Top Ten

June 22, 2012

Wage gap declining but those with degrees weathered the downturn better

New data from Statistics Canada shows that the wage gap between workers with bachelor degrees and trade certificates is declining. From 2000 to 2011, the real weekly wages of men with bachelor degrees increased by 2% while the wages of full-time male workers with trades certificates grew by 8%. This pattern was most evident among young Canadians. Between 2000 and 2011, the average weekly wages of full-time male workers aged 25 to 34 with trades certificates grew by 14%, while bachelor degree holders saw their wage growth slow to 1%. However, degrees and certificates helped workers weather the recession, as employment levels for those with less than a high school degree in 2011 were 14.5% lower than in 2008. Workers with a trade, college or university certificate saw their employment levels rise 5.1% between 2008 and 2011. Globe and Mail | Statistics Canada

New BC action plan to benefit Aboriginal learners

On Thursday, the BC Government announced a new action plan for Aboriginal PSE. The plan identifies 5 key goals: ensuring the PSE system is relevant and respectful of Aboriginal learners; delivering community-based programs through partnerships between Aboriginal communities and PSE institutions; reducing financial barriers; ensuring that Aboriginal learners transition seamlessly from K-12 to PSE; and continuous improvement based on research and sharing best practices. The BC government also announced new funding: $7 million for partnerships between PSE institutions and Aboriginal institutes and communities, $4.2 million to 11 PSE institutions to implement Aboriginal Service Plans, $2 million for Aboriginal students facing short term financial crises, $2 million for the BC Aboriginal Award, and $1 million for financial assistance for Aboriginal graduate students. The report includes benchmarks for 2013, 2016 and 2020. BC News Release | Read the Report

NWCC finds hot economy makes retaining students and faculty a challenge

Northwest Community College is experiencing challenges as the BC economy grows. The school was forced to reduce the number of shifts for the heavy equipment operator training course from 2 shifts per day to 1 because of a lack of instructors. Instructors can make about $75,000 per year teaching or up to $200,000 per year working in the field. Carpentry students reported that employers are encouraging students quit their apprentice training and begin work full time. BC jobs minister Pat Bell said that these challenges will increase as the demand for employees grows. Terrace Standard

UoGuelph kills off Enviropig herd as funding ends

Genetically engineered pigs at the University of Guelph were killed on May 24 after the project lost financial support from the industry. The Enviropig project began in 1999, and was intended to produce genetically modified animals fit for human consumption. There were 10 remaining animals from the 10th generation of the herd left. Ontario Pork decided to end its support of the project this spring. uoGuelph filed an application with Environment Canada to farm the pigs commercially and passed an important regulatory step in February 2010. Vancouver Sun

BCCIE launches StudyInBC site for international recruiting

The British Columbia Council for International Education launched a new website designed to market BC’s educational institutions to international students. The website covers public and private K-12, post-secondary and language schools. The site is geared to potential students, and hosts conversations between current and potential international students about the opportunities available in BC. The website features student bloggers who document their experiences in BC with photographs and videos. It covers topics such as education quality, culture shock, costs and student visas. BCCIE News Release | Study in BC

Flash mob pays tribute to retiring uToronto Chancellor David Peterson

David Peterson’s last convocation ceremony as University of Toronto Chancellor was interrupted by a flash mob. Peterson was serenaded by students singing a modified version of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” in recognition of Peterson’s love of flash mobs and gospel music. Peterson was moved to tears, and when the song ended he said, “I’ve changed my mind, I’m not leaving.” Toronto Star

GMAC survey shows MBA hiring continues to increase

A survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council shows positive hiring news for MBA graduates. The report found that 79% of companies plan to hire new MBA graduates in 2012, and they plan to hire an average of 17 grads each in 2012, up from 13 per firm in 2011. The study found that demand has grown for Master of Accounting graduates and that MBA salaries remain steady at an average salary of $90,000 per year in the US. The study also found that recruiters are seeking students with industry-related work experience and are looking for well-organized career services offices that can connect them to appropriate candidates and prepare students for interviews. GMAC

New report profiles the growing contingent faculty workforce

A new report from the Coalition on the Academic Workforce investigated the growing ranks of contingent faculty. The American multi-year study, “A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty members,” found that median pay per course in 2010 was $2,700, although the rate was $2,235 at 2-year schools compared to $3,400 at 4-year institutions. The study shows that pay does not increase significantly with better credentials and that the pay rates lag behind similarly-educated professionals in other fields. Additionally, contingent faculty have few opportunities to participate in professional development or institutional governance. Most part-time faculty teach in contingent positions for many years, and most would prefer a full-time appointment. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the Report

uVA turmoil caused by “the ascendance of business” in PSE?

Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, William W. Keep argues that the problems at uVA show that “treating a college strictly like a business would be a mistake.” Keep, who is the Dean of the School of Business at the College of New Jersey, argues PSE institutions should adopt business discipline for short term planning, while recognizing the market’s inability to calculate long-term social value. Keep argues that the business world is not perfect, and that “We in academe need to choose carefully between those aspects of business that serve us well and those that do not.” However, other US commentators argue that Sullivan’s firing was justified as dramatic changes are needed to reinvigorate the PSE sector. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Fox News

Kaplan to lay off 200 in Florida

Kaplan University will lay off 200 admissions workers due to declining enrollment. Enrollment declined from 62,000 in 2011 to 49,000 as of March 31. Kaplan, along with 7 other schools, has been a subject of an investigation by Florida’s Attorney General into allegations of misrepresentations by admissions staff. Throughout 2011, Kaplan and its subsidiaries laid off about 400 Florida employees as the institution struggled with a major lawsuit and a program review by the US Department of Education. Recently, other for-profit universities have laid off staff, including the University of Phoenix, which laid off 700 employees last year and reported in June that enrollment had dropped 40% since 2011. Sun Sentinel