Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
‘Perfect storm’ brewing–strict rules, tight budgets and flu
Foreign students may prevent US bubble from bursting
International education gets another shot in India
1) LET’S GO CANADA – ‘Perfect storm’ brewing–strict rules, tight budgets and flu
College principals in the UK, having already felt the pinch of shrinking budgets and the growing pains associated with new visa rules, fear that adding the threat of swine flu to the mix will only further deter international students from studying in the UK.
The World Health Organisation’s recent declaration that H1N1 is a global pandemic has UK administrators afraid of a SARS-style reaction, particularly from countries that have yet to be affected by the virus.
Malcolm Gillies, Vice-Chancellor of City University London, says he will be watching Australia as a test case to see how international students react. Australia, now in winter, has seen its swine flu numbers quadruple in a matter of weeks. Mr. Gillies says it will be “fascinating to see what the response to that in the Asian student market is…Australia will be the first testing point.”
But Canada may already be an indicator of how swine flu will affect enrollment.
Alberta Advanced Education and Technology has already reported a drop in the number of students attending post-secondary summer programs in the province. Most of the students who have cancelled plans are from China, Mexico and Japan.
There are currently 171 confirmed cases of swine flu in Alberta. Lorna Smith, Director of the International Education Program at Mount Royal College (MRC), says that cancellations at MRC will prevent the international program from meeting its summer budget targets. However, Alberta Advanced Education and Technology spokeswoman Rachel Bouska says that there are no indications of a drop in enrollment in the province for the Fall semester.
Guyue Li of EduGlobal China, does not forsee any impact on Fall enrollment from Chinese students. “Although the US, Canada and other major overseas study destinations are in the epidemic-prone regions, Li says that most Canadian schools start in September, so [they do not] see any impact by the flu.”
The publisher would like to issue a correction in our June 3rd article, “H1N1 (Swine flu) and Chinese International Students.” Yizhi Wu is not an employee of EduGlobal China Ltd. as cited in the article. Statements attributed to Yizhi Wu were in fact from the author of the source article, Zhuang Xiaoying.
We apologize to Mr. Wu and for any misapprehension caused to our readers.
Source: “http://www.calgaryherald.com/Health/scare+hits+enrolment/1680358/story.html,” Calgary Herald, 10 June 2009.
“http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=407018&c=1,” The Times Higher Education, 18 June 2009.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Foreign students may prevent US bubble from bursting
High tuition fees in the US has experts fretting that higher education may be the next big bubble to burst.
The solution? Recruit more students from overseas willing to pay international fees for the quality and prestige of a US degree.
Many schools—ironically the same big name private institutions that threaten to be the first cracks in the bubble—have long relied on their own brand power. The US as a whole has never had trouble attracting students.
But as countries like the UK and Australia heat up, some US states have started taking the initiative to build their own brands in order to remain competitive. These state “study consortia” have taken pages from their tourism department’s playbooks in order to attract more international students.
“Each institution can benefit from more branding of the state,” says John Eriksen, associate director of international admission at Bryant University and chair of Study Rhode Island.
More aggressive marketing and more effective branding may be able to woo back students who have chosen competitor countries over the US. Only time will tell if the revenue from international students will be enough to keep higher education from going the dot com route.
Source: “http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/06/19/is-higher-education-the-next-big-bubble/” Wall Street Journal Blogs, 19 June 2009.
“http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/22/consortia,” Inside Higher Ed, 22 June 2009.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – International education gets another shot in India
Institutions from the UK and US have been clamouring for years for access to the vast Indian market. Though the most recent effort to ease restrictions on foreign education was quashed, the new Indian National Congress-led ruling coalition may be more open to the idea.
Currently more than 100 foreign educational institutions offer programs in India, but most are vocational or technical and they must be run in partnership with an established Indian institution.
Kapil Sibal, India’s Minister of Human Resources Development, hopes that will all change by 2010.
India’s notoriously slow-moving political machinery may make 2010 an unrealistic goal. However, the new government’s coalition no longer relies on the support of the leftist parties that blocked the previous attempt.
And extra time may serve overseas institutions well. Institutions from Western countries are currently learning important lessons in the Middle East and in recently opened schools in Brazil, all of which will be necessary in India’s dynamic market and political environment.
Overseas institutions also have to take into consideration the cost of setting up shop in India following the economic downturn. The returns, however, may be worth it. In India, only 9 percent of college-aged youth have college educations. Supply far outstrips demand.
Mr. Sibal says he plans to push for support for draft legislation similar over the coming weeks. For several years, leaders of India’s ruling coalition have expressed support for opening higher education to foreign investment and loosening regulations on domestic universities and colleges.
Source: “http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124465950779502993.html?mod=googlenews_wsj,” Wall Street Journal, 11 June 2009.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Hotel safety
Detective Kevin Coffey has a list of tips to keep you and your belongings safe from departure to return.
Though some of the tips may seem obvious, they are also the easiest to forget after a long, tiring flight.
He covers what to look for in a safe hotel and hotel room, what to do with your money and important documents, and what to watch for in parking lots and garages. He also includes tips for women travelling alone and travellers with expensive laptops or equipment.
For detailed information, visit his website at: