Eduvation Blog

2 Weeks Connecting the Dots

Good morning!

It’s humpday, and I’m gearing up for a live Zoom with members of the polytechnic Marcom Guild early this afternoon. I don’t imagine we’ll be honouring “National Drink Beer Day” until happy hour (although I might grab a ROOT beer), but today is also National Good Neighbour Day, World Rabies Day, and a day for Strawberry Cream Pie and Hawaiian Poke. Pick your poison, I guess!

Today is also the UN’s “International Day for Universal Access to Information,” and in THAT spirit I want to share some of what you may have missed in the past 2 weeks on Eduvation Circles


2 Weeks on Circles

It’s been almost a month since I announced the launch of my new virtual community platform, Eduvation Circles, back on Aug 30 (“Engaging You All”).

Since then, hundreds of you have joined me on Circles, setting up a free profile and gaining access to my real-time News feed, Trends updates, ICYMI videos, and more. (Some have joined the Inner Circle, to access threaded conversations and exclusive virtual events, and others the Marcom or CMO Circles, where we focus on marketing, communications, branding, and recruitment.) It’s been a real pleasure to start interacting more frequently with subscribers via chat, comments, and live office hours.

Once you join any of the Circles, you can customize your notifications, and personalize a daily email digest focused on the people, topics and discussions you care about most. That’s why I see it as the next step in the evolution of this email newsletter – although I realize that any platform migration takes time, and you won’t all necessarily make the leap at once.

That’s why I had planned to publish weekly newsletters like this one, with highlights from the posts, articles and activities on Eduvation Circles, and I managed to do that on Sept 1 and Sept 9. But then, along came 2 weeks of travel, speaking, and homelife disruptions – as I described on Monday in “September Whirlwinds.”

So, allow me to play catch-up in a somewhat different format, over the days ahead…

2 Weeks in Graphs

Every day, I’ve been sharing at least one thought-provoking graph from the news, blogs I read, or recent research reports that have crossed my desk. From the 2 weeks since my last summary (“Circling Back”), here are some examples…

I’d say the most interesting graph in the 62-page CUSC 2022 First-Year Students master report showed that undergraduate student satisfaction rose as learning modalities became more F2F. Read more/comment on Circles

If you think faculty ages rose with the end of mandatory retirement, check out what happened to the US congress and judiciary… it may explain a lot of what’s going wrong in politics.  Read more/comment on Circles

Aside from plenty of ongoing discussion about the monarchy (and some PR headaches being sparked by outspoken faculty members), I posted a quick poll to Circles about last week’s National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, and quickly found that most respondents’ institutions were merely lowering campus flags, although 23% were closing campus for the day, and another 12% were cancelling classes. As time went on, the poll accumulated comments as well, and I summarized the results: “it would seem that popular sentiment (and provincial policy) is most monarchist on the two coasts of our country…”  Read more/comment on Circles

In many ways, postgraduate credentials at Canadian colleges have been driving enrolment and immigration successes for the past 5 years. PGs have doubled their share of college graduations in that time, largely due to Indian students, who accounted for 53% of them in 2019 (a tenfold increase). By comparison, Indian students were just 12% of college certificate/diploma grads. And a remarkable 85% of Indian students with a college postgrad credential became permanent residents of Canada within 5 years. This prompted a bit of discussion about implications for CdnPSE.  Read more/comment on Circles

ICEF reports that Chinese student enrolments in Canada are still down 26% from pre-pandemic, thanks to xenophobia, geopolitics, and China’s zero-COVID policies… (Not exactly a graph, but a thought-provoking table at least!)  Read more/comment on Circles

ACT surveyed 2,665 US high school students in Feb 2022, and found they were least optimistic they would find steady employment, a good-paying career, or have better lives than their parents. Read more/comment on Circles

In Hubspot’s “2022 State of US Consumer Trends” report, what was most striking to me were the generational differences on whether companies should take a stance on social issues: older Americans consider it inappropriate, while younger Americans think it’s essential.  Read more/comment on Circles

Since it’s Truth & Reconciliation Week, it bears repeating that census data also demonstrates that First Nations and Inuit youth are really the only population “pyramid” in Canada. (The rest of us have a middle-age bulge instead.) Most of CdnPSE will need to pay more attention to Indigenous youth, for traditional-aged domestic students.  Read more/comment on Circles



Hot Topics

Several reports prompted me to write more in-depth articles, and to include multiple graphs. They also tended to prompt a bit more comment from readers…  

