Top Ten

May 7, 2007

Toronto universities face glut of students:

Although institutions in many other regions of Canada would say it's a good problem to have, 3 Toronto universities (UofT, York, and Ryerson) are worried about an impending "enrolment crisis" over the next 15 years. Immigration trends, demographics and rising participation rates are expected to drive up demand for university in Toronto as much as 50% in that time. Chris Bentley, Ontario's minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, says it is important to provide local options for students, rather than forcing them to relocate out of the GTA. Possible solutions being discussed include creating a new university, or getting local or other institutions to open satellite campuses in the GTA. Globe & Mail

Nfld launches comprehensive labour market portal:

On Friday, the government of Newfoundland & Labrador announced a new Labour Market Information website, LMIworks, to bring "the most current labour market and career information" to job seekers, parents, students, employers and the general public. The site includes comprehensive information on government programs, information on more than 200 careers, and links to a PPSOL (Provincial Post-Secondary Offerings List), indexing programs at the province's 4 university-level institutions, 3 schools of nursing, 18 public college campuses, and 26 private training institutions.  Visit the site | NL News Release

Vancouver University to defy Supreme Court decision:

The BC Supreme Court recently ruled against Vancouver University Worldwide in an unusual case.  The institution was found to be illegally granting degrees in violation of the BC Degree Authorization Act, and has been ordered to stop.  VUW says it has no intention of acknowledging the ruling, saying its degrees are printed and signed outside of BC. The judge found that some degrees were conferred in absentia and mailed from the school's Vancouver offices. This is the third action against a BC institution in recent months: BC ordered Lansbridge University to close in May, and Upper Iowa University to close in April. Action against Rutherford University is still pending. The Vancouver Sun

"Back to School" party earns uVic students $10,000 fine:

The University of Victoria Students’ Society has been given a $10,000 fine and a 10-day liquor license suspension for a September party that got just a little too wild. An inspector and an undercover police officer who were on the scene witnessed several infractions of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, including oversized drinks, allowing intoxicated individuals to remain at the event, and surpassing the 2,200 person capacity of the Student Union Building.  CBC

Satellite campuses proliferating across Canada:

Lakehead in Orillia, Nipissing in Bracebridge, SFU in Surrey, UBC in Okanagan -- many Canadian universities are opening up "branch plants" and "extending their brands" to serve other markets, says University Affairs. The University of Lethbridge has opened campuses in Calgary and Edmonton to serve the business "2+2" market (upgrading college diplomas to university degrees). Since the 1980s, the University of Quebec's 9 constituent universities have expanded to 24 campuses. There are dozens of examples, in a trend unmatched since the 1960s, when UofT established its Scarborough and Erindale (Mississauga) campuses, and UNB created UNB St John.  Recent StatsCan data demonstrates that bringing PSE closer to students almost doubles the likelihood that they will enroll in university, and that enrolment usually comes at the expense of the college network. 

McMaster reportedly considers a "graduation fee":

A student blog on the Maclean's website reports that McMaster University put forward a proposal for a $40 “graduation” fee to its Board of Governors last week, and calls it "a blatant cash grab." The fee would be charged to all graduating students regardless of their program or whether they plan to attend ceremonies.  Increased number of convocations, costs of staffing, facilities, gowns and regalia are cited as reasons to create the fee.  Convocation has historically been built into tuition fees, which are regulated. Tuition-related compulsory ancillary fees are prohibited in Ontario, says the student, and he believes the fee proposal will "die a quiet death" in committee.  Maclean’s

McMaster launches new-in-Canada Masters PR program:

The Ontario Council of Graduate Studies has approved the new Master of Communications Management degree at McMaster’s Degroote School of Business. The program is a joint effort between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and the Degroote School of Business, and aims to recruit students who are working public relations professionals.  This new program, the first of its kind in Canada, will take its first class in October 2007.  The majority of classes will be offered through distance ed formats, to allow students to continue their employment while earning this new credential.  McMaster Daily News

Women's Studies works in the workforce:

American Women’s Studies majors are finding more jobs to put with their degrees.  Parents and friends often criticize WS as lacking in career potential, and a social stigma often bars its acceptance as an academic discipline.  While the field started with the gender studies and led to women’s rights and services employment, graduates are now found in public health, international policy, journalism, electoral politics, filmmaking, and more.  The Senior VP of the Association of American Colleges and Universities commends the recent appointment of a female president at Harvard University, but points out that women continue to be disproportionately in lower-ranking positions throughout higher education.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US colleges send out more "sensitive" rejection letters:

After months of recruitment and wooing by US universities, many high-achieving high school students are getting their "first real kick-in-the-gut feeling of failure." Rejection letters are going out in larger numbers than before: Georgetown sent 10,000, Stanford 20,000, and Johns Hopkins sent 3,000 more than just two years ago.  Yale and Brown both edited their rejection letters to make sure students knew just how “painful” the decision was for the institution, which is "not unlike the end of a high-school romance."  Struggling with how to break the news gently, many schools start their rejection letters with statistics about the overwhelming increase in applications, saying in effect, "it's not you; it's me." The finality needs to be clear, or prospective students will keep calling, "asking why it's over." The Washington Post