Top Ten

November 21, 2006

UNB Signs First Nations Archaeological Agreement

Yesterday, the University of New Brunswick, the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation, and Metepenagiag Heritage Park Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding to advance archaeological investigation of the Augustine Mound and Oxbow National Historic Sites, two of the most significant archaeological sites in eastern Canada, and the centerpieces of a proposed heritage park to open next June. "This is the first time in Atlantic Canada, and possibly in the country, that a First Nation community has signed an agreement with an academic institution... Traditional knowledge and the western science of archaeology are coming together." UNB's archaeology lab in Fredericton will be upgraded to support the project. UNB news 

uWinnipeg Brings Free Wi-Fi to Downtown

The University of Winnipeg and Red River College are expected to launch their LearningCITI (Computer and Information Technology Infrastructure) project this morning. LearningCITI is an innovative wireless service that will provide free Internet access across downtown Winnipeg and the inner city, to "bridge the digital divide." uWinnipeg media release 

University Affairs

Launches Enhanced Careers Section: AUCC's University Affairs announced yesterday a "bigger and better careers section" on the magazine's website, including a searchable careers database, online career advisor, career tips and articles geared to grad students, faculty and administrators. The new careers section is part of a long-term redesign of the University Affairs website. (with thanks to Peggy Berkowitz, AUCC)

Racial Divide in California College Students

A report issued yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California finds that half of first-year community college students in the largest higher-education system in America do not make it to second year, and only one-quarter of those who enter community college intending to transfer to a university actually transfer. Researchers found that black, Latino and American Indian students were half as likely to transfer to university as Asians. Contra Costa Times 

Chinese Government Funds "Confucius Institute" at UMass

The University of Massachusetts and the Chinese Ministry of Education announced yesterday the formation of a nonprofit public institute in Boston to promote the teaching and understanding of Chinese language and culture. The Chinese government plans to create 100 such institutes worldwide by 2010, and provided UMass a $1 million US start-up grant. The institute initially will serve a few hundred students, but should grow to thousands. Interest in Chinese language and culture has soared in Massachusetts, where 55 public and private schools offer Mandarin courses. Boston Globe 

NewsCorp seeks Chinese Partner for MySpace

The new owners of MySpace.com are reportedly in discussions with prominent blog companies, Bokee.com and BogCN.com, to act as local partners for the launch of MySpace into the world's second-biggest internet market, China. Rupert Murdock, his wife, and MySpace executives were in Beijing last week to meet with Chinese government officials. There are more than 120 million internet users in China, and about 6 million bloggers. Microsoft, Google and Yahoo already offer blogging services there. MySpace recently announced a joint venture with Softbank Corp. to expand MySpace into Japan. Globe & Mail 

Science PhD's Multiply

A new report from the US National Science Foundation finds that the number of science and engineering PhD’s awarded by American universities in 2005 reached an all-time high of 27,974. Also peaking in 2005 were the number of doctorates granted to women, to Asian Americans and to members of underrepresented minority groups, and the number awarded in engineering, the biological sciences, mathematics and computer sciences. The sharpest growth of all occurred among non-US citizens, while the biggest drop occurred in education doctorates. InsideHigherEd 

5 Key Challenges for Higher Education

Daniel Yankelovich sees 5 key challenges that will affect American PSE in the next decade or two. Older students are a natural outcome of an aging population, increasing longevity, and new attitudes to retirement -- by 2020, post-55 students will be commonplace, he believes. Science and technology needs to become more attractive to American students -- currently 59% of Chinese and 66% of Japanese students, but less than 30% of American students, choose science and technology majors. Access and affordability have become major political issues as PSE has become the only route to secure employment. A liberal arts revival may result as many seek to understand the limits of scientific and technological knowledge, which cannot provide answers to ethical, religious, spiritual or emotional questions. And "America's cultural parochialism" must evolve as the US loses economic and military dominance to India and China. CASE Currents (requires professional membership)

US College Football Coaches Earn More than Presidents

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education salary survey has found a 53% jump in the number of US college presidents earning $500,000 US or more, to a total of 112. Only 3 earned more than $1 million US, however. Yet, the results of a USA Today survey of top university employees found that 42 of the 119 NCAA division I-A football coaches earn $1 million US, and 9 coaches earn more than $2 million US. This compensation discrepancy is one of the most obvious distinctions between US colleges and their Canadian counterparts. USA Today | Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

European Universities Fear "Americanization"

German universities are trying to charge tuition. Paris schools are considering selection instead of open admission. Dutch colleges are pushing students to finish faster by repaying their tuition when they graduate. Greece wants to lift a ban on private universities. Politicians say the European university system is failing to produce employable graduates, and should be "dynamited," while researchers object to business and government interference in educational affairs. The EU is pushing 25 member nations to boost funding for PSE. "Success will go to those individuals and countries which are swift to adapt, slow to complain, and open to change." CNN