Top Ten

February 16, 2007

's Warning

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has responded to public complaints by the Chinese government against Canada’s private colleges. About a third of the students of Canadian private post-secondaries come from either China or South Korea, who is also cautioning students about the Canadian experience.  Changes under the new Private Career Colleges Act include the set up of a training completion assurance fund by 2009 that will provide either refund or further training to students if a school closes suddenly. Private career colleges will also be barred from collecting more than 25% of fees upfront and to hold the fees of visa students in a trust until they begin studies.  China published a warning notice on its national website December citing complaints of substandard programs, lax regulation and lack of support for students victimized by colleges.  Schools in Vancouver and Toronto were particularly blamed.  The notice makes statements such as “Some schools are housed in one storey with only a few classrooms, and courses they promised are not offered.  Trying to get a refund is almost impossible.” The Toronto Star

Study Says More Grads Needed

The C.D. Howe Institute’s “Room at the Top: Strategies for Increasing the Number of Graduate Students in Canada” was released yesterday.  It states that Canada needs increased graduate students to remain a global competitor, and that the federal government should be directing funds through students to achieve this goal.  Specific suggestions include expanding student loan eligibility and raising loan limits, and increasing grants, scholarships and bursaries.  It is also recommended to vary awards by discipline, not just scholastic merit or program costs.  The report was written by representatives of Queen’s University and the Educational Policy Institute.  C.D. Howe Institute Press Release

Mount Allison Unveils New Strat Plan

Mount Allison’s 2007-2016 Strategic Statement intends to yield many changes towards preserving the school’s position as one of the best undergraduate institutions in North America.  The school is placing renewed emphasis on building its student services portfolio, creating a Vice President of Student Affairs portfolio and planning several improvements and increases to current services and activities.  Potential undergraduate students are on the decline in Atlantic Canada and Mount Allison intends to be an aggressive competitor for the dwindling market.  Mount Allison Strategic Statement 2007-2016 | Mount Allison News Release

Media Lord Speaks to uToronto Students

Lord Conrad Black was the guest of University of Toronto’s Culture and the Media class earlier this week. For an hour he shared his insights on media bias in Canada, the United States and Britain.  He refrained from discussing his recent legal issues which involve several lawsuits in the Chicago courts.  Lord Black gave up his Canadian citizenship to join the British House of Lords and is now hoping to be reinstated as a Canadian citizen.  The Varsity (Student Newspaper)

CMEC Asks for Power & Money for Post-Secondary

At last week’s 91st meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, education ministers from across the country decided to send a united message to Ottawa for increased investment in post-secondary education in the pending federal budget.  It was felt that provinces are in the best position to develop policies and programs that meet the specific needs of each jurisdiction and that this ability should be maximized through unconditional transfers to provincial/territorial governments.  Memorial Press Release

uManitoba Responds to LibQUAL 2006 Survey

The 2006 LibQual survey shows that uManitoba has successfully improved service satisfaction since the school last participated in the survey in 2003.  Undergraduate student responses indicate the library needs to further inspire study and learning, and additional quiet space for individual activities - such as more study space.  The library web site was identified as another area for improvement. uMan plans to add 1,492 additional e-journals, increase the book budget by 4% ($55,000) during 2006/2007 and release an easier to use E-Library web page. uManitoba News Release


uWashington to Get Harvard’s Health Centre: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is proposing to take up the Ellison Institute for World Health at Harvard project, and fund its development at the University of Washington instead.  Larry Ellison backed out on his gift of $115 million to Harvard last year.  The gift of $100 million or more from the Gates Foundation would be uWashington’s largest gift to date, somewhat less of a record for Gates as the current record setter was his 2003 donation of $64 million. The proposed “Health Metrics Institute at the University of Washington” would raise Seattle as one of the world leaders in global-health research.  University Business


Media Conglom Buys Second Student Paper

The Gannett Company, which purchased Florida State University’s campus newspaper in August, purchased the student newspaper at the University of Central Florida this week.  The Central Florida Future has been owned privately since 1993.  Representatives of the school are assured that the editorial process will remain in the hands of the students.  Students and staff at the paper are excited about the internship and employment possibilities that come from being linked with such a major media conglomerate.  The majority of student papers in the US are owned by students or schools on a non-profit basis; Gannet has made no specific statements of intention towards purchasing additional student papers.  The Chronicle of Higher Education  (Subscription Required)

Branch Campuses Continue to Boom

The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education discussed a recent study on the growing trend of colleges opening branch campuses abroad this week.  The number of branch campuses, which the Observatory notes may be understated, is 82 – up from 24 in 2002.  Branches of US institutions account for a little more than half of this number. Australian schools represent 12%, and British and Irish schools each lay claim to 5%.  While institutions from Western nations found the majority of branch campuses, schools in India and Pakistan have opened operations in Dubai.  Around a third of branch units offer degrees in only one subject, and Business and technology are the top subject areas.  The average enrollment of such institutions is 1,083.  While some countries feel they have filled their quota, the trend of satellite campuses is showing no signs of slowing. Inside Higher Ed

Better Jobs, Higher Requirements & Expectations for Young People

64% of executives believe that better career opportunities are available to today’s young professionals than when they started their own careers. 75% would either “definitely” or “probably” recommend their profession to their children.  83% indicated that they had guided or would try to guide the career path of their children, 33% would to a great or very great extent.  The opinions that today’s young workers face higher job requirements and have a poorer work ethic were also expressed.  Korn/Ferry International News Release