Wednesday, September 18th, 2002
LET’S GO CANADA
Germany is getting into the international education field in a big way. A government-backed joint initiative, involving 35 different institutes and organisations, was launched in Germany last year in order to increase the number of international students choosing to study in Germany. The initiative, known as the Joint Initiative for the Promotion of Study, Research and Training, is to be financed by the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research for an initial three years.
According to Eva Matthäi, from the Carl Duisberg Society – a member of the initiative – German universities want to increase their international enrolments to encourage “the transfer of knowledge about the German way of living, mentality and language, with the target of establishing future economic relationships”. She adds that tuition for international students in public universities is free.
In addition, the country plans to introduce new rules governing the length of time that overseas students can work in Germany. At present, foreign students can work for up to 90 days, but the rule is likely to permit up to 180 half-days, with the possibility of working more days pending permission from the local employment office.
Source: Language Travel Magazine
Private institutions are making a comeback in China.
According to the LATimes, in less than 20 years, the number of private schools in China has grown from zero to about 1,300, surpassing the 1,000 state universities.
But despite significant drawbacks (private schools receive little government support) private institutions are giving students who cannot attend public universities a chance at a higher education.
Last month, Higher-Edge’s Angela Khoo and Dani Zaretsky travelled to Zhengzhou in China’s Hunan Province to meet with Ms. Hu Dabai, who founded China’s first private degree-granting university, Huanghe Science and Technology University. Starting with a single classroom in 1984, Huanghe now boasts some 13,000 students, in a new and sprawling campus, replete with the latest in education facilities.
In a country where leading public institutions are seen as the best guarantors of academic quality, Huanghe’s strong academic reputation has demonstrated that private universities can compete in China on the academic plane. Nonetheless, it is important to be researched and discerning in assessing the calibre of students from private sector institutions, where quality, as on the public side, may vary considerably.
OVER THE COUNTER
Recruitment of students from India is fraught with difficulty. Not the least of these are the plaguing difficulties in understanding the Indian education system and interpreting credentials.
Particularly, admissions officer should be wary of suspicious high school board certificates. Delhi-based Higher-Edge staffer Luciana Rodrigues met with representatives of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India’s largest and most important School Board.
Rodrigues learned that, due to the nature of the mark-sheets used at present, there is no ready mechanism for distinguishing a fake transcript from a real one. In case of doubt, the CBSE recommends contacting it to verify that the mark-sheet’s roll number coincides with its records.
Another option is to ask students to provide a pass certificate in addition to his/her mark-sheet and to verify that the details on both documents are consistent and that the seal and signature are the same.
CBSE plans to introduce a new mark-sheet as early as next year, which will have identifiable characteristics when held under a special light, making it easily verifiable.
More on this next week
Often travellers like to show their appreciation to a host or tour guide for their hospitality and kindness. This is when culturally correct gift-giving is so important. Here are a few culturally sensitive guidelines to follow.
• Avoid using red ink when sending a gift card to someone in China, as it suggests the severing of the relationship.
• When choosing a present for someone in Mexico, shun purple, which is reserved especially for funerals.
• For a present in India, the lucky colours of green, red or yellow, are best for wrapping paper. Never use the unlucky colours of black or white.
• Two hands should be used when offering a gift in Sri Lanka. One hand suggests to the recipient that the gift is not given freely and with pleasure.
• If invited to dinner in Taiwan, bringing any type of food present (fruit basket, chocolates) is a “no-no.” While you may have the best intentions, the message your gift carries is that your host requires help in feeding her guests.