Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003
Dispute and Mediation
Protecting Students Overseas
Enrolment Management Continued
Train Travel in India
LET’S GO CANADA – Dispute and Mediation
Conflict resolution at the micro-level, such as that of a higher education institution, as well as at the macro level of trans- national disputes, is replete with cross-cultural challenges.
As institutions increasingly internationalize through faculty and student recruitment, or through study abroad and development aid projects, the scope for cross-cultural conflict necessarily is broadened. Greg Lyndon, a licensed mediator, believes more attention needs to be taken with regards to prevention. Cross-cultural challenges on the rise on campuses include the invitation of controversial guests representing one or another side of a global conflict, and overall student activism representing a much wider variety of vantage-points that may be inspired by diverse religious or cultural backgrounds.
Lyndon cites as a quotidian example cheating and the struggles institutions have had coping with different mind-sets and experiences that to some extent reflect diverse backgrounds. For Lyndon, a useful way to highlight how bad planning can lead to unnecessary conflict is the increasingly common issue of whether to introduce halal food in certain campus communities. In some instances, this issue has become politicized in such a way as to create heightened tensions amongst students, faculty and administrators. Lyndon says that institutions’ internal mechanisms commonly satisfy the procedural necessities for resolving conflict or dispute, but that third party expertise may often be salutary for issues that are not narrowly academic in nature, and in particular, that have significant cross-cultural elements. For more information, see http://www.higher-edge.com/ mediation.htm.
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Protecting Students Overseas
When 38 students were killed in the Moscow dormitory fire last week, it was revealed that the building’s poor infrastructure and maintenance prevented some students from escaping the blaze. Can more be done to protect students studying abroad from unwittingly signing up for sub-standard university dormitories?
One such government that is proactive in protecting its citizens is China (which lost 9 students in the Moscow fire). The Chinese Ministry of Education has a website that provides a list of “Study Abroad Warnings,” detailing information on schools that students should be aware of. On 28 October 2003, Chinese students were warned about a language school in South Africa that “has not registered with the local [South African] educational administrative organization, and is not equipped with a dormitory, formal teachers and does not provide basic living conditions. Our embassy in South Africa has not recognized it.”
he full list of “Study Abroad Warnings” can be found at http://www.jsj.edu.cn/index.php/default/index(in Chinese). China’s efforts in protecting its students are covered in the current “Government Watch” Report, from our subscriber series, Insight, On-site: China.
Source: Source: “Ministry of Education Study Abroad Warning No. 8: Cautions for going to South Africa to study.”http://www.jsj.edu.cn/index.php/default/index (in Chinese)
OVER THE COUNTER – Enrolment Management Continued
In Overseas, Overwhelmed Issue 3.33, we looked at a university’s efforts in creating an efficient enrollment management policy. One option for universities is to hire a consulting firm. Drew Ness of Noel-Levitz Canada, a student recruitment consulting firm, discussed with Overseas, Overwhelmed the benefits of working with a private company. Ness points to the experience that consultants can offer to an institution. In the case of Noel-Levitz, they “act as a coach, educator, and facilitator of culture change.”
He also believes that in working with private companies, university enrolment officials gain valuable experience in the long term. Walter Lee, in a follow-up from the earlier article, believes that “there may be some value in bringing in outside consultants to help your university develop an effective enrolment management system,” although ultimately, the system would have to be developed from within the university.
GLOBE TIPPING – Train Travel in India
Traveling by train is a great way to travel short distances in India. Foreigners can book their tickets at a separate office at the New Delhi Train Station. The International Tourist Bureau is located on the 1st floor (up one flight of stairs), where you can purchase individual tickets or the Indrail Pass, which can be valid up to 90 days. Indian Railways also has a tourist quota, which means that even if a train is booked up for Indians, foreigners can often still get seats.
Our Luciana Rodrigues in New Delhi recommends the Shatabdi (Delhi-Chandigarh) Express and the Rajdhani (Delhi- Mumbai) Express. Both are comfortable and usually arrive on time, while the food served is excellent. Most trains in India are safe but robberies are known to happen sometimes on overnight trains.