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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, May 7, 1998

  • Province sets tuition fee rules
  • Moving ahead with the Bell labs
  • Psychologists talk about children
  • Winter registration will be different
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It's a day of SIN

Hundreds of physics students across Canada will write the 1998 Sir Isaac Newton (SIN) Test today. "Each year," organizers say, "a dozen SIN Scholarships are given to our incoming year I physics students, mainly on the basis of the SIN test." And what with upper-year scholarships and assistantships, "the wages of SIN could exceed $9,000." It's the 30th annual exam, which explains the little addition puzzle shown here, presented by Tony Anderson in the latest issue of Phys 13 News.

Province sets tuition fee rules

Wow, from the front page of today's Star you'd hardly know that deregulation of tuition fees in Ontario had been announced five months ago. "Students facing big hikes in tuition," the main headline announces.

The government did release some details yesterday, confirming that fees will be deregulated -- that is, each university can set its own rates -- in law, medicine, dentistry, business, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine, as well as all graduate programs.

There's some protection for students who have already begun a program: their fees can't go up by more than 20 per cent per year. But new students, starting this fall, can be charged whatever the institution chooses.

The education ministry said the same deregulation will apply to programs in computer science and engineering, but only if an institution takes part in the program, announced Tuesday, to double the number of students entering those fields of study.

University leaders are still trying to get more information from the education ministry about the government's offer of $150 million over three years to double the enrolment in "computer science and high-demand engineering programs". The expenditure was announced in Tuesday's provincial budget.

UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch said yesterday there are many questions that have to be answered before it's clear whether Waterloo can afford to take part, doubling the already huge first-year classes in some of this university's best-known programs. He wants to be sure that after the big start-up expenses, the year-by-year funding would continue to be enough to cover the cost of all those extra professors.

The deregulation announcement "comes at the worst possible time for students," said Robin Stewart, vice-president (education) for UW's Federation of Students. "Some universities have set the fee schedules for next year without deregulating fees; others have already pledged to deregulate fees in programs where it's not allowed -- there isn't enough time to properly reform student aid to minimize the impact of deregulation on our students."

Students who plan to apply for student aid for September 1998 may face the difficulty of not knowing exactly how much their program will cost, Stewart said. And even though universities will be required to hold back 30 per cent of additional revenue through tuition fees, students will have difficulty adjusting to large increases in tuition fees. "This is another blow to students who are already struggling to make ends meet under an inadequate student aid system," said Stewart.

Moving ahead with the Bell labs

"The official launch" of the Bell Emergis University Laboratory Program was announced yesterday at the annual stockholders' meeting of Bell Canada, hours after the Ontario government said it would provide more than $7 million to support it. The arrangement links Bell Emergis, a subsidiary of the telecommunications giant, with UW and the University of Toronto, and draws on federal as well as provincial government funding.

"University researchers and Bell Emergis staff will work closely together, in touch almost daily, to learn from each other," said Jean Monty, chairman of Bell Canada. He said the program "has two complementary goals: first, to attract internationally renowned teaching talent; and second, to attract a greater number of students to electrical engineering, computer science and other research fields." Laboratories close to both universities will be set up to do research in the broad fields of computing, networks and communications.

Plans for the project were first announced in February, shortly after UW and U of T filed applications for funding from the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund. As part of the provincial budget on Tuesday, support for the project was approved. UW asked for $7.7 million over three years, but "we have not yet been told if our request has been funded in full," says UW's vice-president (university research), Carolyn Hansson. Bell is providing $9 million, the Canada Foundation for Innovation $2.6 million (and "we will be applying for additional funding from CFI," says Hansson), and UW itself $7.7 million in professors' salaries, existing research grants and other contributions.

Bell said earlier it was seeking to create "a network of research laboratories focused on leading-edge computer engineering and software technology. . . . The laboratories will develop technologies that place Canada at the forefront of the emerging digital communications industry."

The project had been under discussion for months. In November 1997 Peter Forsyth, director of the Institute for Computer Research, said that Bell Emergis "wants to create a network of leading edge and internationally renowned R&D labs that will work in close collaboration with the Universities." He added: "Bell Emergis seems prepared to fund research infrastructure such as improvements to the campus networks, workstations for graduate students/faculty, scholarships for graduate students, funds for visiting scientists, professorial sabbaticals and endowed chairs."

The Bell Emergis project is just one of five major research proposals that UW submitted to the ORDCF at the end of January. Answers about the others haven't come yet.

Psychologists talk about children

Tomorrow through Saturday, UW's psychology department plays host to the Biennial Conference on Child Development, which is marking its tenth anniversary. Meetings will be held at Renison College, and more than 120 participants are expected to attend from across Canada, as well as some from the United States, says Christine Schwendinger of psych.

She adds: "We are delighted to have Dr. Kenneth H. Rubin (University of Maryland) and Dr. D. Geoffrey Hall (University of British Columbia) as the two keynote speakers." Rubin is a former UW faculty member.

The first day of the conference is devoted to a workshop on "Career Paths in Developmental Psychology", and Friday and Saturday are filled with paper and poster presentations related to child development. "The Conference is sure to be a great success," she says, and Psychology is proud to be hosting this event." For more information, she can be reached at ext. 6512.

Winter registration will be different

If you haven't paid your spring term fees yet, you're in line for an extra charge, as late fees go into effect today. Today the late fee is $10; tomorrow, $13; and it keeps going up until May 29, which is the "absolute last day to pay fees", according to the registrar's office. "The spring academic records of students who have not paid will be deleted" on that day.

After three days of regular registration, some arrangements are changing today. Documents (schedules and fee receipts) can now be picked up in the registrar's office, not at the first-floor paging desk in Needles Hall, which has been turned back to the co-op department after its temporary use. Fee payments are now all to be made at the first-floor cashiers' office in NH. Both offices are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week.

Need a WatCard? If you're a new student, it comes free; replacement cards are $20. Either way, they're available at the WatCard office in the General Services Complex, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.

Now while registration is still a vivid memory, let's look ahead to next winter term (and the fall too, but most students who are on campus now will be away in September). Procedures are changing: starting this September, the fee deadline comes before the start of classes, and people who register in the first week of term will have to pay a hefty late fee. "Students are expected to pay or arrange fees by mail," says a memo from the registrar's office setting out the changes.

Fees have to be paid or "arranged" for the fall term by September 4; for the winter term, December 23; for the spring term, April 30. Late fees will be assessed starting September 8 for the fall term, January 4 for the winter, and May 3 for the spring term 1999. The late fee rate is going up, to $50 ($20 for part time, on campus) for the first week following the registration date and $20 ($10 for part time, on campus) per week after that.

Students must pay fees or make suitable fee payment arrangements by the following "final registration dates": September 30 for the fall term, January 29 for the winter, May 31 for the spring. "Students not registered by the final registration deadline will be dropped from classes."


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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