Top Ten

November 8, 2007

9 Dead in Helsinki high school shooting

Yesterday an 18-year-old male shot and killed 2 girls, 5 boys, the headmistress, and himself at Jokela High in Tuusula, near Helsinki Finland. 10 others were injured. The shooting was planned out in graphic videos posted on YouTube; since the shooting, YouTube appears to have removed 89 of his videos. It is the first school shooting in Finland since 1989.

Maclean's university rankings hits the stands today

 If you got up early enough this morning, you may already have laid your hands on the 2007 edition of Maclean's annual university rankings issue.  This year's is claimed to be "the biggest ever" edition of the popular issue.  Limited content will be available online through the Maclean's website -- like the article on university recruitment marketing.

Leaders hope to triple Aboriginal graduation rates

Senior staff from 20 Canadian universities met with Assembly of First Nations and Metis National Council leaders in Winnipeg yesterday to launch a plan to increase the number of aboriginal graduates at Canadian universities. The aboriginal population is young, and represents a valuable asset if fully educated and trained. Currently, just 4% of Canada's aboriginal population has a university degree, and almost 50% of working-age aboriginal Canadians have not completed high school.

Mount Royal to benefit from Calgary LRT expansion

The City of Calgary has committed $671 million to expanding the LRT train system, including a west route that might stop by Mount Royal College. The total cost of the west leg is estimated at $700 million.  The possible routings will be discussed by the city later in November, and may be dependent on what land the city is able to acquire.

Ontario announces $19 million for Pathways to Education

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is applauding the Ontario government for increasing funding to the "Pathways to Education" outreach program, to extend it in Toronto, Kitchener and Ottawa over the next 4 years.  The program has dramatically reduced the high school drop-out rate in Regent Park (Toronto) from 56% to 10%, and claims credit for quadrupling the number of young people in the area attending college or university, from 20% to 80%. 

CNA extends international engineering agreement

Newfoundland and Labrador's College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has extended its memorandum of understanding with the Indiana Purdue University at Indianapolis. The agreement gives CNA engineering grads the opportunity to transfer credits to the US institution and continue their education with a bachelors or masters degree through IUPUI's construction engineering management technology program.  Purdue University is well-known in the US, and its recognition of CNA's curriculum carries significant international credibility.

Canada no longer a top ten destination for students

A prospective foreign student describes Canada's education system as "very good and famous."  She also cites our country's beautiful scenery and clean environment as "safer than the US."  So why does Canada attract just 3% of international students? Canada used to rank in the top 5 destinations for international students, but is now down to #14. According to a Columbia College rep, "other countries are beating us to the punch.  We're so, so far behind Australia, so behind the US or the UK."

CFS and CASA lobby for student issues

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) are marching on the government with a call for more attention to student concerns.  The associations are the two largest student-advocacy groups in the country.  CFS met with members of parliament and senators in October, and CASA plans to follow suit in November.  While protest can be effective, the associations are hoping to enact change through lobbying instead -- meeting with as many members of government as possible to get everyone talking about PSE.

Nipissing, Humber and UOIT use Facebook groups to reach students

Nipissing University has launched a new Facebook group called "Future Students of Nipissing University."  The group includes photos, videos, and copy highlighting the school's Globe & Mail report card "A."  To the best of our knowledge, Humber College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology have also started "official" groups on Facebook -- in addition to groups created by students (just key in "2011" and you'll find one for almost every school you can think of).  Facebook offers sponsored group pages that allow a slicker layout and rich-media content.  Their new ad platform (announced yesterday) also puts a new product on the market, "Facebook Pages."

England considers fining drop-outs

England is seeing more and more students drop out of high school after writing their General Certificates of Secondary Education, preferring work or "hanging out" to continued education.  A new regulation that will make itself known sometime after 2013 proposes that students between 16 and 18 be required to go to school, or be in training for a trade.  Otherwise, they will face a fine.  It is estimated that 10% of this age group is neither currently employed nor in school.