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Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Issue 9.19; May 16, 2007

Let’s Go Canada

UGC crackdown on “illegal” colleges in Bangladesh

Over The Counter

Rwanda: Varsity Academic Years to Be Cut

Abroad Perspective

Controversial Rankings

Globe Tipping

Currency Exchange

1) UGC crackdown on “illegal” colleges in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s University Grants Commission (UGC), the apex monitoring body of higher education in the country, has published a list of 56 private universities or local campuses of foreign universities operating in the country illegally. The list includes colleges and universities from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia among others. According to the Private University Department of the UGC, the institutions have been operating in Bangladesh without obtaining the government’s approval. The institutions have also been asked not to admit any more students.

While the authorities of the institutions are not giving up without a fight, for the 12,000 odd students registered at the institutes, the future looks bleak. Explains SM Abu Taslim, Registrar of Bhuiyan Academy to The New Nation, “We have been running our affairs for the last 18 years. If the UGC terms us illegal, they should talk to the British Council first instead of us.” Bhuiyan Academy offers law courses certified by the University of London.

Source: “56 private, local campuses of foreign varsities ‘illegal,’” The New Nation, May 12, 2007

2) OVER THE COUNTER – Rwanda: Varsity Academic Years to Be Cut

The Government of Rwanda is planning to slash the number of academic years required for a university degree from four to three. This move will help integrate the country’s education structure with other East African Community (EAC) member states as well as other countries. Students too will benefit from this move as study costs will decrease substantially. While the plan is yet to be sanctioned by the Education Ministry, universities will also be contacted for their inputs.

Source: “Rwanda: Varsity Academic Years to Be Cut,” The New Times, May 13, 2007

3) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Controversial Rankings

While college rankings continue to be popular with students throughout the world, there is much debate in academic circles regarding the credibility of such rankings. In the United States recently, a dozen liberal arts college presidents have called for a boycott of a section of the annual college rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

In a letter dated May 5, 2007, the presidents have urged their colleagues at an estimated 1,000 liberal arts schools not to participate in a portion of the survey in which they are asked to rate other schools. According to the letter, the survey is “misleading” and does little to serve prospective students.

Source: “The College Rankings Revolt Heats Up,” Businessweek, May 7, 2007

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Currency Exchange

There are many ways to change or get money when travelling. There are just as many currency valuations for you to consider. One of the best ways is to simply use your credit card for most transactions. Most credit card companies charge 2 per cent fees on overseas transactions. The website, www.bankrate.com, has useful tips on using a credit card for overseas transactions as well as a comparison of rates charged by leading companies. If you wish to withdraw money from a VISA ATM while travelling, here is another convenient tool that will help you locate an ATM closest to you.

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