Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Canada’s University Sector to Shine in India
Obama May Boost U.S. Appeal to Foreign Students
Economy Puts Indians’ U.S. Study Plans on Hold
Despite End of Cold War, Travel into Russia no Easy Affair
1) THE PLAYING FIELD – Canada’s University Sector to Shine in India
This week Higher-Edge (publisher of Overseas, Overwhelmed) holds its Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC) education fairs in India for the first time ever. The exhibitions take place in four Indian cities over eight days in mid-November. All four cities—Hyderabad, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ludhiana—have CUAC offices, allowing for the all-important follow-up, where university officials will have the opportunity to further brand Canada’s fine public universities as world-class. The universities of Windsor, Victoria, and Guelph as well as Saint Mary’s and Algoma universities will showcase their programs at fairs and presentations to more than a thousand students at top high schools.
“Canadian fairs have commonly not concentrated on the university, and particularly the research university, segment of our country’s higher education system. So it’s not surprising that it’s been difficult positioning the country as an elite study abroad destination,” says CUAC Managing Director Mel Broitman. “I’ve heard Canadian trade officers and high commissioners lament this fact over and over. Our plan is to change the perception this has created.”
Along with the fairs, there will be three separate press conferences and a reception in Delhi for government officials, top academics and administrators.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Obama May Boost U.S. Appeal to Foreign Students
Countries that vie with the U.S. in the international student market may have to work even harder to compete with an America under the administration of president-elect Barack Obama.
In recent years, the U.S. has significantly streamlined its processes for granting student visas after its initial clampdown following the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, the perception of the country as not entirely friendly to foreign students has not been easy for America to eradicate. But with a new, change-oriented administration on its way to the White House, some officials in the U.K. are fretting that America’s appeal with international students will soar in coming years.
“The Obama success puts us into a whole new chapter and 4/11 could well be as powerful and influential as 9/11,” Dominic Scott, chief executive of the U.K. Council for International Student Affairs, said recently. Britain, which recently announced new restrictions on the granting of student visas, risks finding itself “swept aside by the sleeping giant” of America, he said.
However, it remains to be seen whether the “change” associated with the Obama campaign will actually be translated into new policies aimed at making the U.S. more attractive as a destination for study. As Pat Killingley, director of higher education at the British Council, put it, “Obama’s policy on immigration and education is likely to be much more important than any feelgood factor coming from the election.”
Source: “http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/05/internationalstudents-students,” Guardian, Nov. 5, 2008
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Economy Puts Indians’ U.S. Study Plans on Hold
Whatever the effect of a new administration on the U.S. as a destination for international students, it seems that economic concerns are making the country look less attractive, at least in India.
Indian students and education officials say a number of economic factors have combined to reduce Indians’ interest in applying to American schools. The fact that the rupee has lost roughly a fifth of its value against the U.S. dollar over the past year means that not only studying in the U.S. but also applying and writing entry tests such as the GRE and TOEFL will be considerably more expensive. Meanwhile, the financial crisis has taken a bite out of the funds U.S. universities have available for scholarships. And some say that the looming economic recession will prompt more American students to earn degrees and diplomas rather than looking for work—leaving fewer places for foreign students.
Source: “http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081025/jsp/calcutta/story_10018524.jsp,” The Telegraph, Oct. 25, 2008
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Despite End of Cold War, Travel into Russia no Easy Affair
Despite the easing of east-west tension over the past two decades, travel to Russia involves considerable preparation and paperwork beforehand, especially when compared to travel to some of its eastern European neighbours with closer ties to the west.
For example, Canadians planning on doing business in the Russian Federation must complete a fairly complex visa application, including obtaining an official invitation from a hosting organization, Standard single-entry business visas come with a fee of $75 and require 15 business days to process.
Source: The website of the Russian Consulate in Canada can be foundhttp://www.rusembassy.ca/.