Top Ten

August 27, 2008

Academica's Top Ten hits 3,000 subscribers!

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I started writing a nightly memo to Academica Group staff summarizing the interesting news of the day, to keep our research analysts, marketing consultants, and creative team up to date on the Canadian higher education landscape. (Basically, because we didn't have a bulletin board in the lunch room.) Just one month later, we renamed it Academica's Top Ten and started sharing it with a handful of our clients as an experiment. 
Almost 2 years and more than 500 issues later, you've made it clear that our daily take on new research findings, enrolment trends, marketing strategies and tactics provides a valuable service and a great way to start your day. As of this morning, I'm very proud to say we have more than 3,000 email subscribers, including university presidents, college marketing directors, student union executives, government policy analysts, high school guidance counsellors, and national media editors. We also have several thousand more readers through RSS feeds and on our website.  For a news service aimed primarily at Canadian college and university recruiters, the audience has exceeded our expectations!
I want to thank the Academica Group management team for their support from the beginning, and in particular my Communications Assistants (first Melissa and now Katherine) for their remarkable commitment and tireless enthusiasm. Last but definitely not least, THANK YOU for reading our daily miscellany, for commenting on stories on our website, for correcting us when we slip up, and for sending us your own news, rumours and observations. Your feedback and notes of encouragement really do keep us going!  -- Ken

OCPM releases report on MUHC expansion plan

On Tuesday, Montreal's Office of Public Consultation released its report on the McGill University Health Centre's plan to expand the Montreal General Hospital. Concerned about the expansion's potential impact on local traffic and landscape around Mount Royal, the office recommends re-evaluations of landscaping plans and the visual impact of a 7-storey addition, and that the number of parking spots does not exceed 945. The $250-million expansion is part of MUHC's Redevelopment Project, which has faced numerous construction delays. OCPM News Release | MUHC News Release | Montreal Gazette

Alberta funds 4,500 new student spaces

Through $73 million in funding, the Alberta government will have added 4,436 new student spaces at provincial institutions by the end of the year. This includes nearly 2,000 spaces at Mount Royal and Grant MacEwan Colleges to convert their respective existing university transfer and applied degree programs to bachelor's programs. Calgary institutions will garner 1,824 seats, while its Edmonton counterparts will receive 2,135. 40% of the seats are in the health care sector. Alberta News Release

$3 million for NOSM upgrades

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is providing the Northern Ontario School of Medicine with $3.3 million to refurbish space, purchase medical equipment, and improve Internet connections over the next 3 years. The funds will allow medical students to see patients in small, rural, and Aboriginal communities, while staying in contact with their professors through videoconferencing. The funds are part of the effort to train and keep doctors in Northern Ontario. NOSM has campuses in Sudbury and Thunder Bay, with the first class set to graduate in 2009. Ontario News Release | NOSM News Release | Northern Life

WLU-Brantford releases design of $20-million centre

Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus has released the design of the new $20-milion university centre, to open September 2009. The building will house a bookstore, cafeteria, office, lecture rooms, and residence space. Brantford sees the project as a vote of confidence in the city, with WLU having approved another $4 million to cover growing construction costs. Brantford Expositor

Fresh start for injured workers in Belleville

Progressive Training Centres, which has locations in London, Barrie, Thunder Bay, and the GTA, will be opening a new location in Belleville next week. The private career college aims to help injured workers re-enter the labour market through short-term skill acquisition programs. The first centre opened in Toronto in 1994. Belleville Intelligencer

UVSS workers vote to strike

On Monday, unionized employees of the University of Victoria's Students' Society voted in favour of a strike, but there is no immediate plan to follow through with job action. A spokesman for the United Steelworkers of America, which represents the workers, says wages was the major issue arising from the strike vote. The affected employees work a variety of jobs at uVic's Student Union Building, and are not directly employed by the university. Victoria Times-Colonist

Medals awarded to Dawson College shooting "heroes"

On September 19th, 6 individuals will be recognized for their bravery during the 2006 shooting at Dawson College in a ceremony at Rideau Hall. A Dawson security chief, school carpenter, and 3 Montreal police officers will receive Medals of Bravery for their actions. One Dawson student will be honoured with the Star of Courage. The Star of Courage is awarded for "acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril," while the Medal of Honour is given for "acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances." Canadian Press

Failure not an option for US college presidential searches

When it comes to the college presidential search in the US, labelling it as a "failure" or declaring it truly dead is not an option. Colleges would prefer to "extend" or "continue" the search, as the suggestion of failure could cause disharmony and embarrassment for institutions. Despite the potential criticism of declaring a search as "delayed," it would be wise for colleges not to settle, as a hasty decision could result in a truly failed search. Inside Higher Ed

"Helicopter parent" phenomenon takes off in the UK

The notion of "helicopter parents" is gaining momentum in the UK. The national university admissions service now allows parents to act as their children's "agents" when dealing with applications. There are cases of parents expecting to attend their children's university interviews. The issue has generated a flurry of comments on a BBC article. One university administrator cites the example of a father who phoned her to locate his 20-year-old daughter in the hallway because she couldn't find the administrator's office. BBC