Wednesday, March 19th, 2003
International Students in New Brunswick get Extra Year
Singapore’s New Quality Index
Immigration Fraud in New Zealand
Pakistan Airports Best in South Asia
LET’S GO CANADA – International Students in New Brunswick get Extra Year
News that the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) is making it easier for international students in New Brunswick to continue working past the currently regulated one year after graduation is receiving a mixed welcome. Effective in April of 2003, the three year pilot project will enable international students to extend their one-year work permits to two.
While most Canadian university administrators might agree that this move signifies a greater seriousness with which the government is treating the value of international students, some questions regarding CIC motives surface.Susan Scarlett, CIC spokesperson, told Higher-Edge that she did not know if the pilot project would be extended beyond three years, and to all other provinces. When asked why New Brunswick was chosen as the site of the project, Ms. Scarlett speculated that it may have been due to existing partnerships developed between CIC Minister Denis Coderre and the NB provincial government.
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Singapore’s New Quality Index
That the Economic Development Board (EBD) is implementing a new quality assessment system for Singapore’s institutions for higher education is cause for excitement as the country’s universities and colleges attempt to compete in the world market. Private Education Organisations (PEOs) that qualify for the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) index are privy to shorter student pass processing times, inclusion in International Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board promotions overseas, and, for students from China, exemption from an interview at the Chinese Embassy in Singapore.
Kenneth Tan, Deputy Director, Services, (EBD), indicated to Higher-Edge last week that the SQC is in keeping with efforts to transform Singapore into a“leading international education hub.”Mr.Tan said that the SQC“would enhance and promote quality excellence amongst educational providers, thus ensuring that Singapore is able to compete against and differentiate itself from other educational destinations around the world.”
OVER THE COUNTER – Immigration Fraud in New Zealand
An immigration consultant who generated false documents including tax invoices and school letterheads has been handed a 15 month jail sentence in Auckland, New Zealand. Bo Shu Wen had indicated to five Chinese students that they could easily obtain student visa extensions by enrolling in an English language school.
When asked if New Zealand’s English language institutions are a specific target for these sorts of scams, Barbara Takase, Chair-person for New Zealand’s Association of Private Providers of English Language (APPEL), told Higher-Edge that “these sort of scams are developed without any participation by education providers and rely entirely upon false documentation.” Her comment points to a separation between what are thought of as ‘immigration issues’ and ‘education issues.’ “It seems like this was an illegal immigration scam that just happened to be using the study visa pathway,”she indicated.
Nonetheless, the episode demonstrates the need for education providers to be as vigilant as they can be to minimize the risk they will be damaged by an immigration scam.
GLOBE TIPPING – Pakistan Airports Best in South Asia
Travellers to South Asia may wonder about the quality of airports in the area. At present, there is really only one airport of world class quality. Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan is easily the best in the region. A new international airport in Lahore,Pakistan is scheduled to open next week and should rival Karachi for top spot.The Pakistani capital Islamabad’s international airport recently received a facelift and has become much more attractive. Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology recently installed web browsing stations in departure lounges of its major terminals. Access to the Internet is free.