About Parallel49Ed

Educational Consulting / University Tutoring / Higher Education

Top 20 Reasons to Study in Canada

(1) Hundreds of thousands of young people choose Canada as their preferred international study destination each year

(2) Countless academic specializations at world-renowned universities

(3) Internationally recognized degrees and qualifications

(4) World-class quality of education and research

(5) Highly qualified faculty members and access to high-tech facilities

(6) Opportunity to study and work in English, French, and many other languages

(7) Emphasis on student-centered learning and extensive student support services

(8) Diverse, culturally exciting campuses, and dynamic student life

(9) Extensive student exchange programs with countries around the world

(10) Education significantly more affordable than in comparable countries that attract international students

(11) Possibility of financial support for undergraduate and graduate studies

(12) Ability to work on and off campus during one’s academic programs

(13) Wide range of career opportunities from coast to coast

(14) Multicultural, democratic, and peaceful country

(15) Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the world

(16) Land of innovation and entrepreneurship

(17) One of the most spectacular natural environments on the planet

(18) Open, welcoming, and friendly communities

(19) Safe cities for students, visitors, and local residents

(20) Possibility of becoming a permanent resident and Canadian citizen

Online Tutoring: Education Trend to Watch in 2015

One of the new trends in higher education that is likely to become mainstream in 2015 is online tutoring. The year that just ended saw the launch of several tutoring start-ups, across the world – including Canada. The interest in this type of online service will undoubtedly increase, given the disruptive nature of these new Web 2.0 businesses, their technologically savvy customers, along with the ease of access to and affordability of online tutoring.

There are several business models, and the market will decide in the end which ones are most viable. They range from a pay-per-minute service to monthly subscriptions, although most involve connecting live with an actual person via phone, video conference or other on-screen interface (interactive whiteboard).

Some of the larger – and more significant – differences in terms of the quality of service received by clients are due to the location of the tutoring firm or independent tutor. Several service providers have outsourced the work to Asia (e.g., India), given significantly lower labour costs and potentially higher profit margins. If you’re to choose, do your research and select the firm/tutor that makes most sense for you; remember though the old saying, usually you get what you pay for.

Online tutoring services to consider – particularly for American and Canadian students – include:

https://www.firsttutors.com/, Twitter: @firsttutors (EduNation LTD, Morecambe, Lancashire, UK)

https://helphub.me/, Twitter: @HelpHubHQ (HelpHub, Vancouver, BC)

https://instaedu.com/, Twitter: @InstaEDU (InstaEDU, Inc., San Francisco, CA)

http://www.nettutor.com/, Twitter: @nettutor (Link-Systems International, Inc., Tampa, FL)

http://www.tutor.com/, Twitter: @tutordotcomHE (Tutor.com, Inc., New York, NY)

http://www.tutoruniverse.com/, Twitter: @TutorUniverse (Tutor Universe, Inc., Iowa City, IA)

http://www.universitytutor.com/ (Johnson Educational Technologies LLC, Dover, DE)

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Regional Needs for Engineers: Matching Labour Supply to Demand

A growing number of studies and opinions expressed publicly in recent years point to the necessity of matching Canadian post-secondary education programs with labour market needs. While some coordination efforts may already happen at a local or regional level, no national mechanisms are in place to ensure that the type and number of university specializations are correlated with labour demand.

Recent data on labour shortages and surpluses suggest there continues to be a significant mismatch between the structure and needs of the job market, on the one hand, and the available work force, on the other. CIBC World Markets Inc. deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal suggested in an analysis of Canada’s labour market that “at least three in 10 businesses say they face a skilled labour shortage […] That number is double the rate of early 2010. [In the meantime] a quarter of a million Canadians have been unemployed for more than six months.”

Besides bringing in new immigrants to fill positions in sectors where there are job vacancies, educational programs could also help rebalance the existing labour market mismatch. To do so however, a national education strategy is required – this would help not just Canada’s federal and provincial governments, but also employers and individuals seeking employment. It would require a radical re-thinking of post-secondary education in this country and a new governance approach for this key sector of the Canadian society.

Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan, made an important point in an analysis of the country’s post-secondary education:  “Our system is based on the deification of individual choice. People get to go where they want. We aren’t shaping the process.” A national post-secondary education strategy would not limit students’ choices, but would help guide them towards sectors and specializations that are in demand.

“We need to deliver the right people with the right credentials to the right economy at the right time,” added James Knight, President of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, in a Globe and Mail article. Definitely not an easy feat. Yet universities and colleges along with the federal and provincial governments should initiate steps towards coordinating educational programs and matching labour supply to demand.

An example where this approach would be highly beneficial relates to regional needs for engineers. An assessment provided by Engineers Canada and Randstad Engineering indicates that all Canadian provinces will face job shortages in this area at some point in the 2012-2018 period. (Source: The Engineering & Technology Path: Choose Early, Choose Well, in Maclean’s magazine, Nov. 19, 2012)

Four Provinces are Home to Canada’s Top Research Universities

According to a study by Re$earch Infosource Inc., the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo (both in Ontario) and the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) were designated Research Universities of the Year in their respective categories (“medical/doctoral,” “comprehensive” and “undergraduate”).

English: Marine Drive Residence, University of...

English: Marine Drive Residence, University of British Columbia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other top university in each of the three categories were: “medical/doctoral”: McGill University (QC) and the University of British Columbia (BC); “comprehensive”: the University of Guelph (ON) and the University of Victoria (BC); “undergraduate”: Ryerson University (ON) and Universite du Quebec a Rimouski (QC).

(“Medical/doctoral” is a category of post-secondary institutions offering a broad range of research and doctoral programs, including medical schools. “Comprehensive” universities have both significant research programs and a wide range of undergraduate programs, while “undergraduate” universities are largely focusing on undergraduate education).

Re$earch Infosource also provides data on the universities that attracted over $100 million  of research income in fiscal year 2011 (18 institutions, up from 16 in 2010). Top research dollars were attracted by the University of Toronto ($916,000), followed at significant distance by the University of British Columbia ($575,000), the University of Alberta ($536,000), Universite de Montreal ($525,000) and McGill University ($522,000). The other 13 universities attracted between $103,000 and $326,000 each.

The total research income for Canada’s first 50 research universities reached $6.63 billion annually. Ontario captured 38% of this amount, followed by Quebec (27%), Alberta (13%) and British Columbia (12%). The other 10% was divided between Canada’s remaining nine provinces and territories.

Re$earch Infosource analysts point out that “research income growth has […] been slowing in recent years from the heady days of double-digit increases in the early years of the 2000s. [Yet] in the context of declining federal government spending and with public sector job layoffs accelerating, the research community has, for now, dodged a fiscal bullet. […] In a best case scenario the ‘new normal’ will be research income growth that keeps pace with inflation.”

The ranking for Research Universities of the Year was based on a combination of indicators relating to “a balanced set of input, output and impact measures for FY2011 [demonstrating] superior achievement both in earning research income and in publishing research in leading scientific journals.”