Top Ten

May 14, 2019

Report: BC post-secondary institutions vulnerable to money laundering

Post-secondary institutions in British Columbia may unwittingly be used as an avenue for money laundering, according to a report by former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German. The report adds that German’s team received tips about colleges that accepted cash for tuition which, in the case of some international students, "can run from $7,000 to $10,000." The report explains that students would register and pay fees before withdrawing from the program and accepting an institutional cheque as reimbursement. CBC reports that public post-secondary institutions are not uniform in their criteria for accepting cash, but notes that the University of British Columbia has not accepted cash in over 10 years and that Simon Fraser University has not accepted cash since 2017. CBC (BC)

UManitoba investigators overwhelmed by harassment, rights complaints: Free Press

The Winnipeg Free Presshas learned that the University of Manitoba's Human Rights and Conflict Management Office was contacted 5,577 times in the past six fiscal years, with 334 informal and 71 formal complaints overseen by a department that consists of just four employees. As the university works on its upcoming budget, UManitoba spokesman John Danaka said that the administration "intends to continue to increase funding in sexual violence supports." The questions around sexual violence support staffing coincide with allegations of sexual and financial misconduct involving Peter Jones, the founding director of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. Jones announced his retirement last week, raising concerns over whether the misconduct investigation will be completed. Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Visa rejections a “headache” for some international students, universities: CP

Stringent visa requirements have become an obstacle for some international students who aspire to study in Canada, reports the Canadian Press. Pakistani students, in particular, have had so much trouble with their visas that the country’s High Commission in Ottawa has urged the federal government to address its rejection rate. Denise Amyot, the president of Colleges and Institutes Canada, noted that students from emerging economies can struggle to demonstrate that they can afford to study in Canada. Better collaboration between visa offices and post-secondary institutions is also necessary to improve the process, added Amyot. Victorian Times Colonist (CP) (National)

Dal receives $5M for healthy lifestyle program

Dalhousie University has received $5M from the Public Health Agency of Canada to promote healthy eating and exercise in 360 schools across Nova Scotia. The program will hire youth engagement co-ordinators to travel to schools and offer healthy lifestyle ideas such as planting school gardens and mapping safe cycling routes to school. "Children and youth in this province are not active enough, they're not eating healthy and those things are actually going to cause health problems later in life," explained Dal researcher Sara Kirk. "We'll know that its successful when we have better health outcomes amongst our children and youth." CBC (NS)

UoGuelph U-Pass fee to remain mandatory

Students at the University of Guelph will not have the option to opt-out of their U-Pass fee, despite provincial legislation that has lifted mandatory feesfor an array of ancillary campus services. According to provincial guidelines, an institution that has a compulsory fee for student transit passes that was established before Jan 17, 2019 may continue to charge that fee for the duration of the agreement and any subsequent renewals of that agreement. The agreement between Guelph Transit and UoGuelph’s Central Student Association and Graduate Students’ Association predates the government’s January 17th cutoff. TheGuelph Mercuryadds that the city’s transit service will receive $7.1M in revenues from students in 2019. Guelph Mercury (ON)

"It’s a lot of money": SMU students, opposition leader express concern over $476K legal bill

Saint Mary’s University spent nearly $476K in legal bills over the eligibility of football player Archelaus Jack, prompting some to call for greater accountability of how institutions spend their money, CBC has learned. "There's a lot of financial pressures around the universities, so when I hear that that's the amount of money that was spent on something like this, it's a lot of money," said official opposition Leader Tim Houston. Aidan McNally, Chairperson of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students, added that institutions need to be more transparent about their spending. CBC reported that the fees had reached $447K about a year ago. At the time, Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis said he considered it money well spent. CBC (NS)

McMaster demonstrators issued tickets for trespassing

Three McMaster University students were issued tickets for trespassing on campus last weekend, reports the Hamilton Spectator. During an open house for prospective students, the Hamilton Student Mobilization Network organized what it called a peaceful demonstration to protest the ongoing problem of sexual violence in the university. Gord Arbeau, McMaster's Director of Communications, told the Spectator that the protestors were handing out leaflets during the open house. After being asked to disband, a handful returned. "Three of them were handed trespassing notices," said Arbeau. The Spectator adds that the group also opposes the university’s decision to hire Glenn De Caire, the city's former police chief, as head of McMaster's campus security. Hamilton Spectator (ON)

UWinnipeg begins major solar panel installation 

The University of Winnipeg has announced that it will soon be home to one of the largest solar panel installations in the city. The university has begun to install 540 solar panels on the roof of the Axworthy Health and RecPlex building, which will reportedly deliver 178,000 watts of clean, renewable energy over the course of a calendar year. The project is expected to be fully installed by late July, with power officially being switched on in the fall. "We are committed to achieving our renewable energy targets through the use of geothermal, sustainable biomass, and solar energy," said Kyle Macdonald, UWinnipeg Executive Director of Facilities. UWinnipeg (MB)

URegina hikes tuition by 2.8%

The University of Regina will implement a 2.8% tuition hike for the upcoming academic year. The increase is the university’s 11th straight, reports theSaskatoon StarPhoenix. URegina Provost Thomas Chase told the StarPhoenix that rising costs are to blame for the tuition increase, but added that students should think of their education as an investment. "Over their lifetime, the premiums on their earnings from their degree for which they got $15K in debt is well over half a million dollars," said Chase. “(A degree) is one of the best investments you could make." Despite a budget surplus, the provincial government did not boost funding for universities this year, adds the StarPhoenixStarPhoenix (SK)

Applied research, dual credentials define collaboration between Fanshawe and Colombian partner

Fanshawe College has signed a new partnership agreement with UTS, a Colombian institute, that will see the schools exchange information about effective practices and collaborative work on applied research topics while exploring student and faculty exchange opportunities. A Fanshawe release adds that the schools will also explore the viability of implementing dual credentials for academic programs between Fanshawe and UTS. "As Fanshawe continues to grow its global presence so do the opportunities for our students, faculty and staff to study, teach and consult abroad," said Fanshawe President Devlin. "We are very excited by the prospects of this agreement with UTS Santander." Fanshawe (ON)