Newsletter - University of Saskatchewan by gjjur4356


									                               College of Graduate Studies &

                                          May-June 2004

                                      Table of Contents

          1. From the Dean’s Office

                  •   Canada and Saskatchewan Announce a Pilot Project for Foreign
                  •   Time in Program
                  •   New GSA Executive

          2. From the Associate Dean’s Office
                  •   Appointment of External Examiners

          3. Awards and Scholarships
                  •   Final Grades

          4. Programs
                  •   New Ph.D. Program
                  •   Ph.D. Defences Via Videoconference
                  •   Canadian Institutes of Health Research Privacy Best Practice
                      Guidelines Information Bulletin
                  •   New Graduate Course: NURS 894.3
                  •   Programs Reminders

          5. Admissions, Registration and Convocation
                  •   Tuition Refund Clarification
                  •   Over-the-Counter Fake Indian Degrees
                  •   Tuition – New Model
                  •   Fraudulent Transcripts From Athabasca University
                  •   Comparison of Letters of Offer from the CGSR
                  •   International Students Traveling to Conferences in United States
                  •   Graduate Registration for Summer 2005

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                    May-June 2004

Page 1 of 15


Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Saskatchewan Immigration
Minister Pat Atkinson today [May 6, 2004] announced the signing of an agreement for a pilot project
that will permit foreign students who graduate from colleges and universities in Saskatchewan to
work in the province for an additional year.

"This project marks a step in our efforts to make Canada a destination of choice for foreign
students," Minister Sgro said. "It is also projects like these that encourage immigration in a number
of regions for graduates who wish to stay in Canada."
The joint agreement, which takes effect on June 1st, 2004, will make it easier for foreign graduates
in Saskatchewan to gain an additional year of work experience in their field of study. Currently,
following graduation, foreign students may work for a maximum of one year in a job related to their
studies without having to obtain a confirmation from Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada. Under this new agreement, work permits can be renewed for a second year, making it
easier for post-graduates to continue working in the province.

"Saskatchewan's immigration program is opening up to bring more people to our province, including
more foreign students," Atkinson said. "This will complement changes that come into effect today to
allow foreign post-secondary students who graduate in Saskatchewan and get work in their field to
apply to the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). There are about 1,700 foreign
students studying in Saskatchewan who are eligible to apply to the program if they find work here
after graduation."

The agreement will ensure that graduate foreign students who wish to apply for permanent resident
status will be able to submit their application for immigration and continue working while awaiting a
decision. For these graduates, additional time spent in the province is also likely to result in
stronger ties to their communities – further increasing the likelihood that they will settle in
Saskatchewan if they choose to remain in Canada.

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                            May-June 2004

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Under the terms of the agreement, both the original work permit and its renewal will only apply to
work in Saskatchewan for temporary foreign workers who graduated from a publicly funded post-
secondary institution in that province. The work must be related to the graduate's area of study.
The agreement will be in effect for three years during which there will be an ongoing evaluation of
the project's impact. CIC has signed a similar agreement in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and
Alberta and continues to explore similar initiatives in other regions.



Deans of Graduate Schools across North America are greatly concerned at the length of time it is
now taking graduate students to complete their programs. Recent data compiled by the Canadian
Association of Graduate Schools (CAGS) shows that the time to completion has risen over the last
two decades. At the University of Saskatchewan, the ‘average’ time to complete a Master’s degree
is 3.3 years; the corresponding figure for Ph.D. students is 5.6 years. These lengthy periods are a
deterrent to potential students who are typically in their mid- to late-20’s before commencing
graduate school, carry significant debt loads from their undergraduate years, and may be married
with young children. At the University of Saskatchewan, we must do everything we can to ensure
that our students can complete their degree requirements in timely fashion.

The Provincial Government uses the Saskatchewan University Funding Mechanism (SUFM) to
provide operating grants to the two universities. With respect to graduate students, the SUFM
grants credit only for the first 2 years in a Master’s program and the first 4 Ph.D. years.
Consequently, if your unit’s average time in program exceeds 2 and/or 4 years for Master’s and
Ph.D. students respectively, it is costing the University.

