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Tuesday, September 9, 2003

  • Soon, a second fitness centre
  • UW joins in China audit project
  • The benefits of international education
  • Waterloo is a happening place
Chris Redmond

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day

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Soon, a second fitness centre

"Try It" week is starting for UW's campus recreation program -- but the one thing you can't try right now is the new fitness centre in the Columbia Icefield, which is several weeks away from opening. Judy McCrae, director of athletics and recreational services, said this morning she's banking on "mid-October to late October".

The fitness centre is being created as part of a student-funded expansion of recreational facilities in this "double cohort" year. A student referendum in 2001 approved a $13.80-per-term fee (which will start next term) to pay for more space in the Icefield and also in the Student Life Centre, and work is close to finished at both locations.

New facilities at the Icefield will include a third gymnasium and a dressing room for women's hockey, besides the new fitness centre, where the athletics department is promising lovely things. Says its "Warrior Insider" for this term: "This 6,000 sq.ft. facility houses state of the art cardio equipment (Woodway Treadmills, Concept 2 Rowers, True upright and recumbent bikes, Precor Cross Trainers) and a full range of selectorized weight training equipment. Exercise balls, stretch trainers and hand weights round out your training. Staff is on hand to help you get started, and you can book a Personal Trainer for more in-depth assistance."

That will mean complete fitness centres in both the Icefield and the other athletics building, the Physical Activities Complex, although only the PAC will have "heavy free weights" for serious body-builders. Otherwise, McCrae says, students can get the workout of their choice in either location. And, for the first time, the Icefield and the PAC will be open the same hours, "generally 7 a.m. to midnight".

Also at the PAC, says the fall brochure, a lounge has been created, on the second floor by the Blue North entrance. "It is an area you can relax with friends during the day, while waiting for your fitness class to start for example!"

In general, it says, "Campus Recreation is the place to be for fun, fitness and friendship at the University of Waterloo. Campus Rec has a variety of fun activities for you and your friends to get involved in -- either one-time clinics, or full 10 week programs. It is a place where you can get fit, play some pick up ball, or learn something new like Yoga or Scuba."

Some of what's available through campus rec besides the fitness centres:

"Try It!" week includes an open house today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the PAC -- in the small gymnasium and spilling out into the parking lot.

Experimental sessions in various activities are also planned. Today there's martial arts (karate, aiki, taekwondo) at 7:00, broomball at 8:00 and badminton at 8:30. Wednesday: juggling at 5:30, kendo at 7:00, archery at 7:30 and broomball at 8:00. Thursday: "Get on the Ball" at noon, learn-to-swim screening at 1:30, Ultimate at 4:00, aquafitness at 6:30, bouldering at 7:00 and fencing at 7:30.

More information -- about everything from instructional registration to pool and weight room hours -- can be found on the CR web site.

UW joins in China audit project -- from the UW media relations office

A World Bank competition to develop an Information Technology audit training program for the National Accounting Institute of the People's Republic of China has been awarded to a joint team of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and UW's Centre for Information Systems Assurance.

The "Computer Information Systems and the Role of the Auditor" project will develop a course for the NAI to enable them to provide education and training to auditing firms in China. A major focus of the project -- taking place between this September and next April -- is to develop participants' competencies in international standards and practices.

UW accounting professor Efrim Boritz, director of UWCISA, says, "The course modules are intended to cover the best-practice techniques that UWCISA and PwC have studied and worked jointly to perfect. We look forward to sharing our experiences with the NAI and their constituents."

Robert Reimer, Canadian Global Risk Management Solutions partner at PwC, explains: "The training will provide senior practitioners with leading information and tools for their role as an auditor when dealing with computer information systems. By combining the strengths of PwC and UWCISA we have created a terrific learning opportunity for our peers in China."

The course modules deal with such matters as the role of the auditor with respect to computer information systems; the impact of IT on the financial statement audit; reporting on the effectiveness of IT control procedures; and computer-assisted audit techniques (CAATs).

The Centre for Information Systems Assurance is sponsored by the school of accountancy, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. Its objectives are to identify, create and deliver relevant research addressing information systems governance, control and assurance issues, to support and promote the development and delivery of educational activities and materials related to such issues and to promote interaction around these issues among practitioners, educators and students.

