[University of Waterloo]


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Monday, June 20, 2005

  • A call for UW to build global links
  • Recommendations for internationalization
  • Comings, goings, and traffic jams
Chris Redmond

World Refugee Day

[Johnston smiles, chats with grad]

Congratulations: "You never get tired," says UW president David Johnston, seen greeting a student as graduates come up to the platform three-by-three at Thursday's convocation session. The president was exuberant as he told UW's board of governors recently how thrilling it is to see thousands of students -- "the reason we're here" -- achieving their goals and collecting their degrees. The Ninetieth Convocation was held in five sessions, Wednesday through Saturday. Photos from convocation are appearing on the UW Graphics web site.

A call for UW to build global links -- by Barbara Elve

The creation of a "highly visible UW International Centre," the enhancement of Waterloo's international research profile, and the use of internationalization as a way for the university "to contribute more to the global community" are among the recommendations made to UW senate this spring in an updated report on internationalization.

Tabled by the Advisory Committee on International Connections, the report -- Strengthening Our Global Connections: The Next Phase of Internationalization at UW -- charts the progress of internationalization at Waterloo in the past five years and maps directions for the next five years. The report follows in the wake of Beyond Borders: A Strategy for Enhanced Internationalization at the University of Waterloo (1999), which contained 30 recommendations to improve the university's performance in an area "extensively acknowledged as an educational imperative."

The new report, dated January 2005, notes that of the 30 recommendations contained in Beyond Borders, 14 have been fully implemented and 10 partially enacted. No action has been taken on the remaining six.

"Beyond Borders stressed that, were the university to adopt all 30 of its proposed initiatives, that action 'would move UW significantly forward regarding internationalization, but would not establish the university as a major innovator'," the new report states. "That assessment remains true today: while there has been measurable progress in certain areas of our internationalization efforts, our Canadian peer institutions continue to implement increasingly ambitious and sophisticated internationalization strategies and to pour significantly more resources into their accomplishment.

"If UW is not to slip even farther behind, internationalization needs to be re-affirmed as an institutional priority, a comprehensive internationalization strategy and marketing plan must be developed, and adequate resources invested to bring these plans to fruition. This commitment is critical to maintain and enhance UW's reputation both at home and abroad."

To date, participation has increased in education fairs abroad, with resulting higher admissions from China, Korea, Mexico and the West Indies. Overall recruitment targets set for international students in Beyond Borders have been surpassed, but Waterloo still ranks well below many other Canadian universities in first-year international student numbers. While more on-campus housing has been created for both undergraduate and graduate students from abroad, visiting students are said to need more opportunity to interact with Canadian students.

Senate meets tonight

UW's senate will hold its monthly meeting starting at 4:30 today in Needles Hall room 3001. Agenda items include a briefing on the English language proficiency program; an update on admissions figures for September; a proposed Master of Public Health program; and proposed guidelines on the status of post-doctoral fellows.

Recommendations for internationalization

Beyond Borders also recommended the relocation of the international student office to the Student Life Centre. No progress has been made. "With the dramatic increase in international students and the chronic shortage of space and resources for the ISO, this is an urgent issue," says the new report. A recommendation to hire additional staff for the ISO has not been implemented because of the space shortage.

So far, efforts by the international programs office to "connect UW researchers and to keep them informed about international research opportunities" (Beyond Borders recommendation 24) have been problematic. "Increasingly we are being approached by funding agencies, universities, and other external parties who are seeking to ascertain UW's research capacity in various domains," says Strengthening Our Global Connections. "The creation of an up-to-date central data base listing individual researchers and identifying the international dimensions of their research would help rectify this situation."

As well, the newer report calls funding inadequate in many areas, including support for both Waterloo students participating in international activities and for international students coming to this campus.

Among the 17 new recommendations included in the 2005 report: ¶ Provide stable funding from centrally-controlled revenues for internationalization, including money for increased staffing. ¶ Create an International Centre and appoint a director of international relations to oversee its operations and help coordinate international activities. ¶ Use internationalization as a way for UW to contribute to the global community, with attention paid to how, what and where the university can contribute to assisting developing countries. ¶ Provide adequate resources to recruit and support more international students. The target for 2010 is for international students to comprise15 per cent of the undergraduate student body, and 30 per cent of graduate students. (In fall 2004, six per cent of undergraduates and 24 per cent of grad students were visa students.)

¶ Ensure UW graduates are "globally literate" by internationalizing the curriculum to integrate comparative international perspectives into course materials and/or use teaching methods that take advantage of the cultural diversity on campus. ¶ Implement a global proficiency diploma with foreign language, culture and international content courses. ¶ Enhance Waterloo's international research profile and strengthen international partnerships, including those with CIDA and international NGOs to promote community development projects. ¶ Establish an international summer school to help international students integrate into regular academic programs at UW, with courses in English and Canadian culture and society.

