By Chris Sorensen and Charlie Gillis - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
Why a generation of well-educated, ambitious, smart young Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
A university degree was once a guarantee of higher incomes. Those days are gone, argue two profs
The message to young people is simple. If you want an extra million dollars, maybe more, just get a university degree. Your lifetime earnings will be at least that much more than those of someone with only a high school education. Or so says the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), quoting the 2006 census.
The university establishment does not lack confidence on this matter. In September 2012, Paul Davidson, president of the AUCC, quoted a more impressive statistic: “While it is true that tuition has increased in recent years, so too has the value of a degree. The income premium of a university degree is large and growing. University graduates will on average earn $1.3 million more during their careers than a high school graduate and $1 million more than a college grad.” Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Attention high school students: I don’t know you (unless I do, in which case: Hi!), but as a diploma-having university graduate who successfully completed an entire four-year degree program in only six years, I am fully qualified to guide you through your upcoming life transition.
I’ll admit a lot has changed during the past 20 years. For instance, that Salisbury steak I had one Tuesday in the residence cafeteria has pretty much worked its way through my system. Also, whereas I was taunted and pelted with eggs during Frosh Week, new guidelines now restrict upperclassmen to cocking one (1) eyebrow at newcomers for no more than 12 seconds. Consider yourselves hazed!
For further information on ﬁrst year, please consult this list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Q: What should I not do at university?
Don’t sweat the roommate thing.
These living arrangements couldn’t be more normal or natural. Dave—here’s Phil. You’ve never met, you may not be the least bit compatible, and each of you has at least one habit that will make the other guy want to punch you in the throat—but hey, enjoy the next eight months of stressful, high-stakes academics alongside a complete stranger in this cell-sized hellbox!
It’s fun to envision what awaits you. Maybe your roommate will instantly become your bestest friend and you’ll wear each other’s clothes. Or maybe she’ll have punishing body odour, night terrors and the world’s foremost collection of doom metal. Oh, good, it’s 6:30 a.m. and she’s playing Eyehategod again! All you can do is make the best of it. I knew two guys in residence who hated each other but found a way to tolerate life together by rarely coming into contact. Think of it as useful preparation for marriage.
Q: What should I deﬁnitely not do at university?
Plagiarizing is commonplace now. Recently, a researcher was even censured for his habit of self-plagiarizing. Self-plagiarizing? It’s not worth the risk of going blind, people!
At the risk of overdoing it with the slang preferred by today’s teens, I’m not some rule-loving dip stick from Squaresville who’s trying to play back-seat bingo with the Man. I myself pushed the boundaries as a student. Once I even composed an essay for a friend, who in the place of a mark received a note from the professor that said: “This is a terrific essay, Nick. Who wrote it?”
And that’s my point: if you plagiarize, you’ll get caught. THE ALL-SEEING EYE OF GOOGLE WILL FIND YOU. Kids today are always getting busted for cheating or plagiarizing and I just have to wonder why they don’t do things the old-fashioned way: put in a half-hearted effort, earn a terrible grade and make your parents wish you’d never been born. That method works, folks. It’s time-tested.
Q: What should I not, under any circumstances, do at university?
Don’t pass out in a ditch.
I haven’t done a lot of bone-stupid things in my life—but I did spend one entire night in a ditch during my second year at school. You may be thinking to yourself: I would never pass out in a ditch! But take it from me: drink enough (i.e. too much), stumble out of a bar, start sway-walking home and all of sudden those ditches start to looking pretty enticing, especially once you somersault into one.
Drinking is as much a part of university as later regretting having drunk so much. But here’s a general guideline worth following: it’s more fun to be the slightly tipsy person who experiences, remembers and possibly live tweets the mayhem than the blind-drunk fool who wakes up with a screaming hangover, no eyebrows and his pants filled with poop (his own, if he’s lucky).
Q: Hey, is there anything I should not do at university?
Don’t skip too many classes.
It’s thrilling to have full control over your life for the first time—and it’s fun to blow off the occasional lecture to do something more important, like nothing. But you don’t want to wind up like me. You are reading the words of a man who skipped so many classes in first year that he ended up having to withdraw from introductory geology. I still feel a wave of shame every time I see a—uh, what are those things called again?—oh yeah, a rock.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 10:12 AM - 211 Comments
Michael Ignatieff promises student aid.
