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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Volume 8, Issue 9; March 18, 2009

LET’S GO CANADA

New UK initiative to attract post-graduates


ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

New Zealand competes for Chinese students

OVER THE COUNTER

Exchange rate, work permits attract Chinese students to UK


GLOBE TIPPING

Know your dough

1) LET’S GO CANADA –New UK initiative to attract post-graduates

According to Dr Shaun Curtis, Head of the UK HE International Unit, the UK currently has a 15 percent share of the international post-graduate market. Though this is the largest share per capita in the world, the UK is still readying itself for a new strategy to attract more post-graduates.

“…competitor countries such as Australia and the US are implementing strategies to increase their market share. Our research calls for new national and institutional responses to meet this challenge,” says Curtis.

The new strategy will address issues with post-graduate mobility and the current “ramshackle” funding system. David Lammy, Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, also predicts more collaborative partnerships between UK universities and institutions overseas.

International post-graduate students contribute to both the UK economy and the country’s institutional, national, and international reputations.

Of all post-graduate students performing research in the UK, 42 percent are from outside the European Union. Fourty percent wish to remain in the UK upon finishing their studies.

Source: “http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20090313111156448,” University World News, 15 March 2009.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – New Zealand competes for Chinese students

While discretionary spending is decreasing around the world, education officials in New Zealand remain confident because education spending in China is not seen as discretionary. A cultural focus on education and personal advancement combined with poor tertiary education infrastructure in China sends thousands of Chinese students overseas every year.

New Zealand enjoyed the fruits of a drastic increase in students from China in the early 2000s, but according to Education New Zealand chief executive Rob Stevens, those students formed a “bubble” that was “never going to last.”

“We were the first Western country to open the door to recruiting Chinese students. Other countries had quite high barriers mainly due to political reasons,” says Stephens. But when competitor countries relaxed immigration regulations, naturally the number of students flowing to New Zealand decreased.

“We were the first Western country to open the door to recruiting Chinese students. Other countries had quite high barriers mainly due to political reasons,” says Stephens. But when competitor countries relaxed immigration regulations, naturally the number of students flowing to New Zealand decreased.

Applications are up 10- to 20 percent, but it is still too early to tell how many of those applications will convert to enrollments.

The Ministry of Education is expected to compile enrollment numbers at the end of this month.

Source: “http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10561638&pnum=0,” New Zealand Herald, 14 March 2009.

3) OVER THE COUNTER –Exchange rate, work permits attract Chinese students to UK

The struggling British pound and strong Chinese yuan are making UK education more affordable for Chinese students.

For Chinese students studying in the UK, one year of study will now cost 30 percent less than it did in 2007.

According to business reports in Bloomberg, the yuan has rallied 27 percent against the British pound in the past six months. A falling pound has also made major UK cities cheaper to live in than their US and Western Eurpoean counterparts (Economist World Cost of Living Survey)

A failing job market in China may also make further education more attractive as millions of recent graduates fight for dwindling jobs. With the UK’s new tiered immigration system, international students who graduate from UK universities will qualify for the Tier 1 Post-Study work permit, allowing them to work in the UK for two years.

While the effects of the economic crisis can not be downplayed, pursuing higher studies in the UK and continuing to work in the country post-graduation may prove to be a viable option for Chinese students looking for a way to gain skills and weather the financial storm.

Source: “http://www.globalvisas.com/news/study_in_the_uk_more_affordable_option925.htmlGlobal Visas, 3 March 2009.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aP4Yb3JHyFaQ&refer=home,” Bloomberg, 5 March 2009.

http://www.24dash.com/news/Communities/2009-03-10-Survey-finds-London-cheaper-to-live-in-than-New-York,” Dash.com, 10 March 2009.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Know your dough

Few things have escaped the pitch and roll of the global economic crisis. Currencies are no exception.

Travellers enjoyed relatively consistent exchange rates for many years. Recently, though, North American and Western European currencies have slid while many in Asia have increased.

So as not to be taken by surprise on reaching a foreign country, double check your current exchange rate with a website like Xe.com or or Oanda.com.

To get the best return for your home currency, withdraw cash using ATMs once you arrive at your destination. Your bank will charge a nominal fee for the withdrawal, but you’ll likely get the best exchange rate.

If you have to use a currency exchange booth, look to see if the booth calculates its commission by percentage or per transaction; if they charge by transaction it may be more prudent to exchange larger amounts less frequently.

Knowing your currency exchange rate will also help you deal with unscrupulous currency exchange operations that often occupy more touristy destinations.

Xe.com:http://www.xe.com/ucc/

Oanda.com:http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

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