Wednesday, November 28th, 2001
LET’S GO CANADA
If you think that the interchangeable nature of the terms “university” and “college” in the U.S. is confusing, try the Canadian version of confusion! Our own exhaustive list includes:
• Universities (soon, with a public-private distinction)
• Colleges within Universities
• Colleges, or Community Colleges (public,
government-regulated, granting diplomas and degrees)
• Colleges (private, non-government regulated, offering
• Colleges (High Schools)
• Colleges (professional governing bodies)
The confusion detracts from successful marketing strategies overseas (and does us no favours at home either). Without counselling, a student is at greater risk of applying to the wrong “type” of institution.
Solutions? Perhaps the Federal and Provincial Governments should attempt to harmonize and regulate the use of all terminology. Perhaps, Canadian institutions should adopt a short statement or a navigational guide to explain the different categories of institutions to prospective students overseas.
Despite high rates of student authorization refusals, incoming students from the People’s Republic of China remain a force to be reckoned with. Growing affluence, paired with the longstanding Chinese belief in the importance of education, has created a society which is highly receptive to international education opportunities. While much of the Chinese school system remains plagued by limited infrastructure, schools with excellent facilities are being built.
Take this case study for instance:
Dongchen International School, located in the Fuchen District of Mianyang City, was built at a cost of over $200 million RMB (or over $10 million USD). Completed in 2000, the campus is comprised of three sections: primary, junior school and high school. All classrooms are furnished with a computer hooked up to the Internet and other multimedia equipment. The student population of over 2,000 is managed by about 150 educators and other school personnel. Dongchen International School is currently working to build exchange and cooperation agreements with education institutions overseas.
OVER THE COUNTER
Last week, while verifying a student’s application for one of our clients, we discovered a fake A Level certificate. The student in Dhaka, Bangladesh had been badgering a Canadian university admissions office, hoping that this form of pressure would result in a successful application. This is not an isolated example – our Dhaka office has discovered many students touting fake A Level, HSC (Grade 12), university and IELTS results.
It is well known in Bangladesh that one can purchase, very cheaply, just about any sort of document. While Bangladesh produces many wonderful and genuine students, it is hard to identify them from the thousands of fraud cases. It also does not help when there are hundreds of unscrupulous education agents. For example, one agency has taken to calling itself the CEC – the real Canadian Education Centre does not have a presence in Bangladesh.
Canadian institutions working with education agents in Bangladesh and admitting students “sight unseen” (without meeting them and verifying documents) are helping to fuel an increasingly corrupt environment, and driving up visa rejections rates.
Brushing up on a local language before travel is essential if one is to function efficiently. Making the effort by carrying a phrasebook or an electronic translator shows a respect and sensitivity towards local cultures. Meeting and greeting business contacts in their native language may enhance their impression of you and display your willingness to adapt.
If one is unprepared, there are various sources locally that might be of some help. In certain cases, hotels will list polite phrases on the backs of their business cards. As well, some airports give out small local language phrase pamphlets, and some in-flight magazines contain useful phrases.