Wednesday, January 21st, 2004
Financing an Overseas Education
Indian Board to Diversify Education
Religion on Campus
Visiting Hong Kong?
LET’S GO CANADA – Financing an Overseas Education
Some families in India rely upon government-backed loans to assist in the financing of their children’s foreign education. As of the beginning of 2004, the Indian government is looking to reduce the interest charged on education loans (from 11% to 8%) taken out by student’s parents from Indian banks. However, Prashant Khullar, a graduate of McGill University, told Higher-Edge that “this option is only accessible to a small elite demographic.”
Foreign finance institutions are beginning to offer other options. At a November 2003 UK education fair in Kolkata, HSBC had a stall displaying information for student loans, while its Indian branches also have an in-house student counsellor to advise on higher studies abroad.
As mentioned in Overseas, Overwhelmed 3.32, international students in Manitoba will be able to work off-campus, further aiding their ability to finance their education.
The January/February edition of Insight, On-site: India will take an in-depth look at how Indians finance their overseas education.
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2004-01-02/india/28332817_1_loans-interest-rates-cent,” The times of India, January 2, 2004
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Indian Board to Diversify Education
The Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India’s largest secondary education board, told CBSE-affiliated schools in Asia’s Gulf region there are significant changes coming to adapt to a changing global employment scenario and reduce the pressure on students. Gulf countries have hundreds of thousands of Indian expatriate workers and families who most commonly school their children in the Indian system. As of December 2002, there were 81 CBSE-affiliated schools in the Gulf region.
“We want to tell students they might not get the right marks in exams, the right college admission or even the right career option, but still they can have a life which will be meaningful,” Ashok Ganguly said at a conference last week in Sharjah (just next to Dubai). Within a year the CBSE will introduce laboratories for mathematics and some science subjects with the aim of making the subject more enjoyable. Attempts to modernize curricula include changing Class Ten Science to “Science and Technology,” and introducing “Life Skill” and “Disaster Management” education from Classes Six through Ten.
OVER THE COUNTER – Religion on Campus
The debate over religious icons and their place in schools has reached its zenith in France, where there are plans to ban the wearing of all overtly religious symbols in state schools. Included in the ban would be skullcaps, headscarves and large crosses. Muslims, the largest visible minority in the country, took to the streets this past weekend to protest the proposal, claiming that female students being forced not to wear their headscarves is a violation of their rights.
While the French government’s proposal stems from the secular tradition of the country, the issue does raise an important question. Are there implications for higher education institutes, given France’s current attempts to deal with this issue?
Source: “http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/18/international/europe/18FRAN.html,” The New York Times, January 18, 2004
GLOBE TIPPING – Visiting Hong Kong?
Last year saw the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which crippled the travel industry in some Asian countries, especially in the high traffic area of Hong Kong. If you are planning to visit Hong Kong in the near future, be prepared for stringent screening measures designed to filter out potential carriers of the disease.
Visitors will need to fill out health forms and be scanned by an infrared camera, that measures temperature and the possibility of fever. Currently on “yellow” alert (which involves preventative measures such as tests on potential carriers, and preparation of isolation wards) the territory is ready to raise the threat level to “red,” which will give extended powers to police to track down and quarantine infected people. Travellers in Hong Kong are warned that they must comply with all health laws