Wednesday, July 17th, 2002
LET’S GO CANADA
The Ministry of Planning and Budget in Korea, together with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, announced in April of this year plans to spend 847 million won (over 1 million CAD) on a new project aimed at encouraging international students to study in Korea.
Besides setting up web sites to provide international students with information on Korean universities and a new online application system, a major incentive to attract international students is the changes to Korea’s immigration laws implemented last February now allowing international students to work during their time studying in Korea.
Back here in Canada, the recently implemented Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has left the regulations regarding work permits for international students unchanged.
Even though an agreement in principle is on the table for off- campus work, parties are still in the negotiation process. When reached by phone, Gilles Perreault of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in Ottawa could not advance a date for the passing of this new legislation, but hoped the new law would be out this year.
Gathered in Dakar last spring for a conference on funding the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), delegates expressed the view that the Net holds many solutions to a better future. Cisco Systems’ Thorsten Freitag of South Africa said the Internet was key to drawing economic investment and offering high school graduates access to higher education through online universities. Freitag gave the example of Nigeria, which graduates 600,000 high school students each year, but places just 60,000 of them in colleges.
O&O reported on an important Nigerian delegation at the World Education Market in the Portuguese capital last May. Commenting on the opportunities in this country, David Dix, Commercial Officer at the Canadian High commission in Lagos, said that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria is arguably the busiest and active one for Canadians.
Among Canada’s commitments to support Africa’s development is a $35 million sum announced by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien on June 28 to help bridge the digital divide and support African initiatives that expand the use and benefits of new information and communications technologies.
This is surely a great opportunity for Canadian institutions to work at establishing partnerships and joint collaborations in areas such as distance education programs, as well as working with African counterparts in developing the framework for the establishment of their ICT infrastructure.
OVER THE COUNTER
The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that more than 6000 overseas students had been expelled from Australia over the past year for visa irregularities, and that 100 English-language colleges had closed, “amid new concerns about the education sector as a conduit for people smuggling.”
After targeting the colleges bringing in people who have no intention of studying or who fail to meet study requirements, Labor’s Senator Kim Carr said that “many colleges were legitimate but there was a significant underbelly with people organizing scams who should be prosecuted.”
Canadians should not feel smug. Canada too is a major target of smugglers, and some Canadian parties, too, are not beyond reproach in collaborating in illicit activities pertaining to the abuse of the student authorization system.
At Higher-Edge, we use diligence methodologies to reduce risk for our clients by meeting overseas with students, institutions, and Canadian and local government officials to stay abreast of tactical trends used to abuse the system.
Planning a trip to China? Travellers should make sure their business plans do not overlap with any of the major Chinese holidays.
1-2 January : New Year’s Day Holiday
1-3 February (2003) : Chinese New Year (moveable Holiday)
1-3 May : International Labour Day
1-3 October : National Day
** Travellers should always double-check these dates before their departure. **
When a holiday falls in the middle of the week, there is a tendency to take the remaining weekdays off to bridge over to the weekend, thus making it a 9-day holiday.