterans reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetime, nearly 14% higher than female students overall. Just over 14% of female veterans reported having post-traumatic stress disorder, compared to 5.4% of women overall. 46.4% of female veterans in higher education reported incidents of domestic violence, compared to 37.8% of all female students. Inside Higher Ed | Read the full report

College-going female veterans more likely to report sexual assault Top Ten Tue, 06/02/2009 - 16:41
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Okanagan College has launched a website with which visitors can track the development of the $28-million Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, to be built at the college's Penticton campus. The school plans to install a webcam on the building site to allow users to watch online as construction of the facility advances. The site provides a venue for donors to support the centre's campaign. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2011. Okanagan College News Release | Centre of Excellence website

Okanagan College creates website for Centre of Excellence project Top Ten Mon, 06/01/2009 - 14:53
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Simcoe Canada Development has an offer in on a former bible college in Peterborough with a major condition for sale being Trent University agreeing to use the property as a 331-bed student residence. The firm is pitching the facility as an alternative to the proposed private residence on Water Street, which has drawn criticism from students, faculty, and area residents. Under one scenario, Trent could pay the firm $500,000 for the first year of a 20-year lease and net $868,500. In another, the university and its student union could pay $1,000 per student over 20 years, which would earn Trent $331,000. Peterborough Examiner | MyKawartha.com

Developer proposes alternative to controversial Trent residence plan Top Ten Sun, 05/31/2009 - 12:13

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