The University Plan directs the College of Graduate Studies and Research to re-examine its
support of academic units through the Devolved Allocation formula in the coming months. One of
the factors to be considered in future allocations to academic units is time to completion. Academic
units which have unusually long average times to completion are likely to be disadvantaged.

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                          May-June 2004

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Each department and college is provided with time-in-program data during the SPR review process.
I strongly encourage you to examine, with a critical eye, the data provided for your graduate
programs and to then identify and eliminate potential and real impediments to timely completion.

Tom Wishart, Dean



President                                       Indrani Chakraborty (Sociology)
VP Finance                                      Melanie Dyck (English)
CP Academic and Awards                          Rishabh Malhotra (Electrical Engineering)
VP Student Affairs                              Dinesh Sharma (Electrical Engineering)
VP Operations & Administration                  Pavan Kumar (Sociology)

                                              §~§ §~§ §~§



In order to maintain the integrity of the oral defence, it is important that the external examiner who is
recommended for appointment not only be academically qualified, he or she should have no vested
interest in the outcome of the defence. As such, the following describes situations which normally
exclude a person from being appointed as the external examiner for a Master’s or a doctoral oral

        -      the person has graduated from the academic unit within the last five years

        -      the person has actively collaborated with the supervisor of the graduate student within
               the last five years, as demonstrated by shared research grants or by joint authorship of
               research papers or abstracts of conference presentations.

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                           May-June 2004

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CGSR also recommends units avoid employing, as External Examiners, individuals who have
possibly developed a relationship to the student as might occur, for example, when the student
participated in a seminar taught by, or worked in the lab of, the External.

Before an academic unit recommends the appointment of an external examiner, the above
situations should be considered and if they apply, the person should not be recommended. In the
defence request to CGSR then, the sign-off indicating that there is no conflict of interest includes
the above situations.

                                            §~§ §~§ §~§



It has come to our attention that final grades are not being reported in a timely fashion. The
consequence of late reporting could affect a student not being eligible to collect a scholarship or
have their scholarship renewed. Thus, we would ask that as soon as you have given a final grade it
be reported as expeditiously as possible. Thank you.

Ms.Heather Lukey
Director of Graduate Awards and Scholarships

                                           §~§ §~§ §~§


Congratulations to the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition on the approval of a Ph.D. program in


CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                           May-June 2004

Page 5 of 15

If you are having difficulty scheduling a Ph.D. defence due to travel arrangements and costs, you
may want to consider a videoconference defence.

We have recently held two Ph.D. defences via videoconference, and the feedback has been very
positive. Those involved reported that the videoconference experience was much better than a
teleconference would have been. The departments involved in these defences were Geography
and Computer Science.

The costs involved may be less than travel expenses, etc. for bringing in an external examiner,
particularly if he or she is from the U.S. or overseas. In addition, the videoconference allows more
flexibility in scheduling as the external is not required to travel. Many potential externals have
difficulty freeing up two to three days to attend a defence, but would be available via

It is, of course, preferable to have the external examiner attend the defence, but CGSR recognizes
that the ideal is not always possible.

For more information on how a videoconference defence may be arranged, please contact Irene
(5761 or in the CGSR office.



CIHR, with the advice of its Privacy Advisory Committee, has developed draft guidelines for
addressing privacy, confidentiality and security concerns in the design, conduct and evaluation of
health research involving humans. The consultation period to obtain feedback on the draft
guidelines is March through June 2004.

Please check CIHR's website in June 2004 for a Priority Announcement, by the Ethics Office and
the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research, to fund privacy research in the Fall 2004 open

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                          May-June 2004

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CIHR’s draft privacy guidelines have been developed at a time of increasing demands for privacy
protection in health research, but also clear recognition that health research plays a critical role in
improving the health of Canadians and supporting an evidence-based health care system.

