Top Ten

October 6, 2006

Subscribers Welcome

  Since some of you have been asking, let me reiterate that yes, multiple individuals at Canadian universities or colleges are certainly welcome to subscribe to these daily newsbriefs at no charge. The more readers we have, the more worthwhile the research and writing time is.  Feel free to pass the word along!

Three Canadian Us in the Top 100

On Thursday, the UK-based Times Higher Education Supplement published its annual list of the world’s top 100 universities, led by Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford as the top three, and MIT and Yale tied for fourth place. US institutions dominate the list, but it includes McGill (no. 21), Toronto (no. 27), and UBC (no. 50).  McGill climbed 3 places and Toronto 2 since last year’s ranking, while UBC dropped 12 places. (See article and full list at,,2-2389106,00.html )

McMaster Commits to Burlington Campus

  On Thursday, McMaster University announced the signing of an agreement with the City of Burlington identifying the target site for a new, 130,000 square foot campus in downtown Burlington, at the corner of Elizabeth and Pine Streets. The agreement also outlines a city commitment of $10 million toward design and construction of the building. The Burlington campus will focus on programs offered by the DeGroote School of Business, possibly including MBA, Doctorate, and Executive programs. (See )

UBC might be First Canadian NCAA Member

According to a Canadian University Press article on Wednesday, UBC is awaiting a reply from the NCAA “that could rock the Canadian sports world to its core, and eventually establish Vancouver as a mecca of university athletics in Canada.” The university is “cautiously optimistic” about this first step in the process. The NCAA, the college sports giant, includes more than 1,000 US schools and generated over $520 million US in last year’s season. If UBC becomes an NCAA member, it will be better able to attract top student athletes. It would need to make arrangements for local facilities, and would likely need to double its current athletic budget of about $11 million. UBC athletics has apparently already held “cursory discussions” with Canadian cable sports networks. (Detailed article at )

Joe Clark Joins McGill Faculty

Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark will serve as Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at the McGill Centre for Developing-Area Studies. Aside from his teaching and administrative duties, Mr. Clark will help McGill in its mission to foster connections internationally among academics, state agencies, the private sector and the "Third Sector" of foundations and NGOs. “Canada's active leadership on international development has been a distinguishing characteristic of both our foreign policy and our national identity,” he said. “McGill has a strong reputation and a deep interest in those issues, and I look forward to working with students and faculty in examining ways to strengthen that essential Canadian role in the world." (Detailed article at )

uGuelph Student Runs for Toronto Mayor

  Thursday’s Toronto Star featured an article on 22-year-old Shaun Bruce, who is “still living with his parents, juggling a six-course load at university, and running for mayor of Canada's largest city.” Two weeks ago, his public affairs class was discussing low voter turnout and wondering whether younger candidates would spark interest among younger voters. Fifteen minutes later, the class decided to run their own candidate in the November 13th election. Since then, most of the class has been active in developing fundraising, outreach, press releases, a website, and a platform, which will include transit fare discounts for PSE students. Their professor will offer class credit for their work on the campaign. (See the full story at )

Win-Win for Impending Labour Market Crunch

Many have observed current labour shortages in regions of Canada, and forecast an even tighter market over the next decade, as the baby boom generation reaches retirement age. On Thursday, the director of the Canadian Policy Research Networks’ Work Network published a brief essay suggesting three priorities: reducing high school drop-outs (through broader options, skilled trades preparation, and better career planning services), improving PSE access (through targeted financial aid, early intervention, and improved resources and transparency for universities and colleges), and making lifelong learning a reality for less-educated Canadians. (For the full two-page essay, see )

Dwindling High School Cohort

South Dakota faces demographic projections much like most of Canada: a continuing drop in K-12 enrolment, and a dwindling high school cohort for its colleges and universities. As a result, the state Board of Regents is proposing strategies to draw a bigger share of high school grads, encourage college drop-outs to return to PSE, and recruit more nonresident students. Currently, 28% of high school grads in SD enroll in university. (Source: Sioux Falls Argus Leader article, )

Humber Wedding Planner Course Wildly Popular

Humber College, “catering to a demand fuelled by reality television and Hollywood fantasy,” earlier this year began offering a full-semester course in wedding planning. Instead of the 10 or 12 registrants administrators expected, Humber has filled three classes of 30 students each, and has a waiting list. In January, an online version will be offered in response to inquiries from as far away as Nova Scotia. According to the Toronto Star, a number of career colleges and community colleges in Ontario offer courses or programs in wedding planning, mainly attracting female students in their 20s and early 30s. (Detailed story at    )

US Colleges Sell Lists to Banks

A USA Today article this week notes that, “despite rising concern about college students' debt loads, the nation's largest four-year colleges are disclosing students' contact information to credit card-issuing banks and earning up to millions each in annual fees by giving the banks the right to market on campus.” The partnerships are legal, since campus directories are deemed “public information,” but some states are attempting to restrict credit card marketing to students. (Full story at )