In Brief

(Gazette, March 20, 1997)

AAU says Ottawa must consider regional realities

Atlantic university presidents met in Ottawa March 4 and told MPs and senators that the recent federal budget was the best news universities have had in years. However, the members of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) -- chaired by Memorial's president, Dr. Arthur May -- urged the federal government to consider the economic realities of the country's regions before deciding who will receive funding under the new Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

The foundation is intended to upgrade research infrastructure at hospitals and universities. In order to qualify for a share of the $800 million pie, universities will need to attract at least 50 per cent in matching funds from other sources. Dr. May said that while the Atlantic region's three largest universities -- Memorial, Dalhousie, and the University of New Brunswick -- are small in comparison to the largest universities in central Canada and the West, they are crucial to Atlantic Canada's prospects for economic development. However, he said, "Our regional economies are such that we do not have the same access to industrial partnerships as our sister institutions in the wealthier provinces. The challenge for the new foundation will be to help improve this situation, rather than make it worse."

The university presidents called on MPs and senators to impress on their government colleagues the need to develop rules that allow universities to attract matching funds from a variety of sources, including other government agencies, such as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Members of the AAU also said more must be done to address the ever-increasing debt load faced by university students and their families.

For their part, MPs said universities could help create "a market for increased spending" by doing a better job of explaining how federal funds used to support post-secondary education and research are having a direct impact on the larger community. They also challenged the universities to work with government to ensure that highly skilled professionals, including doctors, are encouraged to work in small communities after graduation.

Guatemalan immersion opportunity available

The Canadian Society for International Health has announced a Spanish Immersion and Health Study Course in Guatemala. For information on registration contact Colleen Clarke

(737-4053) or Dr. Tony Dickinson, international liaison officer (737-4356), at Memorial's International Programs Office, Spencer Hall.

Rumpole creator to give Pratt Lecture

John Mortimer, the playwright and barrister perhaps best known as the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, will deliver the Pratt Lecture on Friday, May 30. Sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature, the Pratt Lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in the Reid Theatre, Arts and Administration Building, St. John's campus.

Mr. Mortimer was born in 1923 and received his education at Oxford University. He served with the Crown Film Unit during the Second World War, and was called to the Bar in 1948. His writing has often drawn upon his legal career, as in the case of the Rumpole of the Bailey volume of short stories. His plays include What Shall We Tell Caroline? (1958), Two Stars for Comfort (1962) and A Voyage Round My Father (1982) -- the latter, and several stories featuring Rumpole, were also adapted for television. Mr. Mortimer's other work for television includes adaptations of Robert Graves' I, Claudius, and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. He is also the author of the autobiographical work Clinging to the Wreckage (1982). His lecture at Memorial will be free, and open to the public.

Find out about possibilities Down Under

Interested in studying or travelling to Australia? The Australian Education Office has announced its Summer 1997 Familiarization Tour, scheduled to take place from July 11-27, with visits to five different cities and nine universities. For details, contact Colleen Clarke (737-4053) or Dr. Tony Dickinson, international liaison officer (737 4356), at Memorial's International Programs Office, Spencer Hall.

Want to study economics in Africa?

Memorial's International Programs Office has information on a Canadian International Development Agency-funded master's program in economics at African universities, through McGill University. For additional information, including links to the World Wide Web sites of partner institutions, contact Colleen Clarke (737-4053) or Dr. Tony Dickinson, international liaison officer (737-4356).