Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Could swine flu affect international recruitment?
New UK rules rejecting genuine students
Fight is on for Turkish students
Corporate travel feeling the pinch
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Could swine flu affect international recruitment?
After the 2002 SARS scare, swine flu is the last thing that Canadian travel and tourism needs.
But what about the effect H1N1 could have on student recruitment?
Considering that China’s second reported case of the disease likely contracted swine flu while studying as an international student in Canada, and that Japan diagnosed three students and a teacher on return from Toronto, university recruiters and administrators would do well to keep up to speed on the feel coming out of source countries.
Universities should also do a survey of their schools to see how many—if any—of their students have left the country on account of swine flu fears.
Canadian authorities complained that the World Health Organisation’s travel advisory was premature, but that will likely do little to change the perception of anxious parents.
A coordinated effort by universities to address those concerns head-on and re-establish Canada as a safe, healthy country to study in would go further.
Source: “http://www2.canada.com/health/chinese+student+returns+home+from+canada+with+h1n1/1591738/story.html?id=1591738,” Canada.com, 12 May 2009.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – New UK rules rejecting genuine students
Apparently institutions are not the only ones having difficulty with the UK’s new visa regulations.
Leaders from UK business schools have gathered to issue a warning: new visa rules are deterring legitimate international students from applying to study in the UK.
UK Border Services, who took over the student visa application process, is rejecting visa applications on the basis of improper photo backgrounds and addressed written in the wrong order on application forms.
Instead of weeding out fraudulent applications, the new rules are only adding to the beauracracy. And anecdotal evidence shows that Universities UK, UK Border Services, and global education agencies lack consistency in their interpretation of the regulations.
Problems will only increase during the July/August recruitment peak and students who have been accepted are unable to start classes in September. Professor Andrew Clare of Cass Business School is troubled because, as he says, “This is a one shot game – students don’t get a second try if there’s a mistake on their application form.”
Duncan Lane, Director of Advice and Training at the UK Council for International Student Affairs, is worried that these growing pains will undermine the reputation the UK has been building over the past decades.
Considering that news of the UK’s troubles is showing up in publications in the source countries in the Middle East, his worries may be more than justified.
Source, “http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/may/18/overseas-students-denied-entry‘,” The Guardian 18 May 2009.
“http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1239888996038&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout,” Islamonline.net, 19 May 2009.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Fight is on for Turkish students
Universities stricken by financial shortfalls are increasingly turning to Turkey to boost their international enrollment numbers.
According to a report published by the country’s Ministry of Education, 150 universities from 22 countries are offering special incentives to Turkish students. This year 1.8 million Turkish youth wrote the Student Selection Examiniation, but only 300,000 of those students will be accepted into Turkish universities.
Of Turkey’s 44,000 students studying abroad, most of them study in Germany. The US and Britain follow well behind. However, this year the Ministry of Education reports that Turkish students are being courted by everyone from Australia to Estonia.
Special incentives include 80 percent tuition coverage and schemes that would see the university paying for an extra week of courses for every four weeks of paid coursework. The Ministry of Education closely monitors the offers made by international universities and keeps informed students about the options available to them.
Source: “http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?load=detay&link=176120&bolum=100,” Today’s Zaman, 23 May 2009.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Corporate travel feeling the pinch
According to a poll by aerospace specialists Ascend, corporate spending on air travel is set to drop by 7.5 percent over the next twelve months.
Ascend surveyed 280 frequent business travellers from over 35 countries about their expected air travel habits over the next year. About 60 per cent of respondents said they would normally fly Business or First Class on long haul.
Airline carriers are responding to the drop, both current and predicted. Qantas is eliminating first class seats on 42 of its weekly long haul flights and British Airways is offering two for one business class tickets for some of its routes.
While this may spell trouble for businesses dependent on air travel revenue, now may be the time to pick up cheaper tickets in the front cabins.
Source: “Corporate travel outlook worst for 20 years: Ascend survey,” Travelbizmonitor.com, 25 May 2009.
“http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090524-704094.html,” Wall Street Journal, 24 May 2009.
“http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/airlines-slash-fares-50-for-holiday-season/358941/,” Business Standard, 22 May 2009.