Top Ten

November 8, 2006

"Echo Boom" Hits Canadian Universities

Yesterday's release of Enhanced Student Information System (ESIS) data shows that enrolment in Canadian universities has been steadily increasing since 1998, primarily because of the growing young adult cohort. In 2004/5, total enrolment surpassed 1 million for the first time. Ontario's 2003 double cohort, and growing numbers of international students, also played a part. Women have grown to represent 59% of undergraduate students in Canada, and the largest growth has occurred in social and behavioural sciences and law. Enrolments fell in education, mathematics computer/IT, and the humanities. The largest declines in full-time enrolments were in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. StatsCan | Globe & Mail 

Record Number of University Graduates

Yesterday StatsCan also released data on university graduates for 2004. Canadian universities awarded 209,100 degrees, certificates, and diplomas -- a record high for the sixth straight year. These included 168,700 undergraduate degrees, 31,600 masters degrees, and 4,200 doctorates. The number of graduates rose in all fields of study except agriculture / natural resources / conservation. The largest gains were in health / parks / recreation and fitness. StatsCan

BC Education Bonus to Keep Best and Brightest

Yesterday the Globe & Mail reported that BC's Liberal party plans a $1,000 education bonus for every child born in the province starting in 2007. The policy also promised to increase the number of apprenticeship positions in the province by 7,000, and provide funding for more university graduate spaces in engineering, science and technology. Like its neighbour Alberta, BC has labour shortages in the construction, service, engineering and technology sectors. Globe & Mail 

uAlberta Launches China Institute

On October 23rd, the University of Alberta celebrated the official opening of its $37 million China Institute with a handful of university vice presidents from China, scores of dignitaries and donors. "The institute is now recognized all across the world," providing public policy analysis and advice, and acting as the "epicenter" of UofA's China projects, including a School of Business program to train the Chinese government's most senior bureaucrats. uAlberta Folio 

Asian Art Donation to CBU

Yesterday's Globe & Mail reported that Nova Scotia's Cape Breton University Art Gallery received $500,000 worth of Asian art and artifacts from Joseph Nearing, a retired doctor in Vancouver. His collection of 2,500 pieces of Chinese ceramics, from the Stone Age to the present, is the largest one-time gift ever given to the gallery. Globe & Mail 

Ernie the Ryerson Hot-Dog Vendor

The US Chronicle of Higher Education reports that a philanthropic hot-dog vendor at Toronto's Ryerson University was the subject of a campus musical last month. Nicknamed for the Sesame-Street character he represents, Ernie has set aside a day's profit every year since 1982 to finance student scholarships. Last year, approaching age 80, Ernie retired -- but he will be remembered thanks to retired English professor Nelles Van Loon, who wrote Hot Dog - The Musical. The Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

NELNet is Biggest Corporate Donor to Republicans

The National Education Loan Network (NELNet), a major for-profit student-loan provider based in Nebraska, is the single largest corporate donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee this year. News of the contributions reported on a blog on Friday raised eyebrows as the company has recently been accused of overcharging the US federal government hundreds of millions of dollars for subsidy payments on student loans. If the Democrats win a majority in the house, they have promised to cut in half student loan interest rates -- and will likely slash lender subsidies to pay for it. Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

97% of University Applicants Use Your Website

A national survey of 45,000 university applicants found that university websites were the #1 consulted source of information, followed closely by viewbooks and program-specific brochures. Two-thirds of applicants said they consult the Maclean's rankings. Academica Group's University Applicant Survey provides details of use and influence for a full range of media, sources, and web portals, cross-tabulated by demographic, program, preferred university, and more. The UAS also reveals how appealing your website, viewbook, campus tour, etc. are, compared to key competitors. 2007 UAS details 

"Helicopter Parents" Getting Their Kids Jobs

Once students graduate from your institution, the hovering "helicopter parents" go with them, and according to CNN, they are continuing their overprotective ways as their children enter the job market. Some are writing their kids' resumes, others are hounding college career counsellors, attending job fairs, or even phoning employers to ask why their child wasn't hired for the job, or to discuss their first performance appraisals. Helicopter parenting is an epidemic which may prevent the normal development of independence and confidence, say some experts. CNN

Beanie Tradition Restored at Wabash College

The Christian Science Monitor reports that, after an almost 40-year absence, Indiana's all-male Wabash College has restored the tradition of miniature green beanies for freshmen -- a mild form of humiliation compared to many hazing rituals. A college senior suggested the idea, and students are generally pleased. Wabash "has always been ahead of the curve by keeping behind the times." Some freshmen find it "kind of cool" when graduates from the 50s can share their own beanie experiences with them. "The campus needed a shared tradition." Christian Science Monitor