Top Ten

August 8, 2007

Back to work at Bishop's with tentative agreement

Bishop's University and its union signed a tentative agreement on Monday night, ending the strike of non-academic staff and the lock-out of unionized employees at the university. All university activities are to resume as normal this morning.  The upcoming Fall term is expected to start according to schedule on September 1st.  Bishop’ s News Release | Canoe News

uCalgary, SAIT ask for help housing students

The University of Calgary and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are asking the Calgary community to help offset a student housing shortage. "It's important that we work together as a community to assist young people as they strive to continue their education. Creative solutions are required." A new SAIT residence is no longer expected to be ready for the Fall term, and vacancy rates in Calgary are at an all-time low. uCalgary News Release | AM 770

Canadian students struggle to write MCAT

The latest round of computerized MCAT tests struggled with computer glitches and malfunctions.  Only a fixed number of locations are equipped to offer the new digital test, and many Canadian students travelled hundreds of kilometers, sometimes across provincial borders, to get a spot for the August round of testing.  Many Canadian students prefer to take the test in August rather than earlier in the year, and the capacity was "barely half what it needed to be." Maclean's

Ryerson continues as accredited engineering school

The Canadian Engineering Accrediation Board has renewed accreditation to Ryerson University's 7 engineering programs. With CEAB accreditation, Ryerson's graduates leave school with the requirements necessary to register as professional engineers in Canada. Ryerson has been accredited by CEAB since 1991. Ryerson News Release

Students and schools increasingly rely on private funding

A worldwide shift from public to private financing of PSE is documented in a new report indicating that more students are using personal and family funds to pay for school. Institutions themselves are also increasingly seeking private financing, industry collaborations and partnerships.  "There is a global shift in understanding that higher education has public and private benefits, and that there should be public and private participation in paying for it."  Countries in Europe , Latin America , and Africa have traditionally offered free public university and, at times, experience "violent" student protests when fees are suggested.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Female enrolment up in Engineering, Technology

US engineering colleges and technology institutions have seen notable increases in female enrolment.  Admissions officers attribute the surge partly to "beefed-up outreach efforts."  Women tend to enrol in programs relating to life sciences, biomedical engineering, and environmental engineering.  "Elite" institutes such as MIT or the California Institute of Technology, as well as mid-level institutions, are all seeing the increase in female enrolment -- women represented 44% of undergrads at MIT last year.  Inside Higher Education

Student retention highly influenced by "fitting in"

Only 57% of newUS freshmen at private institutions successfully complete their degrees. At public schools, only 40% graduate. A new report suggests that retention "pivots on the social and academic integration of that person into the college community." Strong faculty support and extracurricular activities are very important in creating a sense of "fitting in" for students. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

More students taking a "gap year"

The number of high school grads who choose to defer PSE is on the rise. Their reasons range from searching for "enlightenment" to escaping the stress of competition for marks and success.  Some simply don't know what they want to do, and take the time rather than forcing a decision.  Some US colleges ask deferring students to demonstrate improvement in a skill area or perform a public service during their time off.  The Washington Post 

Worldwide internet use declined slightly in June

The number of active home internet users in 10 countries tracked by Nielsen dipped 0.46% between May and June 2007.  Spain, the UK, Switzerland, France and Italy all saw a decrease in the number of users. Brazil , Germany , Australia , the US and Japan all saw increases. The decrease amounts to roughly 1.5 million internet users. No word on whether this is a seasonal pattern, or a plateau in net growth. ClickZ

Sweden might close 9 public universities

The newly-elected chancellor of Sweden 's National Agency for Higher Education has proposed reducing its state-run universities from 14 to "no more than 5."  It is hoped that paring down the system will improve quality, allowing for Sweden 's graduates to better compete with those from other leading nations.  Denmark and Finland have already begun acting on a similar strategy. The Local (Sweden)