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Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 12; April 8, 2009

LET’S GO CANADA

Money to talk louder south of the border

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

Dodging its own “dodgy” schools


OVER THE COUNTER

International students in Australia equal dollars, jobs

GLOBE TIPPING

Go green

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Money to talk louder south of the border

Some candid talk from US universities in the New York Times on which students applying from abroad are more likely to get in now that economic hard times have hit their campuses.

“They think [richer parents'] kids will have more options.” (Diane Geller, College Counselor)

“We’d all be better off if we were honest with kids that you may not get in because you need assistance, or you need too much assistance.” (Rodney Oto, Financial Services, Carleton College)

It’s still important to have good grades, and for years the scale for admissibility tipped to academics over affluence. Financial aid and deep enough pockets on campuses was the great equalizer. But that was then. It’s not just sinking bottom lines to pay the bills on campus or less financial aid to go around, it’s also about a very expensive US dollar and higher-than-ever tuition fees. More than ever, a foreign education in America is for the rich.

“We’re only human,” Steven Syverson, the dean of admissions and financial aid at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, told the New York Times. “They shine a little brighter,” he said of students not asking for aid and capable of paying the full freight.

Source: “http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/31/education/31college.html?_r=2,” New York Times, 30 March 2009.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Dodging its own “dodgy” schools

Immigration officials in the United Kingdom appear to be getting serious about blocking the student visa route to illegal immigration. The UK Border agency has refused more than 460 of the nation’s colleges and schools from using their admission letters as a means of foreign students getting visas to come to the country.

“Dodgy,” is what UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith called these institutions, which number about 25 percent of the reported 2,100 organizations bringing visa students to the UK.

Critics of the announcement include recognized and respected UK institutions concerned the new approach may make it difficult for bona fide students to get visas to their schools and colleges.

Legitimate education institutions in the UK are likely oblivious to how much fraud and misrepresentation is going on around the world in the name of studying in the UK. The new regulations, if policed, would hit hardest at thousands of education agencies around the world who work with hundreds of UK institutions to obtain admission letters for visa applications. With institutions in the UK making money from application fees and non-refundable deposits and education agents charging handsome service fees, both make enough money up front not to be concerned whether a “student” gets a visa. It’s a plenty profitable business. Meanwhile, for UK immigration officers, it has added to a growing pile of files and to the degree of difficulty in assessing bona fide from bogus applicants.

Source “http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/mar/31/overseas-student-rules,” Guardian, 31 March 2009.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – International students in Australia equal dollars, jobs

According to Australia’s Access Economics report, every dollar spent on an international student  injects an additional $1.91 into the Aussie economy.

The report, released last Wednesday 1 April, outlines the economic impact of Australia’s international education industry, now rated as the third most valuable in the country after coal and iron ore. Commissioned by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, the report is the first of its kind in the country.

International education contributed more than 120,000 jobs in 2007-2008, roughly one quarter of which were directly involved in higher education. The remaining were devoted to related service and support industries. The report predicts that, were international enrollments to drop by 5 percent, up to 6300 Australians would lose their jobs.

The report also found that Australia, though it has less than 1 percent of the world’s population, enrolled 7.5 percent of the world’s international students. Those students and their families spent $13.7 billion in Australia in 2007-2008, over $6 billion of which went directly to education institutions.

Most of the growth experienced in the past few years in international enrollments has occurred in the private and vocational education sectors, though higher education has also experienced more modest growth.

TAFE Directors Australia chief executive Martin Riordan said vocational students now account for almost half of Australia’s overseas students.

Source: “http://www.theaustralian.com.au/story/0,25197,25270881-12332,00.html,” The Australian, 1 April 2009.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Go Green

As concerns about climate change and the side effects of travel become more publicized, more and more travelers are opting to “green” their travel habits.

Frequent flyers may wish to invest in carbon offsets—emission reduction credits that can be purchased from third party companies to offset the carbon emitted by their flight—in order to minimize the impacts of their travel.

To find out more information on carbon offsets and how to purchase them, visit the http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/specialty-travel/green-travel-resources#carbonpage on carbon offset companies.

The Independent Traveler also has information on other ways to “green” your travel habits. For more info, visit theirhttp://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-center/go-green-travel-center.

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