Top Ten

July 21, 2011

Fostering student entrepreneurship becoming fashionable at Canadian universities

The federal and provincial governments are preaching that future economic prosperity relies on Canada's ability to innovate. However, in the past 2 years, the country has fallen in most key innovation indicators, according to a recent report by the Science, Technology and Innovation Council. In light of Canada's place in the global innovation race, initiatives for teaching and backing entrepreneurs have become fashionable at universities. The University of Toronto's Heffernan/Co-Steel Innovation Commercialization Fellowship is slated to expand into universities across Ontario, and perhaps nationally. The University of British Columbia is launching the new [email protected] centre, buoyed by a privately raised "accelerator fund" that can distribute between $25,000 and $100,000 to firms launched by students or recent graduates. "The end that students will say, 'I want to go to UBC because I want to start my own company,' just like they would say in going to Stanford," says the centre's program director. Globe and Mail

HEQCO paper explores status of adult learners in Ontario's PSE system

According to a new @Issue paper from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, the most common barrier for adult learners is finding time to schedule education around family and work commitments. As a result, adult learners are more likely to engage in education opportunities that are flexible, require a shorter time commitment, and are relevant to their employment or career goals. The paper observes that a higher proportion of adult learners use non-government sources of financing for their education as opposed to government loans, which may be an indicator that the current public financial aid system is not meeting the needs of adult learners. Research Summary | Complete Publication

$20-million renovation for Trent hydroelectric generating station

Trent University is undertaking a $20-million renovation and rebuild of the Stan Adamson Powerhouse, a hydroelectric generating facility owned and operated by the university. Currently, Trent generates electricity to cover about 40% of its power needs for the Symons campus. Trent saves $600,000 to $800,000 annually by not having to buy electricity from the Ontario power grid for the portion of its energy needs that are satisfied by the station. The university plans to start construction on the project next year. Peterborough Examiner

New location for Campus Manitoba

Campus Manitoba, the distance and online consortium of the province's post-secondary institutions, is leaving its Southport location and heading back to Portage after 6 years on the base. One reason for the move is to be more accessible to current and potential students. The campus will reopen to the public on August 2. Portage Daily Graphic

"Take a Politician to School Day" at uWaterloo

About a dozen local, regional, provincial, and federal politicians toured the University of Waterloo Tuesday as part of the first-ever "Take a Politician to School Day," an event organized by the institution's Federation of Students where students expressed concerns about the challenges they face, such as tuition costs and accessing financial aid. The Ontario Tories' education critic touted her party's plan to create 60,000 additional PSE spaces and increase student loans, while an NDP MP spoke about a bill she has put forward that ensures higher education is accessible and affordable for all Canadians. In his speech Liberal MP Justin Trudeau urged students to get involved in the world around them. Waterloo Region Record |

Yukon College, Okanagan College eligible for NSERC funding

Yukon College is the first northern institution to receive eligibility status with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, allowing the college's Yukon Research Centre to access funding that is exclusive to select research centres within the country. The eligibility will attract researchers from across Canada, leading to more courses and programs for Yukon College students and communities. Okanagan College is also now eligible to receive and administer NSERC funding. This positive news "comes at an opportune time," says Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton, who notes that "colleges are being regarded as a key component in the innovation and commercialization initiatives in Canada." Yukon College website | Okanagan College News Release

College-affiliated credit cards drop in US

According to a report by the US Federal Reserve Board, the number of credit cards issued by colleges and alumni associations dropped by 17% in 2010, while the revenue institutions and alumni groups received from marketing agreements with credit card providers fell by 13%. A 2009 law aimed at limiting credit card excesses included some restrictions on the marketing of credit cards to undergraduate students. USA Today | Inside Higher Ed

Iowa business school experiments with application "tweet"

The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business is pioneering a new concept in MBA applications by introducing the application "tweet." The college's full-time MBA program will give an award package to the applicant who most creatively answers the following "essay" question on Twitter: "What makes you an exceptional Tippie full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire?" An official at the business school says inviting applications in the form of a tweet is a good way to gauge applicants' creativity. Because the tweet applications offer links to other social media, they would give applicants a chance to construct their application as a teaser, leading admissions officers to learn more about the candidate elsewhere. Tippie will announce the winner on August 4. Tippie News | The Times of London

College students leading in Internet use, tech device ownership

Young adults, particularly undergraduate and graduate students, are more likely to use the Internet and own tech devices compared to the rest of the general population, according to a new study by the Pew Research Centre's Internet & American Life Project. However, non-students between the ages of 18 and 24 were more active on social networks than were college students. Irrespective of educational background, 18- to 24-year-olds were generally much more likely to use the Internet, to engage in social media, and to own Web-enabled gadgets such as laptops and smartphones. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report

Amazon launches e-textbook rental service

On Monday announced the launch of Kindle Textbook Rental, which will allow students to save up to 80% off textbook list prices by renting from the Kindle Store. The service offers the ability to customize rental periods ranging from 30 to 360 days, so students only pay for the specific amount of time they require a textbook. Students can also extend rental periods in increments as little as one day or choose to buy the book they are renting at any time. Amazon News Release