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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, May 27, 1998

  • That degree helps in employment
  • Spring convocation begins today
  • Ethics committee would disappear
  • Social psych, and other notes
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That degree helps in employment

Here's happy news for the 2,987 people who are receiving degrees from UW at this week's convocation. Young Canadians with university degrees have better jobs than those without them, and are more likely to have a job at all, says a new Statistics Canada study

Released on Monday, it's based on a survey of men and women aged 22 to 24, done in 1995. The emphasis of the report is on what happens to young people who drop out of high school, but it also compares their experience with that of high school graduates, young people who have some post-secondary education, and university graduates.

"In general," it says, "unemployment rates were lower for groups with higher levels of educational attainment." The unemployment rate was listed as 9 per cent for university graduates, 10 per cent for those with college diplomas, 13 per cent for high school graduates and 21 per cent for school dropouts. And although many university grads hadn't yet found "professional or managerial" jobs, most will eventually do so, the study says. Some key passages:

Similar patterns appeared among the high school graduates and those with some postsecondary education. They worked in segments of the labour market where there were strong gender divisions. Over 70% of the women in all three groups were working in clerical, sales, and service occupations. Large numbers of the male high school graduates also worked in clerical, sales, and service occupations, but they predominated in the blue collar jobs.

The patterns were quite different among those with a postsecondary degree, diploma, or certificate. Nearly one-half of university graduates, both male and female, were working in professional or managerial occupations. Here too, though, there were distinct gender patterns. Men with university degrees were much more likely than women to be working in professional occupations in the natural and applied sciences (which include engineering), as well as in business, finance and administration. Female university graduates were more likely to be teachers, especially in elementary and secondary school. . . .

Among male university graduates, 28% were working at jobs in Skill Levels C and D. These jobs were primarily in clerical, sales, and service occupations, for example, stock clerks, sales clerks, waiters, and security guards. Female university graduates showed a similar pattern; about 33% were working at jobs in Skill Levels C and D, especially in clerical and sales and service jobs. Typical jobs at this level were general office clerks, receptionists and switchboard operators, sales clerks, waitresses, and cashiers.

To some extent, these findings reflect the shift in demand in the labour market towards the two opposite poles of educational achievement. For the 1990s, the Human Resources Development Canada has predicted that the two areas of greatest job growth will be those demanding more than 16 years of education and those requiring less than 12. . . .

The findings also indicate that a postsecondary qualification is no guarantee of access to an occupation at Skill Level A or B, at least for youth in this age group. Other studies have shown that the extent to which postsecondary graduates may be working at lower skill levels varies a great deal by field of study, a factor not covered by this survey, and that it tends to decline in the five years after graduation. In other words, large numbers of young workers with postsecondary qualifications experience delays in finding jobs at Skill Levels A and B, but to date most do eventually succeed in doing so.

The study also reports that university graduates were "much less likely" than those with less education to have found their jobs through friends and relatives.

Spring convocation begins today

You can tell from the bright banners along the ring road: UW's 76th Convocation begins this afternoon, with a 2 p.m. ceremony in the Physical Activities Complex main gymnasium. A total of five sessions of convocation are planned: today, tomorrow, Friday, and then two on Saturday.

At today's event, a total of 498 students will receive their degrees in applied health sciences, environmental studies and independent studies. Honorary degree recipients today are Nigel Bell, biology professor at Imperial College, London, an environmental scientist and adviser on environmental policy, and Marie Sanderson, adjunct professor in the geography department and director of The Water Network, a multi-university consortium based at UW to research aquatic system problems.

Gold medal recipients as top graduates will be Craig Dillabaugh, geography, and Joel Schmidt, kinesiology. Schmidt will be the valedictorian, speaking on behalf of the graduating class.

To help celebrate convocation, an outpost of the Hearts and Flowers shop in Westmount Place will be set up in the Student Life Centre for the rest of this week to sell long-stemmed roses (at $3 apiece) and bouquets. The booth will be open 11:30 to 4:00 today, tomorrow and Friday, and starting at 8:30 on Saturday. A share of the proceeds goes to the SLC budget.

Ethics committee would disappear

UW's "ethics committee", which under Policy 33 holds hearings on complaints of harassment, discrimination and other unethical behaviour, will go out of business June 1 if the proposed Memorandum of Agreement between UW and the faculty association is approved.

Complaints that UW's ethical rules have been violated would be dealt with, instead, by those with academic and supervisory authority, such as department heads and deans, with assistance from the human resources department and the ethical behaviour and human rights office. Grievances could then be filed if necessary -- by faculty members, under the provisions of the new Memorandum; by staff, under Policy 36 (which is currently being reviewed); by students, under Policy 70.

Eliminating the ethics committee, which was created in 1982, is "a major change", says UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch. The new faculty Memorandum sets out a formal grievance procedure for professors, and "it would not be appropriate to have two formal hearings (ethics committee and grievance) on the same matter," the provost said. The duplication of processes for staff is even more cumbersome, he added. Kalbfleisch will ask the board of governors to eliminate the ethics committee by cancelling Sections III.A and IV of Policy 33 next week when it approves the Memorandum of Agreement.

Also to be eliminated are Policy 63, the present faculty grievance procedure, and the section of Policy 53 (on tenure) that deals with dismissal, which is also covered in the new Memorandum.

That's assuming that faculty members approve the Memorandum in a vote that winds up today. Ballots, which were distributed two weeks ago, must be returned to the university secretariat by today's 3:30 p.m. deadline. If professors vote in favour of the Memorandum, it will be on the agenda for approval by the board of governors on Monday.

Social psych, and other notes

This year's Waterloo-Western Social Psychology Conference runs from 10:00 through the end of today in Humanities room 373. Among the papers to be presented is one by UW's Ian Newby-Clark:"Variable Pasts and Ideal Futures: People's View of Their Past and Future Life".

The Centre Stage Dance Studio has the Humanities Theatre rented tonight and tomorrow night for its year-end recital, "From Broadway to the Big Screen". Performances are at 7:00 both nights.

The Rotary Club's Camp Enterprise brings about 60 people to the Ron Eydt Village conference centre today through Saturday.

The human resources department sends word that there will, indeed, be some spots open in the Working program sessions that run through June. They'll take place on Tuesday mornings, starting next week. Anybody interested can call Katrina Maugham in HR, phone ext. 5161, to register.


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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