Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
H1N1 (Swine flu) and Chinese International Students
Dubai marketed as “the most exciting city in the desert”
Indian storm breaks over Australia
Travel tips coming to an iPhone near you
1) LET’S GO CANADA – H1N1 (Swine flu) and Chinese International Students
According to Xinhua news statistics, a large proportion of Swine Flu cases in China appear to be connected to Chinese international students returning from Canadian and US Universities for summer holidays. Many in the public are expressing concern some even suggesting banning Chinese international students in Canada and US from returning until the flu alert is off.
According to Yizhi Wu, a VISA counselor at Edu-Global, the “Study + Travel” market has been seriously affected by the H1N1 flu. Many students and parents who were planning on tour trips and ESL camps during the summer to Canada or U.S. have withdrawn their applications and postponed their travel plans. “Chinese education consulting agencies will take students’ safety as a priority and adjust our policies in accordance to government measures towards the flu”, said Mr. Wu.
Higher-Edge’s Jenny Yu reports encountering increasing anxieties amongst Chinese parents, in regards to sending their children to Canada. Indeed, she was most surprised to board the return flight in Beijing surrounded by passengers wearing masks, only to disembark in Toronto and feeling sheepish to be wearing one as nary another person was spotted with one.
“Perception is reality. The media in China leave one with the impression that Canadian campuses are akin to what southern China was like during the SARS episode,” says Ms. Yu. “If the media attention continues, this will very likely lead to cancelled plans for Canada-bound students.”
Source: “http://old.jfdaily.com/newspaper/xwcb/page_72/200905/t20090521_646278.html”, JF Daily, 21 May 2009.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Dubai marketed as “the most exciting city in the desert”
Very few students from the West travel to, or perceive the UAE as a place for higher education. This is a fact and perception the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing aims to change.
The division is pairing up with the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) to entice students from Australia to come to the UAE to experience its rich history while getting a world class education. UOWD has been active in Dubai for a decade and is a model of a successful overseas branch campus.
UOWD rechttp://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=/data/theuae/2009/May/theuae_May638.xml§ion=theuaeently launched its new six-month credit course where students can come to learn about doing business in the Arab world, study introductory Arabic language courses, and help combat stereotypes surrounding life in the Middle East.
Currently there are 20,000 students from the Middle East studying in Australia and only 90 Australians studying in the UAE. Both the UAE and Australian governments are working to balance the numbers.
While the program’s current focus is on Australian students, it is open to students from around the globe.
Source: “http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/dubai-based-university-plans-to-attract-western-students-1.69769,” The Nation (via gulfnews), 25 May 2009.
“http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=/data/theuae/2009/May/theuae_May638.xml§ion=theuae,” Kaleej Times, 26 May 2009.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Indian storm breaks over Australia
Once just a trickle of stories coming out of Australia, it has now become a torrent of bad news flooding the Indian media with stories and claims of racism and violence against Indian students in Australia.
On Sunday, 5,000 people marched in Melbourne to protest as many as 70 Indian students attacked in the past year alone, being beaten, robbed, hospitalized and even killed.
India’s press, prone to sensationalizing stories in the hyper-competitive media market, is now feeding a frenzy of front page news and television special reports.
The attacks in Australia, branded “curry bashing,” have elicited requests for action from India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. Australian police began a program earlier this year advising Indian students to keep a low profile, but till now no concrete action has been taken to quell the growing violence.
This past weekend, Indian icon the Bollywood film super star Amitabh Bachchan raised his deep and powerful voice to the displeasure in India by turning down an honourary degree from the Queensland University of Technology. Bachchan was to be honoured in July, but claimed his conscience did not allow him to accept at this time. As some Indian parents have begun calling their children home, the pressure is intensifying on Australian institutions and government to shift public opinion away from the fear mongering.
Australia’s international education sector is the country’s third largest export market. It employs tens of thousands and brings in an estimated 15 billion dollars annually to the country. Approximately 90,000 Indians study in Australia and that valuable revenue base is threatened by the current crisis of confidence among Indians as to whether they are safe or welcomed in Australia.
Source: “http://www.theage.com.au/national/racist-attacks-force-snub-by-bollywood-great-20090531-brpm.html” The Age, 1 June 2009.
“http://www.theage.com.au/national/indians-told-to-keep-low-profile-20090218-8bjz.html?page=-1,” The Age, 19 February 2009.
“http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-06-01/vadodara/28174956_1_indian-students-lebanese-youths-ballarat,” Times of India, 1 June 2009.
“http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-06-01/delhi/28159466_1_indian-students-foreign-students-australian-universities,” Times of India, 1 June 2009.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Travel tips coming to an iPhone near you
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Airline alliance oneworld has launched a series of videos compressed enough to watch on your iPhone or iPod but packed with helpful information.
Videos cover topics from packing to time saving to stress busting in 60 to 90 second videos.
Download the videos today at oneworld’s website: