Top Ten

July 12, 2007

Canadian first year students' survey shows careers are most important

More than 12,700 Canadian first year university students completed this year’s Canadian Undergraduate Consortium 2007 Survey of First Year Students.  Female students outnumber males by almost 2 to 1.  Close to 50% of students live either with their parents or a relative/guardian during their studies.  Two thirds had at least 1 parent who completed a post-secondary program. Family money was used by 69% of respondents to pay for their education.  Career and employment goals were cited by almost two-thirds of students as the most important reasons for going to university.  Nipissing University News Release

uManitoba launches $20.5 Million polar year project

Yesterday was the official launch of uManitoba’s Circumpolar Flaw Lead System study – the largest project included in Canada’s International Polar Year research program.  The study will receive $20.5 million in funding from the federal government.  CFI and the Manitoba Research and Innovation fund will contribute $4.2 million.  NSERC has pledged $768,000.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada News Release

Ontario invests $12 million to regulate ECEs

The Ontario government is spending $12 million to create the first regulatory College of Early Childhood Educators.  40% of the province’s child care workers currently hold college or university degrees in ECE.  A recent study recommended that all child care workers have PSE level training in the field within the next 8 years.  The college will “establish professional qualifications, determine ongoing professional development requirements, set standards of practice and ethics and draw up a public complaints process.”  National Union of Public and General Employees News Release

Seneca leads the pack with open source partnership

Seneca College is the first college in Ontario to throw open source onto the curriculum.  In partnership with Mozilla, the developers of FireFox, students have been conducting research on how the internet is being used, and helping to develop new features. 2 students were granted internships with Mozilla in California and others are working with people around the world.  The faculty involved have are being called to set up similar programs at other North American Universities, as well as in Europe and Japan.  College Voice

College courses for high school students to lower dropout rate

College offers programming that helps keep students involved in education until they are at least 18 years of age.  The program allows students to take “dual credit” college courses as part of high school.  The student also earns credits from the college, giving them a jump start on a future college education.  2,500 students participated in dual credit courses.  The chance to experience the college environment and work with college faculty re-lit many students’ flagging interest in education.  The Ontario government hopes to cut the 30% high school drop out rate in half.  Dual credit programs are also offered in New Brunswick, Manitoba and British Columbia. The Sun

Lakeland College to close doors but to find another to take over

The Lakeland College Strathcona Learning Centre will close within the next year, but the search is on for another PSE provider to continue providing higher education in the area.  The college has been talking with other schools about taking over the Learning Centre’s work, but nothing official has been announced as yet.  A key element in whether the area will be able to support a post-secondary presence will depend on support from the provincial government, which some suggest is somewhat “lukewarm.”  Sherwood Park News

King's University College says students' treated second class by London

Student president of King’s University College in London, Ontario feels that the relationship between the city and its post-secondary students has reached “its worst point ever. The respect is gone.”  It is claimed that students are made to feel like second-class citizens. A meeting with the mayor has been requested but she is on holidays until July 16.  The councillor in King’s area has indicated that she would sit down with the school and the Mayor to discuss the issue.  King’s currently has no student representative on the London Town & Gown committee, despite being “in the centre of the maelstrom over student issues.”  The London Free Press  

Endowments and donors do not always match

The last few years have seen increased student interest and opinion regarding where an institution’s money comes from, particularly in regards to ethical, moral, and environmental “ramifications” of endowment investments.  Beyond students, investment strategies can impact donations as well – as can changes in policy or curriculum.  Earlier this year, 18 alumni at a US school voiced objections to the removal of a cross on the campus chapel.  No change in plan was made until later when a $10 million pledge was withdrawn. Several schools over the last year have elected to drop investments in the Darfur region of Sudan.  University Business

Offline buzz influences those who control Online buzz

Viral or word-of-mouth are the biggest e-marketing buzz words but are just as important to include in your offline campaigns as well.  Offline messaging and discussion is shown to influence the voices that tend to be influential on the web.  Those that seem to herd the pack online, are shown to be 64% more likely to research a product online after hearing a TV or radio ad. 18% of the online population is considered to be in this “influencer” category.  84% of this group read print newspapers. Biz Report

Second Life best approached from user perspective

An Australian blogger looks at 4 schools’ approaches to using Second Life in higher education.  The Australian Film, TV and Radio School provides a simply and relaxed place to hang out, but not enough to impress or encourage return visits.  The University of Southern Queensland’s Second Life includes detailed information, games, facilities and more.  There is a surf club and a little plaza to sit and listen to music in, and shops to walk through.  SL users tend to travel through dozens of places per session, often landing most happily in environments where it is fun to spend your time and socialize. USQ’s island was not overtly a sales effort, but instead made the experience interesting, and informative – enticing the user to stay and hang out in the branded environment.  University web marketing and usability