Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
Lower costs lure American students north
International students “cash cows”
Large loans in lean times
When more than just the travel bug bites
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Lower costs lure American students north
The declining Canadian dollar may be bad news to some, but it’s great for American students planning to study north of the border.
American students have long chosen Canadian schools for their calibre and setting, even when the Canadian and American dollars were at par. Though many students associate Canada with caribou and frozen tundras, they are often quickly sold by the academic strength of its universities. The lower price tag has once again become a lure.
While Canadian universities have lamented the difficulty in attracting American students north, some have noted an increase in information requests from American students and have upped their recruitment efforts in response. Schools like Dalhousie in Halifax have been hosting information fairs in schools close to the border, as have Canadian Consulates. Saint Mary’s in Halifax, McGill in Montreal, and the University of Toronto are all honing their communication strategies to deliver the message to parents and students that it’s possible to get a high-quality education for a low cost that’s still relatively close to home.
Source: “http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/12/25/canada_passport_to_higher_ed_lower_cost/?page=2,” The Boston Globe, 25 December 2008.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – International students “cash cows”
According to a recent review of its higher education system, Australian universities rely too heavily on revenue from overseas students.
The http://www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Review/Pages/ReviewofAustralianHigherEducationReport.aspx was headed by Denise Bradley, former president of the University of South Australia, and was the first of its kind in the country.
Overseas students, which make up one quarter of Australia’s higher education complement, must pay the http://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Education/University of their education upfront. The review reports that the revenue from these fees are being used to bolster budgets for domestic students and research, indicating a possible lack in public funding.
But the report warns that the income is volatile. Overseas student numbers can be affected by everything from economic upheavals and political unrest to an increase in the quality of institutions in students’ home countries.
Instead of relying on foreign students for income, the report calls for scholarships for foreign students that are funded by both governments and institutions. It also suggests that an independent body promote Australian education overseas.
Source: “http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/overseas-students-exploited-as-cash-cows/2008/12/16/1229189622969.html%20,” Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2008.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Large loans in lean times
Last year 120,000 Indian students leave home to study abroad, of whom roughly 95% borrowed money from banks or family members to cover their costs.
Most students expect their degrees to land them high-paying jobs either in India or in the country of study. Large loans are justified by the salaries they expect to bring once their degrees are finished.
Unfortunately, thanks to the economic downturn, those high-paying jobs are fewer and farther between. Large corporations are citing hiring freezes or layoffs when approached by recent graduates. Recent grads aren’t finding the work they’d hoped for, leading to high default rates on student loans.
ICICI, a major Indian bank, has discontinued its overseas student loans programs altogether. CitiAssist, a division of CitiBank, has cancelled its tie-ups with large US universities like Harvard, MIT, and Cornell. Students who wish to borrow from CitiAssist through these colleges will now require a credit-worthy American co-signer.
Source: “http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/newdelhi/Jobs-melt-away-loans-remain/Article1-358565.aspx,” Hindustan Times, 16 December 2008.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – When more than just the travel bug bites
Those who’ve grown up in North America are accustomed to the discomfort caused by mosquitoes, black flies, and the more painful deer and horse flies. Visiting Asia, Africa, and parts of South America, however, exposes travellers to insects whose effects reach beyond the annoying and into the dangerous.
Biting insects can transmit illnesses like dengue fever, kala-azar, sleeping sickness, and even the plague.
Though these insects shouldn’t prevent you from traveling, you should be aware of which insects are present in the areas you’re visiting and take proper precautions.
For more in depth information, visit your local travel clinic several weeks before departure. Trained staff will be able to assist you with immunizations and proper instructions on how to avoid being bitten by the wrong bug.