Wednesday, March 9th, 2005
Asian Students Avoid UK Universities
Foreign Varsities May Be Allowed in Australia
O Level Students in a Fix
Passport Renewal Tips
LET’S GO CANADA – Asian Students Avoid UK Universities
Asian students are shying away from taking up postgraduate courses at British universities, a survey conducted by Universities UK (UUK) has revealed. The most significant drops are students from China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. The number of Chinese students enrolling at British institutions has declined by almost 50 per cent.
With a decline in the numbers of overseas students enrolled in postgraduate research and course work, higher education institutions could feel a financial crunch. Just last month, Oxford and Cambridge announced plans to recruit more international students in order to counter budget deficits.
According to the UUK, increased visa extension fees could be causing the decline in international students. The British Government’s decision to increase fees for a student visa extension currently at £155 (CDN 361) or £250 (CDN 582) to nearly double at £500 (CDN 1,165) has sparked off fierce protests in the academic community.
British lobby group, Campaigning for Mainstream Universities (CMU) which represents 31 higher education institutions in Britain has alleged that the decline in numbers of Chinese students is due to the fact that many bonafide Chinese students are being denied visas to study in Britain. Recently, 57 qualified teachers from China joining a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course at the University of Wolverhampton were refused visas to enter the UK.
Sources: “http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/mar/07/highereducation.uk1,” The Guardian, March 7, 2005
“http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4277655.stm,” BBC News, February 18, 2005
“http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4273867.stm,” BBC News, February 18, 2005
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Foreign Varsities May Be Allowed in Australia
The Australian Government may consider allowing foreign education providers and private institutions to set up shop in the country, according to the Building University Diversity report. The report, which examines the structure of Australia’s higher education system, observes that Australia’s global competitiveness depends on greater diversity in the types and nature of institutions making up the country’s higher education system.
Diversity will not be achieved through a “`one size fits all’ model for a university that we currently have in place in our higher education approval processes and which no longer reflects even the existing diversity of our sector,” according to Dr Brendon Nelson, Minister for Education, Science and Training.
The report recommends that Australian universities specialize in either teaching or research so as to allow greater variety to students, and allow more higher education providers into the education and training market.
OVER THE COUNTER – O Level Students in a Fix
Abu Dhabi’s Ministry of Education has refused to attest the O level certificates of tenth grade students of some private schools affiliated to the Cambridge International Examination Board. Stating that the schools have violated the law by allowing tenth grade students to write the O levels in 2003-04, the Foreign Private Schools Department has explained that it had sent a circular to all schools stating that a student can write the O level exams only after completing 11 years of schooling.
The Ministry plans to take strict action against non-complying schools and certificates of the students will not be considered equivalent to the General Secondary Certificate of the UAE. Students will have to write the examination all over again this year (2004-05), after fulfilling the Ministry’s conditions.
Source: “http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2005/March/theuae_March194.xml§ion=theuae,” Khaleej Times, March 7, 2005
GLOBE TIPPING – Passport Renewal Tips
Remember that many countries have standing policies precluding entry of persons whose passports have less than 6 months of validity left in them. This is not withstanding that a valid visa (where required) has been issued, and even in some cases, irrespective of whether the person has boarded a plane and landed at the port-of-entry. It is also important to do some planning when thinking about renewing passports. For example, it may be wiser to apply for a new passport, even if it has significant time to run, so that that it will not later expire in the middle of one or more visas which are for multiple entry and of long-standing validity.