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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Thursday, June 20, 1996

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"Classrooms without walls" funding

The Ontario government
has announced $4 million in funding "to make it possible for more college and university students to take credit courses through computers and video". Almost $1 million of the funding is going for systems for transferring credits from one university to another, or between universities and colleges.

The Council of Ontario Universities and the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario will get a quarter of a million dollars to set up an "Advanced Training Consortium". There will be another $1 million to support "demonstration projects recommended the Consortium". COU said a news release that "The money will allow colleges and universities to work together to plan, co-ordinate and set up new joint academic programs. The focus will be on projects that can work both in the institutions that create them and that can serve as models for others."

COU gets another $710,000 to establish "a province-wide electronic credit transfer system for Ontario universities". Work on such a system was already under way, with UW assistant registrar Karen LeDrew heading the project.

Other projects getting special grants under what the ministry of education and training calls its "Open Learning Strategy" involve distance learning in northern Ontario ($2 million for the Contact North network) and "a network of distance educators" to be administered by the University of Western Ontario and Le College des Grands Lacs.

Science and Society launch

There's a small celebration at the University of Guelph at noontime today to officially launch "Science and Society", a project being introduced jointly by UW and U of G with special funding from donor Ken Murray. "Science and Society" is described as "a teaching, research and communications project addressing the ethics and societal implications of new technologies".

American VP speaks at MIT

Al Gore, vice-president of the United States, gave the convocation address June 7 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, comparing computer networking with democracy and telling students that "fear of chaos cannot justify unwarranted censorship of free speech," on or off the Internet.

Gore, known as the man who made "information highway" a household phrase, developed his talk after sending electronic mail to all MIT's graduating seniors, asking them for suggestions and for details that would help him bring his speech to life. More than 100 students responded, and Gore used several of their comments in his remarks. "It's very rare that commencement speakers go and try to get feedback from the community," said MIT's director of academic computing, Greg Jackson.

What's happening, man?

These things, inter alia: And -- dare I mention it? -- summer starts, meteorologically speaking, at 10:24 tonight, our time.

Volunteers are wanted

The local Volunteer Action Centre sends an invitation for people to consider helping the community in these ways: More information, and many more volunteer opportunities: 742-8610.

Chris Redmond -- credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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