Top Ten

April 27, 2007

Why U-Haul when the "Army" will do it?

This weekend, PSE students across North America will vacate their study homes and head back to the family homestead for the summer.  Queen’s University has distributed 900 doorknob flyers encouraging students to dispose of cast-off possessions responsibly, including a list of local charities like the Salvation Army.  McMaster has issued traffic warnings in anticipation of congestion generated by 3,000 students moving out of residence this week.  Mount Allison students have organized a “Dump and Donate” event that has given 1,000 residence students clear plastic bags to be filled with reuseable items to be donated. Queen’s News Release | McMaster News Release | Mount Allison News Release

Tuition thaws in Quebec

Quebec’s education minister has confirmed that the province will soon see its first tuition hike in 13 years.  The Charest provincial government has every intention of keeping its election promise of adding two $50 fee increases per year, but also promises to consult students and boost student aid to counteract the increase.  Starting in 2012, tuition will be indexed to inflation.  The Montreal Gazette

Malaspina, UCFV excited by university potential

Campus 2020’s recommendation 32 has BC’s colleges abuzz.  It was specifically recommended that the University College of the Fraser Valley receive full university status, to help develop a regional network of universities across the province.  Malaspina University-College is also hoping to achieve full university status. Students will have increased local access to university, but can also expect tuition increases if the transitions occur.  Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nfld tops the country in student financial aid

Newfoundland’s 2007 Budget holds an investment of $14.4 million for student financial aid, and more than $70 million for several PSE construction projects, including a new residence at Memorial University’s Paton College, and a new residence, academic and research space at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Cornerbrook.  The budget was informed by student roundtable discussions held in March.  Minister Burke states: “We are on the cutting edge of student aid assistance in the country.  Newfoundland & Labrador is now leading the country with the lowest interest rate on student loans.”  Nfld News Release

UWO Gazette sentence is final

The University of Western Ontario’s president, Paul Davenport, has extended thanks to community members for expressing their concerns about the student newspaper’s April Fool's issue, and promises change. The Gazette’s March 30 issue was “trivializing rape and being disdainful of members of the gay and lesbian community.”  Almost a month after the issue hit the streets, the administration is still dealing with the fallout.  A journalistic code of ethics is being drafted by a specialist in ethics in journalism, and Gazette editors will receive formal equity training.  The paper’s complaints process will be reviewed and updated to “yield outcomes to valid grievances.”  UWO News Release

"Education Vacation" at Lakehead

Lakehead University is advertising its spring and summer programs as an “Education Vacation!”  The school is offering 11 courses at its Orillia campus to the general public, including history, astronomy, anthropology, sociology and literature.  All are fully credited university courses, but seniors, high school students and the general public are welcome to take non-credit versions, allowing them to take in lectures and the campus experience without the stress of marks or homework.  The Orillia Packet & Times

Lambton College cancels Media Fundamentals

Lambton College, in Sarnia Ontario, has cancelled its one-year media fundamentals program, without plans for reinstatement.  Enrolment failed to offset the costs of offering the program.  The college says all current applicants were notified, but one local applicant says he only learned through word of mouth, and is frustrated that he will have to leave home now to pursue media education at an alternative institution. Services previously operated by media students, such as the campus radio station and videography of sporting events, will now be handled by Cogeco Cable.  The Observer

Recruitment emails go unread

Tempting though it might be to redirect conversion marketing efforts online, the father of a US university applicant reports as many as 400 never-read recruitment messages piling up in his son’s email inbox. Regardless of whether the subject lines were personalized, offered free services, advice, or simply the dream college experience, his son simply didn’t open any of them. Snail mail also brought hundreds of viewbooks and brochures that his son actually did flip through. The parent wonders why colleges believe his son has time to read these 400 unrequested emails, or how these persuasion efforts are at all helpful to the students who receive them.  “Last chance” reads a subject line -- does this mean the emails will finally stop? The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Virtual ambulance-chasing

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, the newswires we read every day have been filled with media releases from companies offering security solutions for PSE campuses.  IT staff at colleges and universities report being “bombarded with pitches from companies offering emergency-alert systems, sometimes at inflated prices and sometimes with designs that are useless...”  Sudden price increases in emergency alert systems have been obvious and are considered uncouth.  One school noticed that the cost of mass text messages increased from 40 cents per student a week ago, to $1 this week.  Connect-ED, which provides voice and text alerts at about 75 US schools, is commended for actually having CUT their prices: “We felt a responsibility not to abandon these campuses.”  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Family-friendly recruitment trends

We have noticed several announcements recently of “family-friendly” recruitment strategies, and with Inside Higher Ed’s article on the topic, it’s about time we ran it by our readers.  Stanford, Yale, and Princeton have all announced new efforts to support families on campus.  Yale and Princeton are offering services and accommodations to students, while Yale is launching a plan for junior faculty members.  The Ivy league is not alone, with smaller schools also announcing expansions to child-care facilities and other services.  Universities are competing fiercely for the best of the best, whether or not their resumes include family commitments.  Inside Higher Ed