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Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Issue 9.01 January 10, 2007

Abroad Perspective

New Foreign Student Numbers Fall in U.K.

Over The Counter

U.S. Schools Opening Branch Campuses in Persian Gulf, Australia

Let’s Go Canada

Ottawa to Extend Off-Campus Work Program

Globe Tipping

Wireless Internet Cafes in Russia

1) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – New Foreign Student Numbers Fall in U.K.

For the second year in a row, the number of foreign, non-E.U. students starting first degrees in the U.K. is down, according to figures released this week by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Undergraduate enrollments fell from 48,600 in 2004-2005 to 45,900 in 2005-2006, or by nearly six per cent. The previous year they had fallen by three per cent. The two consecutive years of declines mean a total financial loss to British universities estimated at between £30 million and £40 million.

The findings seem to confirm the fears of many university officials, who have fretted that new visa costs and delays would combine with stepped-up competition from North America, Australia and new players like Singapore to stem the flow of new students to Britain.

The total number of foreign, non-E.U. undergraduate students in the U.K. edged up by one per cent over last year, to 99,300.

Source: “Figures Show Drop in Overseas Under- graduates,” Guardian, Jan. 9, 2007

2) OVER THE COUNTER – U.S. Schools Opening Branch Campuses in Persian Gulf, Australia

Drawn partly by generous subsidies, increasing numbers of U.S. universities are setting up branch cam- puses in wealthy Persian Gulf states.

Five have already established campuses in Qatar, and the Qatari government is said to be in talks with three more. Harvard Medical School last year opened a postgraduate research center in Dubai, and George Mason University, based in Virginia, has opened a branch campus in another of the United Arab Emirates, Ras al-Khaimah.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Northeastern University is poised to start offering classes, joining two other U.S.- based universities that have already opened branch cam- puses in that country.

Sources: “U.S. Universities Set up Shop in Arab
Lands,” IndyStar.com (sourced from AP), Dec. 2, 2006;
“Third U.S. Uni Open for Australian Students,” News.com
(sourced from The Australian, Dec. 2, 2006)

3) LET’S GO CANADA – Ottawa to Extend Off-Campus Work Program

The federal government is planning to begin talks with provinces and territories about including private institutions, on a pilot basis, in its Off-Campus Work Permit Program, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg announced last month.

The Program, launched last spring, allows international students at publicly-funded universities and colleges to work off-campus up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the academic summer. It came on the heels of a successful pilot project. More than 8,300 students have taken advantage of the program, according to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

The new pilot project could see foreign students from as many as 75 private institutions eligible to work off-campus. Participating schools must be degree- granting, and provinces and territories intererested in taking part will have to work out agreements with the schools, and monitor the program as it unfolds.

Source: “Canada’s New Government to Extend Off-campus Work Program to More International Students,” (news release), Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site, Dec. 14, 2006

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Wireless Internet Cafes in Russia

Need to get connected while you’re on the go in Russia? You might want to look for coffee shops and other stores posting signs indicating that there’s wireless Internet service available. For the cost of about $2, you’ll be able to access wireless in these shops for one hour.

Even better, the service allows you to stop and start, unlike many services in which, once the time is activated, there is no provision for disconnecting and saving the time for later.

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