Top Ten

June 13, 2007

Other Canadian CASE award winners

Yesterday, we mentioned award-winning new media websites from CASE’s Circle of Excellence awards. Thanks to prompting from proud subscribers, we should indeed also point out that Canadian institutions took home ten CASE awards in other categories.  McMaster, Upper Canada College, uToronto (2), uAlberta (2), Carleton University, Queen’s University, and York University (2) all received medals, some for work that is available online: uAlberta’s “As Canadians…” commercial | Queen’s “Safe Homecoming/Aberdeen” campaign | York’s YLife | “idea&s” by uToronto’s Faculty of Arts & Science | CASE COE award listings

CMSF argues against universal financial aid

A new report by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation suggests that governments are investing more money in universal aid programs than in needs-based aids such as grants and bursaries.  “How Governments Support Students” proposes that universal aid is not the most effective way to get support to the students who need it the most, but instead tend to support those who need aid the least.  The report also found that students who take on heavier debt loads to support their education are much less likely to successfully complete their program of study.  Maclean’s

uToronto may face space crunch

Enrolment at the University of Toronto has increased by 35% over the last 10 years, and the capacity of its physical campus is becoming a concern.  UofT has committed to increasing graduate program spaces by almost 5,000 full-time learners by 2009-10, but goals for undergraduate enrolment have yet to be set.  It is well known, however, that 18- to 24-year-olds in the GTA are expected to increase by 24% (126,000 people) between 2005 and 2031.  PSE participation is also on the rise, having increased from 18% in 1989 to 28% in 2004 (statistics from [email protected]).  “Towards 2030” strategically discusses whether UofT should limit or expand undergraduate growth in the future.  uToronto News | Towards 2030 

Former uSask math instructor accused of race hatred

Terry Tremaine was hired on a term contract in 2005 to teach mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan, which was completely unaware of his background. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found this February that Tremaine for years had been posting antisemitic hate messages online, and he is currently under investigation by Regina police. The university, its equipment, and its classes do not appear to have been affected or involved in Tremaine's activities. Tremaine angrily insists that political correctness has made uSask "spineless." CBC 

Google exec pumps UWO

Shuman Ghosemajumber, a well-known Google executive, spoke to business and technology professionals in London Ontario earlier this week, and cautioned the community not to overlook the importance of the University of Western Ontario. Ghosemajumber recommends that London position itself as an ideal home for technology industries, and emphasizes that UWO is critical to the success of such a strategy.  He grew up in London and took a degree in computer science at UWO before his now successful career with Google.  London Free Press

Kwantlen extends partnership with Chilean university

Kwantlen University College and Universidad Arturo Prat (Chile) have extended their joint research agreement until 2012.  The project supports joint work in horticulture, nursing, criminology, transborder studies, English and Spanish language training, and English immersion. A joint masters degree in English language instruction is on the table.  Kwantlen signed into the partnership to “increase the range of international education options” for its faculty and students at the regional university.  Kwantlen News Release 

Applicant psychographics affect student engagement and alumni affinity

The motivations and expectations of university applicants predict their success as undergraduates better than their high school grades. Key aspects of the student experience, in turn, strongly forecast alumni affinity and support. In a sense, the motivation of incoming applicants has a huge impact on alumni fundraising efforts 20 years down the road. So argued Academica's VP Ken Steele at last week's CCAE National Conference in Charlottetown, providing some exploratory findings from psychographic and alumni affinity research. "Which Applicants will become Engaged Alumni" (Powerpoint presentation available online)

Facebook impacts family dynamics

When Facebook opened its network up to the public, its membership numbers doubled, but use of privacy settings also increased, suggesting that users are less comfortable in the new public Facebook.  As the population of Facebook diversifies, students are finding co-workers, potential employers, former acquaintances and even family members who are requesting access to their personal profiles.  An article in yesterday's Globe & Mail explores what happens when your mom asks to become your friend on Facebook. Globe & Mail

MIT builds demo dorms on Second Life "island"

MIT is building a replica of its campus residences on Second Life, and students are encouraged to recreate their own quarters. Applicants are able to get a feel for residence life, but can also begin to forge relationships similar to those that network via Facebook groups.  Part of “MIT’s Island,” the replica is scheduled for completion toward the end of July, and will include dorms modeled after artsy, athletic, “UNIX geeks” and other lifestyles.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | MIT’s Island 

Guidance counselors struggle with recommending debt for education

More than three-quarters of US guidance counselors report struggling with what advice to give students regarding how much money they should borrow to fund their college or university education.  “Balancing Acts: How High-School Counselors View Risks and Opportunities for Student Loans” was released yesterday.  89% of counselors feel that loans help lower-income students access education.  37% recommend that students avoid loans regardless because of the high chance of default.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | “Balancing Acts”