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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 31, September 23, 2009


Asian Students Staying Closer to Home


UK University Funding Cuts Signals Drive for more Foreign Students


Malaysia Ups the Ante on Foreign Students


Cultural Barriers: The Dos and Donts

1) LET’S GO CANADA – International Campuses on the Rise

With the appetite for higher education growing among the Asian middle class, more countries in Asia are positioning themselves to attract this group of students.

According to a UESCO report released in July, Asian students are increasingly attending universities within their own regions.  Educators have been stepping up their efforts to attract regional students by relaxing quotas on non-local students and encouraging overseas institutions to set up local campuses.

In East Asia and the Pacific, 42 percent of students who left home remained in their region in 2007 compared with 36 percent in 1999, according to the 2009 edition of UNESCO’s Global Education Digest.

Malaysia wants 100,000 foreign school and university students by next year, compared with 71,000 enrolled in the current academic year. Singapore plans to attract 150,000 by 2015, up from 97,000 in 2008. Hong Kong has not set specific targets, but it recently doubled its quota for non-local students in its public universities.  All three are capitalizing on the fact that they can offer a university education in English, and often for considerably less than more expensive Western nations can. 

Source: “ New York Times, September 18, 2009 

Source: “

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – UK University Funding Cuts Signals Drive for more Foreign Students

Britain leading universities will cut undergraduate places offered to local students in favour of higher-paying international student if the government goes ahead with a proposed 25% cut in funding.

Prof Michael Arthur, the new head of the Russell Group of 20 research-intensive universities and Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University favours a fall in local student numbers over a fall in the quality of an institution.

Professor Arthur wants to see a rise from £3,225 to at least £5,000 to make it financially worthwhile for universities to take on British undergraduates. Students from outside the European Union pay nearly £10,000 to attend a UK university.  

Source: “” The Telegraph, September 20, 2009

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Malaysia Ups the Ante on Foreign Students

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has asked private universities and colleges have been asked to enroll only qualified foreign students.

The ministry has set a minimum CGPA of 2.0 for all foreign students to prevent Malaysia from becoming a dumping ground for students who could not get placement elsewhere.  ‘Money does not guarantee admission into the institutions of higher learning (IPTs)’ said Khaled.

He added that surprise checks would be conducted on private institutions of higher learning to monitor their students. 

The moves come after accusations by the Nigerian Education Minister at the recent 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Kuala Lumpur that Malaysia was offering low-quality degrees.

Instituting a 2.0 grade average does not guarantee the quality reputation for Malaysia’s higher education institutions sought by the government.  Irregularities in interpreting foreign qualifications may provide a loophole for getting around the minimum requirement.

Source: “ One, September 16, 2009

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Cultural Barriers: The Dos and Donts

Did you know that in Thailand you must not touch or pass something over someone’s head?  The head is considered sacred and to do so would be a cultural faux pas.  Nodding your head may mean ‘Yes’ in many cultures but it means ‘No’ In Greece or Bulgaria.

Never take anything for granted when travelling to a new destination.  What may be considered the norm in one part may cause great offence in another.  It is important to do your research before you travel and observe how people behave when you arrive at your destination.

Learn more about other cultural practices at:


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