Top Ten

January 2, 2009

York to toughen law school admission procedures

Following the Toronto Star’s report of a third-year York University law student possessing a fraudulent undergraduate degree, York’s Osgoode Hall Law School announced last month it will tighten admission procedures. In an e-mail sent to students, Osgoode’s dean writes that the law school is ”investigating additional verification measures that could be put in place to detect cases of fraud in the admission process." The student with the fake degree is now facing a disciplinary hearing, which could result in her expulsion. Toronto Star

Ontario MTCU sets up review of Durham College deficit

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities has appointed Dr. Ralph Benson, a former assistant deputy minister with the department, to address governance and financial challenges at Durham College, which has amassed a $21.8-million deficit over the last 2 years. Durham’s president had asked the ministry for assistance with its financial situation. Benson has been asked to report back by the end of March. Toronto Sun | Durham Region News

$56-million renovation, expansion for UBC museum

The University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, from which several works by artist Bill Reid were stolen last May, is undergoing a $55.5-million renovation and expansion. The museum is building the security of its collection of artifacts by Northwest Coast artists into its redesign by adding 14,000 square feet of cases for the artifacts, including the pieces recovered from last year’s heist. The museum will increase its size by 50%, and its archeology and research labs are being redesigned. The museum closed in September and is slated to reopen in early March. CBC

NB to review student grant program

At the request of New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, the Department of Post-Secondary Education will review a student grant program in which first-year students enrolled at the province’s public universities receive $2,000 towards their education. The premier said the department will consider directing the funds to a tuition freeze. An executive with the Université de Moncton’s student federation says the group would rather see the province introduce a debt cap, an initiative the premier has rejected. Times and Transcript

London police officers cleared in O-Week confrontation with Fanshawe student

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has concluded that 2 London Police Service officers did not commit a criminal act when arresting a first-year Fanshawe College student during Orientation Week in September. The officers arrested the 18-year-old student, who was intoxicated in public holding a can of beer, for refusing to identify himself. The young man fought with both officers, and in his struggle with police, he sustained a fractured orbital bone under his left eye. The SIU found that under the circumstances, the officers did not use excessive force. SIU News Release | Maclean’s OnCampus

Automakers’ and UQAM’s rescue packages share similarities

In a column published last month in the Montreal Gazette, Henry Aubin compares the government bailouts for the automotive industry and for the Université du Québec à Montréal, the latter regarding failed real-estate dealings. Aubin observes that in both cases, the automakers and UQAM were “blind to reality,” government let itself be convinced to close its eyes as well, and taxpayers are the ones funding the bailouts. Unlike the automakers’ bailout, UQAM’s is not a loan. While Quebec is strengthening oversight of universities, Aubin writes, the province “still lacks a process for screening major construction schemes.” Montreal Gazette

SFU students, faculty call for more provincial funding

Simon Fraser University students and faculty have united in petitioning the BC government to boost school funding. Representatives from the SFU faculty association and student union met with Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell in early December. The faculty association’s president says the province’s “ill-considered” 2.6% PSE budget cut hit SFU harder than other institutions because funding was already tight. A student union spokesperson says while funding for SFU has gone up in recent years, inflation and increased student enrolment must be considered. Coell says he will review student and faculty concerns when setting priorities for this year. Burnaby Now

Capilano U-Pass “useless” for regional students

Capilano University’s mandatory U-Pass is drawing criticism from residents in Squamish BC, as area students commuting to the Vancouver campus or attending the Squamish campus do not have access to TransLink, with whom Capilano has a contract. A university executive says Capilano tried to negotiate an exemption for regional students, but TransLink “will not budge.” University staff acknowledge that the current policy is “unfair,” and will explore options to solve the issue, such as adding a dollar to the fee for others students to cover an exemption for regional students. Squamish Chief

Eastern Canadian universities see surge in US applicants

Universities from Toronto to Halifax are noticing a new level of interest from US high school students in the New England region. Dalhousie University, for example, saw requests for information from New England students triple in the fall. The surge in interest in Canada as an education destination is being attributed to a slumping US economy, weakening Canadian dollar, cultural diversity, and proximity to home. To build upon the demand, universities such as Dalhousie are boosting their recruitment efforts in New England, particularly in the Boston suburbs. Boston Globe

UNB unveils new website

Late last month, the University of New Brunswick launched a redesigned homepage. Visitors to the site can manipulate the graphic in the centre of the page, which displays photos of students along with captions touting the benefits of an education at UNB. The homepage offers links to information about the Fredericton and Saint John campuses, as well as feature stories on research, capital projects, students, and alumni. The right-hand side of the site directs visitors to news releases, event listings, and dates for recruitment sessions across Canada. UNB News Release | UNB website