Top Ten

January 29, 2008

COU wants billions to catch up with US institutions

The Council of Ontario Universities says $1.6 billion is needed to improve labs, libraries and classrooms in Ontario.  Billions in maintenance has been deferred, causing Canadian institutions to "lag behind their American counterparts."  COU is also calling on Ontario to invest more in graduates students, to generate enough academics to replace retiring boomer professors.

Laurentian launches fundraising campaign with $22 million

Laurentian University has started its $50-million 50th anniversary fundraising campaign with a $4.5-million donation from Vale Inco. The gift will fund the Living with Lakes Centre, which will be renamed to carry the Vale Inco name.  "The Next 50" campaign starts off not only with $4.5 million for the lake centre, but also $10 million towards the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, and $6.5 million from students towards a new student recreation facility. 

Financial Times includes 6 Canadian MBA programs in global rankings

At #40, the University of Toronto's Rotman School was Canada's highest-ranked MBA program in the 2008 Financial Times Global MBA rankings.  York University's Schulich followed at #48, and the University of Western Ontario's Ivey school came in at #53.  uAlberta's MBA program ranked #88, followed by UBC's Sauder and McGill's Desautels at #92 and #96 respectively.  While other Canadian schools dropped in this year's rankings, uAlberta's Alberta School of Business climbed 13 places. 

Double-digit application growth at Sault College

Less than a year after Academica Group completed our strategic marketing work with Sault College, in Sault Ste Marie Ontario, we're delighted to report that they have achieved a 16% increase in applications over last January! Sault College implemented new staff and structure, rolled out new-look materials, and a team of volunteers to call every single applicant, to show them that they are valued and that Sault College is a friendly place. 

CSL collectors pursue families of deceased students

Student loans continue to be collected even after borrowers pass away, according to new data.  Critics are asking Ottawa to do away with posthumous collections, which often result in collection agencies contacting grieving parents for money owed.  Just over $14,000 has been collected from deceased borrowers over the last 6 years.

uAlberta hosts seven living PMs

As part of the University of Alberta's centenary celebrations, all six living former prime ministers and current PM Stephen Harper will be dropping by the campus.  uAlberta's president, Indira Samarasekera, started brainstorming the event more than two years ago.  The inspiration behind the event was to recognize and honour Canada's former leaders, similar to the way US former presidents are treated.  Brian Mulroney was the first to sign on.

MSVU signs new agreement with NSCC

Mount Saint Vincent University has signed an agreement with Nova Scotia Community College that will give Nova Scotia's tourism students a university option. NSCC Tourism Management students will qualify to transfer to MSVU in their third year, with up to 50% of their degree requirements fulfilled.  Tourism is the world's "fastest-growing economic sector."

McDonald's restaurants in UK can issue credentials

McDonald's, Network Rail and Flybe airlines have officially been vested with the power to grant the equivalent of high school qualifications in Britain.  They can develop courses and set up A-level exams equivalent to those taken by graduating secondary students, and used to determine PSE admission.  (Universities will have to decide whether to accept them as prerequisites.)  McDonald's plans on offering a "basic shift manager" course.

Trend to merge campus libraries and IT departments

Increasingly, US colleges are merging libraries and information-technology departments to improve service and communication gaps between the two.  At Xavier University, staff in both departments are working side by side on data and web applications, and the library is being remodeled into a "warehouse for books."  With the two departments becoming more and more blurred, as many as 36 US campuses have carried out similar mergers. 

Students, alumni seem to prefer amateur video 9 to 1

Fresno State University recently asked students and alumni to submit videos as part of an "I Am Fresno State" video campaign.  Professional videos were used as initial content, to populate the site until user-generated videos were submitted.  Despite being online longer, the professional vids earned only an average of 237 views -- compared to an average of 1,883 earned by the user-generated videos.