Anxious Applicants

A June survey of almost 22,000 US college applicants found applicant preferences shifting away from rural and online institutions, and towards mid-sized urban colleges, as the pandemic waned. They appeared to be most concerned about campus and community safety, discrimination and hate above all else, and diversity was a key decision driver. I shared 4 graphs, and started a conversation about how transferable the findings might be to CdnPSE.  Read more/comment on Circles

Canada in 2041

I also distilled the latest StatsCan demographic projections for the year 2041, shared 4 key graphs, and outlined 6 key implications for CdnPSE. Declining rural youth populations, and intensifying immigration and diversity in the country’s major urban centres, will mean the demographically rich institutions will only get richer. CdnPSE will be hard pressed to refresh staff and faculty to reflect the diversity of the student body, may have to cope with shifts in program choice and transnational connections, and more.  Read more/comment on Circles

The Teenage Brain

I wrote up a brief summary of an interesting BBC article that debunked some myths about adolescent brain development. It argued that teenage minds are “highly combustible,” with “hard-to-control mood swings, identity crises and the hunger for social approval, a newfound taste for risk and adventure, and a seemingly complete inability to think about the future repercussions of their actions.” Adolescents are simultaneously rebelling and seeking independence, while desperately craving parental approval. And while teen brains are far from fully-formed, unfortunately our education system insists on evaluating them, labelling them, and far too often, limiting their potential academic opportunities. Teens have exaggerated dopamine signalling – driving curiosity, pleasure and reward-seeking behaviours – and are therefore prone to impulsive risk-taking, but are also open to new experiences, creativity, and pushing boundaries. They are also hyper-conscious of social connections and status, their body clocks are time-shifted, and more.  Read my whole summary and some thoughts about implications

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the topic that has already proved the hottest so far this Fall – stay tuned!

Join Me in Toronto

If you’re directly involved in Student Recruitment, Success, Marketing or Enrolment, you probably already know that the SEMM Forum is returning to its in-person format in Toronto this Fall, from October 24-26, 2022. Once again, Eduvation is sponsoring the event – and it will also be one of my first in-person conferences since the pandemic began! I’m busy preparing 3 brand-new sessions: the opening keynote, “Surfing the Waves of Change,” a concurrent workshop that continues the theme, “Surf Camp 101,” and a pre-conference workshop, “Drop the Megaphone,” on omnichannel, multilateral communication. If you want to join me there, I’m pleased to offer you a $100 discount code: EDUVATION100. Learn more and register at


I’m aiming to share 5 notable higher ed videos every week in the #ICYMI resource on Circles – far too many to share in this newsletter! Here is just one example from the past 2 weeks…

Forward Happens Here

When UBC released a series of 4 short teaser vids for research profiles, the jazzy houndstooth lightwall and simulated AR graphics in the thumbnails immediately caught my attention. I shared the videos and summarized the related UBC articles, but in honour of Truth & Reconciliation Week, let me focus on the 2 that emphasize Indigenous perspectives…

Using Forests to Fight Climate Change” profiles Suzanne Simard’s “Mother Tree Project,” which is working to help forests adapt to survive the stress of climate change, “protecting what we have for generations to come.” The full story explains that healthy forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2 and slowing climate change, and that co-creating forest ecology treatments with Indigenous science can help put us “on the right track.” So-called “mother trees” actually nourish surrounding trees, and leaving them in place can create healthier ecosystems. Says Simard, “Instead of viewing [forests] only as sources for [products like] toilet paper and two-by-fours, we need to see them as life-support systems for all living things.”  YouTube 

Expanding Perspectives on Cyberbullying” profiles education prof Johanna Sam’s work to bring Indigenous learnings to the field of youth mental health, where there has long been a “diversity gap.” The full story explains that Sam’s team at C.I.R.C.L.E. (the Community-based Indigeneity, Resiliency and Cyberbullying Lab in Education) is researching whether Indigenous youth are being targeted differently online, and how best to help them cope – perhaps through stronger community connections, or connections to the land.  A “two-eyed seeing” approach will combine Western and Indigenous perspectives, respecting them equally.  YouTube

On Circles, I provided more details, and also summarized the other 2 profiles in this series, on “Accelerating Clean Energy” and “Revolutionizing Rural Health Care.”  Read more/comment on Circles

As always, thanks for reading! When you have a couple of minutes, I hope you’ll take the leap and join Eduvation Circles. (If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can “sign in with LinkedIn” and half the setup will be done for you automatically.)  

I’ll be back tomorrow with more highlights, including the intriguing story that seems to have got the most people talking this Fall.  Stay tuned!


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