June 13, 2002

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President's report
SFU President Michael Stevenson recently completed a whirlwind tour of several Asian cities where SFU has alumni and relations with educational institutions. In his report to senate, the president noted that the visit confirmed for him that SFU's budding relationships with these institutions has significantly increased SFU's profile in the region. SFU signed a student exchange agreement with Hong Kong University (HKU), under which HKU will guarantee accommodation for SFU students on exchange in Hong Kong, “a value not to be minimized,” noted Stevenson.

In another development, a Malaysian group is seeking SFU's assistance in developing a new university, which the Malaysian government has chartered. Stevenson said the new university and twinning programs with Malaysian colleges, which involve SFU, will greatly help correct the inaccessibility of higher education to Malaysian students.

Stevenson notes that the $2 billion committed by the Hong Kong government recently to continuing education underscores the “enormous opportunities” available for relationships with other universities, such as SFU. Stevenson's trip took him to Hong Kong, the Vietnamese cities of Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City, the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

New undergraduate admission targets
Senate has approved admission targets for new undergraduate students at SFU over the next three semesters. The overall target is 4,938 new undergraduates. The breakdown is as follows: 2,129 Grade 12 graduates from B.C. high schools; 1,647 B.C. college graduates, and 1,162 students from other sources, such as university transfer programs and out-of-province secondary or college transfers. These figures do not factor in SFU Surrey, formerly TechBC. Separate intake figures for the new campus will come before senate in June. Regarding the figures approved in May, senator Paul Percival questions the projected almost doubling of enrolment in education and an enrolment drop in business administration. John Waterhouse, VP-academic, says the increase in enrolment is necessary to balance a decrease of students entering graduate professional programs. The drop in business, says Waterhouse is to counterbalance an over enrolment in current semesters.

Student senator parking
Convocation senator Albert Chan, formerly a student senator, introduced a motion recommending the revocation of parking privileges of student senators who fail to attend at least 75 per cent of senate meetings. His motion and the debate that followed raises the possibility that parking privileges may have more to do with students seeking election to senate than the chance to represent their peers. According to Chan's analysis of attendance records, only two of the 11 current student senators regularly attend meetings. Several senators opposed the motion on the grounds that it was a petty response to a serious problem of poor attendance. The original motion and two related amendments all failed, but Stevenson noted at the close of discussion that poor attendance was a matter of serious concern.

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