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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Issue 5.07 February 23, 2005

LET’S GO CANADA

Double Check to Avoid Fraud

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

U.S. University is Japan’s First Foreign Varsity

OVER THE COUNTER

Fresh Talent Initiative in Trouble

GLOBE TIPPING

Visa Alert!

LET’S GO CANADA- Double Check to Avoid Fraud

Higher-Edge has always advocated more pro-active screening of international student applications, in respect of those from countries where disproportionately high fraud rates are recorded. This is to protect genuine students who otherwise, all too easily, get tarnished with the wider brush of widespread misrepresentations. Secondarily, we have promoted the importance of institutions recognizing the self-interest in protecting their reputations abroad, with regards to students, visa offices and others with whom they wish to be held in high esteem.

The recent report provided by the British Deputy High Commission (BDHC) in Chennai to The Times of India bears testimony to this. Statistics provided by the BDHC in Chennai has revealed that students from South India routinely submit forged marksheets in order to get British visas. The report lists the universities whose documents are commonly forged as Osmania University (Hyderabad), Kuvempu University (Shimoga) and Madurai Kamraj University (Madurai). Apart from forged educational qualifications, students also submit fake admission letters of British institutions and false bank statements.

The BDHC has asked the Indian universities to submit specimens of original marksheets so that visa officers can verify documents. The increase in fraudulent visa applications has pushed up the visa refusal rate, for Indians applying to study in Britain, from 28 per cent in 2001 to 48 per cent in 2004. In order to prevent students from using fake offer letters, the embassy has started issuing visas to students applying to institutes approved by the UK’s Department for Education and Skills.

Source: “http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2005-02-17/bangalore/27833611_1_uk-visa-british-deputy-high-commission-marksheets,” Times of India, February 17, 2005

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – U.S. University is Japan’s First Foreign Varsity

The Japanese campus of a U.S. university has been recognized as Japan’s first foreign university. Philadelphia’s Temple University has had a branch in Tokyo, Japan since 1982. Temple has two more branches in Osaka and Fukuoka that offer masters and doctoral programmes in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). The university has nearly 2,100 students in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, with two-thirds of the student population being Japanese.

With official recognition from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Temple University academic credits will now be accepted by other Japanese universities. Also, graduates of the University will be allowed to apply for postgraduate studies at other Japanese universities. In order to earn the status of “foreign university,” Temple University Japan had to meet certain criteria set forward by the Ministry of Education. These included offering degree programs equivalent to those offered at the parent institution. As well, the parent institution needed to have full university status in its country of origin.

Source: “http://www.japantoday.com/,” Japan Today, February 15, 2005

OVER THE COUNTER – Fresh Talent Initiative in Trouble

The Scottish Government’s Fresh Talent Initiative has run into rough weather. Barely a year after its launch, the programme — aimed at attracting international students and immigrants to Scotland —- has suffered a setback from the British Government’s immigration policy. What’s more, Scotland’s academic fraternity has accused the British Council of not promoting the programme overseas.

In a letter published in The Herald, Professor Anthony Cohen, principal, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh writes “I am writing from India while on a trip … to nurture Queen Margaret University College’s relationships with our high-quality international collaborators …. Imagine my dismay on learning from the British Council representatives in these various centres that they have been instructed not to advertise Fresh Talent further.”

While principals of Scottish varsities are now looking at newer ways to promote the country in international markets, there is widespread concern with the government’s decision to increase visa fees which could lead to a decline in international students. The fee for a student visa extension, currently at £155 (CDN 361) or £250 (CDN 582) for a faster service, is expected to double to nearly £500 (CDN 1,165).

Source: “http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/33254.html,” The Herald, February 11, 2005

GLOBE TIPPING – Visa Alert!

When travelling to multiple countries, make sure that at the earliest possible juncture, the logistics of applying for several visas are suitably mapped out. First, ensure your information is properly verified. Regulatory changes affecting visas can happen abruptly. It is not sufficient to rely on another’s even recent experience. Secondly, confirm where visas can be applied for. Some countries may service such applications through local, more convenient consulates and not only through embassies in the capital city. Thirdly, determine whether fast-tracking of applications is possible (additional fees may apply). Fourthly, begin the process with the country or countries that appear to be the most uncertain in terms of timing of the process. It is not unusual, to encounter delays of several days or longer or to receive requests for further information.

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

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