Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
No brand, high visa refusal rate deterring students from Ireland
Australia’s fake documents coming to light
Scottish jobs to attract Indian talent
Protect yourself from H1N1
1) LET’S GO CANADA – No brand, high visa refusal rate deterring students from Ireland
Over the past few years, the number of international students choosing to study in Ireland has been dropping.
Nicola Carroll of the National College of Ireland attributes Ireland’s troubles to a lack of national brand and strategy and Ireland’s high student visa refusal rates.
According to Carroll, Irish institutions have made international education a priority and have recently stressed education in trade missions to China. However, the lack of political will to create a national policy have made it difficult for institutions and government to coordinate.
Visa refusal rates are also driving students to seek out other options in places such as the UK nearby. In 2007 Ireland refused 37.9 percent of applicants from China while the UK refused only 6.89 percent. Ireland refused 46 percent of applicants from Turkey while the UK refused 11 percent.
The high visa refusal rates are a result of misrepresentation and fraud among student applicants. In markets with significant fraud such as China and South Asia, Irish institutions are admitting students who their own government feels are non bona-fide. The result is a growing reputation that Ireland is a “tough visa,” and it has reduced overall interest in the island nation as a study abroad destination.
Ireland has actually lost some of its 1 percent share of the international student market. Between 2007 and 2008, application rates dropped by 28.5 and 44 percent from China and India respectively.
This drop only highlights the need for coherent strategies if countries are to hold their own in the increasingly competitive international student market.
Source: “http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/education/features/in-my-opinion-we-need-to-attract-more-international-students-1767673.html”, The Independent, 10 June 2009.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Australia’s fake documents coming to light
The Australian international education sector has been dealt another blow.
Sixty international students who are seeking permanent residency have been singled out over the past few months on suspicion that documents they submitted to prove work experience in their fields of study are false.
The documents were all originally accepted as legitimate.
In March the country’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship uncovered a racket of bogus migration agents and college operators who were selling fake documents to international students.
Some students allegedly paid up to AUS $20,000 for fake documents. They are required to prove 900 hours work experience in order to apply for permanent residence.
The students 60 students have each 28 days to prove that their documents are genuine before their successful skills assessments are revoked. Those unable to validate their documents will be or have been forced to leave the country.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations refuses to say how many students have already had successful skills assessments revoked.
Source: “http://www.theage.com.au/national/foreign-students-could-be-forced-to-leave-20090609-c28h.html,” The Age, 10 June 2009.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Scottish jobs to attract Indian talent
Scotland is repositioning its Fresh Talent initiative to focus on careers and employability to attract more students from India.
As news emerges that jobs in hot countries like the US will be tougher to come by for international graduates, students are looking for alternative places to study.
With the UK’s new Tier 4 student visa program, international students can stay and work anywhere in the UK after graduation. This means students who have studied in institutions in Scotland are allowed to seek out jobs in major centres in England as well.
However, Nikki Duke of the University of Dundee’s student recruitment office says that international students are not having trouble finding work in Scotland. “The job situation in Scotland is not as bad as many other European countries—especially in sectors like energy and natural resources.”
As the long term effects of the financial crisis deepen, trends may show students going where the jobs are. If the initiative’s new focus on careers works, Scotland could be reaping the rewards for many years to come.
Source: “http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-06-14/news/28403476_1_indian-students-international-students-student-visa,” The Economic Times, 14 June 2009.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Protect yourself from H1N1
Now that the World Health Organization has raised swine flu’s pandemic level to Phase 6, more countries and airports are taking precautions against spreading the virus.
Initial precautions for travellers include all the same measures you normally take to keep yourself healthy while travelling. Drink plenty of water, wash your hands frequently, and get enough rest before your flight to keep your immune system in top form.
For more detailed information pertaining to swine flu, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has an excellent webpage on how to protect yourself and help prevent spread while travelling.
For more information, visit: