Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
CICIC Website Addresses Difficulties Foreigners Face in Understanding Canadian Higher Education System
Immigration Consultants Under the Scanner
China Union Pay to Launch Pre-paid Travel
LET’S GO CANADA – CICIC Website Addresses Difficulties Foreigners Face in Understanding Canadian Higher Education System
In last week’s issue we covered issues relating to over-inclusive and under-inclusive lists of Canadian post-secondary institutions. Given Canada’s decentralized post-secondary system, there are a host of other difficulties facing foreigners in understanding our system.
First we have universities and university-colleges, and colleges, under which all may be degree granting, even if universities are primarily so, and the last two, primarily not so. Next, we have every manner of any other institute or pseudo-institute able to use “college” in its name, How easy is it for a student in Casablanca or Islamabad to clearly discern the difference between George Brown College and an institution that can legally register its name and launch a slick web-site as George Black College?
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) has a revamped web-site which goes some distance in addressing this deficiency. Launched last March, http://cicic.ca/ currently houses the most complete and authoritative listing of all recognized public and private post-secondary institutions in Canada within its Post-secondary Education Database. Also noteworthy and commendable, is that the web-site has a legend (http://www.cicic.ca/391/postsecondary-education-in-canada.canada) denoting the various types of institutions, enabling viewers to determine whether an institution is public or private, government-funded or not, as well as identify its academic nature (including the level of degree granted in the institution). According to Yves Beaudin, the CICIC’s National Coordinator, “Foreign students interested in Canada should be directed to the most complete and authoritative list available, so that they may choose the institution that offers programs best suited to their specific needs.
While there is no doubt that this web-site is a tremendously welcomed resource, it is only part of a wider solution. First, accuracy is imperative. While altogether more comprehensive and accurate than the list cited in last week’s issue, we did find at least one inaccurate entry (regarding the level of degree granted at an institution). But moreover, and perhaps, well outside the bounds of what could be looked to from the CICIC, is the importance of conveying depth and nuance that is all so necessary to those new to our system, and above all vetting for fraud. We’ll have more on that next
OVER THE COUNTER – Immigration Consultants Under the Scanner
Several education and visa consultants in Lahore, Pakistan have been booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for preparing fraudulent student visa documents. According to sources in the FIA, these consultants have been charging exorbitant fees from students, in region of USD $ 100 (CDN $ 125) to USD $ 3,000 (CDN $ 3,765), in exchange for help with fake certificates, accreditation and admission letters. Over 200 immigration consultants for European countries are operating in Lahore without government approval.
In the absence of a proper legal framework to regulate their activities, unscrupulous immigration and education consultants have been successful in duping students and hoodwinking the law. While the FIA has booked four consultants for such illegal activity and sealed the offices of some others, without government legislation regarding visa consultants, the situation will continue to remain grim with students being cheated of millions of rupees almost every day.
Source: The News International, June 2, 2005
GLOBE TIPPING – China Union Pay to Launch Pre-paid Travel
China UnionPay plans to launch pre-paid travel cards for foreign visitors to China by the end of the year. Holders of UnionPay travel cards will be able to pay for their shopping, dining and travelling expenses in renminbi at outlets displaying the UnionPay logo. Customers will be able to purchase travel cards from UnionPay’s overseas partners or at domestic airports, railway stations, tourist attractions and shops.