The Liberal leader’s proposed “learning passport” would provide tax-free grants of $4,000 — or $1,000 a year for four years — for students across Canada to attend college or university. Students from low-income families would qualify for as much as $6,500 over four years, or up to $1,500 a year. The money would be provided through existing registered education savings plans, or RESPs, but families would not be required to make contributions. The funds would be held until the student decides to go to school.
By Julia Belluz - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
The push to make grads more job-ready may be killing the liberal arts tradition. Goodbye, Western canon.
Ian Collins was almost a cliché. He finished a degree in visual arts at the University of Western Ontario and then spent four years waiting tables. “I was going in for job interviews, but I wouldn’t get the job,” explains the Toronto resident. The deal breaker? “It was always because someone else had real-world experience.” So Collins decided to enrol in a one-year diploma in sport and event marketing at George Brown College because, he says, it had a built-in internship. That led to a job after graduation, and now he’s an account executive at the marketing firm Zoom Media. At 31, Collins has his career on track. “College helped me by getting my foot in the door,” he says.
It’s no wonder students like Collins are looking to college for a different path. Despite the fact that Canada has the second-highest rate of education spending in proportion to our GDP, we’re nearly the worst of the 32 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries when it comes to placing grads in jobs they are qualified for. That’s especially hard to swallow considering the price of education today. With student debt load reaching a record high—nearly $27,000 for university students last year and about half that for college grads—more Canadians than ever before are considering college as a less expensive, more job-oriented alternative to the ivory towers.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 10:50 AM - 1 Comment
A life coach helps frustrated grads get out of their parents’ basement and into a paying job
My degree was a waste of time. How did I wind up back at my parents’ house? My mom’s on my case. I need a job. For the newly graduated, life coach Kenneth Jedding offers advice in his new book, Higher Education: On Life, Landing a Job, and Everything Else They Didn’t Teach You in College.
Moving back into your parents’ house isn’t as pathetic as you might think, he writes. “It gives you the chance to explore career possibilities with less financial pressure. If you can work it to your advantage it will go down in your history as a smart move.”
That’s if you can survive your parents driving you crazy. “If you’re feeling like you can’t do anything right, from putting the orange juice back in the right place to wearing the right shoes to sending out your resumé to enough of the right people—then the criticism is probably excessive.” Still, “keep the peace as much as you can,” he urges. “You’ll need to find someone else to vent to.” Even better, “put on your running shoes, go out and run a few miles, yell at the top of your lungs if necessary, and then with all that pent-up anger out of your system, keep thinking about what you’re going to do career-wise.”
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 18, 2010 at 11:37 AM - 16 Comments
Michael Ignatieff’s tour stop at the University of British Columbia apparently got a bit shouty on Friday. You can read the accounts of Canwest and the Ubyssey or, if you prefer, you can see and hear for yourself.
By Barbara Amiel - Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 8:00 AM - 86 Comments
I will eat my hat the day they allow an Anti-Islamism Week or even an Anti-Taliban Week
The usual anti-Semitic incidents are listed in a letter from the Anshe Emeth synagogue in New Brunswick, N.J., to Rutgers University president William H.S. Demarest: officials failed to take action after a student mob attacked some Jewish students shouting “We don’t want you Jews here”; the campus allowed vandalism and “narrow-mindedness and bigotry” alien to its principles. The letter writers proposed remedial measures: that president Demarest publicly denounce statements “ridiculing and insulting Jews”; that he threaten expulsion to “students who interfere” with the rights of Jewish students and make serious attempts “to apprehend” the violators. President Demarest met with the synagogue committee, who professed satisfaction. And of course, nothing changed.
The letter and incidents took place at Rutgers in 1920. Israel did not exist. Hitler had not appeared. Islamofascism had not surfaced in the West. The situation, however, was pretty much identical to what goes on at universities year round these days, with highlights during last month’s Israel Apartheid Week, when anti-Semites got together on campuses to demonize Israel, the single democracy in the Middle East.