Top Ten

July 16, 2011

Blinded UBC student getting more surgery in Vancouver

University of British Columbia masters student Rumana Monzur, who was left blind after an alleged attack by her husband in Bangladesh, has undergone three operations in Vancouver, with more surgery scheduled for later this week. UBC students have raised $58,000 to support Monzur and her family during treatment as part of an initiative to raise awareness about violence against women. Doctors are still unsure if they will be able to restore her vision.  CBC News

Vianne Timmons on what’s new at uRegina

Dr. Vianne Timmons, president of the University of Regina, did a wide-ranging media interview last week. Enrolment has risen in each of the past 3 years and now totals 12,000 – 1,400 of whom are international students, 800 from China alone. uRegina is waiting for the province to decide on funding a new campus residence, and is planning a $25-million fundraising campaign for a $67-million revitalization of the College Avenue campus. uRegina is also planning a big homecoming celebration this September in recognition of the centenary of the first classes at Regina College.  Regina Leader-Post

Canadian women out-earning male partners

Now more than ever, Canadian women are making more money than their husbands, at about 31% in 2009, up from 12% in 1976. According to Statistics Canada, women have advanced in prestigious careers that require the most education, accounting for 55% of all medical professionals. The US is also experiencing the same trends: women accounted for 51% of management and professional occupations in 2009, with the number of working women with a college degree tripling from 1970 to 2009. According to a report from the Boston Consulting Group, women in Canada and the US controlled 33% of North America’s wealth in 2009, the highest share in the world. In Canada, parental benefits are changing to accommodate these trends, and fathers are increasingly taking time off to raise their children. However, the amount of unpaid work that women do did not change significantly at about 4 hours and 38 minutes - 73 minutes more than their male counterparts.  Vancouver Sun

University leaders on community college transfer students

A new report from the College Board surveys 21 leaders at 12 US universities who are concerned for, and committed to, community college transfer students. Community college enrolments will grow under Obama’s education agenda, as accessible, affordable, and more diverse PSE options – and as a result, interest in transfers to university will grow. Transfer students bring greater diversity, real-world experience, and strong academic commitment – admitting them is not an act of charity. Prerequisites, financial aid and academic advising are more complex for transfer students, and it is vital that they be adequately prepared, particularly in mathematics. (Articulation is “the least of it.”) Best practices include transfer admission guarantees, dual admission programs, transparent transfer credit policies, and work-study programs. A chapter of the report focuses on creating a transfer-friendly campus culture, from orientation and transition courses to campus housing. Universities need to treat transfer students “with a devotion similar to first-year students,” while recognizing that their needs are different.  Read the Report (PDF)

Majority of Gen Y’s still living with their parents

A study in Canadian Social Trends, based on StatsCan’s General Social Survey, finds that Generation Y Canadians (born 1981-1990) live very different lives than Generation X (born 1969-1978) or Baby Boomers (born 1947-1966). Most notable is that 51% of Gen Y’s now live with their parents, versus less than 31% of Gen X’s, and 28% of Boomers, when they were in their 20’s. Not surprisingly, only 33% of Gen Y’s are in a serious relationship, compared to 48% of Boomers and 37% of Gen X, while in their 20’s. Also, only 19% of Gen Y’s had kids in 2010. One thing that remains roughly unchanged through the generations is the number of Gen Y’s doing paid work (47%).  StatsCan Social Trends  |  Maclean's OnCampus

Google has a great month

Google+, the social network launched June 28 on an invitation-only basis, has already surpassed 10 million users – although it is estimated that Google has spent $200 million to get this far. Google+ remains tiny compared to Facebook’s 750 million users, but analysts believe it may pose the biggest threat yet to Facebook’s monopoly. Google reports that it is activating 550,000 Android phones a day, has 160 million people using the Chrome browser, and is seeing growth in its mobile, YouTube, advertising and enterprise divisions. Last week, Google’s quarterly revenues were $9.03 billion, a 32% increase over last year and almost 40% more than analyst expectations.  Financial Post

Majority of Chinese students in US used agents

According to a survey by two Iowa State University researchers, 57% of Chinese undergraduate students studying in the US report hiring a third-party agent to help them apply to university. Of those who reported hiring an agent, the most common reason for doing so was a lack of knowledge about the application process. These results have generated heated debate about the use of agents for recruiting. Critics argue that agents are more interested in making money than serving students or institutions, and given that they are paid on a per-student basis, unethical behavior is systemically encouraged. Last month the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) pushed to forbid members from using commission-based agents abroad. A decision on this proposal is expected this month.  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Challenges of international branch campuses

The past decade has seen rapid growth in the creation of international branch campuses, mainly in developing and emerging economies. In 2009, the Observatory on Borderless Education counted 162 branch campuses – up from just 35 a decade earlier. Most were Anglophone, with 78 from US institutions, 14 from Australia, 13 from Britain and 13 from India. Canada had 6. Branch campuses are particularly prevalent in the Arabian Gulf, where several countries have welcomed, and paid for, branch campuses as part of their PSE strategies. Questions still remain about branch campus sustainability as low enrolment, retention of faculty and staff from the host university, and continuous funding are unresolved issues.  InsideHigherEd

Marketers ease up on crowdsourcing viral video

Although many consumer brands (and PSE institutions) have run contests in recent years to encourage young people to create their own videos or commercials, the trend appears to be reversing. This year, brands like Doritos and Volkswagen are inviting written ad ideas from amateurs – often on how to finish an incomplete story – but leaving the actual video production to the professionals. Toshiba and Intel are inviting consumers to co-create a short film at, by sending clues to the protagonist via Facebook and Twitter. Marketers are making it easier for consumers to participate in viral campaigns, by sending a thought or voting on an idea rather than filming an entire video.  Globe & Mail

New two-way text campus security system

Since events like 9/11 and the Virginia Tech massacre, many colleges have implemented text message alert systems in order to notify parents and students of a campus emergency - a system good for giving warning, but not for two-way communication. According to the Federal Communications Commission, students at the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting were trying to text 911 but to no avail. Evolve Mobile Communications has announced a two-way text messaging technology that will allow students to report incidents to campus security without receiving an alert first. The same system may be used to reach school departments for other purposes. Evolve Mobile plans to install these two-way text alert systems on college campuses during the fall of 2011.  |  Digital Journal