Debt knocks on university doors

The Toronto Sun reports that Canada’s universities and colleges must radically transform the way they do business or they will fail, according to a new study. Government belt-tightening, market weakness and falling private donations mean there are fewer funds available to the higher education sector, Deloitte Canada said Tuesday.

“As funding dries up, some universities are heading into debt for the first time,” says Louise Upton, partner and Canadian Higher Education leader at Deloitte. “This is constraining dollars for classroom delivery and research, creating tension among different departments for scarce financial resources.”

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Campuses not meeting demand for hybrid classes

The percentage of students who prefer online classes has skyrocketed since 2007.

College students enrolled in entirely-online courses might prefer more face-to-face learning, according to a survey that says higher education is in need of more “hybrid” courses.

Hybrid or “blended” classes, shown by the Education Department (ED) to be more successful than web-based education, include online curriculum mixed with occasional in-person lectures.

Read more on hybrid courses in higher education…

Interest in hybrid courses on the rise

Online courses, still lacking that third dimension

States look to Indiana as a model for online instruction

Support for classes that involve at least some traditional classroom-based education is shared by prospective college students as well as current students.

Nineteen percent of students surveyed said they are enrolled in a hybrid class, while 33 percent said they would like to take one or more hybrid courses, according to a report on college student preferences published by Eduventures, a Boston-based higher-education consulting company.

Three in 10 prospective students would take “wholly online” classes, compared to 44 percent of current students, more than doubling the 21 percent of students who preferred online classes in 2007.

The study suggests that some students are “forced into wholly online delivery because there is not enough supply of hybrid courses.”

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Police look at how Houston kindergartner got gun

Police are trying to determine how a Houston kindergartener got a loaded gun that he brought to an elementary school, where officials say it accidentally fired when it fell from his pocket as he sat down for lunch, wounding himself and two other students, the Associated Press reports. Some parents said the incident has made them think twice about safety at the school and they wonder if additional security measures, including extra officers and even metal detectors, are needed. School district officials said extra security would be in place Wednesday to allay parents’ fears…

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Sold! Auctions helping schools close the funding gap

Fists raised in triumph, the man lorded sweet victory over his foes and strutted, his puffed chest straining the buttons of his Brooks Brothers shirt. His spoils? A fruit and vegetable quilt. His 5-year-old daughter made the lime. His cost? $2,700. School auctions are great theater, I’ve learned, says Petula Dvorak for the Washington Post. They can be a checkbook sword used to settle long-simmering playground disputes, and–as more schools are learning–one way to close the growing budget gap that schools all over are suffering. Spring is auction season in Washington area schools, and some of the displays of power and largesse here at the epicenter of parent overachievement can seem positively 2005…

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Higher ed fundraising jumps amid recovering economy, social media use

Universities expect the fundraising increase to continue through 2011.

Seven in 10 colleges and universities have recorded an uptick in donations this year after historic decreases in 2009-10, and experts said Facebook and Twitter adoption could be a driving force behind the optimism among campus fundraisers.

Ten percent of campuses reported “significant increases” over the past six months and 35 percent reported “moderate increases” in a survey released April 7. Twenty-two percent of colleges recorded a “little increase” in donations.

Read more on fundraising in higher education…

College connects with alums through extensive online archive

Tech tool could take the guessing out of college fundraising

The survey, conducted by Campus Management Corp. – maker of the Talisma Fundraising donor management system – proved drastically different than similar surveys and reports detailing the state of higher-education fundraising during the country’s economic downturn.

Almost every institution polled – 94 percent – said fundraising officials expect the increase in donor activity to continue into the second half of 2011, with 13 percent anticipating a “significant increase.” Six percent of campuses expect no increase in donor activity.

Contributions to colleges and universities fell by 11.9 percent in 2009, and alumni giving dropped sharply, according to the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), an organization that tracks educational donations nationwide.

The steep drop came after a decade that saw college fundraising rise by about 4 percent annually. CAE’s report showed that even the largest institutions were not immune to the economic slump that started in fall 2008–the 20 top-fundraising universities in 2009 brought in $7.3 billion, or about $1.1 billion less than in 2008.

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Arizona governor vetoes college campus gun bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on public rights of way on public university and community college campuses, the Associated Press. Brewer, a Republican, has signed other major gun rights measures over the last two years. But she said in her veto message Monday that she rejected the campus bill because it was “poorly written.”

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Poll: Students grade high school down, college up

Young people give mediocre marks to America’s high schools but put great faith in its colleges, reports Argus-Press.com. A new Associated Press-Viacom poll suggests most high schools are failing to give students a solid footing for the working world or strong guidance toward college, at a time when many students fear graduation means tumbling into an economic black hole…

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Apple sues Samsung, says it copied iPad

Apple has sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iPad, iPod and iPhone with its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy handsets, Computerworld reports. Samsung copied Apple technologies, designs and even packaging with its Google Android-based products, according to a complaint filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Apple is seeking a jury trial in the case…

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University encourages students to drink on campus

Concerns are being raised from a new study over the increased risk of mixing alcohol and energy drinks, Campus Progress reports. The study conducted at North Kentucky University showed that high levels of caffeine masked the effects of alcohol, allowing people to feel less impaired then they really are…The College of Holy Cross is addressing the issue of rowdy students drinking off campus by encouraging students to drink on campus. The Massachusetts college has extended the hours of its on-campus pub and has begun to allow students under 21 inside. Students who are not 21 are given different colored wristbands to ensure that they are not served alcohol. The city and college will continue to monitor the situation but state the experiment has been a success thus far…

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University of Hawaii plans internet graduation for education technology students

A virtual commencement address and virtual diplomas will be handed out to University of Hawaii students participating in an online graduation ceremony, the Republic reports. The university’s College of Education Department of Education Technology is organizing the graduation event in the virtual world of Second Life. The May 6 ceremony will take place at a replica of Diamond Head Amphitheatre…

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