Top Ten

October 8, 2009

Shakeups in the Times Higher Ed university rankings

The UK Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings, released yesterday, rank the top 200 universities worldwide based on academic peer review, research excellence, faculty ratios and the opinions of graduate recruiters. Harvard remains in the top spot, but most American institutions dropped a place or two as Asian and UK institutions rose. 6 Canadian universities gained ground this year: McGill rose to 18th, uToronto to 29th, uAlberta to 59th, uWaterloo to 113th, uCalgary to 149th, and UWO to 151st.  Unfortunately, 6 other Canadian universities fell in the rankings, including UBC, uMontreal, Queen's, McMaster, SFU, and Dalhousie.  THE 2009 Rankings  |  Chronicle of Higher Education  |  National Post KW Record  |  Hamilton Spectator  |  Globe & Mail 

McGill, Queen's among Canada's top 100 employers

According to a poll published in Maclean's magazine, McGill and Queen's University have been rated as two of the top 100 employers in Canada. The annual poll ranks employers based on a range of criteria, including work and social atmosphere, employee communications, training and skills development, and community involvement. Other PSE institutions to make the list include George Brown College and Simon Fraser University.  Montreal Gazette  |  Queen's news 

Enrolment up 10% for part-time studies at Brandon U

Brandon University reports a 10.5% increase in part-time enrolment, and a 1% rise in full-time students. The most notable gains came from increased enrolment in the Nursing and Music programs, which saw increases of 15.4% and 7.9% respectively. Brandon University suggests that these numbers are the result of a boom in late enrolments.  Brandon news 

Ontario funds new wing for Perimeter Institute

Yesterday the Ontario government announced, as part of the Ontario Research Fund-Research Infrastructure program, that it would be contributing $10 million towards a new wing at Waterloo's Perimeter Institute. Perimeter currently houses 85 resident researchers, as well as hundreds of visiting international scientists annually. The addition will nearly double the size of the institution, bringing it one step closer to global status as a hub for theoretical physics research.  Ontario News Release

Reflections on the past and future of Canada's universities

The latest edition of AUCC's University Affairs is now online, and celebrating its 50th anniversary. Historian Alan MacEachern reflects on Canadian university education in the 1950s, and the "great boom" of construction and enrolment that followed, across Canada. Alex Usher speculates about the next 25 years, predicting 20% cuts in government funding, rising tuition in Quebec, increasingly outcome-focused credentials and qualifications frameworks elsewhere in the world, escalating use of adjunct faculty and standardized open courseware, and the rise of truly global universities, including an offshore "University of Canada." Patrick Phillips forecasts the demise of the physical university campus, which he sees as fiscally untenable and environmentally unfriendly, and the transformation of teaching and learning through adaptive technology and diverse teaching and assessment approaches.  University Affairs  |  MacEachern  |  Usher  |  Phillips 

Sheridan launches new website, "Shine Brighter" e-community

Yesterday, the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning unveiled a new website, slogan, campaign look, and a unique online social media platform, a "virtual playground" that will allow students, alumni and faculty to share and collaborate on written, visual, and audio content. The website features the new "Shine Brighter" recruitment slogan, and clear calls to action for prospective students. The e-community incorporates extensive video, and integrates Sheridan's Facebook and Twitter presence. By posting their creative work -- unmoderated -- it is hoped that they will create "digital footprints" to appeal to employers.  |  ShineBrighter e-community  |  Sheridan media release  

Lethbridge College launches microsite, Twitter contest

We've recently noticed that Lethbridge College has launched a new student recruitment site. The vibrant, easy to use site features 20 clickable thumbnail images that represent the various areas of study at the college, and link to subpages from which individuals can request additional information. To promote the site, Lethbridge has initiated a Twitter contest: prospective students can win a camera or gift cards for tweeting their hopes for their future, in 140 characters or less.  Welcome to Your Future portal 

Maclean's OnCampus Virtual Fair returns this November

Starting at 10:00am on November 12, Maclean's OnCampus Virtual Fair will open its "doors" to prospective students looking to learn more about higher education, and to talk one-on-one with faculty experts and reps from Canadian universities and colleges. Individuals who sign up for the virtual fair also have a chance to win $5000. The Maclean's virtual fair follows the GlobeCampus eFair, which will take place on October 29, and the CollegeWeekLive fair, November 4 to 7.  Maclean's OnCampus Virtual Fair

NACAC reports increasing demand for financial aid

According to a new survey by the National Association for College Admission Counselling, 90% of American colleges reported an increase in applications for financial aid during the last admissions cycle. 74% saw a rise in the number of students offered institutional grant aid. 71% of public and 52% of private institutions surveyed reported gains in enrolment. The most prevalent strategy to meet enrolment targets this fall was admitting more applicants, which 62% of public and 69% of private colleges said they had planned to do. 52% of public and 49% of private schools reported adding a waiting list for the first time, compiling a longer waiting list, and accepting more students from the waiting list.  Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | NACAC Report (PDF)

Study shows students work for beer money

A recent US study on the impact of work on student academic performance and motivations for working additional hours, revealed that most students do not work to cover tuition, but rather for other expenses, such as beer, entertainment, etc. While some students are likely to work to pay their tuition, the researchers suggest that most students would take out additional loans to supplement what isn't covered by financial aid or parents, rather than work additional hours.  Inside Higher Ed