Building on the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
(TCPS) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Model Code for the Protection of Personal
Information, these guidelines are intended to:

    1. provide guidance for health researchers across Canada to address privacy, confidentiality
        and security concerns in the design and conduct of health research involving the use of
        personal information;

    2. provide a resource for Research Ethics Boards and institutions across Canada to use when
        reviewing and evaluating privacy, confidentiality and security aspects of health research;

    3. promote the uptake and application of these best practice guidelines in the development of
        privacy laws and policies, toward the objective of supporting a more coherent and
        harmonized policy framework for protecting privacy in health research across Canada.

Through a broad-based consultation process, involving opportunities to provide input via our
website, workshops, small group dialogues, and in written submissions, we are seeking to engage
the general public and targeted members of the health research community, including health
researchers, policy-makers, health charities and non-governmental health organizations, health
care providers, patients/consumer groups and international experts.

Following the public consultation period, comments will be synthesized and a general report will be
published on CIHR’s website. The privacy best practice guidelines will be revised according to the
input received. The target release date for the finalized guidelines is the fall of 2004.

For more information, contact: Canadian Institutes of Health Research- Ethics Office: (internet) or (tel.) 613-946-4773


CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                           May-June 2004

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Systematic Reviews of Healthcare Interventions NURS 894.3
January – April 2005             Wednesdays 1:00 – 4:00pm            Room TBA

Healthcare professionals are expected to use the best available evidence to inform their practice.
Participants of the course will receive instruction on how to conduct systematic reviews of the best
available evidence related to the efficacy of health care interventions.

Objective of the course: The participants will conduct a systematic review of a health care
intervention that is acceptable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or The Cochrane Library.
Students will be encouraged to work in groups of two to three.

For further information about the course contact Dr. Dorothy Forbes at 966-8239 or


Undergraduate Courses on the Program of Studies
The passing grade for any undergraduate course on the Program of Studies is 70%.

Release of the Thesis to the External Examiner Prior to the Oral Defence
The thesis must NOT be released to the External Examiner for a Master’s defence until the
department is instructed by the CGSR that the External Examiner has been approved and all of the
degree requirements save the defence have been met. For a Ph.D. defence, the thesis is sent to
the External Examiner by the CGSR. There is to be no contact between the student and the
External Examiner prior to the oral defence.

                                           §~§ §~§ §~§



CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                        May-June 2004

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From the December 2003 newsletter:
"We will be implementing a practice to allow a student to defend in September with a full refund of
tuition provided that the defence and all corrections/revisions are completed by September 30th, and
it is clear that, due to the unavailability of Committee members, the defence could not be scheduled

This may be incorrectly interpreted to mean a student planning to defend in September need not
register for the Fall term. Students have to be registered to defend. The department has to submit
for each student a request for delay of the defence, with a valid reason why the committee cannot
meet in the summer for the defence. Submissions will be considered on a case-by-case basis - no
mass approvals. The defence and all paperwork must be completed and the thesis into bindery or
submitted electronically by September 30 for a full tuition refund. We do not yet have the decision
from SESD on student fee refunds.



Fake degrees have popped up all over the world, and have now reached Dubai, where the Khaleej
Times reports that the current flavour in the United Arab Emirates is Indian. One pre-employment
screening company estimates that nearly 25% of people who apply for work in the Middle East
carry some form of false documentation. As is this case with fake degrees, legitimate applicants
suffer the most, according to one accountant interviewed, as “the amount of time it takes for
genuine degree holders to get their certificates attested increases manifold.”

That the fake degrees come from India should come as no surprise. Last year, a fictitious education
board, The Board of Adult Education and Training (which had been operating since 1972), was shut
down for generating marksheets and certificates for students who have obtained employment in
India, the U.S., and Germany. Professor A. N. Maheshwari, Chairperson for the National Council for
Teacher Education (NCTE) told Higher-Edge that the Council of Boards of Secondary Education
(COBSE) has “the broad function of ensuring standards across the Boards through mutual
consultation and consensus.”


CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                        May-June 2004

Page 9 of 15
“Delhi police bust board claiming to be on par with CBSE,”, 17 August 2003
“Fake Indian degrees flood Middle East market,” Khaleej Times, 13 May 2004.



As you may be aware, the Graduate College is looking at a new tuition model. The goals of the
new model are:
    •   Simplify the model so it is easier to understand and explain
    •   Be able to automate so students could register using the new Si! database system.
    •   Do away with the current Master’s to Ph.D. transfer rules where students must pay for a
        Master’s and then for the full Ph.D.
    •   Do away with the transfer re-assessment from transfers from Master’s – project programs to
        Master’s – thesis programs.
    •   Disconnect the linkage between Master’s tuition and the number of courses taken for the
    •   Encourage students to move toward more research intensive degrees where possible and
    •   Be revenue/expense neutral to the university/student.

Current Model

Currently, for full time Master’s thesis students - the student pays a “standard term fee” for the first
three terms of registration in the program and then the student pays a “continuing fee” until
completion of the program. A Ph.D. student pays 6 standard term fees before switching to
continuing fee. The “standard term fee” is $1771.00 and the “continuing fee” is $483.00.

Master’s project students transferring to a thesis program are reassessed under the approved rules
for the current model and sometimes end up paying a reassessment charge of about $3,000.

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                           May-June 2004

Page 10 of 15
Also under the current tuition rules, a student transferring from a Master’s degree program to a
Ph.D. program must pay the 3 standard terms of tuition for the Master’s program and then pay the
six standard terms for the Ph.D. program before going on to continuing fee.

Proposed Model
The model currently under consideration is simply this – the student would pay a stardard fee for
each term registered no matter how long the registration in the program. The fee would be
independent of the number of courses taken in the program, whether thesis or project or time to
completion. All students, both full and part time students would pay the same rate. The only
variation would be that part time students taking only one course per term and not in a thesis
program would be charged at one-half the term rate.

Special tuition programs (MPACC, MBA, M.Vet.Sc., etc.) would still be under their current tuition
model. Course-based programs (Post Graduate Diploma) would be charged on a per course basis.

For the sake of automation and simplicity, all current students would come over the new tuition
system and would have their tuition adjusted accordingly. If they are deemed to have overpaid in
the first years of their program, (if they have just started their program) they will be given credit. If
they have underpaid, they will be charged a maximum of the term rate.

To Illustrate
For the sake of simplicity we will use round numbers for the term fee and assume that the tuition
rate will not go up over time. Assume a term fee of $1,000.

In our illustration, the student would pay $1,000 per term of registration ($3,000 per year). The
same term rate would continue until completion of degree requirements. If the student takes four
years to complete, the tuition would be $12,000 (3 terms * 4 years * $1000). Obviously, the faster
the student completes the less the tuition and the more inexpensive the degree.

If a student wishes to transfer from a Master’s project program to a Master’s thesis program, there
would be no change in fees and no transfer reassessment needed.

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                            May-June 2004

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If our illustration student transfers from a Master’s program to a Ph.D. program – there would be no
additional fees – the student would continue to pay the per term rate (in this case, $1000) until
completion of the Ph.D. requirements.

With this term fee, if a student stays in the Master’s program about 3 years or in the Ph.D. about 5
years – the total tuition paid would be approximately the same as under the current model.

However, it is doubtful that the actual tuition rate will be set at this rate and it is doubtful that the
per-term rate would not increase over time.

There are a number of advantages of this tuition model:
    •   It meets goals for a new model (see above)
    •   Students can calculate how much a degree will cost very easily.
    •   Students can budget more easily for the whole length of their program
    •   Students do not loose the bulk of their scholarship in the first year to tuition fees and
        therefore have more to live on.
    •   Students on student loans will have more funds to live on per year.
    •   Programs and supervisors who pay tuition for their students can more easily calculate the
        funding needed for their students.
    •   Time in program for our students will probably go down.

