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Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Issue 9.08 February 28, 2007

Let’s Go Canada

South Korea universities fight back.

Over The Counter

Foreign students should be allowed to work after graduation: Netherlands report

Abroad Perspective

Shanghai to step up recruitment drive

Globe Tipping

Taxis in Moscow

1) LET’S GO CANADA – South Korea universities fight back.

Years of losing their best students to the West are prompting Korean universities to increase their English language course offerings in a bid to stop the brain drain. Yonsei and Korea University are offering more classes in English to prevent students from flocking to British and North American campuses and, attract foreign students of their own.

In 2002, Korea University offered less than 10 percent of its classes in English, but the proportion rose to 35 percent last year and is expected to hit 60 percent by 2010. Yonsei, South Korea’s oldest and most prestigious private university, has set up the Underwood International College (UIC), which offers a four-year program of all-English- language classes to compete with the best institutions in America and Europe. Universities in Japan and China are catching up by introducing similar programmes.

Critics are sceptical of academic standards maintained by these English-language universities and, locals in South Korea fear the loss of their cultural heritage and identity due to the language infiltration. Asian students, however, aren’t complaining. Northeast Asia’s growing employment market has begun to favour students with domestic school connections. Plus, it makes economic sense to stay closer home.

Source: “Asian universities switch to English,” Newsweek, Feb. 26, 2007

2) OVER THE COUNTER – Foreign students should be allowed to work after graduation: Netherlands report

A report published by the Advisory Committee on Alien Affairs (ACVZ) in the Netherlands proposes that the Government allow students from outside the European Union (EU) a year to look for a job after completing their study in the Netherlands. Current regulations allow for three months after graduation to find work. The report also states that salary requirements for a residence permit be relaxed for non-EU students.

Currently, around 3.5 per cent students, enrolled in higher education courses in the Netherlands come from outside the EU, from countries such as China, Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Turkey. The report concludes that the percentage of non-EU students is small, compared to other European countries, and that Netherlands could do with more technical graduates.

Source: “Foreign students good for labour market,” Expatica, Feb. 21, 2007

3) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Shanghai to step up recruitment drive

The Shanghai Education Commission (SEC) has set itself the target of doubling the number of foreign students in the city by 2010. In order to achieve this, the SEC has urged private colleges and research institutes in the city to recruit more foreign students. Institutes such as the privately-owned Shanghai Jianqiao College have been allowed to enrol foreigners from this year. The city also plans to grant government scholarships to long-term foreign students from this year with awards ranging from 4,000 yuan
($ 500 Cdn.) to 40,000 yuan ( $ 5,167 Cdn.) annually.

The number of foreign students in Shanghai has grown by around 30 percent annually since 2000. In total 31,600 foreigners were studying at 24 public universities in Shanghai at the end of 2006. Annually, over 500 of those remain in the city to work after graduation. SEC officials expect 60,000 to 70,000 foreign students to be enrolled in Shanghai’s educational institutes each year by the end of 2010.

Source: “Private Colleges Urged to Recruit Foreigners,” Shanghai Daily, Feb. 12, 2007

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Taxis in Moscow

Taxi companies in Moscow don’t seem to offer any meters or receipts. It is best to let a Russian-speaking colleague or the bellman at your hotel negotiate the fare (to be paid in rubles) for you, and indicate your destination to the driver. You could also have your destination written in Cyrillic characters to show the driver.

Smoking is prevalent among taxi drivers, while seat belts are not at all common. Gridlock in Moscow can add unforeseeable amounts of travel time. If one tries to flag a cab on the street, a random individual driver (not an official taxi) may pull over to negotiate with you. Trunk space may not be very large, depending on the vehicle. As to be expected, a car service from your hotel will be many times the cost of a city taxi.

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