Top Ten

September 4, 2007

$38 million for Alberta's researchers

Alberta Ingenuity has announced $38 million in funding for the province's researchers.  Over the last 6 years, Ingenuity has invested $68 million in student scholarships, centres and institutes programs, new faculty awards, and industry programs. The most recent funding announcement will be divided between the province's universities and industries - a summary of research stories appears in the media release.  Alberta Ingenuity News Release | uLethbridge News Release

uFredericton launches online IT eMBA

The University of Fredericton is launching a new online executive MBA program aiming at IT professionals who want to pump up their leadership skills. The program will focus on soft skills training such as leadership and relationship management, and begins this Fall. Several associations for IT professionals have been awarded bursaries and scholarships for the new program. itWorldCanada

Brock's new building earns Silver for "greening"

Brock University has earned the third silver LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) in Ontario and the seventh in Canada. The Canadian Green Building Council awarded the certification after confirming that the building included high thermal efficiency boilers and resistant walls and roof, double-glazed e-coating windows, dual-flush toilets, rainwater collection and 30% regional material-use -- among other stringent criteria.  Brock News Release

NDP party campaigns against high interest on student loans

Canada's New Democrat Party has launched a national campaign to fix student aid.  The party feels that students struggling under heavy debt loads were left out of a federal loan review.  Students "get slapped on the way in with unaffordable tuition fees, and on the way out with unreasonable interest rates on the loans they were forced to take out. These are major roadblocks to postsecondary education."  The party proposes to increase grants and lower interest rates, among other solutions. NDP News Release  

Students increasingly choose to commute

75% of freshman students will commute to university instead of experiencing residence life -- perhaps because "they've got it too good at home," according to UWO sociology Prof Jim Coté. Why give up free laundry, big-screen TV, and home-cooked meals? The surging youth cohort predicted for the GTA will largely be fuelled by immigration, and culturally those students tend to prefer commuting to PSE. The challenge is to find a way to give commuter students the same sort of life-changing experience that dorm life offered previous generations. The National Post

Business students value opportunity more than paycheques

A recent study of 20,000 college and university business students by professors from Trent and York U investigates the top considerations of business students when seeking their first job. Overall, "career advancement" is the number one concern, followed by learning opportunities and "good people to work with." Financial compensation was down the list at number six, and the employer's commitment to social responsibility was second-last. The Toronto Sun

Classroom teaching methods archaic

According to some, university teaching methods are "pre-Gutenberg" and have not "fundamentally advanced in hundreds of years."  Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics, maintains that "the entire model of pedagogy is wrong for young people." Students are forced into a world of handwritten notes and stacks of photocopied articles, when they could be downloading the latest research and saving trees by reading online.  Mohamed Ally, director of IS at Athabasca University, speculates on what truly modern delivery of education could look like in The Globe & Mail

Two-thirds of part-time students drop out of school

After 3 years at school, 69% of part-time students who started in 2003-04 dropped out of higher education without completing their programs. By comparison, only 17% of full-time students at 4-year colleges, and 40% of students at 2-year colleges, had left without a degree. Part-time students repeatedly have been shown to have lower graduation and retention rates than their peers, and the situation is showing little to no improvement over time.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Widgets put school news on student desktops

Widgets or gadgets are mini applications installed onto your desktop that give users quick access to useful services.  The Weather Network offers a widget that provides real-time temperature readings in your community.  Google and Yahoo! both offer a wide variety of free widgets as well. Chicago's Saint Xavier University uses the Yahoo! widget system to provide live event updates on student/faculty desktops.  uTampa offers a widget that shows you how many unread emails are sitting on your campus account.  Other schools offer sports updates.  Intermedia | uTampa Email widget

Radio ads fall second to online campaigns

US radio ad spending has increased 1.5% since last year, to a total of $20.4 billion.  Online advertising, however, has taken the lead with $21.7 billion -- a 22% increase since last year. US adults are reported to spend more time with Internet and TV than with their radios, but experts suggest keeping radio in the budget, using it as a complement to your online ads.  Biz Report