Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT III - March 3, 2000
Recommended: That Senate approve and recommend to the Board of Governors, through the Vice-Chancellor, the Policy on International Student Exchanges attached as Appendix 1.
The University has been actively involved in exchange programs with foreign institutions for many years. These exchanges have been mutually advantageous, benefitting the Universities involved, their faculty and their students.
Western students have been afforded the opportunity to live in foreign countries and study at excellent international institutions, thus developing their cultural awareness, knowledge, adaptability, and critical thinking skills. Their experiences also are aiding them in their attempts to pursue graduate work and employment, since institutions and employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of international experiences. In the last five years, two UWO students who participated in exchanges subsequently were awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Western's partner institutions have benefitted from the unique academic and personal views that UWO students have brought with them on their exchanges, and similarly, the University has benefitted significantly from the diversity in attitudes and knowledge that the exchange students have brought to this University. Western faculty and staff have enjoyed the presence of these students in their classrooms, residences, and other parts of the Western campus.
Western students who attend a foreign institution in an exchange program register at Western and pay the usual tuition and incidental fees to Western for the semester(s) spent abroad. These students are given a unique opportunity to gain entry to competitive foreign institutions, often at fee schedules significantly lower than those available to independent foreign students. Courses taken at the foreign institution are accepted for credit toward their Western degrees.
Over the last two decades interest in exchange programs has increased tremendously. Both the number of exchange programs and the number of participating students have risen sharply. During the 1998-99 academic year, approximately 150 students from Western participated in exchanges and approximately 175 students from foreign institutions took courses at Western as part of exchange programs. Western currently has more than 100 exchange agreements in place and about 50 active exchange programs with universities around the world.
There is increasing concern about the lack of a University-wide policy and procedures to govern our exchange programs. Often agreements are initiated by a faculty member who has had some contact with another institution, without a comprehensive review of prospective exchange institutions to verify academic standards, address safety issues, and determine if the exchange is one that will be of interest to Western students. Furthermore, some Faculties continue to negotiate and enter into exchange agreements without review and execution of the agreements by the University's designated signing officers.
The University recognizes that it has an obligation to satisfy itself that an exchange institution has an established reputation and similar academic standards to its own before establishing an exchange program with that institution. Students have a right to expect that the exchange institution has been properly investigated by this University before its approval as a suitable equivalent to Western. Moreover, because we have a continuing relationship with these students, we have a duty to make inquiries as to the safety and quality of the study environment of the institution before sanctioning it as a destination for our students. Finally, it is critical to the economic viability of an exchange program that there be a balance of incoming and outgoing students over the term of the program. There are a number of current programs where the University has been accepting foreign students but there has been no corresponding interest from our students in attending the foreign institution. Such one-sided exchange programs are not economically feasible for the University. The foreign institution retains the fees of these students and the Ontario government does not permit Universities to claim a foreign exchange student for operating support [Footnote: The Ontario Operating Funds Distribution Manual 1998-99, section 5.3.3. The only exception to this is a student studying in Ontario as a participant in an Ontario government sponsored exchange agreement.] It is essential that the University institute procedures to monitor programs and ensure that a balance of exchange students is maintained over the term of the program.
Many Canadian universities have well-established policies regulating exchange programs. These include Toronto, Queens, Guelph, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, Dalhousie, UBC, and Alberta. As part of their policies, most of these Universities have established university-wide committees to regulate the programs.
This Policy on International Student Exchanges establishes a similar committee at Western. All new programs would be evaluated by this committee to ensure that programs are in the best interest of the University, its faculty and its students. All programs, both new and existing at the date of the approval of this Policy, would be assessed by the committee for their viability in those areas discussed above. All agreements would be required to be signed by the Board-designated University signing officers as well as the appropriate Dean. Both new and existing agreements will be retained in the University Secretariat. The University's Exchange Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that exchange program agreements are current and will maintain a list of agreements and approved programs. Approved exchange programs will be reviewed from time to time if there are concerns that they are not meeting established criteria.
Recommended: That a Bachelor of Arts program in Family Studies be introduced at Brescia College, effective September 1, 2000.
REVISED CALENDAR COPY
(p. 281 of 2000 Composite Calendar)
[Note: additional complete calendar copy will be developed and included in Calendar 2001. In the interim, information sheets and program counselling guidelines will facilitate implementation. Please see Appendix 2.]
The interdisciplinary 3 or 4 year Bachelor of Arts program in Family Studies of Brescia College is comprised of core courses team-taught by scholars from a variety of disciplines and additional courses from an approved list encompassing several departments. The list of approved courses is available in the Affiliated College Course Information section of the current calendar.
Family studies are of great interest to Brescia College students; the College was the first to introduce courses dealing with the family and with women and gender issues. The proposed interdisciplinary program with core courses will provide a thorough, scholarly path to understanding the family, its complexities and their ramifications. The redefinition of family and the social, economic and political ramifications of its transformations are of increasing importance in many disciplines. (The proposed BA will complement existing professionally focussed Family Studies programs within the Human Ecology Department and share some of its courses, in keeping with the proposal's interdisciplinary nature.)
The Subcommittee on Teaching Awards (SUTA) has chosen the following faculty members as recipients of The Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching for 1999-2000:
F. Michael Bartlett
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Science
Bertha M. Garcia
Department of Pathology
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Jerry P. White
Department of Sociology
Faculty of Social Science
Faculty of Education
The Subcommittee on Teaching Awards (SUTA) has chosen the following faculty member as recipient of The Marilyn Robinson Award for Excellence in Teaching for 1999-2000:
Mark S. Workentin
Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Science