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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 13; April 14, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Taiwan MOE grants $2 million to universities to boost international student numbers

Abroad Perspective

Foreign universities partner with Nigerian high school for direct admissions

Over The Counter

Toughest Exam in the World ?

The Edge

Student visas for sale – in Canada.

1) LET’S GO CANADA –Taiwan MOE grants $2 million to universities to boost international student numbers

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education will grant $2 million dollars (USD) to 20 local universities to help increase international student enrolment in the country.

In order for a university to qualify for the funding from the Taiwan MOE they must meet certain criteria such as: at least 50 international students must be already enrolled, and the university must conduct 90 percent of its business in Taiwanese and English (this includes official university websites and other public signs).

Ming Chuan University (MCU) will receive the highest portion of the $2 million disbursed among 20 universities at it has the largest proportion of international students in the country, about 600 students from Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and Mongolia, according to an MOE official.

Source: “MOE to give NT$62 mil. in aid to 20 universities.” The China Post, April, 7, 2010.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Foreign universities partner with Nigerian high school for direct admissions

Twenty foreign universities have partnered with Westminster College, a Nigerian high school in Lagos, to automatically admit students after the completion of a one-year university foundation program.

With participation from 18 universities from the United Kingdom, one from Canada and one medical school from Hungary, students who successfully complete the pre-university foundation program would obtain direct admission to the program and university of their choice.

According to Chief Johnson Barovbe, Managing Director of Westminster College, students who have completed the senior secondary school at Westminster or elsewhere are admissible to the university foundation program.

The University of Cambridge has made Westminster College, Lagos, a testing centre for IGCSE and Advanced Level GCE examinations. The college is preparing students for the June 2010 University of Cambridge Advanced Level GCE examination.

Source: “20 Foreign Varsites Partner Westminster College to Boost Admission.” All Africa, April 7, 2010

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Toughest Exam in the World ?

Almost half a million Indians wrote a six hour exam on Sunday, with just two percent of test takers getting a chance to claim a precious seat as a first year student in an Indian Institute of Technology. The IITs as they are known, are India’s jewel universities, offering world-class science and engineering as good as found in any country. IIT graduates are positioned in the world’s leading universities as professors, or in top positions in global leading companies. The number taking the IIT entrance exam has doubled in number in the last decade. Half of the ten thousand entrance spots up for grabs are reserved for India’s lower castes and classes.

The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), is the only hope for hundreds of thousands of students to get a top education. After its 15 IITs, engineering education in India is typically mediocre, and not near acceptable world-class standards. Thus if a family can not afford the tens of thousands of dollars required to study abroad, students who excelled in high school can not continue to develop at top levels. The pressure is enormous, and many students spend months and even years in coaching centres to train to “crack” the JEE.

4) “THE EDGE” – Student visas for sale – in Canada.

Sometimes you meet students and you wonder how they are still in Canada.

I saw one the other day in the Indian Punjab who first got a visa to start a Bachelor degree at a university in western Canada. But after just one month he left that university campus to attend one of the big public colleges in Toronto (a theme for another day !)  After finishing his diploma in eight months he worked for a year, and when his work permit expired, he needed to find a way to keep his original four-year student visa valid, by enrolling in full-time studies.  But where to find another admission somewhere in Canada without actually having to go to class ?

Not hard to find. As the young man explained, there was a private college in Toronto which was all too happy to admit him to a program for a “discounted fee” of $1,500. He does not have to attend any classes, and as he explained, few of the registered “students” there do. But for the private college (and this was not the only one like it which provides this service), it’s an easy pay day, playing off the system and regulations for someone on a student visa to be registered somewhere. In this way, the young guy gets to go back to Punjab and when he returns to Canada, he is still under the guise of being a student.
Easy money and a college doesn’t need to hold classes or hire teachers !

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