Applications to York strong versus competition

Around 30 per cent fewer students are applying to Ontario universities this year, reported The Globe and Mail Jan. 21, the day the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre was expected to release preliminary application figures for the fall term. The newspaper said it learned that almost every university has had a 30 per cent drop in the number of applications from high-school students. York University experienced just a 16 per cent slide in applications.

Osgoode wins bragging rights

York’s Osgoode Hall Law School shot up to second in Canada from 12th in the annual Canadian Lawyer ranking of law schools, reported the National Post Jan. 21. The really important thing about that, of course, is it gives Osgoode bragging rights over the University of Toronto, which held at No. 3, wrote Sandra Rubin in her column, “Motions: A Look at the Legal World’s Comings and Goings.” University of Calgary’s law school was No. 1. Patrick Monahan, the Osgoode dean, can certainly dine out on the results for the next year, she said.

High-tech learning centre opens doors

What is being billed as Ontario’s newest and most technologically advanced education building has officially on the York University campus, reported the Daily Commercial News and Construction Record Jan. 20. Designed by Toronto’s Moriyama & Teshima Architects, the $88-million, 345,000-square-foot Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building can accommodate up to 4,000 students in its 31 classrooms, 40 computer laboratories and three resource centres, said the Canadian building and construction newspaper, which included a colour photo of the centre.

A joint project between York University and Seneca College of Applied Arts, the building offers facilities that enable faculty to present and record lectures, including multimedia material, that students can watch live on the Web or review later, reported the newspaper. The architects took a holistic approach to sustainability, guided by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. At the building’s centre are three atriums, designed as settings for social interaction. These atriums also function as part of a strategy for energy reduction. Clerestory windows can be opened to release warm air, reducing the need for air conditioning. Key building materials include precast concrete and a glass curtain wall. The project was built with funding from the provincial government as well as the two educational institutions and the private sector. Construction costs are estimated at $68 million.

‘Banks are going to get bigger,’ says prof

CIBC chief executive John Hunkin left the impression at a recent banking conference that the possibilities for bank mergers are murky at best, reported the Toronto Star Jan. 21. But Bernie Wolf, an economics professor at York ‘s Schulich School of Business who follows the banking industry, said: “The handwriting is on the wall that banks are going to get bigger. The question is how?” Wolf said the issue is less of a political hot potato than it was in 1998, given the time lag and the weakness of opposition parties in Ottawa.

On air

  • Daniel Drache, associate director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, discussed Belinda Stronach’s plan to run for leadership of the Conservative Party, on CBC Radio’s “Info Radio” in Winnipeg and “Afternoon Edition” in Saskatchewan Jan. 20. He said she brings a whole lot of buzz to this leadership race and will attract more media attention.