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Wednesday, February 6th, 2002

Issue 2.5 February 6, 2002






The Australian Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) has made a strong case for expediting the student authorization process.

Students intending to study in Australia can now complete their visa application process over the Internet. The “On-line Visas and Services” segment then allows both students and higher education personnel to check the status of a petition online. All that is required is the stu- dent’s date of birth and her Transaction Reference Number (issued to the student upon receipt of her application).

This new service streamlines the application process for students and also ensures transparency, for all concerned parties, at all times. The DIMIA E-Visa site can be found at


The International Summer Institute (SI) programme, part of the internationalisation effort of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), has been an ongoing annual activity since 1997. It is co-sponsored by two academic consortia hosted by the university, namely the David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) and Wing Lung Bank International Institute for Business Development (IIBD). Subjects offered are at both the MBA level focusing on Asia Pacific/China business and management, and the undergraduate level in socio-economic and cultural studies.

Please refer to the programme website ttp:// for details on the application procedure and to download the registration form. For inquiries, please contact Ms. Jennifer Law by phone: (852) 3411-5217, fax: (852) 3411-5128 or by email:


Very few Malaysians now study in Canada, and the reasons why are starting to haunt Malaysia. Most of the thousands of Malaysians who chose Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, now go to Australia. Australia’s promise of faster, easier and cheaper education (via generous transfer credit arrangements) dominates Malaysian thinking on study- abroad options. These days, only a couple of hundred Malaysians go to Canadian universities each year.

But last week the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) blasted local undergraduates whom they say are not adequately skilled and educated for the workplace.

“There are cases where it took two years before (undergraduates) could actually contribute to the companies,” said MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan. “If we continue with the current system, in my opinion, it would be a sheer waste of national resources,” Bardan told The Straits Times, the most influential newspaper in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s largest teachers’ union also chimed in. The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) said students are only motivated to find the easiest and most direct path to acquire a degree. NUTP’s secretary-general Datuk N. Silva Subramaniam said it was time to overhaul the country’s approach to higher education.

“Students have to buck up. As our country goes into globalization the competition is tougher, so we must be able to produce children with broad knowledge,” said Datuk Subramaniam.

Higher-EDge reporting on Malaysia has been predicting this crisis since 1997. At that time it counselled Canadian institutions on the difficulties of attracting Malaysian students to more rigorous and less flexible academic programs in Canada as compared to those available in Australia. The time for a renewed Canadian commitment may yet come.


Before booking a hotel in Asia, make sure to check out Internet resources for potentially substantial discounts on rooms. Most hotels also offer internet-only specials:

Please direct all questions and comments to Jennifer Lim:
Overseas, Overwhelmed© is a publication of Higher-Edge (moving soon to


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