Universities jump through hoops for top students

As the millennial generation begins to flood university campuses exhibiting hubris and expecting the world, institutions are quickly discovering the new rules of engagement in the recruitment game for top students, reported the National Post Sept. 1 in a CanWest News Service series on higher learning. Some are more willing to play along than others, creating a schism in Canada’s increasingly competitive postsecondary education system. This year, York University launched a new program to hand deliver offers of admission and scholarship packages to make its top applicants – all fielding multiple offers from other schools – feel even more special.

We can swing no-frills pharmacare, says prof

“It’s rare when we agree with the inestimable Ralph Klein on health care, but a national pharmacare program as recently put forward by the premiers is  ‘a stroke of brilliance’,” wrote emergency department physician Joel Lexchin, a professor in York’s Atkinson School of Health Policy and Management, and drug-policy researcher Alan Cassels of the University of Victoria’s School of Health Information Science, in an opinion piece printed Sept. 1 in The Vancouver Sun. They advocated a “Back to the Essentials” approach to drug coverage. “In such a scenario, you could actually bring in an affordable first-dollar national pharmacare plan covering the essentials. As well, overall administrative expenditures would be less than they currently are because large plans are much more efficient.

“With the savings from this national plan, Canada could actually afford to do what we’ve needed for a long time: We could institute a program to promote appropriate prescribing so that our doctors could learn about new drugs from objective sources rather than manufacturers’ marketing spiels,” suggested Lexchin and Cassels.

“A ‘just the basics, ma’am’ approach to a new national plan would allow the feds to give the premiers what they are asking for, provide essential drug coverage for every Canadian and not break the bank,” argued the two healthcare analysts. “It’s time for the feds to do the right thing. Think national. Think essential. Go for it. We dare you.”

Healthy prospects for nurse practitioners

In a Toronto Sun column about the demand for nurse practitioners Sept. 1, York University was mentioned as one of three universities in Toronto – along with Ryerson and the University of Toronto – that offers nurse-practitioner programs. It is also part of a 10-university consortium across the province that graduates about 75 of these professionals a year.

Former Seneca VP leads Fleming College

Sir Sandford Fleming College staff welcomed one another back Monday, but it was the first day on the job for the new president, Tony Tilly, reported the Lindsay Daily Post Aug. 31. Tilly currently heads an educational consulting firm and is formerly senior vice-president of Seneca College, the largest college in Canada. At Seneca, Tilly served as vice-president academic, where he led partnership developments with York University. These included the development of Seneca@York Campus and the joint Technology Enhanced Learning Building, which received the largest single grant to colleges and universities in the Ontario SuperBuild initiative.