Top Ten

February 12, 2007

Simon FraserLaunches New Brand

Simon Fraser University launched a new university-wide brand on Friday. The understated brand includes a red logo block with the school's initials in white, SFU's full name beside it, and the tagline "Thinking of the world."  The intention of the brand is to reinforce that all SFU's campuses, faculties, schools and departments are part of one university, "integrated parts of one cohesive organization, not as separate and non-aligned units."  The tagline reflects SFU's international research focus, commitment to interdisciplinary learning and active social engagement both locally and globally. SFU News Release

Lansbridge University Ordered to Close

Lansbridge University in Vancouver has received an order from the province to close as of May 1.  A report from an independent inspector showed that Lansbridge was not in compliance with the terms and conditions set under the Degree Authorization Act, and the Ministry of Advanced Education does not feel that Lansbridge can meet its standards.  The report noted that student transcripts were printed on the back of previously-used paper, and that potentially misleading information was provided to the degree quality assessment board.  The owner of the school, a Vancouver businessman, had another school ordered to close in 2006.  The Vancouver Sun | CKNW News | The Globe & Mail

Student Debt Drives Newfoundlanders to Mainland

Young Newfoundlanders are leaving home, despite strong provincial ties, to find wages that will help them pay off student debt loads that are among the highest in the country. Tuition in Newfoundland and Labrador is second lowest only to Quebec , which has had its fees frozen for the last 13 years.  The cost of accommodations, travel and living expenses combine to amounts as high as $35,000. Premier Danny Williams plans to meet with student leaders before the next budget.  CBC

Alberta Offers RESP Matching Grants

As of January 2007, Alberta 8-, 11- and 14-year-olds are eligible to receive a $100 grant from the provincial government towards an RESP.  To receive the grant, families must contribute a minimum of $100 within 12 months before applying for the "Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan." The grant is retroactive to 2005 and has a six-year window for applications.  There is also a single payment grant of $500 available to Albertan parents with children born in 2005 or after.  The grant is intended to promote PSE participation: 80% of children with RESP's end up pursuing a post-secondary education. Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology News Release

Athabasca Brings Distance Education to Text Messaging

Just as the internet radically transformed distance education, the mobile web promises even greater freedom of place and time for students. A pilot project by Athabasca University has ESL learners in Edmonton downloading grammar lessons and taking multiple choice quizzes -- on their cell phones.  "M-learning" or "mobile learning" allows students at the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers to "learn where they are," whether they are watching their children's soccer practices or waiting at a bus stop. AU hopes that if the pilot is successful, the lessons can be marketed worldwide.  CBC

19 Top Nova Scotians from Dalhousie

The Daily News, out of Halifax , ended 2006 with profiles of the "top 30 under 30" Nova Scotians. 19 of the 30 were affiliated with Dalhousie University either as current students, researchers, or recent grads.  Dr. Lori Conners, a Dal medical school grad, was included. Matthew Coffin, a former physics student and current research assistant with Dr. Tom Duck on the Mars-bound LIDAR, was also highlighted.  Current student Zoe Caron was featured for her work with the Sierra Youth Coalition. Dalhousie University News Release

In a "Flat World," Youth Face Rising Unemployment

An analysis of global employment by the United Nations shows that despite an aging workforce, young people are facing increased unemployment rates.  The global rate of unemployment rose from 6% to 6.3% between 1995 and 2006.  Youth unemployment saw a larger increase, from 12.1% to 13.7% -- often three times the rate of the general population.  Job security is becoming less and less likely, with "precarious" working conditions becoming the norm.  Increased globalization has yielded a larger pool of competitors, and a consequent reduction in job-related benefits, and a diminished role for organized labour.  International Herald Tribune

For-Profit Education Faces Rising Costs

Once a fast-growth story of market potential, the for-profit education sector is now experiencing slowing enrolments and rising student-recruiting costs, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.  DeVry Inc. and ITT Education Services Inc. are breaking the trend with recent boosts in enrolment.  Even with recent evening out, profit margins of public companies are hitting between 4 and 20%. Laureate Education Inc. was bought out last week for $3.8 billion by an investor group.  The industry is also seeing the heads of three of the largest higher-education companies leaving their posts: the founders of Career Education Corporation and Corinthian Colleges Inc. retired within two days of each other in December.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)