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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 16; May 6, 2009

LET’S GO CANADA

Canada just not known in UAE


ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

New Zealand’s five-year masters hinders int’l recruitment

OVER THE COUNTER

Chinese overseas education growing in three trends

GLOBE TIPPING

Green hotels

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Canada just not known in UAE

While Australia has managed to increase its number of UAE students from 200 to 1200 in the last six years, the number of UAE students coming to Canada has remained relatively static.

UAE students, when polled, see nothing wrong with Canadian universities, they just do not know as much about them as they do the institutions of Canada’s more aggressive competitors like Australia and the US.

Canada’s cold weather proves to be less of an obstacle than its modesty. Students even from sun-loving countries like the UAE and India get used to Alberta’s cold. But what could be seen as keeping the world’s best kept secret in terms of high quality higher education also works against the country when it comes to recruiting.

“Canadian universities don’t reach out to international students,” says Surma Das, an Indian student pursuing her masters at the University of Alberta.

However, Canada has strengths it could build on when promoting itself as an education destination. Students from the UAE, particularly in a post-9/11 world, see Canada as a much friendlier, more open country than the UK or US. Many Canadian universities have Muslim prayer spaces, a strength that could be focused on when competing against the higher prestige offered by big-name UK and US universities.

Source: “http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news,” The National, 20 April 2009.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – New Zealand’s five-year masters hinders int’l recruitment

Education New Zealand Chief Executive Robert Stevens says that international students–especially from booming markets in India and China–are interested in shorter masters programs. The country’s five-year masters programs could be causing students to bypass New Zealand in favour of fast-track programs in Australia and Canada.

International students often have trouble fitting a five-year masters into their career schedules and their budgets. Shorter, more flexible programs would allow more students to come to New Zealand to study.

While New Zealand universities are loathe to give up the reputation that comes along with such a rigid structure, the global recession has inspired some movement toward more flexible masters programs.

Professors are quick to affirm that, in the case that New Zealand were to offer shorter programs, the amount of work would not diminish. Only the pace would change.

“There is no compromising on standards, there is no reduction in entry requirements,” says Professor Doug Sutton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Waikato University.

Professor Raewyn Dalziel, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland, also expressed a desire to maintain the quality of a New Zealand education, but cedes that more flexible programs would allow the country’s universities to remain competitive in the international market.

The New Zealand government ranks education exports as the country’s fourth largest revenue generator behind agriculture, natural resources, and tourism.

Source: “http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10568764,” New Zealand Herald, 27 April 2009.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Chinese overseas education growing in three trends

According to China’s People’s Daily Online, China’s overseas education is growing in three trends.

i. Most students who study abroad are self-financed.

In 2008, almost 180,000 Chinese nationals studied abroad. Roughly 90 percent of them were self financed, citing family as their main source of income.

The average income for Chinese families has increased in recent years, while the relative cost of an overseas education has remained the same. Exchange rates falling in China’s favour have even made some countries less expensive to study in that they were five years ago.

ii. Students who choose to study abroad have become more diversified.

Studying overseas has become financially accessible to more strata of Chinese society.

As competition to gain acceptance into Chinese colleges and universities increases and the cost of studying overseas decreeses, more students from varying backgrounds are choosing to study abroad.

iii. The number of available universities and specializations has increased.  

Representatives from more colleges and universities are participating in the annual China International Education Exhibition Tour, including first-time participants from non-traditional countries like France, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

As the number of institututions increases, so too do the number of majors made available to international students.

Previously, most institutions only offered finance, business and accounting streams. Now, more Chinese students are choosing to specialize in engineering, logistics, environment, education and nursing.

Source: “http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6648966.htmlPeople’s Daily Online, 30 April 2009.

(Readers may experience some difficulty accessing the link. Several page refreshes may be necessary.)

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Green hotels

Travel is taxing on the environment, but many organisations and business people rely on it to function and prosper.

To reduce the impact of your next trip, book your stay in a green-friendly hotel.

Things to look for when determining how sustainable your stay will be:

• Is your hotel locally owned? Is it staffed by local people?
• Does your hotel have a recycling program?
• Can guests choose to reuse sheets and towels instead of changing them daily?
• Does your hotel use green technology like energy-efficient lighting or low-flow toilets?
While it may not seem like much, each little step taken is a step in the right direction.

The Independent Traveler aslo has links to green hotels and ecolodges to make your next trip even greener.

Visit their Green Travel Tips page http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/specialty-travel/green-travel-tips.

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