Top Ten

July 24, 2007

Students say loan terms are a "deal with the devil"

Under the revised Canada Student Loans Program, rising numbers of cash-strapped students are accepting the option to cut their monthly student loan payments and extend repayment periods, at the cost of increased interest rates.  In a report to be released today, the Coalition for Student Loan Fairness estimates that many students will pay about $3,000 in additional interest, translating into $411 million in government revenue over the three years.  Federal officials insist that the program does not make a profit given the expenses of missing payments, defaulted loans and account management costs. Toronto Star

Survey says "Harvard Schmarvard"

A survey of 270 Canadian CFOs by Accountemps has found that just 42% believe the prestige of a job applicant's alma mater is somewhat or very important in the hiring process, while the majority feel it is "not at all important." A 1999 study by Princeton researchers found that students who turned down offers from highly selective schools to go elsewhere were equally successful in their adult lives -- something they dubbed "the Spielberg effect." Competence and work ethic matter more in the long run, but experts agree that a top-tier degree can provide graduates with an edge early in their careers. Globe & Mail

Trades earn more than university grads

A Saskatchewan government survey of recent graduates found that certified trades workers are earning an average of $8,000 a year more than recent university grads with a four-year degree -- comparing an average salary of $53,000 to $45,000.  The survey also showed that apprentices end up with less than one-tenth the debt load, and were more likely to feel their training was worth the cost.  CBC

New security legislation to cost Ontario colleges and universities

In an effort to administer stricter regulation and professional standards of private security guards, Ontario's Private Security and Investigative Services Act was recently enacted to include mandatory licensing and training standards of all security personnel -- including bouncers at campus pubs, campus security personnel and building access staff.  Given the cost of training and certifying staff -- as much as $900 for one building access worker -- the Ontario government has granted PSE institutions a one-year grace period before being required to implement the changes under the new law. Macleans

UWinnipeg "pro-active"about campus security

The University of Winnipeg announced a series of new initiatives yesterday, including the creation of a 30-person security force, the installation of a cutting-edge electronic access control system, and the establishment of an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator position to further enhance their capacity in addressing security concerns.  A proposal has also been submitted for an extensive video security system to add additional cameras on-campus and to service the surrounding areas. (u Winnipeg

India offers opportunity for Canadian universities

Through an exchange of students, scholars and joint projects, India is looking to Canada' s excellence in higher education to help the country become more globally competitive. With emerging middle-class demand for higher education in India, Canada needs to strengthen its branding and eliminate issues of visa and certification of professional qualifications, to become more attractive to the 120,000 Indian students who go abroad to pursue higher education.  IndiaTimes

UTM to launch Zipcar sharing program

In an effort to increase environmentally friendly transport options for students, the University of Toronto's   Mississauga campus is launching the Zipcar car-sharing program in August.  Students, staff, and faculty will be able to reserve the cars for up to 24 hours.  It is estimated that each Zipcar takes 20 privately-owned vehicles off the road, effectively reducing traffic congestion and demand for parking spaces on campus. UT News  

uVic rescinds appointment of convict

The University of Victoria has rescinded the appointment of adjunct professor Niall McElwee, after a routine criminal check revealed convictions for attempted indecent assault of teenagers in 2005.  McElwee, an Irish childcare lecturer, visited the University of Victoria F aculty of Child and Youth Care for four weeks in April and May, attending classes and giving a lecture to the university community.  Most of McElwee's work was with graduate students, and he was not in contact with children. Victoria Times Colonist

Creating auniversity town from scratch

Setting out to create a "fresh, faithful voice" in Catholic higher education, Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan committed more than $200 million to build Ave Maria University -- said to "reflect a faithfulness to Catholic teachings that they do not see elsewhere."  Partnering with real estate development company Barron Collier, Monaghan also invested an additional $100 million to create a surrounding town!  The development hasn't been without controversy though, as the Florida ACLU has threatened legal action if the town proceeds with plans to ban birth control. USA Today