Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Watch out Australia, US state universities after market
More autonomy for Chinese universities
Foreign universities – in it for the money
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Watch out Australia, US state universities after market
Geoff Garrett, CEO of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney informed Australia’s Higher Ed Services (HES) that the country’s universities will face serious challenges as the current global economic downturn coupled with massive budget cuts has more US state universities pursuing the lucrative international student market.
The challenge to Australian universities, which rely on foreign undergraduates to fund one-quarter of their teaching, has been made more acute by the attractiveness of the weak US dollar, noted Garrett.
“It will create problems for the English-speaking countries that have been more successful in Asia: Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand.”
Garrett also noted that faster visa approval times, greater availability of student housing and the brand power of many US universities will make it harder for Australians to compete.
Source: “US campuses chase foreign students.” The Australian, March 23, 2010.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – More autonomy for Chinese universities
In an attempt to modernize higher education and cut down on bureaucracy, the Chinese government announced that it would grant colleges and universities more freedom to administer their own institutions.
Although the move left some government officials unenthused, many in the higher education field are pleased to have more independence when managing issues related to enrollment, international exchanges, scientific research and teaching..
As part of a larger education reform, the Chinese government also plans to overhaul the university admissions system by introducing other means of evaluating student admissibility other than the current 2-day National College Entrance Exam (Gaokao).
Sun Xiaobing, an official at the Ministry of Education, suggested that test results be paired with interviews and evaluation of the student’s high school performance as part of an overall university admissions criteria in the future.
Source: “Autonomy on way for country’s universities.” China Daily, March 13, 2010.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – Foreign universities – in it for the money
Abu Dhabi University Chancellor, Nabil Ibrahim opined that foreign universities in the region are in it for the money at the expense of students’ education.
Ibrahim noted that the foreign universities in question have great reputations in their home countries yet deliver a “very low” quality of education in the Gulf region.
Ibrahim suggests that these universities who primarily operate in the Free Zones where they are not required to be accredited should now become accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in order to ensure quality.
A survey of 112 professors conducted by UAE University published in January found that 80 percent of university students in the UAE possess average or below average abilities in English writing, communication and maths.
Source: “Foreign unis putting profit before students.” Maktoob News, March 16, 2010.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Healthy Air Travel
The prospect of air travel can stir up different emotions for different people. Some have no trouble jetting around, while others have difficultly getting beyond the mere prospect of flying.
Worries about motion sickness, ear pain, jet lag, and cramped spaces can be enough to keep some people from ever leaving ground. Consider the following air travel tips to help ease your in-flight woes.
To prevent motion sickness:
• Avoid eating a large meal within 3 hours of travel.
• Ask if you can sit over the wing section.
To prevent ear pain:
• Swallow, chew gum, eat candy, or open your mouth wide frequently, especially during take-off and landing.
• Use filtered ear plugs, which equalize the pressure against your ear drum during take-off and landing. They can be found at your local pharmacy.
To minimize jet lag:
• Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
• If flying eastbound, go to bed earlier than usual a few nights before you leave. If flying westbound, go to bed later.
Source: “Tips for Healthy Air Travel.” Canoe.ca – Health