Schulich looks to gain a foothold in India

The crowded streets of Mumbai are a long way from the leafy streets of Toronto. But a program launched early this year by York University’s Schulich School of Business seeks to bridge the two financial capitals by offering a two-year MBA where students spend their first year in India and their second in Canada, wrote London, England’s Financial Times April 18.

To gain a foothold in India, Schulich has partnered with SP Jain Institute of Management & Research to offer the Schulich India MBA at SP Jain’s Mumbai campus, said the paper.

While there are plenty of exchange programs and tie-ups between Indian and international universities and business schools, there are no overseas university campuses in India. And there are just a handful of programs such as Schulich’s, which offer a full-time degree from a foreign university by partnering with an Indian institution.

While Indian law allows overseas direct investment in higher education, international universities cannot establish campuses in India.

However, India’s cabinet last month approved a proposal to allow international higher educational institutes to establish campuses in India. The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill is expected to be introduced in parliament this month and would need final approval before becoming law.

If the proposed bill becomes law, Schulich is eager to set up a campus. “We are hopeful and ready,” says Ashwin Joshi, executive director of the Schulich MBA in India program.

Schulich has long been bullish about India, setting up a representative office in India in 2005 and recruiting heavily in India for its Toronto MBA. Dezsö Horváth, dean of Schulich, believes that India’s higher education market represents a more attractive investment than China.

“The shortfall in business education in India is much more significant than in China,” he says. India also has a plethora of English speakers and a large pipeline of young people; half of its population is aged under 25. “Given the demographic of India, so many young people will need higher education. India needs to strengthen its education infrastructure, just like its physical infrastructure,” adds Horváth.

To ensure the quality of its India MBA program is equal to that offered in Toronto, Schulich flies in faculty from Canada for three-week stints to teach eight of the 10 classes in the first year of the program. The remaining two classes, which focus on quantitative skills, are taught by SP Jain faculty. Importing faculty is an expensive arrangement, admits Joshi. “Managing that resource is significant.” Schulich hopes to eventually hire full-time faculty in India.

Speaker’s ruling will decide who holds the real power in Ottawa

Who wields ultimate power: Parliament or the prime minister? Canadians are about to find out, wrote The Globe and Mail April 21 in a story about House Speaker Peter Milliken’s pending ruling  on whether Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is in contempt of Parliament in censoring documents about Afghan prisoners.

Patrick Monahan, vice-president academic & provost of York University and a constitutional scholar, believes that Milliken’s decision “will be a historic ruling” watched by Westminster-style governments around the world.

But he also finds the whole thing unfortunate. Parliament works best when there is consensus on the proper roles of executive and legislature. “It’s not productive to have these kinds of confrontations between the government and the House,” he said in an interview.

Woman sexually assaulted near Keele campus

A 20-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by three strangers outside her North York apartment building late Tuesday evening, wrote the Toronto Star April 21.

Police said the woman was walking to her apartment on Murray Ross Parkway, a wide residential street just south of York University’s Keele campus, when she was attacked by three men shortly before midnight.

The victim was taken to a grassy area next to a footpath leading to the campus, where she was sexually assaulted. She eventually escaped from the assailants and was able to call police.

Officers searched the area but couldn’t find the men. Police have not released a description of them.

The woman, who was badly injured in the attack, is not believed to have known her attackers. Police have not said if she is a student at York.

  • The woman, believed in her 20s, told police she was sexually assaulted by three men wearing hoodies, wrote the Toronto Sun April 21. She was taken to hospital for examination.

Did York grad sink Raptors’ season?

This year Hogtown was confirmed as a jock-endorsed destination in an article in The Wall Street Journal that, along with detailing how athletes receive VIP treatment in the “champagne rooms” of local strip clubs, grew the legend of Mona Halem (BA ’01), a York University-educated party planner who has become an NBA favourite for throwing fetes populated by pretty women, wrote the Toronto Star April 21 in a story about the Toronto Raptors’ party habits that are being blamed for their poor season.

Documenting Guatemala’s mining controversy

In El Estor, Guatemala, a Canadian mining company named HudBay Minerals Inc. is refurbishing the Fenix Project – a mothballed nickel smelter and mine, wrote CTV News’s “W5” online April 17. But anger is still raw over forced evictions that took place in 2007 when the mine was owned by Canadian company Skye Resources (since acquired by HudBay). A Canadian filmmaker, York University graduate student Steven Schnoor, documented homes being burned and knocked down by police and the military, while human rights worker Jackie McVicar reports widespread allegations that women were sexually abused and raped during the melee – accusations that are strongly denied by HudBay officials.

Wilful blindness is no defence

Five years ago, 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte’s body was found on a golf course just outside Edmonton, wrote James Morton, adjunct professor in York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in the National Post April 21. She had been gang raped and bludgeoned with a hammer, and had her throat slit. Five people, three men and two women, were involved in the killing; three of those were juveniles. The killing was planned, deliberate and committed for sport – it is hard to imagine a more dreadful crime.

One of the adults, Michael Briscoe, took no part in the sexual assault or the killing. He did stand by and watch, taking no steps to stop the murder. Briscoe claimed he did not know Courtepatte was going to be raped and murdered; that was his defence.

The trial judge acquitted Briscoe of all charges, finding there was insufficient evidence to prove he knew of the plan. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court disagreed and sent Briscoe back to a new trial; in doing so they sent a strong message that looking away will not be a defence against criminal charges.

The singer, the lawyer and the pirate hunt

Casey Chisick, a leading intellectual property lawyer [and former adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School], needs no coaxing to discuss the impending revival of Canada’s copyright debate and the evils of illegal music downloading, wrote The Globe And Mail April 21 in a story about him and his wife, singer Sophie Milman.

  • The vast majority of the online submissions sent to Ottawa last year as part of a public consultation on controversial proposed changes to Canada’s copyright laws were form letters from just one interest group, says a Toronto lawyer who has studied the exercise, wrote The Globe and Mail April 21 in a related story.

Richard Owens, an intellectual property lawyer with Stikeman Elliott LLP, said about 70 per cent of the submissions were form letters distributed by the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights, a little-known group of companies that manufacture “modchips”, or hardware used to modify video-game consoles to accommodate pirated software.

Owens, in a paper posted this week on an Osgoode Hall Law School Web site, analyzed the more than 8,000 online submissions (freely available on the government’s Web site).

Kids Help Phone continues ‘fabulous’ work for Canadians

When York student Heather McInroy was in high school, she had a friend who used Kids Help Phone, wrote Halifax’s Metro April 21. After hearing about how much it helped her friend – and needing 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate – the Toronto resident became a student ambassador for the non-profit charity.

She soon completed her 40 hours, but decided to keep volunteering. “I really liked the people I worked with and volunteered with,” said McInroy.

Now 20, the York University student has been volunteering with Kids Help Phone for six years. A student ambassador liaison, she does fundraisers and volunteer events, participates in the Walk for Kids Help Phone and speaks about the organizations at schools and for corporate sponsors.

Osgoode grad sailed into retirement

Osgoode grad Alan Stanley Harries (LLB ’72, LLM ’79), 65, passed away peacefully April 3 in Peterborough, with his family by his side, wrote The Peterborough Examiner April 21 in a death notice. Harries received his LLB from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1972 and was called to the bar with honours in 1974.

When Harries retired in 1995, he and his [wife] purchased a sailing yacht and spent 11 wonderful years sailing southern waters and meeting many new friends from all over the world, wrote April 3.

On air

  • Maggie Toplak, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, was interviewed about her research on rationality and human intelligence, on TVO’s “The Agenda” April 20.