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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 14; April 22, 2009

LET’S GO CANADA

Indians in New Zealand for education up 300 percent in six years

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

Continent giving the UK a run for its money

OVER THE COUNTER

Issues don’t dampen interest in the UAE


GLOBE TIPPING

Flight carrier goes belly up

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Indians in New Zealand for education up 300 percent in six years

Though relatively new on the scene, New Zealand’s international education industry now generates $2.3 billion a year and supports 32,000 jobs.

The country is in direct competition with its very successful neighbour, Australia, but Professor Roy Crawford, International Policy chair at the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee, points out that New Zealand’s industry generates more export earnings as a percentage of the GDP than Australia does.

Much of New Zealand’s success is thanks to an influx of Indian students enrolling in kiwi institutions. Only 150 Indian students enrolled in 1998, but by 2008 that number had increased to 6000.

This month, 25 New Zealand institutions will be represented at fairs across India to promote education and New Zealand’s study to work program, which provides international students with a two-year visa after graduation.

Source: “http://www.visabureau.com/newzealand/news/15-04-2009/new-zealand-international-student-program-encouraging-emigrating-to-new-zealand.aspx,” New Zealand Visa Bureau, 15 April 2009.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Continent giving the UK a run for its money

Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland are poised to compete with the UK for lucrative international students wishing to take up post-secondary studies in an English-language medium of instruction.

The UK Higher Education International Unit of Universities UK drafted a report released on 31 March, 2009, examining the funding regimes, immigration rules, and number of hours of English instruction offered at European schools and how they may threaten the UK’s primacy in the international student market.

The report advises UK universities to implement all recommendations outlined in the Bologna Process as soon as possible and begin to market themselves as Bologna-compatible. Being Bologna-compatible would allow for a smoother transition of credentials for students between continental European and UK institutions.

It also advises UK universities to increasingly band together as a consortium to attract international students to the UK as a whole, instead of focusing on recruitment as an individual institutional activity.

Source: “http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=406004&c=1,” Times Higher Education, 31 March 2009.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Issues don’t dampen interest in the UAE

Despite education professionals raising questions of quality and financial viability, five new foreign universities will be opening branches in the Emirate Ras al Khaimah’s (RAK) Free Trade Zone this year. RAK is the United Arab Emirate which had hosted the failed launch of George Mason University of the USA.

According to Oussama el Omari, the Director General of RAK Free Trade Zone, the branches will be opened by universities from Japan, Singapore, the US and Australia.

Mr. el Omari believes that students will be attracted by the affordable cost. “There’s no slowdown. We go at the speed we¹re going because we¹re the right place at the right cost at the right time.”

However, George Mason’s closing last month of its branch campus in the region has raised fears of financial burdens swamping small campuses.

Michigan State University (MSU), a large and prominent U.S. institution which is about to open its doors in Dubai’s Academic City, admit it’s going to be tough going.  An MSU official told Higher-Edge at last week’s GETEX Education Fair in Dubai, that the George Mason closure has sent chills back on the home campus in East Lansing (Michigan).

Opening a branch campus is a “huge financial undertaking,” says Dr Sky McLaughlin, the Middle East and Africa Regional Manager for the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

McLaughlin also raised the issue that UAE students are not receiving the kind of English instruction necessary to complete American-style university studies successfully.

Professor Craig Evan Klafter, Associate Vice President International at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, pointed out that branch campuses are often short on quality. They have difficulty contracting high calibre lecturers and offer a low standard of education.

However, as reported in Not So Foreign, March 4, universities that open in the UAE often revolve around making a quick buck. In that vein, Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Head of Higher Education for Abu Dhabi Education Council, has some good news:

The closing of George Mason hasn’t dampened interest amongst UAE students in obtaining a foreign education close to home.

Source: “http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news,” The National, 15 April 2009.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Flight carrier goes belly up

Carriers north and south of the border have experienced difficulties over the past few years. High oil prices, lower demand, and other concerns have made it more difficult for them to operate and forced more than one bankruptcy.

How do you protect yourself, your schedule and your pocket book?

• Make your purchase on a credit card. If your carrier runs into trouble, you’ll have a better chance of getting your money back.
• Burn your miles. While some carriers have measures to protect your accrued miles, others don’t. Use what you can, when you can if you see your airline having financial trouble.
• Have as flexible a schedule as possible to avoid adding more stress to an already stressful situation.
• Ask for a refund from either the carrier or the state/provincial body that takes care of travel, but expect to work hard for your money.            
For more tips and information, visit Questions, answers about bankrupt airlines:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9343327/

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