What protects Ontario universities from being cheated?

The University of Guelph registrar Ray Darling says it doesn’t happen here because the admission process is different from that of the U.S.

When 50 high-profile people were charged in a massive admissions scandal, Darling says he had never heard of anything like it. He says that Canadian schools don't have the same level of institutional elitism.

“We have some very strong universities in Canada, but they are largely public institutions. Acceptance rates for a lot of Canadian universities would be closer to 50 per cent,” he explains.

The FBI alleges that bribes were paid to designate students as athletic recruitments. That, Darling says, wouldn’t happen here because Ontario athletics don’t have the same associated money.

High school students in the province apply directly through the Ontario Universities Application Centre, rather than writing standardized tests.

 “We collect all of their high school grades directly from the high schools,” explains Heather Lane, who works for OUAC. “They don’t go through the students’ hands.”

Internal auditors also ensure the admission process is being followed properly.

Darling says that any kind of fraud would be a situation of an individual student forging or withholding a transcript for admission. He also says that fake English proficiency scores can sometimes be submitted.

He says the University of Guelph is investigating one such incident with a transfer student.

While it’s hard to catch, the consequences can be stiff.