Wednesday, June 12th, 2002
LET’S GO CANADA
The Hindustan Times (weekly education supplement Horizons) recently reported that changes in Australian immigration regulations now make it easier for students graduating from Australian institutions to set up home in that country.
Higher-Edge Delhi-based staffer Safeena Alarakhia reports that one of the drawbacks of studying in Australia as perceived by Indians has been the inability to stay in the country once studies are completed. “The new legislation will attract more Indian students,” says Ms. Alarakhia. She added that Australia is moving towards New Zealand’s approach. “In my opinion, the success of New Zealand’s recruitment efforts in India is a result of its close ties to immigration opportunities in that country.”
The new immigration process is based on a points system allow- ing international graduates in Australia to apply as “Skilled Inde- pendent” immigrants. In addition to allocations for age, status, command of the English language, and specific work experience, a candidate will receive points for qualifications (post-secondary degree, diploma, advanced diploma or trade qualification) acquired from an Australian educational institution, given that s/he has studied for at least 12 months full-time (one academic year) in the country. For more information, visit www.gov.au.com.
Source: http://22.214.171.124/smartzone/hthorizons/ australia220502.shtml http://126.96.36.199/smartzone/hthorizons/ australia220502.shtml
IELTS, the English language test jointly administered by the British and Australians, is making a run at the American-based TOEFL for global supremacy. In 1995 there were only 50,000 IELTS tests given. Last year the number shot up to 210,000, and for the year 2002, the IELTS consortium expects in excess of 350,000 tests written. The consortium is made up of the British Council, the University of Cambridge and the Australian education recruiting and marketing company, IDP. Cambridge devises the test, the British Council administers it, as does IDP in partnership with private companies. IDP is also the driving force behind the marketing of IELTS.
IELTS tests four skill areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. While it is the most common test for British schools and now compulsory for attending Australian universities, IELTS is gathering more acceptance in Canada and the United States. The top five U.S. universities receiving foreign students: NYU, USC, Columbia, Purdue and Boston College; are all accepting IELTS for proof of English proficiency.
However, it’s not all rosy at IELTS. There are challenges to manage growth and ensure the integrity of the test. O&O will have more on this next week.
OVER THE COUNTER
It was one of the most anticipated sessions at the NAFSA Conference for International Educators, held in San Antonio in late May. Titled “How to Detect Forged Documents”, there was nary an empty seat in Room 206B of the Gonzalez Conference Centre.
The two presenters showed delegates a variety of fraudulent documents from Nigeria, India and China. However most of the samples were several years old and represented rather crude attempts to falsify. The real issue of how to detect fraud (which is mostly dependent upon in-person visits to local institutions) was not touched upon. In fact, Nancy Katz, a special consultant to AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) and lead speaker, stated that they don’t catch much fraud because there is not much of it. Given that there are at least 110,000 students from India and China in the U.S.A. and government spot checks (Embassy and High Commissions) in China show 60% fraud (and India is a lesser but growing problem) it’s far more conceivable that there is a great deal of misrepresentation going undiscovered.
More obvious is what was stated in an exchange between a delegate and the second speaker, Susan Weber, Admissions Officer for the University of Michigan’s Graduate program. Ms. Weber stated her office processed 19,000 applications this year and have not caught a single fraud. When asked how this is possible, Ms. Weber stated, “I guess our staff hasn’t taken the time.” The reality of a lack of resources and commitment has left universities exposed to this growing trend.
The twists and turns of road travel in a foreign land can be daunting even before setting out, never mind once on the road with the different languages, road signs and traffic laws.
The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) http://www.asirt.org/ offers Road Travel Reports for specific countries and suggests contacting them before embarking to unknown territory. Tel.: (301) 983-5252 FAX: (301) 983-3663 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reports consist of everything from road conditions, advisability of night travel and local driver tendencies, to information about the most dangerous roads in the world.
Road Travel Reports are available to Corporate Sponsors, Study Abroad Program Sponsors, ASIRT Members, and individual travellers. Sample reports for Turkey and Mexico are available online.