Wednesday, April 30th, 2003
Private Institutions a Poor Choice in the UAE
IELTS in Dhaka Interrupted
New U.S. Technology to Screen travellers, Students
Tea in Turkey
LET’S GO CANADA – Private Institutions a Poor Choice in the UAE
High tuition fees combined with the perceived low quality of instruction in private UAE (United Arab Emirates) schools are forcing expatriate students to complete their higher education elsewhere. Since public schools are reserved for locals, the expat community is calling on the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to address the dilemmas it currently faces regarding private education institutions in the country.
First, private institutions officially accredited by the Ministry are thought to be beyond the financial means of most families. Secondly, many of these private institutions sometimes offer a sub-standard quality of education. Third, some private institutions are not licensed by the Ministry, creating further scope for shortcomings.
“We have wasted both our time and money. Now we are planning to get admission in a university abroad where we will be able to continue our studies,” says an Iranian student in Sharjah.
The Ministry has begun to enact stricter measures by issuing a list of 24 private higher education institutions that are officially accredited.
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – IELTS in Dhaka Interrupted
The British Council in Dhaka has reopened after a period of dormancy between March 20 – April 26.
Shohana Rouf, Higher-Edge Dhaka Manager, spoke with the British Council this week. She reports that IELTS examinations continued to take place at selected educational institutions during the office closure. While in the past, test results were posted within 14 days, it has been taking a minimum of three weeks to obtain results, and certificates were mailed directly to the student’s residence via express mail.
All IELTS exams are, once again, being administered at British Council premises.
The official British Council in Dhaka site is at:
OVER THE COUNTER – New U.S. Technology to Screen travellers, Students
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just announced plans for a Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology (U.S. VISIT) system to track foreign tourists, students and business travellers. To be in place by year end, it is to replace the current National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program, and will integrate the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Meanwhile, lower international student numbers in U.S. universities and colleges are being attributed to barriers created by the increasingly prohibitive visa process. Higher- Edge offices in Bangladesh and Pakistan report many students who are no longer considering the U.S. as a study option. As well, there are students who have been unable to return to the U.S. to complete studies after returning home for a holiday. One student who came to the Higher-Edge Dhaka office, was not let into the U.S. after landing in J.F.K. Airport in New York. Despite two years at the University of Massachusetts with good grades, and returning home for the Christmas break, the student was turned back by U.S. Immigration and forced to fly back to Bangladesh. The young man expects to continue his studies in Canada this summer.
GLOBE TIPPING – Tea in Turkey
Tea is a precise art in Turkey, requiring that travellers to the country be acquainted with the niceties of this custom. It is served all day, from business meetings to other social events, and is also available on the Istanbul ferryboats, reports Higher- Edge Turkey Director Asli Aktan.
Çay (pronounced chay), is served in small tulip-shaped glasses, and is usually taken with two or three lumps of sugar. To take one’s tea with milk or to ask for weak tea may create an awkward situation, while avoiding sugar is construed as slightly odd but not impolite. Tea is brewed very strong, then diluted with boiling water in one’s tea glass.
Source: “Taking Tea in Turkey” http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/Food/TurkishTea.html, Travel Info. Exchange