Volume 93, Issue 77

Wednesday, February 16, 2000


McGuinty takes on Tories

Craving for alcohol linked with cigarettes

Weston aids the homeless

Three year degrees face extinction at U of T

Province backs Toronto's bid for 2008 Summer Olympics

The early bird gets the vacation

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Three year degrees face extinction at U of T

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

With the grave prepared, all that remains is a decision by administrators at the University of Toronto on whether or not to bury a number of the school's three year programs.

Members of the governing council decided Friday to postpone making a decision on the fate of all three year programs in the faculty of arts and science until early April, said U of T public relations officer Janet Wong. Wong added the proposal passed unanimously in the faculty's general committee meeting earlier last week.

One of the reasons for the proposed change was an attempt to insure the university remains on par with the best schools in Canada and the United States, she added.

Wong said the move is in part a response to the expected increased enrollment in 2003 – a direct result of the elimination of Grade 13 in Ontario. "The breadth and depth of learning may not be the same in the four instead of five year programs [in high school]," she said.

Paul Kutasi, vice-president of the Student Administrative Council at U of T, said many students were angry with administration's plans. "There have been quite a few people upset," he said, adding about 40 per cent of students graduate from U of T every year with a three year degree.

Kutasi said those who have complained have argued the move is simply a revenue generating initiative, forcing students into another year of tuition.

"It's an educational issue," Wong said in the proposal's defence. She said, if passed, the first group of students affected would be those registering for the fall semester in 2001.

John Thorp, a professor of philosophy at Western and chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Planning and Admissions, said the committee's research showed there is a need for the three year program.

Thorp said there was no need for a fourth year of an undergraduate program for many students preparing for graduate studies. He added the three year program would be a helpful tool in easing the pressure of the upcoming double cohort.

"The three year degree will provide an escape valve for the university," he said, adding the committee decided earlier this month it was only fair to let the students decide what length of program was right for them.

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