Top Ten

August 3, 2007

Canadian education no longer available without debt

An article in Maclean’s suggests that the tradition of working to put yourself through school is no longer possible given the current price of higher education in Canada.  The average student makes approximately $4,650 a year, not enough to afford an average tuition of $4,970 plus living expenses. Full-time students are borrowing an average of $7,500 each year to fund their education. Maclean's

York leads build of Mars space weather station

A meteorological instrument developed by a Canadian team lead by YorkU will head to Mars on Saturday with NASA’s Phoenix Mission.  York University space scientists lead a Canadian team that designed and built a sophisticated weather station that will gather critical data about the weather and climate on Mars.  The project was possible thanks to $37 million in funding from the Candian Space Agency. York News Release

Mount Allison University launches new recruitment microsite

Mount Allison University has launched a new prospective student microsite.  The site makes great use of engaging interactive content for future students, including student-produced videos about campus life, blogs, profiles and a student research showcase.  The site also has a thorough navigation structure covering all the options that a prospective student might be looking for.  Calls to action, which are critical, such as “Apply now” and “Request info” also help to drive student activity on the site. | Email News Release

SIAST students say loans do not accommodate cost of living

The CBC has picked up on Saskatoon’s housing “crunch” and the impact it is having on students.  Saskatoon’s housing market recently exploded, pushing prices sky-high. SIAST’s student association president says that loans do not provide enough to cover the sudden jump in rent costs. CBC

Canadian school websites set international standards

Mohawk College’s presidential blog has been added to a list of 16 similar blogs in North America.  President MaryLynn West-Moynes has been blogging since October 2006, and most recently has used her blog to discuss a new business program at the college in language “much nicer than what you’d expect to find in a formal press release.”  Recently at the EduWeb 2007 conference in Baltimore, several Canadian schools were commended for effective use of online and social media including Memorial University’s redesigned website as well as uManitoba’s social network site, Virtual Learning Commons.  Bob Johnson | Memorial University | Virtual Learning Commons

Nova Scotia woman campaigns against wireless networks

A woman who claims to have heightened sensitivity to the electromagnetic fields created by cell phones and wireless internet networks (she has a doctor's note) is worried about the increasing number of schools setting up wireless on campus.  Her children are also sensitive to wireless radiation and she has raised concerns over Acadia’s wireless network where her daughter is a current student.  While the daughter completed a year at Acadia, her mother believes the wireless network interfered with her daughter’s memory and concentration while at school.  NovaNews

Editorial questions the Sir Wilfred Grenfell's bid for independence

“Do we need another university?” asks an editorial of the Newfoundland and Labrador community.  The article commends Sir Wilfred Grenfell College for offering programs that are not available at Memorial University’s campus in St. John’s, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts, but wonders if this is enough to merit the expense of creating a second independent university.  The author suggests that there simply aren’t enough students to fill two schools and suggests that government funds may be better spent offsetting living costs incurred by students. Tuition fees at Memorial and Sir Wilfred are among the lowest in Canada.  Advertiser (Editorial)

Web 2.0 marketing engages Millennials' love of being heard

Gen X was cynical, and Millennials are self-absorbed, according to a recent article.  This new generation of students like to be seen: photographed, published, blogged, and displayed. The lure of being “seen” makes blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 tools attractive to Millennials, resulting in an effective way to engage students.  Some schools are sending applicants log-ins to campus social network sites as part of their acceptance package: allowing prospectives to connect with each other, current students and learn about the campus.  CNet News

Employers and business students struggle over MBA curriculum

A survey of 8,600 managers and 373 MBA programs reports that what employers want MBA students to learn and what business schools actually teach in the curriculum is often not in synch. Corporate recruiters want grads with people-oriented skills such as leadership and communication, however students are pushing schools for functional and technical content.  “Research shows that students increasingly harbor negative attitudes toward such soft skills” because they “won’t get them jobs.” Students are essentially the “customers” for business schools, but according to employers, in this case the customer is having a negative impact on the value of his/her education.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Discourage drinking by making it "lame"

Alcohol is a hot topic on most campuses, especially at this time of year as schools prepare for a class of young, green freshman striking out on their own for the first time.  A US school is taking a new approach to managing issues surrounding alcohol on campus and is trying to make binge drinking “unfashionable” by sending teachers to join the parties. Faculty will serve as bartenders at dorm events and students will be invited to faculty cocktail evenings.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)