Top Ten

April 1, 2008

$66-million bursary program, 3-year tuition freeze for Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's provincial government has announced a 3-year tuition freeze at current levels, as part of an effort to reduce tuition to the national average. The Nova Scotia University Student Bursary is a new $66-million program introduced to reduce the cost of attending university.  A memorandum of understanding commits to increased funding for the universities from the province.  Students will receive up to $1,283 each through the program.  NS News Release | Maclean's | The Globe & Mail | CBC

New Innovation Park at Queen's University announced

Queen's University has confirmed plans to build an innovative technology park on 49 acres of vacant land adjacent to the Novelis Inc. research and development centre in Kingston. The Innovation Park will serve as a co-location centre for technology transfer and public-private partnerships with industry, particularly in the areas of alternative energy and environmental technologies, bioprocessing and bioenergy, and advanced materials. The land was purchased for $5.3 million.  Queen's News Release

SFU receives $13 million for School for Contemporary Arts

Yesterday, Simon Fraser University received $13.3 million in provincial funding towards its new $72-million School for Contemporary Arts.  The School plans to fill 5 floors with public space, performance venues, teaching studios, a 400-seat theatre, and a multimedia lounge.  It also plans to increase economic activity in downtown Vancouver by as much as $7.5 million annually.  BC News Release

Wilfrid Laurier considers major new campus in Milton

Wilfrid Laurier University announced yesterday that it is exploring a possible new campus on 150 acres of land adjacent to the Niagara escarpment, on the southwest side of Milton Ontario, the fastest-growing municipality in Canada. Laurier president Max Blouw says, “University demand is expected to continue growing in Ontario, fueled in part by population growth in the Greater Toronto Area... Milton is therefore an excellent location for a university campus, and Laurier — with our success developing satellite campuses in Brantford, Kitchener and downtown Toronto — is an experienced university partner.” Dr. Blouw also has experience building the University of Northern British Columbia from a "greenfield" site. Laurier media release

New study profiles Canada's career college students

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation has just released a new study on students attending Canada's private career colleges.  72% are women, with an average age of 29.  60% took a break after high school.  Less than 10% would prefer to attend university.  More than half anticipate carrying a debt load of $10,000 or more -- compared to only one-third of public PSE students.  Career college students are less likely to have family financial support, more likely to have dependents, and were more dependent on government financial aid.  CMSF News Release | The Globe & Mail

York University's Jewish holidays called discriminatory

An investigator for the Ontario Human Rights Commission has concluded that York University's policy of cancelling classes on Jewish holidays discriminates against students of other religions.  For the past 34 years, York has cancelled 3 days of classes each year for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  A postal-code analysis suggests that 5.8% of York's student population is Jewish, 4.8% Muslim, 34.9% Catholic and 22.1% Protestant.  The Toronto Star | Maclean's

Correction: April 3, 2008
No Human Rights ruling as yet on Jewish holidays: On Tuesday, we noted stories in the Toronto Star and Maclean's that suggested an Ontario Human Rights Commission investigator had made a "ruling" finding York University's observance of Jewish holidays discriminatory. The Commission is correcting these reports, indicating that the case has not yet come before the Commissioners for a decision. The parties have received a case report prepared by Commission staff, which summarizes the results of an investigation, and makes no recommendation one way or the other. CNW 


McMaster invests in classroom upgrades

McMaster University has announced a million-dollar classroom renewal project.  50 classrooms will be upgraded with new technologies such as interactive whiteboards, touch screens, streaming audio video, and document cameras.  "It's like Christmas.  This is the most money we've had at one time to improve technologies."  McMaster news release

York University home to most GTA activity on eBay

York University's postal code is Toronto's most active community on eBay.  eBay Canada guesses that the activity is coming mostly from students, and reports that most of the purchases are made in the games category.  Shirts and tops are the most common items posted for sale from the campus. Overall top ranking communities are Belle River Ontario, Sooke BC, Kemptville Ontario, and Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The Toronto Star | eBay community counts | eBay media release (PDF)

Wilkes University builds on innovative conversion campaign

Last April, we reported on an aggressive conversion campaign by Pennsylvania's Wilkes University, including billboards, mall posters, cable ads and MySpace profiles focused on 6 individual applicants to the school.  This year's campaign is even more aggressive, with MTV commercials and pizza box ads like: "Justin Chung of Council Rock South.  As a weightlifter, you never push your limits without a spotter to help.  Wilkes University feels the same way about your education. (We just use less talc.)"  One Wilkes applicant reports that the campaign has made him feel famous, and that the girls like it.  Wilkes prides itself on offering personal attention to its 23,000 students.  The Philadelphia Inquirer | Sample TV spot (Quicktime)

Academica Group presents SkoolPool™ in Atlantic City this July

Phil Bliss and Melissa Cheater have been invited to present at the 2008 eduWEB Conference this July in Atlantic City. The conference draws 300 higher ed web and marketing professionals from across North America each year. Phil and Melissa will be presenting "SkoolPool: A Facebook Application for Students and Schools." The presentation will sum up our learning from 12 months of the SkoolPool experiment, including the effectiveness of various online marketing strategies. We hope to see you there! eduWEB Conference | Presentation Schedule