York ranks third in University of Indonesia’s global survey of green campuses

After conducting a seven-month online survey, on Thursday the University of Indonesia (UI) announced the first environmental-based universities rankings, hoping the benchmark would be adopted by every campus worldwide, wrote The Jakarta Post Dec. 12.

The survey, conducted between May and November, ranked participating universities based on several factors, including the percentage of green space on their campus, electricity consumption, waste and water management, and the application of eco-sustainability policies and efforts. As many as 94 universities from 35 countries participated in the survey, which is called “UI Green Metric Ranking of World Universities 2010”.

Seven US-based universities entered the ranking’s top 10, including the University of California, Berkeley, which topped the list, and Northeastern University, which came fourth.

"We hope there will be more universities participating in the survey next year," UI rector Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri said.

UI GreenMetric Ranking:

  1. University of California, Berkeley, US (8,213 points)
  2. University of Nottingham, UK (8,201.55 points)
  3. York University, Canada (7,909.14 points)

Glendon immigration expert cited in US feature on global migration

Southern European countries have instituted most of the large-scale amnesty programs for illegal immigrants, wrote the Arizona Republic Dec. 12 in a special feature supplement on immigration.

Because of their proximity to Africa, a source of many migrants, southern European governments have had to manage immigration flows for years. One reason for the repeated use of amnesty is that Spain and Italy do not have the administrative capacity to regularly admit large numbers of migrants legally and therefore wind up with larger numbers of illegal immigrants, said political science Professor Willem Maas, the Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration at York University’s Glendon College, who has studied and written about European amnesty programs.

The administration of regularization programs doesn’t always run smoothly. There have been complaints about bureaucratic delays and paperwork problems. Migrants sometimes have difficulty producing proof of residency for the necessary period of time, which can vary, and proof of employment, a frequent requirement.

In some instances, only temporary legal status is granted – not citizenship, which is a goal of many pro-immigrant advocates in the United States.

“Most amnesties/regularizations in Europe simply register the migrants, allowing them to live and work legally, but often fail to provide paths to permanent residence or citizenship,” Maas said. “This often has the effect in practice that migrants join the regular workforce when they are legal and slip back into the underground economy once their status expires.”

  • Around the world, the enforcement ramp-ups come – or in some cases, continue – even as global migrations subside, most likely because of the worldwide economic problems, wrote the Republic in a companion story Dec. 12.

“The elephant in the room is that irregular migration now appears to be declining everywhere, often dramatically,” said Maas. “This is almost certainly the result of the weakened economy rather than any changes in enforcement. Foreign workers come to work. If there’s no work, they don’t come.”

  • A 2008 report by the Geneva-based International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency, found, generally, that French job applicants with immigrant backgrounds encounter widespread discrimination, some of it subtle. The research for the report was done in 2006, wrote the Republic in a third story Dec. 12.

“On this basis, I’d argue that the problem in France isn’t so much a failure on the part of immigrants and their children to integrate as it is a failure on the part of the receiving society to accept them,” said Maas.

Drug shortages hit pharmacies

Widespread shortages of common drugs are hitting pharmacies across the country, putting the health of patients at risk and raising questions about the stability of the global pharmaceutical supply, wrote The Globe and Mail Dec. 16.

Part of the drug shortage problem is that more manufacturers are getting their raw ingredients from countries such as India and China. That could leave them vulnerable to problems such as ingredient shortages, contamination or problems in those countries’ plants.

Supply problems involving the key ingredients used to make drugs is a serious concern, and suggests that drug shortages could become a familiar occurrence as more countries compete for access to medications in a global marketplace, said Joel Lexchin, a professor in the School of Health Policy & Management in York University’s Faculty of Health. “It makes sense from [the drug company’s] point of view, but means they don’t really have control over the supply of these things,” he said.

Osgoode dean prefers ‘values-based’ approach to ethics laws

A panel of experts is discussing changes to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, wrote The Mississauga News Dec. 15 in a story about a judicial inquiry into a land deal involving Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion and her son.

Lorne Sossin, dean of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said a “values-based" approach might be better than a “rules-based” approach, as too many rules could hinder a civil servant’s ability to work for the public good.

When it was suggested to Sossin that there is some uncertainty in Mississauga’s Code of Conduct’s conflict of interest rules, he said that’s what the integrity commissioner is for – to use the code as a guideline in determining whether there was a violation. To restrict him with so many rules could prohibit his ability to find wrongdoing, Sossin added.

UW art exhibition features local flavour

Gallery goers have a few days to catch two exhibitions at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery featuring the work of artists with area [and York] connections, wrote the Waterloo Region Record Dec. 16.

Derek Sullivan (BFA Spec. Hons. ’99) completed a master of fine arts degree at the University of Guelph after graduating from York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Kitchener artist Patrick Cull graduated from the University of Waterloo before pursuing a master of fine arts at York University.

On air

  • Leo Panitch, Distinguished Research Professor in Political Science and Social & Political Thought, and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about a recent study that said middle income earners are declining in number compared to the numbers of rich and poor, on AM640 Radio Dec. 15.