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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 16; May 5, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

New Legislation Targets Unapproved Universities

Abroad Perspective

Down Under Disappearing Act…IDP for USA?

Over The Counter

Best and Worst US Cities to be a Recent Grad in.

Globe Tipping

Have Laptop, Will Travel? Some Tips to Keep in Mind.

1) LET’S GO CANADA – New Legislation Targets Unapproved Universities

Hawkesbury University, the self-professed “independent, co-educational business and liberal arts international institution of higher learning,” has recently been making headlines as a Canadian scam.

The university, ‘officially’ headquartered at Hawkesbury, Ontario’s Prestige Restaurant, was initially investigated by provincial police after they received a complaint from the town of Hawkesbury itself, wanting to know whether the school actually existed.

On the university’s website, tuition fees touted courses ranging from $1200 for a three-month Individual Certification Course to $9900 per year for a Masters of Philosophy. International students were specifically invited to apply by paying a $350 non-refundable fee – cash or cheque only.

In the end, it turned out the ‘university’ was a fraud – a one-man operation that had never been accredited. And, after a restraining order failed to stop the individual from advertising his unapproved courses, his university was ordered to shut down.

With the province of Ontario aiming to up its number of foreign students by 50% in the next five years, such a story doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. However, the province is retaliating.

“The Hawkesbury story is not the first, nor the last such case,” says Higher-Edge Asia Managing Director Mel Broitman. “It’s incredibly lucrative to have a bogus school and scam people in Asia looking for an easy admission and willing to pay for it and try to get a visa. There are also plenty of applications from those who know full well it’s not a legitimate institution, and the last thing they want is to worry about having to go to class. They are just as culpable in participating in the scam, and all the more reason for the government to be coming down hard on these frauds.”

In an effort to crack down on such scams, new laws were introduced this Tuesday, allowing the province to shut down any schools offering university degrees without approval by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Sources: “Ontario takes aim at unapproved universities that target foreign students.” The Globe and Mail, April 27, 2010.
“EXCLUSIVE: OPP investigate existence of Hawkesbury University.” The Review, April 8, 2010.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Down Under Disappearing Act…IDP for USA ?

In recent years every spring, Indian newspapers were full of advertisements for studies in Australia. But here we are in the midst of the most intense marketing season, and where are the Aussies?

Well we know where they are in terms of promotion in India – they are in hiding. After a year of constant publicity of Indians and Indian students being harassed in Australia, a once rich recruiting market has been battered in to submission.
Indian education agents, for years sending tens of thousands of applicants to Australia, are not promoting Australia.

Even Australia’s biggest education agency in the world, IDP, which is owned by the Australian universities, took out recent advertising in India without nary a mention of Australia in the promotion. They are going full bore for…the United States!  IDP is now advertising in India on behalf of more than fifty American universities. While this is an important business development for IDP, it still was unthinkable just a year ago that IDP would have publicly slipped from a scene which used to send 100,000 students a year to Australia.

3) OVER THE COUNTER –Best and Worst US Cities to be a Recent Grad in.

It’s that time of year again: university graduation. The season when countless young hopefuls grasp their freshly printed diplomas and take their first steps toward landing themselves their dream jobs – preferably in their dream locations.
What kinds of job opportunities there are post graduation is becoming more significant than ever in successfully attracting students.

For graduates hoping to break into the US job market this year, it might be worthwhile to first consider which of the nation’s capitals offer the most potential – and the most drawbacks – for the newly employable.

With cities across the nation still reeling from the economic downturn, citizen abandonment and soaring unemployment rates continue to plague the likes of Cleveland, Ohio and St Louis Missouri, each of which have been steadily losing residents for years – due in part, no doubt, to their high unemployment rates, which currently sit between 9.5 and 11 percent each. However, these numbers pale in comparison to Detroit, Michigan, whose unemployment reign currently rates at an alarming 15.5 percent. In fact, with so many part-time workers still looking for full-time jobs, some officials estimate the actual rate has topped 50 percent in recent months. 

More traditional ‘cities of dreams’ are also feeling the crunch. Los Angeles, for example, recently ranked 59 out of 66 in a report detailing the worst American cities for job growth. And New York, although expected to see a (measly) five percent increase in jobs over the next 20 years, is not exactly a liveable destination for those just starting out: the average Manhattan studio apartment costs more than $2,400 US a month.

So where to head for the best opportunities? Due North or South, apparently.
Leading the pack in the realm of job market expansion are the cities of Denver, Colorado and Atlanta, Georgia – the latter of which, also home to Coca-Cola and CNN, tops’s list of cities with the most job growth. Not to mention, Atlanta is a city bursting with options for grads interested in pursuing careers in health care.

For those of a more artistic persuasion, also nearby in the south is the live musical capital of the world, Austin, TX – which, along with cheap rents and warm weather, is quickly becoming a leader in the technology and film industries. Or, if the stage is more your thing, then head up to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has the country’s third-largest theatre market after New York and Chicago.

For more stats about which cities to embrace (or avoid) and why, visit Huffington Post’s full breakdown at the link below. 
Source: “The BEST And WORST Cities For The Newly Graduated.” Huffington Post, April 28, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Have Laptop, Will Travel? Some Tips to Keep in Mind.

Number one rule – whether taking a short trip with your laptop or moving with your computer – backup your hard drive before you travel. Accidents do happen!

Write down your computer’s serial numbers before you travel, and keep them in a safe (and separate!) place. This way, if your laptop gets stolen, you have them for local police to include in their reports – which are often necessary for getting your insurance company to pay up. Or, for help in getting stolen computers back, this product is apparently super-glued on the case of your laptop, and can’t be removed without leaving a permanent mark:

Wanting to save precious battery life while on the road? If you don’t need sound and can turn it off, then do so. Same goes for lowering monitor resolution and reducing screen brightness – every little bit can help save energy. Also, consider removing any external hard drives or devices when not in use. Even if your computer’s not accessing them, they could still be using power.
If your laptop has a warranty, be sure to find out about any ‘fine print’. For example, if it crashes while you’re travelling in countries where there are no official repair locations (most of Africa, for example), you may be tempted to take it to a local repair technician. But if your warranty’s still valid, you might want to think twice, because if the backstreet wizard doesn’t manage the fix and you then try to send it back to the company when you get home – if they can prove your computer’s been opened up by someone not from their company (for example, if screws are missing or the area around them is scraped) the warranty may become invalid.

Problems with your laptop overheating? Rather than buying a bulky external fan-cooler to sit underneath it, try using bottle caps (like the kind on bottled water) – just put one under each corner when your computer’s on a flat surface, and it’ll help air circulate underneath it. It might even lengthen the life of your computer – especially in humid climates!
Want more tips for traveling with laptops?



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