Top Ten

April 12, 2007

Laval students return to class

The month-long strike by course lecturers at Quebec City 's Laval University is done.  The latest contract was approved by an 88% vote, and classes are back in session as of yesterday. Students will not have to cancel summer plans to accommodate an extended semester.  Course lecturers walked out on March 14 due to pay and work conditions, demanding pay equity with other Quebec universities.  Course lecturers are responsible for around 40% of undergraduate classes at the school. CBC

Save money, go to Canadian universities

An article in the Boston Globe reports that many US high school students are looking to Canadian institutions as a way of cutting down the cost of PSE. "Several schools in Canada are considered just as prestigious as the Ivy League schools in the United States, and offer huge savings."  A degree from McGill is less than half the price of one from NYU. On the flip side of the coin, other US students are saving money by studying closer to home, or starting their PSE at a more affordable local school before transferring to a name-brand institution to finish up.  Boston Globe

Saskatchewan calls for increased PSE funding, Aboriginal strategy

Saskatchewan has finished its "PSE Accessibility and Affordability Review," producing 45 options and recommendations.  The report calls for general and targeted support to increase affordability and accessibility of PSE in the province, a dialogue between the federal government and Aboriginal people towards developing relevant non-financial strategies to increasing PSE interest and enrolment among young Aboriginals, and encouraging business and industry participation in scholarship programs.  Saskatchewan is in a fortunate position, with a fairly large cohort of young people approaching PSE age.  Saskatchewan News Release  

uWinnipeg seeks uManitoba's stadium funding

Man-Shield Construction and the University of Winnipeg are asking for a $6 million investment from the municipality toward a $20 million joint venture sports centre, which will include a hockey rink and two indoor soccer fields. uWinn has refused to comment to the media, and no drawings have been released. The municipality had previously set aside $6 million for a four-field indoor soccer complex at uManitoba, but uWinn is now competing for the same funds. The facility might be open as early as September 2008. Winnipeg Free Press

Brock U needs $194 million more from the province

Jack Lightstone, president of Brock University , says that he needs $200 million (not the $6.6 million announced earlier this week) to create the classroom, office and lab space required by Brock's expanded student population.  He says Brock is far below the Ontario average in terms of space for students and faculty.  There are 6,000 more students at Brock now than in 2000-01, more than a 50% increase.  Apparently, classrooms are being double-booked and seminar classes are expanding in size.  The Standard | Ontario News Release 

Queen's finally retires legacy arena

After 85 years and 3 different buildings, the name "Jock Harty Arena" may be retired at Queen's University.  As Queen's makes progress on its $230 million Queen's Centre, which will include facilities to replace the latest Jock Harty, the possibility exists that naming rights could be given to an alumnus or corporate sponsor. Without a doubt, the name Jock Harty will live on at Queen's, even if it winds up on another facility. The new arena is one of the last elements of the new facility, and is not expected to be complete until 2012. The Kingston Whig-Standard

Carleton's "second chance" program celebrates 1,600 grads

The Enriched Support Program at Carleton University celebrated its10th anniversary yesterday.  The program was launched by the university's Centre for Initiatives on Education (CIE) in 1996, offering "second chances" to students who struggled in high school, or have to balance a heavy work/family life -- making university possible for students who might not otherwise be able to attend.  The program began with 42 students, and now has 250 -- as well as 1,600 grads gone on to careers in law, psychology and cognitive science.  Today at Carleton 

Taking conversion marketing to a whole new level

Wilkes University, in Pennsylvania, has taken a unique and daring approach to undergrad recruitment marketing. Instead of the traditional "three and a tree" photos, Wilkes' campaign features billboards, mall posters, cable TV ads and MySpace profiles -- all apparently targetting 6 specific applicants. Headlines include: "Kate Murtaugh, Whitehall Homecoming Queen: You'll certainly receive the royal treatment at Wilkes University," and "Meagan Smith: We'll help you become a journalist.  Lesson one: Get used to thousands of people reading your name." The personal attention Wilkes offers its applicants is certainly clear. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

The dangers of marketing in an online community

With more than 115 million members, "social clubs" like MySpace and Facebook have a committed following, particularly among under-25s. Some observers are even calling the next wave of students the "social networking generation." Pew Internet and American Life's 2006 Report on Teens found that 55% of online teens have created a personal profile on a social networking site, and 48% visit these sites at least once a day.  College and university recruiters need to keep in mind that online communities are viewed as "student-only spaces," and institutional or corporate infiltrators are seldom well-received. Faculty and staff can join the community, to create and maintain relationships with each other and their students, but only in a very honest, equal manner.  uFlorida claims to have effectively boosted enrolment in 3 grad programs by posting course descriptions, faculty and student bios and research information on Facebook. Current students and faculty responded directly to undergrads who asked questions. More cautious institutions observe that FaceBook is not a utility -- changing corporate ownership or policies could wreak havock with recruitment strategy. University Business 

US profs and teachers see education very differently

A recent survey of 6,500 middle-school and high-school teachers and college faculty, conducted by national education testing organization ACT, found disagreement on almost every college-preparatory subject. Profs feel that high school students are not getting the courses that would prepare them for PSE, and believe students should be going more in-depth on fewer topics. Profs want more emphasis on basic grammar and sentence structure, and on the scientific process and inquiry skills (rather than specific content). The Union-Tribune