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Wednesday, March 17th, 2004

Issue 4.10 March 17, 2004

LET’S GO CANADA

International Students and Visas: Perception Vs. Reality

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

Bats, Ballots and Exams

OVER THE COUNTER

Changes on the Horizon in Niagara

LET’S GO CANADA – International Students and Visas: Perception Vs. Reality

Are Canadian institutions becoming more desirable than their American counterparts for international students? According to recent surveys, there does seem to be a decline in the number of graduate school applicants, an issue that was addressed by Peter Syverson, vice president for research at the Council of Graduate Schools, during The Chronicle Of Higher Education’s online discussion last week, Colloquy Live.

Syverson touched on the aspects of perception and reality, both playing important roles in an international student’s choice for overseas study. It is perceived that the “U.S. is a less-welcoming place for graduate students” while the reality of the situation seems to support this belief. The United States General Accounting Office’s February 2004 study on visas revealed that the F-1 (student visa) refusal rate in China, India and Russia ranged from 40% from the consulate in New Delhi, to 63% from Beijing (on page 33).

When asked about the long-term impact of these perceptions, Syverson replied, “While revising the visa regulations may streamline the process and make it easier for students, this negative perception may persist over time and may, in fact, be the more troublesome issue in attracting international graduate students to the U.S.”

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), its statistical report on international student trends will contain enrolment data (as opposed to immigration numbers used in past reports). CBIE has told Higher-Edge that the report has been delayed, as StatsCanada has yet to provide the latest data.

For a full transcript of the online discussion visit:
http://chronicle.com/colloquylive/2004/03/visa/

Source: “http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04371.pdf,” United States General Accounting Office, February 2004

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Bats, Ballots and Exams

It’s not the usual quiet intensity of national and state examinations in South Asia this spring. Indian teenagers writing Class X and XII board exams are dealing with the distraction of the biggest cricket matches in 14 years, as the Indian team plays in Pakistan and hundreds of millions of people have stopped their activities on match days to watch the action. While this goes on, campaigning for lok sabha (House of the People) in India is also in full swing, and at one point there was consideration to move exams to accommodate the voting.

While exams in India were not moved, general elections in the politically volatile Sri Lanka necessitated a move in exam dates. The Sri Lankan GCE Advanced A-Level examinations originally scheduled to begin April 2 were postponed to May 6 to 31. The Sri Lankan Examinations Commissioner Mahinda Wijayasiri said they will strive to have all results completed by the first week of June and schools will be closed that week, as 25,000 teachers will be deployed to mark exams.

OVER THE COUNTER – Changes on the Horizon in Niagara

Universities that recruit from Nigeria should take note of two recent developments. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has announced that it will no longer issue a statement of results. In its place will be an embossed certificate (to prevent identity impersonation), while results will be available to students online within 90 days of the exam.

The second development involves a proposed examination system at the state level, the Lagos State Examinations Board (LSEB). With WAEC and the National Examinations Council (NECO) as the two accepted exam boards in Nigeria, the Lagos State government’s plans have been met with opposition. Higher-Edge’s Yemi Sarayi said that the federal government has emphatically said it will refuse to recognize certification from the LSEB, noting that federal universities in Lagos would not accept any state level certification.

For more information on Higher-Edge’s StudentScreen: Nigeria service, visit:
http://higher-edge.com/studentscreen-nigeria.htm

Source: “http://allafrica.com/stories/200402260650.html,” PM News, February 26, 2004
http://allafrica.com/stories/200403110648.html,” Vanguard, March 11, 2004

Please direct all questions and comments to editor@higher-edge.com
www.higher-edge.com/oov.htm

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