Wednesday, March 26th, 2003
Canada in the Testing Game
War-Time Closure of British Council Offices
Seeing Through Agents in China
Flight Health and Well-being
LET’S GO CANADA – Canada in the Testing Game
The University of British Columbia (UBC) has developed the Cana- dian English Language Proficiency Index Programme (CELPIP), Canada’s very own contribution to the English-proficiency testing arena. As of June 2002, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is accepting CELPIP results for immigration purposes. Currently, UBC is the only university in Canada promoting the test as part of its admissions process.
According to Tai Shuyun, Vice Director of CELPIP China, Canada has had sights on its own testing system for a long time. He adds that“the IELTS is international in scope and some testing items are not considered suitable for Canada.”Test takers who participated in two trial runs in Canada and Hong Kong indicated that obtain- ing a high score for CELPIP was easier than for the IELTS. Our Shang- hai Manager Grace Huang reports that the application fee for the CELPIP test which is 1,200 RMB, a fee slightly higher than those for TOEFL and IELTS.
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – War-Time Closure of British Council Offices
COO Mel Broitman was at the large iron gates of the British Coun- cil in Dhaka this week, and reports that it is closed up tight and heavily guarded. This takes place just two weeks after a special feature on the British Council ran in the country’s leading weekly Daily Star magazine. The article talked about how many Bangla- deshis associate many happy times of their youth with the Coun- cil office, which was a place to meet friends and to use the library.
The closure of Council offices in key international student export- ing countries, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, may also mean that students applying to overseas institutions are send- ing in documents with an ‘X’ where their IELTS or A-Level final results would normally be. Harry Cummins, Press Officer with the British Council in London, UK, does not expect that universities and colleges in the UK will have any difficulty processing these incomplete applications. Mr. Cummins reported to Higher-Edge this week that the closure was a security measure and he anticipates that the Council offices will reopen soon. He also stated that the British Council will make special provisions for students who need to write the IELTS or other Council-administered examinations.
OVER THE COUNTER – Seeing Through Agents in China
Schools relying on agents for student recruitment in China usually miss out on the quality students.These students are smart and confident enough to see through the sales pitches of the agency game in China. Higher-Edge recently interviewed three high school students in Beijing, all from one of the finest International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programs in the city. Diana, Timothy and Lisa are all expected to post IB points totals in the 30’s, and had recently visited an agent representing three Canadian universities.
“I think the ways of the intermediary company with the Canadian universities are so weird and unbearable,” said Diana who hopes to one day follow in her parents’ footsteps as a lawyer.
Timothy, a brilliant young student and technology buff with tremendous potential for business, was not impressed.“They say we must pay 20,000 RMB ($3,500 CAD) including the offer letter and the visa fee, or 10,000 RMB ($1,750 CAD) just for the offer letter. They also told us if we went to the interview and paid the money, we must go to one of the three universities and we have no choice. Finally, we just left and forgot all about it.”
“They said if we pay the money we would get the admission letter just after the interview.We thought we don’t need to use this way to study abroad,” said Lisa, an aspiring Communications student who is also a star 400 meter runner at her high school.
GLOBE TIPPING – Flight Health and Well-being
Your ankles will swell and your ears will pop, but there are ways to stay healthy and alert during a long-haul flight. It all starts with what you eat and drink, as caffeine and alcohol are high on the ‘NO’ list. The body does best with little solid food in high altitudes, so it is best to drink lots of fluids to remain hydrated, and to eat high-carbohydrate snacks. If looking to get a good sleep, sleeping pills are not recommended as they have been linked to blood clots. Instead, more natural supplements are available on the market and may be less harmful.