Wednesday, December 6th, 2006
For Five Chinese Students, New Ontario Legislation Too Late
Beware Indian Loan Scam
Financial Pressures to Drive Demand for More Foreign Students in China
Chai in India
LET’S GO CANADA – For Five Chinese Students, New Ontario Legislation Too Late
Canadian governments aren’t tough enough on private career colleges that mislead and take advantage of international students, Robert Clift, executive director of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of B.C. said recently. Mr. Clift was quoted in one of a series of newspaper articles dealing with claims made by five Chinese students. The students say they were mislead by a Toronto private career college, the Toronto Polytechnic Institute, and then denied refunds when they withdrew. Last December, Ontario passed amendments to its Private Career Colleges Act, intended to give more protection to international students, but the new regulations have only begun to take effect. The Toronto Polytechnic Institute denies it misled the students, and says it is willing to consider refunding them their tuition.
Sources: “Education ‘Scammers’,” Toronto Sun, Nov. 27, 2006; “A School or a Scam?” Toronto Sun, Nov. 26, 2006
ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Beware Indian Loan Scam
You might get an e-mail from a “student” stating she is from a “middle class family having limited Finance but big ambitions.” Beware. The request to approve The Paras Education Foundation for a loan should be ignored, says Erich S. McElroy of the International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC), a US-based loans program providing funds for thousands of students around the world.
“Paras created a fake application where they capture the student’s data for a fee (around $150 U.S.; $170 Cdn.), input the information into our free web site, and then charge the student additional fees (up to around $600-$700 or $690-$800 Cdn.) if the loan is approved,” McElroy writes to Higher-Edge. “Paras has no affiliation with us and we have repeatedly closed off their access to our site but they find ways back in as it is open to all to apply.” The Paras “pretend” students claim that “only those Universities which are approved and qualified under their list,” qualify to have a student get the Paras loan. Hence, some unsuspecting institutions even promote Paras on their websites.
OVER THE COUNTER – Financial Pressures to Drive Demand for More Foreign Students in China
An editorial last month in a state-controlled Chinese daily newspaper calls for a crackdown on Chinese universities risking funds in financial markets. Tianjin University recently lost $4.5 million U.S. ($5.2 million Cdn.) in a failed investment. It’s an example of the pressure on Chinese tertiary education to keep up with needed resources to compete globally. China’s Academy of Social Sciences reports China’s universities and colleges borrowed $19 billion ($22 billion Cdn.) in loans last year. The editorial calls for more scrutiny of how Chinese universities are raising money to counter the debt, such as selling fake degree certificates and diluting the quality of education.
The fall-out from all this will be felt globally, as Chinese universities work harder to keep students in China, and attract more foreigners to Chinese universities, all in the hopes of raising needed cash.
Source: “University Crackdown,” China Daily, Nov. 27, 2006
GLOBE TIPPING – Chai in India
To many Westerners, “chai” means a spicy tea laden with milk and, often, sugar or other sweeteners, and tends to be marketed as an Indian beverage. However, this is really what Indians call “masala chai,” masala meaning spice. Chai in India is just tea—although the Indians like to take it with lots of milk and sugar.
By the way, if you’re addicted to coffee in the myriad forms it has assumed in Western countries, you needn’t despair if your travels take you to India. The country has seen in recent years the growth of a number of outlets serving espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and more, often in air-conditioned comfort, such as the Barista chain.
Correction: The University of British Columbia has no intention to establish a branch campus in India.Incorrect information appeared in the Nov. 29, 2006 edition of Overseas, Overwhelmed. We sincerely regret the error.