Top Ten

September 10, 2007

$17.5 million more for adult learning and literacy in BC

On Friday, British Columbia announced an additional $17.5 million in funding under its ReadNow BC program, to make basic adult education tuition-free, and in some cases pay for books, transportation and childcare. Effective immediately, students can take free courses online through the province's virtual school, Starting in January, adult learners will be able to take free basic courses at 18 public PSEs in BC. In all, BC has invested $44.5 million in the program. BC News Release | LearnNowBC 

Parties, federations and alliances weigh in on Ontario's PSE

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is happy to see its recommendations for higher education reflected in the Liberal party's election platform.  The Canadian Federation of Students feels the Liberal platform fails PSE students with its proposed tuition increases. The NDP are promising a tuition freeze, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees is calling for parties to stop under-funding PSE, and has joined Carleton staff on the picket lines. The Council of Ontario Universities is happy that Ontario's major parties are focusing on PSE during their campaigns. OUSA News Release | CFS News Release | T he Canadian | CUPE News Release | COU News Release

UOIT / Durham to open new athletics facility

UOIT and Durham College are launching their new Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC) expansion with a grand opening ceremony this Wednesday. The 90,000-square-foot expansion offers state-of-the-art athletic, fitness, and health facilities designed to serve students and staff at both institutions, as well as the local community.  UOIT News Release 

uWinnipeg aims for accessibility to non-traditional students

Late last week, the University of Winnipeg released the final report of its Access Task Force, and an action plan for the next 24 months. 16 initiatives are recommended to make PSE universally accessible, including the creation of Opportunity Fund bursaries, flexible schedules that do not require adult learners to be on campus 9 to 5, and non-traditional approaches like the new Urban & Inner-City Studies major.  uWinn News Release | Final ATF Report (23 page PDF)

Half of Canadian university students underestimated their expenses

A recent poll of 1,017 current university students commissioned by BMO Bank of Montreal found that more than 50% underestimated their costs by as much as 34%.  While costs for students studying away from home can typically run to $11,000 per year, the majority of students had budgeted $9,000 or less.  Almost as many students admit to running out of money. "Students accept that debt will be a way of life after university," and show few signs of trying to minimize future debt by budgeting themselves early in their programs.  BMO News Release

Demand for skills pushes Ontario college enrolment up

St. Clair College has announced an 11.7% enrolment increase for the 2007/08 school year. In Ontario, first-year college enrolment increased by an average of 8.3%.  The surge in college enrolment reflects that employers increasingly expect and demand formal training and education: "They need employees with skills and knowledge who can hit the ground running."  The Windsor Star

Orillia becoming a "university town"

The number of university degree programs offered in Orillia, Ontario is on the rise.  Lakehead University’s downtown Orillia campus will bring in 300 new students this term, and another 300 will come for degree programs offered at Georgian College via partnerships with Laurentian and York Universities.  Lakehead plans to expand its Orillia campus to as many as 5,000 students within the next 15 years. Georgian expects rapid growth in its programs as well.  Orillia Packet & Times

Podcasts and chat groups are replacing the lecture hall

While many schools are struggling to remind students that higher education requires classroom attendance, some innovators are engaging Millennials with video podcast lectures and classroom "clickers." The Intro to Psychology class at McMaster University is one of the largest, with 3,000 students, and its professor will post lectures online, available only to students, and only for a limited time -- to discourage last-minute cramming.  Each lecture is linked to visual slides, practice quizzes and chats, and also includes search functionality. The Globe & Mail

Bad parenting blamed for "clueless and entitled" generation

In a lengthy rant about modern "professional parents," author Tom McGrath laments parental over-involvement in the college application process. For just $5,000 US, parents hire SAT tutors who teach kids to answer questions correctly without reading the questions at all. For a few thousand more, college advisors help students find the right "fit," based on the narcissistic assumption that the student is perfect just the way they are. Some parents hack into their child's email account to respond to university correspondence. Millennials are paradoxically more sophisticated and less mature than ever. If a child is mature enough to attend college, he asks, shouldn't she be able to manage the application process? Philadelphia magazine 

"Stealth" prospects stay anonymous while checking out colleges

A recent survey of more than 1,000 US high school seniors by the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) found that 61% think it's "hot" to establish college program info pages on social networking sites such as Facebook. That being said, only 20% of respondents checked out a school on Facebook or MySpace, and just 33% used network sites to get in touch with current students.  27% have read a current student blog, and almost half of the rest would like to in future.  Increasingly, prospective students expect to remain anonymous, and avoid making official contact with schools until they actually apply. E-Expectations Senior Edition (8-page PDF)