[Brandt] Timelines are suggested, priorities set, and budget implications noted for each recommendation. Presentation to the senate and board of governors were final steps in the report process, according to associate vice-president (academic) Gail Cuthbert Brandt (right), chair of the Advisory Committee for International Connections. No formal approval is required for the document; implementation is at the discretion of the administration.

The report concludes with a warning that Waterloo's reputation as "one of Canada's leading universities when it comes to quality, innovation, and preparing the leaders of tomorrow" may be at risk unless more is done "to ensure that UW graduates are truly prepared to succeed in a global context. Increased internationalization is an essential ingredient to sustaining UW's record of excellence, to attracting the best and the brightest into its ranks, and to developing UW into an acknowledged global leader in post-secondary education."

Senate graduate and research council 10:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Trade shows organized by procurement and contract services: today 10 to 3, "technology and communications", Davis Centre lounge; tomorrow, computers; Wednesday, office supplies. All staff welcome.

Fall term co-op job match results posted on JobMine by 11 a.m.

Project Ploughshares presents Alan Pleydell, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, "Giving Meaning to 'Never Again'", Tuesday 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, reservations 888-6541 ext. 709.

National Aboriginal Solidarity Day celebrations Tuesday 11:45 to 5:00, Canadian Clay and glass Gallery, details online.

Jim Curtis, department of sociology, informal memorial event "for friends to gather and exchange stories", Tuesday, 4:30 to 6:00, Graduate House.

Engineers Without Borders presentation on overseas internships, Tuesday 5:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

25-Year Club annual reception Tuesday 6:00, Physical Activities Complex, information ext. 2078.

Smarter health seminar: Sam Marafioti, Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital, "eHealth Is Changing Health Care Culture", Wednesday 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Flavio Gomes, LogiSense, "Surviving and Thriving as a Software Vendor", Thursday 12:00, Needles Hall room 1101, reservations ext. 7167 by Wednesday.

Comings, goings, and traffic jams

University Avenue is open for traffic again, as the city of Waterloo finished its pipe repairs in the eastbound lanes at the end of last week. But brace yourself for Son of Roadwork, this time under the auspices of Waterloo Region. Plans are to widen University Avenue in both directions -- the main beneficiaries will be bicyclists -- and work is scheduled to start this morning. The curb lane will be closed in both directions between Westmount Road and the railway tracks, says Mike Halloran of the Region's staff, estimating that the job will take two weeks. With the centre lanes still open, traffic will be able to get through, he promises, but admits that "it will be slow."

A new director for UW's food services department will be arriving next week. A memo from Bud Walker, director of university business operations, gives the details: "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Elkas as Director of UW Food Services. Lee is currently the Director of Food and Beverage for the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Lee has a wealth of experience in the food and beverage industry including several senior postings throughout Canada with the Delta chain. The selection committee is very impressed with Lee. He is a very engaging person and a sound addition to UW and the Food Services department. Lee is a graduate of the University of Guelph and lives in Elora with his wife and two children. He will begin his new duties on June 27." Elkas takes over from Mark Murdoch, who announced earlier this spring that he was moving on. I'll introduce Elkas at more length as soon as possible after he gets to campus.

Also leaving campus will be Bruce Lumsden, the director of co-operative education and career services, whose retirement after 31 years at UW was announced this winter. The date is almost at hand: June 30. A celebration in Lumsden's honour is planned for Tuesday, June 28, from 3:30 to 5:30 in the Tatham Centre, the building he helped to plan and build for CECS. "A scrapbook of memories is being compiled," writes Sandra Shantz from CECS. "If you have pictures, stories, best wishes cards or letters you would like to contribute to the scrapbook," she'd like to hear from you.

And this announcement comes along with the word on Lumsden's retirement party: "Bruce's wish is not to receive a personal gift to mark his retirement. Instead, it is proposed to establish a Staff Enhancement Grant to allow staff members in the future to broaden their experience. This grant is being started on the occasion of Bruce's retirement, and it is his hope that others will contribute over time to allow the fund to continue to grow to recognize the contribution of Bruce and other staff to UW. Detailed guidelines and criteria are being developed through consultation among the Staff Association and others at UW. Cheques can be made payable to the University of Waterloo and sent to the Development Office, specifying the Staff Enhancement Grant."

The bookstore, UW Shop, TechWorx and Campus TechShop begin their summer hours today: they'll be open 8:30 to 4:30, Monday to Friday, from now through late August (and closed on Saturdays). ArtWorx in East Campus Hall is closed for the summer.

The UW Recreation Committee is running a "Communities in Bloom" garden tour of Waterloo tomorrow. . . . The international student office is looking for volunteers for its "Shadow" program and English tutoring program. . . . Men under pressure will find no relief in the southeast corner of the Math and Computer building tomorrow, as the washrooms in that spot on all six floors will be closed (8:00 to 3:30). . . .


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