Top Ten

May 23, 2007

Conflicting views on the future of Canadian colleges:

Yesterday’s Globe & Mail filled its PSE page with two contrasting perspectives.  Humber College’s president, Dr. Robert Gordon, calls for Ontario’s college system to shake its “second-class image” and rise to the growing demand for higher ed in Canada. He encourages the adoption of 2+2 strategies, like those in Western Canada, which encourage students to start PSE with 2 years of college, before transferring to university. The second article in the Globe calls for BC’s college system to go back to its vocational roots, recreating the divide between college and university educations. This is based on BC’s Campus 2020 report, which recommends that colleges stop offering degrees, except in collaboration with a university, although “regional universities” would replace university colleges. Should colleges stay colleges? Or should they be the answer to crowded university classrooms? "End Academic Snobbery" | "Return to Vocational Role" 

Canadian grads more likely to marry than ever:

Canadian men and women with equal educational backgrounds are more likely to marry each other than ever, according to a recent report from Statistics Canada.  Up from 42% in 1971, 54% of Canadian couples under 35 had the same level of education in 2001. (The US saw parallel increases in this trend as well.)  Wives also can now claim to have a higher average education level than their husbands, with 24% of 2001 wives and 19% of 2001 husbands in Canada having finished university education in Canada -- a reverse in trend from 1971. Statistics Canada | Maclean’s

Union reports Concordia charged with human rights violation:

Concordia University has been charged with contempt of court after failing to comply with a March 29 judgment that found the university in violation of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, says the CSN union federation.  An electronic technician on medical leave who had been fired was ordered to be reinstated as soon as possible.  He had been on leave to treat a back injury since October 2004, and was fired in July 2005.  His termination was found to discriminate against physical handicap.  Concordia has refused to reinstate the technician either in his previous or a similar position.  La Confédération des syndicats nationaux News Release

Carleton consults stakeholders in presidential search:

Carleton University’s board/senate advisory committee is calling on campus stakeholders to help profile the university’s next president, in what is becoming a common component in presidential searches at institutions across the country. Students, faculty, alumni and the Ottawa community are being asked to comment on what attributes an ideal president should have, as well as what the key tasks of a university president should be.  A web page set up to gather public comments will also publish status reports, and currently hosts a draft position profile for public consideration. The Ottawa Sun | Join the President Search! 

McMaster students' CPR glove in top ten inventions:

Two McMaster students and their ground-breaking invention are featured in the June issue of Popular Science.  The CPR glove was included in the magazine’s top 10 inventions of the year, and is the only Canadian invention in the listing. Students Corey Centen and Nilesh Patel have established Atreo Medical Inc. to develop and market the glove in hopes of improving cardiac arrest survival rates.  McMaster Daily News | The Chronicle Herald

uWindsor discontinues print calendars:

The University of Windsor has successfully completed the redesign of its online course calendar, apparently signaling the end of its print version. From now on, the online calendar will be the only official source for details on academic regulations, as well as program and course offerings. A limited number of abbreviated print calendars will be published for international recruitment purposes. (It is unclear in the article, but hopefully uWindsor isn't phasing out its glossy print viewbook, which Academica's research continues to show is a vital component of the recruitment marketing mix.)  uWindsor Daily News | uWindsor Undergrad Calendar | Grad Calendar 

Adult learning on the decline in the UK:

According to a new survey of 5,000 adults in the UK, adult education has declined from 42% to 41% of adults surveyed.  Although statistically this change is negligible, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education claims this means 500,000 fewer adult learners this year than last year.  55% of adults who have taken courses since leaving full-time education are reportedly middle-class, while only 27% are living on lower incomes. BBC

Gap year going out of style in the UK:

Worries over personal safety, the environment, and student debt might see UK students skipping the pre-university Europe trip and heading straight for college. Of 14,000 young people who looked into a gap travel year with STA Travel, only 20% followed through with the trip. Instead of travelling, students are eager to start working and saving money to offset their inevitable student debt. The number of UK students who chose to defer their acceptance to university declined by 3% in 2007 from 2006. Students who take a gap year before starting university are significantly more likely to complete their programs.  Guardian Unlimited 

A year of dishonesty in American PSE:

Associated Press claims that the past school year has been marked by dishonesty.  Duke’s school of business has 9 MBAs facing expulsion and 25 others facing lesser punishments over an exam-cheating scandal. A study found up to 70% of undergrads admit to cheating at least once. MIT’s dean of admissions resigned after admitting she had falsified her resume. Headlines continue to cover the ongoing student loan kickback scandals. Some reports found 20-25% of students admitted to serial cheating (five or more incidents). A wave of US schools are considering adding values and ethics to  the required curriculum, possibly for no other reason than to save the money lost by evicting cheaters.  Duke stands to lose almost $400,000 from the expulsion of 9 MBAs.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Seattle PI/Associated Press 

What does Wikipedia say about your school?

Try Googling a university or college and you will most likely find a Wikipedia entry in the top 5 results. Google’s importance as a search tool is not news, but now that Wikipedia entries are increasingly being returned to users, schools should pay attention to what the public is saying about them in the popular free encyclopedia.  If not much is said, maybe it’s time to take advantage of the free platform and fill in your institution’s details and messaging.  Bob Johnson