Top Ten

August 29, 2008

Schools prepare for the return of town/gown tensions

As students pour back onto campuses and into off-campus housing, institutions are preparing to deal with potentially rowdy behaviour. Fanshawe College is taking a proactive approach to better relations with its off-campus neighbours, sending students out to educate their peers about safe partying and local noise bylaws. Dalhousie University is working closely with Halifax Regional Police for a fourth year on "Operation Fall Back," which brings heightened police presence, a dedicated squad car, and rapid response time to student neighbourhoods. (Dal and McMaster University are apparently the only two universities in Canada using this approach.) DalNews | London Free Press 

CUFA feuds with BC government over education funding

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC, and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, published duelling op-ed pieces in the Vancouver Sun this week. (Echoing earlier arguments with the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators.) On Monday, the CUFA president lamented the decline in per-student funding since 2001. On Tuesday, the Minister fired back with an op-ed piece, insisting that the per-student funding has actually been increased. Both parties allegedly used accurate figures to draw their conclusions, leaving many to wonder who is in the right. Maclean’s | CUFA Op-Ed | Ministry Op-Ed

University of Sudbury strike appears to be over

On Wednesday at noon, faculty at the University of Sudbury ended their strike and reached a tentative agreement with the university administration. Their union, the Laurentian University Faculty Association, has scheduled a ratification vote for September 4th, after the contract has been translated into French. The details of the settlement will not be released until all the UofS professors have read it. Northern Life 

Incoming freshmen already socializing on Facebook

Before arriving on campus, many first-year students will try to familiarize themselves with future classmates through Facebook, the popular social networking site. This summer, a "class of 2012" group can be found for most universities and colleges, where students can ask questions, discuss majors and dorms, and get feedback from older students. Students can even meet their future roommates, allowing them to break the ice in advance. The discussions and advice help students to overcome anxieties about going to college or university and begin to get excited instead. MSNBC

Manitoba's Providence College unveils new logo

Providence College new logo launch 

Last Monday, Providence College and Seminary in Manitoba officially unveiled a new visual identity for the school, developed internally by their design team. The new logo features the school's distinctive bell tower, and consolidates all print materials to a common palette of navy blue, carmine red, and gold. Previously materials were inconsistent, and the look had been largely unchanged since the 1970s.  Providence Homepage

Sex on campus no longer extra-curricular

Dalhousie University has announced a new "Sexonomics" course: "The Economics of Sex and Love" examines the relationship between economics and marriage, sexual practices, and love -- a relationship that has existed for thousands of years. "Sex markets, prostitution, pornography… these are essentially labor markets," explains the economics prof who designed the course. Meanwhile, the University of Toronto has launched graduate studies in sexuality. Students can earn their masters and PhDs researching topics from pulp fiction to public health. Several schools in Canada already offer undergraduate degrees in the field, but UofT is apparently the first to extend this learning to graduate studies, beginning this fall. DalNews | The Globe and Mail 

OSCA urges parents to get involved in PSE selection

Choosing the right PSE option can be daunting for any high-school student, so the Ontario School Counsellors Association (OSCA) encourages parents to get involved in the process, as early as grade 9.  Parents can meet with counsellors, help research schools, and accompany their children on campus tours to "test drive" the schools. The opinions of students should be listened to, and parents should not force them into programs or schools they are resisting. Parents can also help with advice about financing, and keeping an eye on deadlines for scholarships and bursaries, which students can miss in the rush to finish high school. The Toronto Star 

Making the most of your virtual tour

Universities and colleges too often make the mistake of posting a campus map online and calling it a tour. "Not many students are making decisions based on buildings." What makes campus tours effective in person are the anecdotes, stories, and vignettes of the student experience. Don't hold back for the actual campus visit, which may never happen. Effective online campus tours tap into the student experience -- through audio, video, personable tour guides, and tours specialized for specific student and parent audiences. A recent article in University Business points to about 20 exemplary online campus tours. University Business 

US "colleges" eager to become "universities"

In the US, where many undergraduate universities have long been labelled "colleges," and the terms are more interchangeable than in Canada, there has been growing pressure for institutions to adopt the more "prestigious" label of "university." But the shift is not always welcome: Loyola College in Maryland is the centre of controversy for a decision to rebrand as Loyola University Maryland next summer. Although 60% of students felt that "university" was more prestigious, many also felt that "college" was more intimate and nurturing. InsideHigherEd 

Don’t be misled by incomplete web analytics

To evaluate, and ultimately improve, a web-based marketing campaign, be sure to monitor open rates and click-through rates -- and in particular, ensure you're counting unique click-throughs, not just total clicks. Recipients may click through multiple times, or share the link with others not on your mailing list. Karlyn Morissette observes that Harris Connect's e-marketing tools have built-in weaknesses. .eduGuru