Top Ten

August 8, 2013

Seneca and UOIT sign new articulation agreement

A new partnership between the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Seneca College will allow qualified Seneca students to pursue a range of degree programs at UOIT without having to repeat relevant courses. Students from select diploma programs can apply the credits they earn at Seneca towards 14 different UOIT programs including honours undergraduate degrees in arts, commerce, information technology, health sciences and science. Career options include adult education, criminology, legal studies, networking, information technology security, game development, nuclear power, biological science and nursing. Seneca/UOIT News Release

Nunavut energy company sends Inuit students to university

The Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC), Nunavut’s only power company and a crown corporation, has recently launched a program that gives Inuit students, specifically beneficiaries of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, an opportunity to attend a post-secondary degree program relevant to the business needs of the organization. The Inuit Leadership Development Program (ILDP) is in the pilot stage, and its first participant, Alex Cook, will attend St. Francis Xavier University in September as part of the Bachelor of Business Administration program, majoring in leadership in management. “The goal of this program is to increase Inuit representation at the professional, management, and eventually, senior management levels, to develop the future leadership team,” says Jamie McCarthy, Inuit Employment Plan administrator. StFX News Release

Confederation and Northern partner to offer mining engineering tech program

Confederation College’s Thunder Bay campus will now be able to offer Northern College’s Haileybury School of Mines (HSM) Mining Engineering Technician diploma program to graduates of Confederation’s Mining Techniques certificate program. Students with the certificate will be able to enter the third semester of the HSM Mining Engineering Technician program, which will include onsite and distance learning as well as field studies. Northern and Confederation will collaborate on staffing, curriculum, and course delivery; the partnership is part of an MOU between 6 northern Ontario colleges, signed earlier this year, which aims to meet skills shortages and share best practices for student success. Estimates suggest that in the next 10 years there will be a need for 6,700 workers in the mining industry in Thunder Bay and surrounding regions. Confederation News Release

TAICEP brings together international credential evaluation professionals

A new organization is being established to define and improve the field of international credential evaluation, named TAICEP: The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals. The grassroots-level organization has a “single purpose of supporting and serving the profession” as the need for evaluation of foreign credentials continues to grow. Evaluation professionals compare educational and professional credentials from various countries to ensure proper recognition of credentials. TAICEP is in its early stages; a symposium is being held in October to formalize the organization’s structure, determine activities, and set future goals. TAICEP website

Universities to get better idea of for-credit MOOC success

Inside Higher Ed has published a roundup of the growing number of universities that are offering credits and charging tuition for MOOCs, including the first university to do so in Canada -- the University of Alberta with its new Coursera MOOC on dinosaurs. As the article points out, this should give the sector a better idea of how many students are interested in receiving credits for open online courses. No students have accepted Georgia State University’s offer to test students on their knowledge on MOOCs they have taken and possibly award them with credit. Still, other universities are joining Georgia State, including the public Maryland University and the State University of New York, as well as for-profits American Public University System and Kaplan University. Israel's Tel Aviv University is giving students credit for what they learn from MOOCs that are developed by the university and taught by its professors. To receive the credit, students must first pass an exam at Tel AvivU. Inside Higher Ed

PSE fundraisers optimistic about growth of giving

Fundraisers at US colleges and universities are optimistic about current and future giving, according to new data released by the US-based Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Fundraisers estimate that financial giving increased by 7.1% for the 2012-13 academic year and they predict further growth of 6.2% for 2013-14. The 20-year average growth rate is 5.8%, indicating not only continued value placed on education by donors, but also a return to pre-recession levels of giving and growth. Giving to US PSE institutions peaked in 2007-08 at $31.6 billion before declining rapidly during the recession. 2011-12 saw amounts recover to $31 billion. CASE earlier reported that PSE foundations are increasing their fundraising goals, some by as much as triple. Chronicle of Higher Education | CASE News Release

Stanford finds students buying e-texts already purchased by campus libraries

US college students are spending hundreds of dollars on rights to digital versions of readings to which they already have free access at their campus library, reports Inside Higher Ed. Catherine Tierney, an associate librarian at Stanford University, says that faculty and students are often unaware of what is available at the library – a problem that many universities are attempting to solve. A couple of years ago, Stanford developed an in-house program to automate copyright clearance, which has since resulted in a spin-off company that sells programming to other universities as well. The Stanford Intellectual Property Exchange (SIPX) allows faculty to compile digital reading lists and check to see what readings are freely available, which would prevent the sort of inadvertent double-spending that Stanford found. It also automates the purchase of individual texts from a variety of publishers that aren't available for free at university libraries. Inside Higher Ed

UK releases new international education strategy

The UK has released a new international education strategy that says it would be “realistic” for foreign student numbers to grow by 20% in the next 5 years, which would mean an extra 90,000 international students studying at UK institutions. The report, “International Education – Global Growth and Prosperity,” also sets out several other plans, including a new unit to support large-scale commercial partnerships abroad, the development of the UK’s FutureLearn platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs), an enhanced recruitment website and ad campaign, and a doubled investment in internationaldevelopment partnerships for education.” Times Higher Education | New York Times

US institutions creating social networks for their students

Universities in the US are beginning to create their own social networks centred on the student experience, in an attempt to engage students through social media. The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) has created the “MSOE Bridge” social network, and to get students signed up the institution requires applicants to create an account in order to apply. MSOE reported an 8% improvement in the number of accepted students who actually enrolled at the institution after MSOE Bridge was launched. The University of Phoenix also has a social network, Phoenix Connect, which claims a half-million registered members, 40% of whom are active participants every month. Penn Foster’s online education program participants are connected via a social network, and Northwestern University is currently beta testing one of their own. Information Week

UK tuition continues to climb

New data based on a survey of UK PSE institutions shows that tuition at the undergraduate level varies wildly, from £1,820 to £9,000, with an average tuition of £8,610. Many of the institutions are charging the full allowable amount of £9,000, or are very close to it. Officials suggest there is pressure for schools to charge the maximum amount in order to appear competitive. Compared to 2012-13, fees for international students have increased 3.9% for undergraduate students, and 4.6% for graduate students. The average cost for an international undergraduate student is £11,289, close to one-third more than UK/EU students pay. At the graduate level, the gap is wider: international students pay close to double the tuition (the average is just under £11,600). The increased fees for international students have not yet caused significant drops in numbers, although a drop of 23.5% was reported for Indian student enrolment in 2011-12, largely due to changes in the student visa-granting system in the UK. Times Higher Education