Top Ten

October 10, 2007

Academica Group launches new Facebook research application

Several months ago, our market research team sat down with our new web technology group to brainstorm the perfect Facebook application for college and university applicants. After beta-testing with a youth panel, "SkoolPool™" has officially launched!  Facebook users can display on their profile the colleges and universities they are considering, applying to, or accepted by -- and why! SkoolPool™ will automatically update their network when they get an offer or change their mind, and allow them to compare notes with their friends.

Saskatchewan report on PSE calls for lower tuition and increased accessibility

The McCall report on PSE accessibility in Saskatchewan was released yesterday, and calls for increased accessibility, affordability and excellence.  12 priority recommendations set out by the report include: reducing tuition fees, expanding training opportunities, increasing scholarships, improving access for aboriginal learners, improving student financial assistance, more learner support, and building connections between education and employment.

UBC receives order to improve working conditions in Strangway building

The University of British Columbia has been issued 2 orders following complaints about the indoor air quality of one of its buildings.  UBC was asked to ensure that temperature and humidity levels were maintained within acceptable comfort ranges by WorkSafeBC, and was required to notify in writing of the steps being taken to correct the situation.  Workers in the David Strangway building, which houses up to 200 faculty, have been experiencing exhaustion, fatigue, headaches, tiredness, lethargy, migraines and respiratory problems, and report temperatures that exceed 35 degrees Celsius.

Former Carleton academic receives Nobel Prize for Physics

Dr. Peter Grünberg, a former Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University, has won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics.  Dr. Grünberg and French scientist, Albert Fert, received the award for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance, considered "one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology."  Dr. Grünberg has previously won several other prizes, including the Future Prize of the German Federal President in 1998, and European Inventor of the Year in 2006.

Sherbrooke and Dawson launch new Confucius Institute

Université de Sherbrooke and Dawson College have established the Confucius Institute of Quebec, in partnership with Beijing Normal University.  There are more than 150 Confucius centres in the world, offering courses on Chinese language, culture, medicine and life.  This is just one of many international partnerships being made by Canadian universities.  Foreign student enrolment is increasing as well with approximately 70,000 full-time foreign students on Canadian campuses (2006, AUCC). 

Staff at Guelph, Trent prepare to strike in October

Ontario may see strikes at both the University of Guelph and Trent University over the next month, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.  CUPE Ontario represents 20,000 university workers, and claims these employees bear the brunt of underfunding in Ontario's higher education system.  Both the Liberal and Conservative parties are accused of "starving universities of funds, leading administrations to privatize services, contract out work, defer maintenance and short-change university workers." 

Associations throw weight of 600,000 students behind CMSF extension

With the mandate of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation set to expire in 2009, students and other interested groups are starting to talk about the foundation's future.  Most parties support an extension of the current CMSF mandate, however the Canadian Federation of Students is hoping that a new model for dispersing funds to students will be put into place.  7 student alliances, including the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the Canadian Association of Student Associations have sided against CFS and are calling for a commitment to extend CMSF's current mandate.

Mount Allison introduces student bloggers

Through their "My MTA" microsite, Mount Allison University has launched its 2007-2008 campaign of student bloggers.  The 2,000 student school has recruited 12 current students in various programs to document their time at Mount Allison through the recruitment microsite.  The site also includes student videos and profiles of student research. 

Helicopter parents struggle to deal with empty nests is a website created to support parents through the separation process when kids are sent off to college or university.  The site's creator says that parents are less and less likely to be comfortable with separation from their children in a generation where sons and daughters are often the centre of a helicopter parent's propeller, so to speak.  One parent called into the the site and reported having missed 3 days of work because she was unable to get out of bed, due to grief over her daughter's departure. 

Applicant Thank-You notes the newest trend

The New York Times reports that US college admissions officers are being hit with a wave of thank-you notes, the newest trend in applicant attempts to put their best foot forward.  Some students use thank-you notes as a sort of cover letter and include catchy slogans, while others are written on campus stationery to show that students belong on campus -- and the odd one asks to be rejected.  College tour guides and alumni -- anyone who is likely to be involved in the interview process -- are receiving as many as 60 thank-you letters per day.