Top Ten

December 15, 2010

Immigration consultant charged with student visa fraud

A BC-based immigration consultant faces criminal charges in connection with a scheme to get temporary student visas for non-students hoping to immigrate to Canada. Gungyon Mo, also known as Jason Mo, is charged with forging transcripts from Winston College, a Burnaby-based PSE institution where approximately 40% of students come from outside of Canada. Mo also allegedly told 7 people to give immigration officials false transcripts from Winston College to support their temporary residency applications. The college's managing director says she was shocked by the allegations, which occurred between 1999 and 2009. "It's so unfair," she says. "We've been working hard to build up the reputation, and someone out there (allegedly) has been using our school to make money." Vancouver Sun

uWindsor fundraiser resigns for personal reasons

John Bergholz, the University of Windsor's chief fundraiser, has quit his post on the eve of campaign to raise $26.5 million for the institution's engineering complex. $300,000 has been raised thus far for the complex. School officials say a full-blown campaign will be launched in the new year. While some sources at uWindsor complain that effort has struggled under Bergholz, others say his innovative attempts to raise funds were frequently curbed by senior administration. "We were all blindsided by the resignation," one source told the Windsor Star. "It was a real shock." A statement on uWindsor's website cited "family reasons" for Bergholz's departure. Windsor Star

Fire strikes UBC building

Firefighters put out a blaze on the roof of the University of British Columbia's Henry Angus Building Tuesday morning. The fire broke out just before 10 am when a worker, using an acetylene torch to cut through a steel vault on the roof, accidentally lit some wood inside the vault. The damage was contained to the facility's roof and penthouse. Occupants were allowed back into the building by 11:30 am. At the time of the blaze, UBC had switched off the building's fire alarms due to the welding work being done on the roof. The fire was spotted through manual building monitoring. York University's Keele campus reopened yesterday following a fire Monday, which cut power to most of the campus. Vancouver Province | CBC

Enrolment to rise at Canadore

In January, Canadore College expects to welcome 190 new first-year students in its programs for the winter semester. This growth represents a 36% increase in enrolment in addition to the upward trend in registrations Canadore experienced for its fall 2010 semester. For the fall term, colleges across Ontario have reported a 5.9% increase in enrolment. Canadore News Release

Alberta police college still in the works

Funds have been tentatively set aside for Alberta's long-shelved police college, the province's solicitor general said Tuesday as he unveiled a new provincial law enforcement framework. While the solicitor general said he cannot predict what the response will be from the treasury board, he does have more detailed plans for the Fort Macleod facility that would eventually train 1,400 recruits annually. The project was announced in 2006, but has now been stalled for nearly 4 years because of financial constraint. QMI Agency

Apprenticeship ratio amendment in Saskatchewan to allow more electrical trade apprentices

The Saskatchewan government has made changes to The Electrical Licensing Exemption Regulations to allow employers to hire additional employees to meet the needs of the labour market. The amended regulation changes the required ratio of journeypersons to apprentices in the electrical trade to be one journeyperson to 2 apprentices. In the past, the ratios in most trades had been one apprenticeship to one journeyperson. The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission expects that apprentice numbers will grow over time as a result of this amendment. Saskatchewan News Release

Lethbridge College eligible for SSHRC funding

College has been approved to receive funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Earlier this year, the college was made eligible to receive funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. "Adding SSHRC to our existing NSERC only strengthens our prospects for applied research," says Lethbridge College president Tracy Edwards. "It provides researchers within the college the opportunity to partner with a vast number of community-based businesses and to strengthen those relationships with existing collaborators." Lethbridge College News

Recruiting best international students needed to keep best Canadian students

Attracting the best international students to Canada is "an ever more pressing necessity," writes University of Toronto professor Clifford Orwin in a column appearing in yesterday's Globe and Mail. He says many outstanding Canadians will go wherever they expect to find a global elite of the best foreign students. "The very last thing they want is a sheltered workshop for Canadians." The Ontario government, Orwin notes, pays universities a subsidy for every Canadian doctoral student but none for an international one. In difficult times, it becomes less feasible for universities to carry foreign students, and so they cut admissions of international students. "Soon the best foreign students won't bother to apply -- and neither will the best Canadian ones." Globe and Mail

Drop in foreign enrolment draining Australia universities' funds

Tighter visa rules, attacks on Indian students, a high dollar, and closures of shady colleges have reversed Australia's fortunes as an exporter of education. Central Queensland University, where nearly half of students are full-fee payers from overseas, expects a 25% drop in international-student enrolment in 2011, which would shave off about $20 million from its budget next year. At the University of Ballarat, where 55% of its international students come from India, foreign-student enrolment dropped from 32% to 22% this year. These 2 institutions are among universities that will compensate for the decline in foreign students by increasing domestic enrolments, along with diversifying income streams and restructuring. The Australian

Online flirting site gaining popularity on Canadian campuses

LikeaLittle.com is an online "flirting-facilitator platform" taking Canadian campuses by storm. Over a dozen university and colleges across the country have been added to the website in a matter of weeks, with some institutions attracting nearly 2,000 student users within 24 hours of launch. Unlike "missed connection" sections in newspapers or on Craigslist, the site operates in real-time. A founding member of the LikeALittle site at the University of Western Ontario says the concept is ideally suited to those who would otherwise be too shy to engage a stranger on campus. Not everyone, however, is looking for love. The founder of the site's branch at Queen's University says part of the appeal is simply to be "wasting time with your entire school." Earlier this year, a British student who created a student-flirting website was fined by his institution for putting it into disrepute. Postmedia News | LikeaLittle.com