Top Ten

July 25, 2007

uSask announces Edwards School of Business

Yesterday, the University of Saskatchewan announced the renaming of its College of Commerce to the N. Murray Edwards School of Business, in honour of successful Saskatchewan-born businessman Murray Edwards.  Along with the new name comes an expanded programming focus, to include entrepreneurship and wealth creation.  A temporary microsite announces the name change, with a new site anticipated by September. To date, Edwards has donated over $11 million to the School. uSask News Release | Microsite

Vancouver's Native Education Centre will remain open

 Following an independent review of its programs and discussions with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the Native Education Centre will remain open, after being scheduled to close at the end of July.  Based in Vancouver, with other campuses throughout BC, the province agreed to provide $140,000, over and above the annual funding of $1.5 million, to keep the 40-year-old institution operating.  About 150 students are enrolled in NEC courses at any one time. CBC 

Memorial's Regents speak on independence of Grenfell College

Following a 2006 review, and the subsequent recommendation to create two universities in Newfoundland (to be governed by one Board of Regents), the issue of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College's autonomy has been under much discussion and review.  Yesterday, the Memorial University Board of Regents reiterated its support for a single university in the province, and concluded that "a volunteer board governing two separate universities is unworkable."  Though the final choice is to be made by the government and not the Board, the Board requested that additional analysis be completed by the end of 2007 to address the impact on students -- including transfer agreements between institutions, costs involved, the required legislated changes, and shared services. Memorial News 

BC World Trade University raises suspicion

Scheduled to open last September, Chilliwack BC's World Trade University is facing numerous delays and rising suspicions over the credibility of president and CEO Sujit Chowdhury.  Offering a 14-month MBA program designed to help eradicate world poverty, with ambiguous links to the WTO and the UN, the BC government leapt at Chowdhury's idea and used a private member's bill to charter the new school.  Currently, WTU is still waiting for approval from BC's Degree Quality Assessment Board, and consent from the Ministry of Advanced Education, before it can begin offering instruction and granting degrees.  If the institution does win final approval to operate, it is expected that classes won't start until January 2008 at the earliest, enrolling 50 to 60 students for a tuition of US $32,500. National Post

Brock delays flat fee tuition for continuing students

Brock University recently announced an amendment to their 2007/08 fee structure, temporarily exempting current students from a new flat-rate tuition fee until the 2008/09 year.  First-year students will still be subject to the new flat rate this fall, requiring all students taking four or more credits to pay a fixed price, and students taking 3.5 credits or less paying by the credit.  The delay will provide continuing students the opportunity to plan their program of study, and assess any potential financial impact a year before the fee change takes effect. Brock University News | Welland Tribune  

Lakehead needs campus location secured by September

Lakehead University is set to announce the site of its permanent Orillia campus within the next month.  Already having waited seven months for a decision by the Ontario government regarding the use of Huronia Regional Centre (HRC) property on Lake Simcoe, Lakehead is prepared to develop another site in order to open a permanent Orillia campus for the 2009-2010 school year.  Spending $2.25 million on an interim site with a capacity for 500 students, Lakehead anticipates 1000 students by the time the permanent site is built, with plans to eventually grow the facility to accommodate 5,000 students. Orillia Packet & Times 

US study says obese girls much less likely to attend college

A recent US study found that, in comparison to their trimmer peers, obese girls in the US were half as likely to enroll in college, especially when they attended secondary schools where obesity was relatively uncommon.  The study discussed theories that girls are more focused on their bodies and appearance than are boys, and that their self-perceptions have a greater effect on their education -- leading to increased instances of suicidal thoughts, negative self-images, and alcohol and marijuana use.  The report found that, regardless of their school context, obese boys did not differ from their peers in college enrolment. CBC 

Laptops a distraction in the classroom

A recent US study shows that students who brought laptops to class spent more time emailing, surfing the net, and posing a distraction to their peers -- ultimately resulting in a weaker understanding of course material and a 5% lower average grade.  As more campuses become wireless, the temptation for students is becoming greater, leading some law professors at the University of Victoria to ban laptops from the classroom altogether.  In response, students are placing the onus on professors to be more engaging with their material and to look for new instructional strategies to incorporate laptops into lessons. 

Foreign postgraduates inspected by UK universities

UK officials have recently confirmed plans to implement new security measures at UK universities to vet all non-EU postgraduates applying to study a range of potentially sensitive subjects.  Implemented on a voluntary basis in September before being made mandatory in November, the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was designed to "prevent states of proliferation concern using the UK as a training ground for their scientists and engineers." Subject areas targeted are expected to include biological sciences, chemistry, nuclear physics, electrical engineering and metallurgy.  740 postgraduate students were vetted in 2006 for courses with potential security implications. Islamic Republic News Agency | UK House of Commons statement 

61% of admissions offices use some form of social media

A recent US study based on detailed interviews with 453 admissions departments concluded that 61% of admissions offices use at least one form of social media.  Defined as blogs, social networking, message boards, online videos, wikis and podcasting, 55% of college admissions representatives claimed to be "very familiar" with social media tools, and 88% felt these tools were either "very important" or "somewhat important" to their future strategy.  In relation to yesterday's story regarding Oxford University's use of Facebook to catch and discipline students for misconduct, this report also found that 26% of admissions representatives used search engines and 21% used social networks to evaluate applicants. "The Game Has Changed" Report