Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
Canada’s “Fragmented” Approach Must End: Axworthy
Singapore Steps up Indian Presence
U.S. Plans Dramatic Visa Processing Ramp-up in India
Country Time Zones at a Glance
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Canada’s “Fragmented” Approach Must End: Axworthy
Canada’s un-coordinated approach to promoting itself overseas is holding Canadian universities back at a critical moment, former Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy says.
Mr. Axworthy, now president of the University of Winnipeg, said recently that a more unified approach to promoting Canada’s universities overseas would allow this country to pick up more of the slack left by the U.S., which has been suffering from low enrolments since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
On developing a national academic branding strategy, Mr. Axworthy said, “We’ve never really mastered that or spent much time or attention on it, and I think we pay a big price…The last couple of trips I’ve taken both into Latin America and Asia, it’s increasingly becoming more difficult for universities in those countries to relate to the United States because of the security measures. We’ve done very little to take advantage of that.”
Source: “Branding Canada,” Embassy: Canada’s Foreign Policy Newsweekly, Oct. 4, 2006
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Singapore Steps up Indian Presence
Singapore is reported to be marketing itself more aggressively to prospective students in India, as a cheaper alternative to Britain, the U.S. or Australia.
A Singapore Education Fair was held in Delhi recently—the third in the last few years. According to an official with Singapore’s Tourism Board, the island nation offers to Indian students “global education within a cosmopolitan culture and in an Asian setting.” They can study at branch campuses of Australian universities in Singapore, for example, more cheaply than studying in Australia itself, he said. Singapore, he said, is hoping especially to attract students in finance, business administration and engineering.
Source: “Singapore Asks India to Look East,” The Hindu, Oct. 12, 2006
3) OVER THE COUNTER – U.S. Plans Dramatic Visa Processing Ramp-up in India
In a move anticipated to make Mumbai the busiest city in the world for the processing of non-immigrant U.S. visas, America’s Embassy in India is planning a dramatic acceleration of processing rates.
The Embassy is aiming to be clearing non-immigrant visas from Indian applicants in six days instead of the two to six months the process now takes. More staff are going to be put to work processing visas, the chief of consular services at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai said recently. A new consulate is in the works for Mumbai, with a planned opening date of April 2008. And the process of applying for a visa is also to be streamlined. As part of the ramp-up, the Mumbai Consulate General recently announced it had added an extra 8,000 appointment dates to its calendar for the next three months.
The U.S. considers more than 125,000 non- immigrant visa applications in India each year. Last year, 33,000 of these were requests for skilled work visas and 10,500 were for student visas.
Source: “U.S. Visas for Indians in Six Days Soon,” Rediff News, Oct. 12, 2006
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Country Time Zones at a Glance
Looking for a quick way to find out what time it is in another country? You might want to bookmark a free web site, “Local Times Around the World.”
The site automatically gives you the current time of various locations in quite possibly every country on earth (not to mention Pacific islands and Antarctic research stations). It also provides other useful bits of information, such as the difference of a location from Greenwich Mean Time and whether or not that location follows Daylight Saving Time.