Wednesday, May 17th, 2006
Acceptability of Indian Degrees in U.S. to be Discussed at NAFSA Conference
Caste Bill Expected to Drive Indian Students Overseas
China Declares Halt to Massive University Expansion
M.D. Offers Online Travel Advice
LET’S GO CANADA – Acceptability of Indian Degrees in U.S. to be Discussed at NAFSA Conference
It’s time American universities clearly spelled out whether or not they accept three-year undergraduate degrees from India as satisfactory prerequisites for graduate degrees, an official with the United States Educational Foundation in India says. Vijaya Khandavilli, educational advisor with the USEFI, is expected to argue this point when she chairs a session at the NAFSA (Association of International Educators) conference set for Montreal next week (May 21 to 26).
Organizers are expecting more than 6,000 delegates and 350 exhibitors to attend this year’s conference. Guest speakers will include two Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Sources: “http://www.financialexpress.com/news/story/165650/,” Financial Express, May 2, 2006; More information in the conference can be found on the http://www.nafsa.org/.
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Caste Bill Expected to Drive Indian Students Overseas
The number of Indian students studying abroad, which has been climbing steadily in recent years, may spike still more if a bill proposed recently by the Indian government becomes law.
Current rules require Indian central universities, Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Technology to set aside 23 per cent of their seats to members of “scheduled” castes and tribes—groups that were deemed, after Indian independence, to need preferential treatment by the govern- ment. The new proposal would more than double this ratio to 50 per cent—making acceptance into these schools much harder for everyone else. According to Indian newspapers, many aspiring Indian university students who don’t belong to these castes are already considering studying overseas—to the delight of recruiters for foreign institutions.
Sources: “http://www.hindustantimes.com/,” Hindustan Times, April 13, 2006; “http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1519622.cms,” Times of Indian, May 8, 2006; “http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/1516044/Backward-caste-deal-for-students-fires-Indian-middle-class.html,” The Telegraph, April 18, 2006
￼￼OVER THE COUNTER – China Declares Halt to Massive University Expansion
The dramatic ramp-up in higher education enrolments that has been underway in China since 1999 is coming to an end. The country’s cabinet now says it wants to slow the expansion and focus on quality, rather than quantity. It also says there aren’t enough jobs in the country for all the university graduates the system is now producing.
Some China observers say the Communist Party is concerned about the political instability that may result from the presence of large numbers of unemployed, university-educated young people in the country.
More than 5 million new students enrolled in Chinese higher education institutions last year—4.7 times more than in 1998. The total number of higher education students in the country stands at 23 million—more than any other country. The massive expansion program has been a key reason cited for recent declining enrolments of Chinese students in many western countries, including Britain.
Sources: “http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-05/11/content_4536160.htm,” China View, May 11, 2006; “√,” The Washington Post, May 12, 2006
GLOBE TIPPING – M.D. Offers Online Travel Advice
Being informed about the health risks of travel abroad is vital. One useful stop on the Internet is http://drwisetravel.com/index.html, a web site hosted by a Canadian physician, Dr. Mark Wise. The web site offers a useful survey of issues—from jet lag to myiasis—affecting the world traveler.