Top Ten

August 10, 2007

BC schools struggle to meet enrolment targets

An increased number of institutions and program choice, combined with a declining population of senior high school students, might mean that some BC colleges will have empty seats this fall.  Enrolment is expected to decline until 2014, although UBC and SFU report that numbers for this fall do not yet show the drop. UBC apparently lowered its admission averages in order to meet its enrolment target, however. The Province | CBC 

uWaterloo accommodates extra students with Saturday classes

120 students at uWaterloo have been scheduled into Saturday morning classes.  A rush of acceptances six hours before the deadline has forced the university to accommodate 724 more students than expected.  A lab technician is being hired to cover the Saturday classes, which will only include biology labs (some of which are prerequisites for upper year courses).  As of yesterday, only medical or religious reasons were being accepted for transfers into weekday labs.  First-year students are given priority over second year students.  The KW Record 

Canadian aboriginal colleges struggle with limited funding

The First Nations Technical Institute, located on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, is bubbling over capacity with 400 students across 7 core programs.  FNTI is hoping to offer an additional 4 programs, but will require public funding to do so.  FNTI and Canada's 8 other aboriginal PSE institutions receive funding per student that is equal to about one-fifth of what mainstream colleges receive. The Belleville Intelligencer (Editorial)

Laurentian receives $3 million for infrastructure

$3 million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund has been awarded to Laurentian University’s environmental research and mechanical engineering programs.  $2 million will fund the Living with Lakes Centre in Aquatic Restoration, the first institutional building in Canada to be built according to LEED's platinum standard.  $1 million will buy new equipment and fund upgrades to labs, to allow expansion of the mechanical engineering program.  Northern Life 

StFX adopts innovative student information solution

St. Francis Xavier University has signed up for Digital Recruit, an innovative solution that uses a Digital Pen and special paper to capture student information at University Fairs and during high school visits.  The system synchs in with a CRM suite that enables personalized emails and other communications.  StFX joins Ryerson University as the only 2 schools in Canada that have adopted this new technology to date.  Digital Recruit eliminates manual data entry created when students fill out traditional information or inquiry forms.  (Email News Release)

Massachusetts Governor wants free PSE

The Governor of Massachusetts would like to see free education, including college, for all his citizens within the next 10 years. In an attempt to step away from every preconception regarding education, "everything is on the table" from longer school days to changes in the curriculum.  The Boston Globe 

US initiative to improve math & science education

The National Science Board (US) has announced a "national action plan" to drive major improvements in the teaching of science and mathematics.  An increase in demand for technical knowledge requires stronger quantitative skills and scientific literacy.  The PSE system is being asked to produce teachers better trained in science content and methods of teaching it effectively.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Capital campaign prompts first Oxford reunion

The University of Oxford hopes for a last-minute surge in interest for their first campus-wide alumni event.  Prior to now, Oxford's alumni efforts have been largely contained within each of its 39 colleges, but now with an eye turned toward private donations, the university is launching its first general alumni event.  So far about 700 "old members" have registered for the event, including 100 from North America.  A North American Oxford reunion in 2006 drew 800 alum from Canada and the US.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Second Life helps helicopter parents keep in touch

A Chronicle of Higher Education podcast interviewed Tom Boellstorff, anthropologist and author of Coming of Age in Second Life, who has spent the last 2.5 years exploring the virtual world created by Linden Labs.  Virtual worlds allow users to overcome real-world obstacles: those with autism are able to socialize comfortably through the medium, and individuals with physical disabilities enjoy the same mobility as everyone else. Families collaboratively build virtual Second Life homes, and then spend time together virtually when the children go off to college. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Portal sites lose ad dollars to Facebook

Social networking sites are benefitting from an increase in ad dollars knocking at their doors; in many cases, budgets set aside for portal sites are being transferred to network sites instead.  MySpace and Facebook represent 72% of social network advertising in the US.  Facebook has climbed to 31 million users, from 8.9 million a year ago.  By 2011 it is estimated that $2.5 billion a year will be spent on social network site advertising. eMarketer