Top Ten

November 23, 2006

New NAIT Ralph Klein Campus Announced

Yesterday, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) announced the location of its new 151-acre south Edmonton campus, to be named for former Alberta premier Ralph Klein. NAIT currently has 10 Edmonton sites, but a $750-million campus expansion plan will consolidate them into 3 sites over the next 10 years, with capacity for 50% more students. The new campus will feature 5 centres of excellence, 865 student residences, and parking for 3,400 vehicles. Ground will be broken in spring 2008. The 50-year vision for the site includes space for land-intensive programs like Rail Car and Locomotive Maintenance Technician. CNW media release 

uCalgary Creates "Oil Patch MBA"

Strong demand from the energy industry has prompted the University of Calgary to create a master's degree program focused on the challenges of extracting dwindling oil and gas reserves. The two-year program will see its first graduates in 2008, and is offered jointly by the science faculty and the Schulich School of Engineering. The program was developed after oil and gas executives told university officials that petroleum geologists, geophysicists and engineers need more interdisciplinary skills for an industry where locating and maximizing reserves requires constant teamwork. Globe & Mail 

Popularity and Prospects Growing Again for MBAs?

Fortune magazine predicts growing interest in MBA programs and improving job prospects for US graduates. 98% of surveyed MBA schools reported a significant increase in job offers to MBA students, and 70% reported higher starting salaries and bonuses. Website traffic suggests growing interest in online MBAs. 81% of MBA Career Services professionals predicted that the MBA job market will improve. Media release

New Nursing Simulation Lab at uWindsor

Last week the University of Windsor officially opened a new simulation laboratory for the nursing program at its Toldo Health Education Centre. The lab features sophisticated new computer-run mannequins that can exhibit signs of illness and respond to treatment, giving students training in realistic scenarios before they ever enter a hospital. The simulators have been pre-programmed with over 100 scenarios, from a dry cough to full cardiac arrest. Students can measure their pulses and blood pressure, listen to their heartbeats and breathing, can administer medicines by injection or through intravenous drip. uWindsor news 

BC First Nations Gain Jurisdiction Over Education

Yesterday, Jim Prentice, federal minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced the introduction of Bill C-34, the First Nations Jurisdiction Over Education in British Columbia Act, which will enable the federal government to negotiate individually with interested First Nations the transfer of authority over education on reserves. "Bill C-34 grants interested First Nations the power to improve education outcomes in their communities. It will enable them to establish educational authorities, set and enforce provincially recognized standards for curricula and teacher standards, and issue graduation certificates." CNW media release 

International Students Bring $510 million to BC

A recent report reveals that 27,000 international PSE students from 150 countries bring more than half a billion dollars into British Columbia every year, including tuition, shelter, and other expenditures. The influx of students results in 6,000 direct and 3,100 indirect jobs. Canadian English is apparently a big draw for Asian students: "they hire Canadian teachers of English because the British accent was too proper, the American accent was too wild and the Australian accent was too rustic." UBC has 19.5% international students, uVictoria 19.2%, and Thompson Rivers U 15.3%. The Province 

Echo-Boomers, Millennials, or "Nexters"

Call them what you will, they're flooding into PSE and the workplace. They have sophisticated technological know-how and are adept multi-taskers, but suffer from "menu-driven thinking," a reliance on technology and particularly Google for the answers to all problems. Neil Howe and William Strauss also argue, in Millennials Rising and other books, that this generation is comprised of smart, optimistic, team players and rule-followers, unlike their predecessors Generation X. But critics are starting to object that this applies primarily to the privileged classes. An article in this month's CASE Currents describes techniques for "Managing Nexters" in the workplace, particularly by assuming the role of "helicopter parent" and facilitating their career development. CASE Currents (professional membership required)

74% of US College Students Play Video Games

According to a recent study of 1,000 American college students, only 26% report not playing video games, and with the release of Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii this past weekend, Microsoft's Xbox 360 faces stiff competition from the other two next-gen gaming consoles. 12% of students plan to purchase a PS3 this holiday season, 11% own or plan to purchase an Xbox, and 8% are interested in the much less expensive Wii. Of the gamers, 25% of males play more than 6 hours per week, while only 8% of female gamers do so. Media release 

Cell Phone Movies for a Cell Phone Market

Boston University has partnered with Amp'd Mobile to create a unique course that teaches students how to make films on -- and specifically for -- cell phones. This is "the cutting edge of a new media culture in which anyone can create, distribute, and view video using a variety of emerging technologies." Class assignments will eventually be distributed by Amp'd Mobile to its cellular customers, who appreciate the "anywhere, anytime" mobile video. Film-makers must struggle with the 15-second capacity and poor audio quality of their camera-phones. eSchoolNews 

Academic Freedom in Canada

An opinion piece by John Fekete in this month's OCUFA Academic Matters argues that academic freedom seems to be under attack in the US, where social activist David Horowitz is pushing for "intellectual diversity" through an "Academic Bill of Rights" which is now making its way through Congress, intended to correct the "leftward tilt of the humanities and social sciences." Fekete believes "this initiative will find little echo when it reaches Canada," but anticipates that security considerations and sensitivity concerns may create more pressure on academic freedom in our country. Academic Matters (PDF)