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  • The benefits of international education

    Canada stands to benefit, more than most countries, from welcoming international students and sending its own students overseas, according to an article published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

    Ryan Maccan, a former CBIE intern, describes Canada's approach to international education as "fractured" -- and that's a good thing. He writes: "The world demand for educational services has led institutions and governments to look at accepting ever-greater numbers of international students into their educational systems and the possibility of opening off-site campuses in key markets. Many countries have realized this and are actively engaged in promoting internationalization within their post-secondary institutions."

    Maccan notes a 1999 study that identified "four key rationales underpinning a country's involvement in the internationalization of education. The first rationale, academic, focuses not on the traditional ideas of discovering universal truths and knowledge but refers to the knowledge-based economy and the development of knowledge workers in order for a country to remain internationally competitive. The second rationale, political, contributes to national security and peaceful relations between nations and is an effective tool in soft power diplomacy.

    "The third rationale, economic, focuses on strengthening economic, scientific and technological completeness that contributes to the knowledge-based economy. It also involves the export of educational products and services, which increases trade and helps to bring foreign currency into the country. The fourth rationale, cultural/social, focuses on the promotion and preserving of national identity and culture by contributing to community and social development and, paradoxically, by strengthening intercultural understanding and skills that contribute to domestic cultural and ethnic diversity. . . .

    "Australia, for example, focuses on the economic rationale and sees international education as a new and growing export industry. It is actively promoting and expanding into Asian markets. On the other hand, the European Union uses the cultural/social rationale promoting European identity both to other member states and to the world. Although the two have different rationales, they have been very successful in promoting themselves, have made gains in allowing their own students to benefit from international education and have attracted a large number of students at the expense of countries like Canada."

    This country, by contrast, "does not follow one specific rationale but has a fractured international education policy with many groups, sectors and people involved. This has short-term consequences, but long-term benefits. In the short term Canada is losing a share of international students to more aggressive countries, but the long-term benefit is that Canada will enjoy fully the different aspects and benefits of international education and will be more flexible to embrace the continued changes in the dynamics of globalization. . . .

    "Canada, in the long-term, could receive more of the benefits of international education than do countries that have a narrowly defined policy."

    Waterloo is a happening place

    Return-to-campus interviews start today for co-op students who are back on campus after the spring work term. Scheduled interviews continue through Friday. Meanwhile, students who will go on their first work term starting in January will be attending "Co-op 101" sessions on various days this month -- the first ones are at 12:30 and 3:30 today in the Humanities Theatre.

    The senate undergraduate council will meet today at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3004. . . . Today is the second day of the used book sale sponsored by the mature student services office, and held in the lobby of the Modern Languages building. . . . The Bombshelter and Federation Hall pubs opened for business yesterday, which led to a feature article in today's Record. . . .

    "Welcome Week" continues for new graduate students. Today from 1 to 3 p.m., there's a "dessert party with the Graduate Student Association executive", in the yard of the Graduate House. Says a GSA memo: "Elaine Garner from the graduate studies office will also be available to answer all your questions about scholarships, bursaries and financial aid." At 6:00 tonight, the term's first meeting of the GSA Wine Club will meet, also at the Grad House.

    The Bike Centre is having its volunteer meeting today at 3:30, says long-time volunteer Ted Harms. Interested? "The main responsibility is a two-hour shift once a week, and you should know a little bit about bikes or be interested in learning more -- you don't have to be a mechanical whiz. If you're interested or have further questions, come out to the meeting. It will take place in the Bike Centre, Student Life Centre 101A. If you can't make the meeting, send an e-mail to uwbikecentre@yahoo.com." And more from Harms about the centre's plans: "We will no longer be having bike auctions; instead, we will be having used bikes for sale at reasonable prices on display in the Bike Centre."

    And . . . the students of the Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group are looking forward to 7:00 tonight, when the Discovery Channel will air a program about their recent competition. "It will feature our preparations in Waterloo and the events of the International Aerial Robotics Competition," writes Brent Tweddle of WARG.


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