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Canadians think smaller is better (among universities)

Canada’s undergraduate university students have given the country’s smallest universities higher ratings than the large institutions for overall satisfaction and quality of education.   This is one of the findings of The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report available in today’s newspaper and online at www.globecampus.ca. The Report is presented in association with The Strategic Counsel and the Educational Policy Institute 

Now in its seventh year, the annual survey of undergrads captures their opinions on different aspects of their university experience from quality of teaching, course availability, and academic reputation to campus pubs and bars, food services, and facilities. This year’s Report reflects ratings on 19 different topics, provided by 43,000 students from 55 Canadian universities

The Canadian University
Report also includes articles and interviews on topics related to the current university experience including:

  • the pressure from students to improve universities’ environmental policies and practices and examples of how universities have responded;
  • the impact and potential of iPod technologies for teaching; and,
  • the push for commercialization of university research and the resulting creeping influence of the private sector on campus.

The 2008 Canadian University Report reflects the opinion of more than 43,000 current undergraduate students.   The results are derived from the answers to more than 100 questions. In total, students considered more than 77 different factors in the survey. All ratings are available at www.globecampus.ca with the Campus Navigator tool. A mean score for each university is calculated based on the responses of students who attend that school.  Universities are assigned a letter grade that matches their mean scores.  For full details on the methodology and scoring, see the Canadian University Report (pg. 52) or visit www.globecampus.ca.

Future of Education conference

The University of Manitoba is hosting a free, virtual Future of Education Online Conference that will end June 8.  Live presentations will be archived, and discussion is encouraged via the “U of M” Learning Technologies Centre Moodle site:

http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/moodle/course/view.php?id=12

From the organizers’ description of the conference:

Tumultuous change is creating new opportunities for schools, colleges, universities, and corporations to rethink their approaches to teaching and learning. Many buzzwords are used to describe the change: globalization, web 2.0, the world is flat, the wisdom of crowds, and the long tail.

What exists beyond the hype? What is happening to education? What will be the shape of education in the future? Answering these questions is no easy task – the change drivers have not yet settled sufficiently to reveal a clear path forward. For academics, researchers, and leaders, it is important to begin exploring the trends emerging and potential implications and directions forward. The Future of Education is a free online conference exploring trends impacting education – K-12, higher education, and corporation training.

This could be great!

Rapture of the nerds (in Canada!)

Victoria News recently published an interesting article on Singularitarians in Canada whcih compared Singularitarianism with religion:

At first blush, Singularitarianism may seem like a religion and has even earned from critics the label “Rapture of the Nerds.” But Singularitarianism differs from religion in one crucial aspect: its belief doesn’t depend on a supernatural power influencing human affairs. Singularitarians rely only on the evidence and patterns scientists have tested and observed in the natural universe.

All said, however, the article does a good job at describing what the Technological Singularity is about and what it might mean for us.

Link to the Victoria News article.