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UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 11 | Dec. 2, 2004

In the News

Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in November 2004

Compiled by Brian Lin

The World Comes to Canada to Learn

The number of Americans studying at Canadian universities jumped 29 per cent last year, contributing to a staggering 145 per cent increase since 1997/98, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

UBC saw a 28 per cent jump in American undergraduates this fall, to 420 students, reports CanWest News Service. That’s a 166 per cent increase since 2001 and a 303 per cent jump in five years.

Canada is also one of the most popular destinations for British students seeking education abroad. UBC currently has 72 Brits on Master or PhD programs, including fisheries PhD student Louisa Wood, from Cheshire.

Wood told The Independent that her UBC experience has underlined the virtues of moving outside the UK. “I believe that successfully graduating from different educational systems greatly enhances employability, research skills and academic networking,” she said.

Just Say No

There has been a backlash against the cost, risk and side effects of medication. UBC pharmacologist James Wright warns against the over-dependence on prescription drugs.

“We have this idea that we can pop a pill and solve everything. It is craziness,” Wright told Forbes.com. “People are dying from taking too many drugs at too high doses for mild conditions where they have little chance of benefit”

Wright also raised concerns over Statins, a top-selling drug sold under names such as Lipitor and Zocor, saying its side effects have not received adequate scrutiny.

“The enzyme these drugs block is critical for lots of activities in the body,” Wright told BusinessWeek. “So to think that it is going to be all for the good is very naïve.”

To Touch a Coelacanth

UBC fisheries scientist Scott McKinley will come face to face with some real live dinosaurs next spring when he boards a Canadian-built submarine shaped like a bubble, 200 metres below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

McKinley, who leads the first-ever scientific venture to track the elusive coelacanth, an ancient fish that’s been swimming in the deep, dark waters off the African coast for about 400 million years, unveiled his plans last month at the Vancouver Aquarium.

“I wish I could touch one,” McKinley told The Globe and Mail. The five-year research project is estimated to cost $5 million.

VP Research in a Class by Herself

UBC VP Research Indira Samarasekera has been chosen to be President of the University of Alberta.

In a Globe and Mail profile, UBC President Martha Piper was quoted saying that Samarasekera “has had ‘president’ written all over her for some time.”

UBC microbiologist Brett Finlay was shocked back in 2000 when Samarasekera took the job as VP Research. “Everybody wondered why the hell she took an administrative job as vice president when she was such a good researcher,” Finlay told The Globe and Mail. “She’s a superstar in the engineering world.”

Directors Education Program launched

UBC’s Sauder School of Business joined forces with SFU Business School and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management last month in launching the first Directors Education Program (DEP) in the province.

The program is designed to give people who have completed the Executive MBA program an additional boost, reports Ming Pao Daily. Originally established last November at the Rotman School of Business in partnership with ICD Corporate Governance College, the program offers important resources for regulators, investors, directors and government officials.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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