There have been only a few disadvantages identified at this time:
    •   Students currently in the system would have to start paying a much higher fee for
        “continuing” fee than is currently the case.
    •   The institution does not receive the bulk of its funding up front.

Further Questions Related to Tuition
There are a number of issues related to tuition that keep coming up when this topic is discussed on
a University level. The Graduate College would like feedback on the following questions:

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                              May-June 2004

Page 12 of 15
    1. How should “Professional” programs that have a high number of courses and/or a practicum
         or internship be handled under the proposed tuition model?

    2. Should the University adopt a National Norm Policy for Graduate tuition like the
         Undergraduate tuition?
            a. If yes – should the increased income from tuition come to the Graduate College for
                increased scholarships?
            b. If no – why not?

    3. Should the University adopt an International Differential Fee for Graduate International
            a. If yes – and if the funds come to the Graduate College – should the funds be given
                back to International Students in Scholarships?
            b. What impact do you feel imposing an International Differential Fee would have on
                recruitment and enrolment?

The Graduate College would appreciate any feedback on this tuition model and the related
questions. Your interest in and feedback on the proposed tuition model will help make a stronger

Please send your feedback by email to – your
comments will be passed on to the Dean. A summary of questions and concerns
will be posted in a future newsletter.



Athabasca University in Alberta was recently notified of an altered transcript. It was a very well
done, home-made Athabasca University transcript, complete with raised seal. While this one was
caught in time by the institution concerned, someone has spent a great deal of time and money to
create this transcript, complete with raised seal. The concern is that, because so much work went

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                         May-June 2004

Page 13 of 15
into this document, it is not simply a "one of" and that there may be more.

Thankfully, the manufactured seal is slightly different than the official AU seal. Our seal contains
the words "Athabasca University Office of the Registrar" in a circle around the AU logo, (see
attached logo sample). The manufactured seal has the same wording but does not contain the logo
in the centre.

 AU transcript paper also has a watermark (the home made version did not), that, once held up to
                       light, says "Concept" and has the recycling logo above it.

  There is talk of the Universities across Canada having a central website for the latest version of
   their transcripts and a listing of the security measures of each, but that is in the future. Now, if
  anyone receives a document that they believe does not represent an original document, please
                      contact Graduate Studies (



     Year                 May 1 - April 30                   Jan. 1 to April 30
    2002-3                      1045                                 455
    2003-4                      1083                                 455

Doug chose the full fiscal year because we are at the end of the fiscal year, and Jan 1 to April 30th
of each year to see what we have done since Christmas.

Total applications processed in 2003-4 year went up 3.6%.



CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                           May-June 2004

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Each year a number of our graduate students travel to conferences in the United States.
Canadian-born students should not have any additional problems getting into the U.S.A. for
conferences, however, non-Canadian students or Canadian student not born in Canada might be
held up.

At the latest Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) Regional Conference in Calgary, a
representative from the U.S.A. consulate strongly suggested that travel permits for international
students and Canadian citizens not born in Canada, traveling to the U.S.A. for a conference, could
take longer than normal because of hightened security concerns. In the past, international students
were advised to allow three weeks for a travel permit to the U.S.A. Now the U.S.A. consulate is
suggesting that students should allow at least 6 weeks to obtain the proper permissions. This time
could even be longer if the conference is considered to involve "sensitive" research or technology.

Therefore please pass this advice on to those students you know who might be affected by this

For more information on this issue contact Kurt Tischler in the International Student Office.



Usually when graduate students register in Fall, they can register for the full 12 months (WT1, WT2
and O sessions). However, this coming Fall (2004), graduate students will only be able to register
until the end of April, 2005 and will not be able to register for next summer.

The new Si! database system will be coming on line in May, 2005 for registration for 2005O session
therefore registration for Graduate Students in 2005O session will have to wait until the beginning
of May, 2005. Those students who wish to register for 2005O session will have to come and
register in the Graduate office in the beginning of May.

                                            §~§ §~§ §~§

CGSR Newsletter for Graduate Chairs                                          May-June 2004

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