Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
In Quebec, Small Protest against End to Foreign Tuition Cap
In the U.K., New Visa Rules Spark Controversy
Graduate Enrollments up by Three per Cent in U.S.
Flying Making You Sick? Try Water
1) LET’S GO CANADA – In Quebec, Small Protest against End to Foreign Tuition Cap
About 30 students from McGill University, Laval University and the University of Sherbrooke gathered in Quebec City last month to protest the deregulation of international tuition fees in the province.
Many universities in Quebec are expected to increase tuition fees paid by international students after the provincial government’s announcement of an end to its international tuition cap earlier this fall. Students in a variety of disciplines at McGill are expected to be paying more in September, 2009; one students’ group predicts a hike of eight per cent.
In a news release issued in September, McGill University said that any planned tuition increases would not be unfair to international students. The university argued that it needed to increase its fees to compensate for decreases in provincial grants to certain faculties and schools.
Sources: “http://www.mcgilltribune.com/2.12329/provincial-students-protest-hikes-in-international-tuition-1.1627940#.Tyv4Y-NSRoA,” McGill Tribune, Oct. 21, 2008 “http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/news/item/?item_id=101774,” McGill University news release, Sept. 12, 2008
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – In the U.K., New Visa Rules Spark Controversy
A stricter, points-based system for granting student visas, announced earlier this fall, has the British government with a public relations challenge on its hands. The system, slated to come into effect next March, involves a variety of new requirements. Non-European students must now be more specific about exactly what they intend to study, and where—and they must also provide more details about their financial resources. It also requires institutions to report to immigration authorities any non-European students who fail to show up for classes. The British Council has found itself having to defend the new system against charges that it will discourage foreign students from studying in the U.K. “It’s not draconian, it’s about transparency, but with visa changes it’s the perception that’s the issue,” the Council’s head of higher education said recently. Some British academics are also protesting that the new rules will require them to put their students under “police-like surveillance” and could even violate the European Convention on Human Rights’s provisions on privacy.
Sources: “http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/10/overseas-students-competition,” Guardian, Nov. 10, 2008
“http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/nov/10/international-students-migrant-scams-crackdown,” Guardian, Nov. 10, 2008
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Graduate Enrollments up by Three per Cent in U.S.
International first-year graduate school enrollment in the U.S. increased by three per cent from 2007 to 2008, according to an annual survey released this month by the Council of Graduate Schools. The number of Chinese students, which had climbed by 19 per cent from 2006 to 2007, increased dramatically again from 2007 to 2008, by 14 per cent. The numbers suggest that the growth of foreign graduate student enrollment is continuing to slow—although this slowdown in growth seems to be becoming less dramatic. From 2006 to 2007, numbers grew by four per cent; the year before that, by 12 per cent. The next few years may show the emergence of one of two trends, said Nathan Bell, the survey’s principal author. “It could be a leveling off, or it could be signifying that the numbers are starting to drop.” Total international student enrollments at U.S. colleges and universities are growing more quickly. According to the Open Doors annual survey, released this week, international student enrollments were up by seven per sent in 2007-2008; first-time enrollments were up by 10 per cent.
Source: “http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/11/10/international,” Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 10, 2008
This year’s Open Doors report can be found http://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Flying Making You Sick? Try Water
Many air travelers find that flying makes them sick—but not while they’re in the air; they find themselves with runny noses and feverish limbs in the days following the flight. This shouldn’t be surprising; according to a 2004 study by Canadian scientists, you may be more than 100 times more likely to catch a cold while on a plane than on the ground. There’s another reason, apart from the cramped quarters and recycled air: the dryness of aircraft cabins, which saps water from the body and weakens natural bodily defenses that depend on water—the mucus lining in the nose, for example. Experts suggest, apart from usual precautions like handwashing, drinking lots of water during a flight to counter this tendency and keep you healthy.
The study can be found online http://www.cieh.org/library/Knowledge/Public_health/JEHR/JEHRVol3Iss1-CommonColdAircraft.pdf.