Wednesday, April 13th, 2005
Japan’s Teaching Shops
Australian Universities to Standardize Entry Requirements
Students buy Essay at Online Auction Site
Strikes in South Africa
LET’S GO CANADA – Japan’s Teaching Shops
Japan is positioning its education system as a means to beat global competition and stay at the top spot in the Asian economy. To give Japanese youngsters an edge in the international education marketplace, juku or coaching schools exist to help students polish their skills and performance in various competitive and entrance examinations.
Japan’s U.S. $ 8.8 billion (CDN 10 billion) tutoring industry is booming and there are nearly 50,000 coaching schools in the country. Eikoh, the largest juku in Japan has set up 18 new branches last year with 60,000 students enrolled at various locations. Many schools are venturing into newer areas such as special tutorials for under-performing students and Internet Videophone Services for home-study.
The juku have been around in Japan for a while. However, in recent years, their demand has been on the upsurge. Anxious to give their children a good start in life, Japanese parents have been investing heavily in education. MSNBC reports Masatoshi Kikuchi, Merrill Lynch & Company’s chief equity strategist in Japan as saying that educational spending per household in Japan is on the rise.
Source: “http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7463875/,” MSNBC, April 11, 2005
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Australian Universities to Standardize Entry Requirements
Australian universities have been instructed by the Federal Government to standardize their admission requirements by setting minimum academic scores required for admission. With reports of an Australian university accepting students into an Information Technology programme with a low entrance mark of 33 out of 100, the Government fears that universities may be taking in students with lower scores so that they don’t lose out on government funding.
Australian universities are funded by the Government for a fixed number of students in each degree course. However, the universities end up lowering the admission index if the places in each course are not filled. That way, government funding is not reduced. The Government plans to introduce a new “academic capability score” in addition to tertiary entrance ranks such as the Universities Admission Index (UAI) in New South Wales.
Source: “http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Universities-ordered-to-fix-the-entry-bar/2005/04/10/1113071856002.html?oneclick=true,” Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2005
OVER THE COUNTER – Students buy Essay at Online Auction Site
A computer expert at the University of Glamorgan has discovered that students have been using the internet auction website, e-Bay, to buy essays and pass them off as their own. There seems to be an abundance of material on the internet, usually in the form of essays, that is being sold to students in order to help them cheat. Dr Mike Reddy from the University of Glamorgan has come across an entire network of people trading in plagiarized material on the internet. The network also provides students tips on how to evade detection by university authorities and the anti-plagiarism software.
Source: “http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/4421667.stm,” BBC News, April 8, 2005
GLOBE TIPPING -Strikes in South Africa
When traveling in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, it helps to be aware of the current political situation. Read the local newspapers carefully and avoid troubled regions. “Bandhs” or general strikes (called “hartals” in Bangladesh ) can be announced by different political parties at a moment’s notice and can paralyze the entire region for a whole day or more.
During a strike, there is limited public transportation and few people venture outside to go to work. Most businesses close, although some offices stay open quietly. International airports remain open. In the more politically strategic locations in cities, there are protests and rallies, and occasionally crowds can become unruly. If you are in a city when there is a general strike, it’s best to stay put indoors until it is over.