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Wednesday, March 20th, 2002

Issue 2.10 March 20, 2002






Every year, the Australian Education Office, the organization responsible for promoting educational links between Australia and the US and Canada, organizes a Study Abroad Advisor Tour. This initiative is geared to provide Study Abroad Advisors and Academics with an overview of Australian higher education and the opportunities available to both students and faculty members.

These familiarization tours thus offer participants the opportunity to discuss with faculty members about course offerings and programming opportunities, as well as to get a general overview of the campus and university, the research facilities, and the services available to international students.

This is a useful model for Canadian colleges and universities wishing to move ahead in their internationalization strategy. For more information on setting up student-exchange programs, contact Dani at


In January of this year, an international coalition officially reached an accord with government officials in Bangladesh to create a university for Asian women near Dhaka, the country’s capital.

Expected to open in 2005, the Asian University for Women expects to enroll students from such countries as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Laos, where access to higher education is limited for females.

The University, which will offer a four-year undergraduate degree in the liberal arts, aims to produce scientists and leaders for public service. Instruction will be in English and faculty and staff members of both sexes will be recruited mainly from South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The institution plans to start a distance-education program to reach women globally and hopes to establish links with sister colleges in Europe and America for student-exchange programs. For more information on the Asian University for Women visit For more information on the Bangladesh market, contact Mel at

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, issue dated March 22, 2002.


This week we present a follow-up to our Special Issue on working with agents. Dani Zaretsky, our Chief Ideas Officer, returns from China with the following insight.

In my travels, it was apparent that foreign higher education institutions, including Canadian ones, were largely utilizing a strategy of authorizing a large number of agencies to conduct recruitment on their behalf. Is this the right approach for your institution?

It depends on your institution’s self-evaluation. For an institution seeking short-term returns such as a larger flow of students, it is perhaps the preferred approach. The alternate, which maximizes preservation of image, requires a much more significant outlay of financial investment. This does not mean that the first approach should be taken willy- nilly. Indeed, a large number of “agencies” are actually operating without a licence, or in a way that does not have government blessing. Moreover, many are of such poor quality that an institution’s probabilities of damage over benefit are considerable. Finally, unlike internal staff, one has less contact with an agent, less opportunity to train, and less awareness of how the agent is comporting oneself.

The more an institution is interested in longer-term success, the more it should be wary of rushing into agreements with agents. This does not mean it should back off from China altogether or ignore the opportunities a suitable agent might provide. Rather, it should evaluate the extent to which, if at all, agencies might fit within their long-term strategy. Can you have it both ways? Yes, if your delegation to agents is impeccable and unflawed. However, any errors in this regard will advance the erosion of image, and limit the longer-term opportunities.

Must an institution work with agents to be successful in China? More on this in future issues.


Here are some Protocol Tips if you are planning a trip to China.

Chopsticks are used at meals. The food is placed at the centre of the table in serving dishes, and it is polite to taste every type of food prepared. Food should be served with serving spoons or serving chopsticks. Your chopsticks should be placed neatly on the right of your bowl or plate when not in use. It is considered impolite to drink alone, and toasts are frequent. Non-drinkers may toast with soft drinks.

Source: China, A guide for Canadian Visitors, DFAIT

Please direct all questions and comments to Isabelle Faucher:
Overseas, Overwhelmed© is a publication of Higher-Edge


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