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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 23; June 23, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Overseas Overwhelmed invites you. Expert help in recruiting Int’l Grad students!

Abroad Perspective

Sri Lankan Edu Overhaul

Over The Counter

Falling Down Under

Globe Tipping

Avoiding Offense [Part I]

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Overseas Overwhelmed invites you. Expert help in recruiting Int’l Grad students!

“Overseas Overwhelmed 2010, Going Global for Grad Students”, takes places on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Toronto.

Attendance is open to all universities wishing to increase their knowledge, enhance their approach, and understand how to successfully recruit international students into Graduate degree programs.

Vice-Presidents, Associate VPs, Deans, Associate Deans, Registrars, Recruiters, Public Relations and Promotions staff – will all benefit from a unique and active discussion with experts from abroad.

Canada’s most insightful and experienced recruiters, from India and South Asia, China, the Gulf, Africa and South America, will be at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional Development downtown Toronto campus.

To book your attendance contact Cheryl Ramage at Higher-Edge by email or phone. Early-bird registration cost is $395, with those registering after July 31 paying a fee of $475.

Register now.


2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Sri Lankan Edu Overhaul

In Sri Lanka, the National Education Commission (NEC) has announced plans to promote foreign universities setting up branches in-country, as part of the nation’s Higher Education and Technical and Vocational Education framework.
Within the same policy, recommendations included the development of current State-run universities – and, in an attempt to accommodate the overflow of students who currently cannot enter these universities, that foreign institutions should be allowed to set up branches within the country as well.

Although such institutions would be subject to careful scrutiny regarding accreditation and quality, NEC Chairman Professor A. V. Suraweera has said that they will be given freedom for academic, administrative and financial matters.  
Other recommendations included a review of existing procedures used for accepting successful GCE (Advanced Level) students into universities, emphasizing the role of merit and, setting of quotas in order to minimize disparities between the nation’s districts.

According to Professor Suraweera, who blamed a lack of interaction among undergraduates and university staff for various troubles at universities, measures must also be taken to ensure discipline and prevent external interference at higher educational institutions.  Students, he said, should graduate from universities as productive citizens first and foremost, in order to play out important roles in the country’s development process.

Source: “NEC backs govt. move to set up branches of foreign universities”. Lanka Times, June 2010.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Falling Down Under

In the midst of government-tightened immigration requirements, the Australian university sector is facing the possibility of an overwhelming 20% drop in international student enrollments next year – a change that could cost the industry up to $2 billion.

International education, which rakes in an estimated $17 billion a year, ranks third in the country’s top export earners, right behind coal and iron ore. However, with Immigration Minister Chris Evans’ recent push to clamp down on immigration shams and student exploitation, the industry is facing a very considerable (and rapidly approaching) decline. The new immigration policies, which particularly focus on the elimination of so-called “visa factories” – i.e. courses designed solely for the purpose of permanent residency – include major impacts for those wishing to pursue studies in such areas as hairdressing, cooking, and community welfare.  

“The government’s desire to clean up the industry is entirely admirable,” says Tony Pollock, chief executive of Australia’s largest international student recruitment company, IDP. “But they have made the changes so abrupt that there is little time for the kind of structural adjustment that is necessary in any big change of this nature, both for the students and the institutions.” 
Various regions are already showing significant drops. According to Pollock, the Australian High Commissioner in India recently confirmed to his staff that the number of student visa applications it had on hand had fallen to just 200 – down from 8,600 only a year ago.

And, with the additional deterrents of recent high-profile attacks on Indian students, the collapse of various private education providers, and the strengthening Australian dollar (versus the failing American one), the country’s universities seem to have their work cut out for them if they plan to ever woo back their previous numbers of foreign applicants.

Sources: “Overseas student numbers plummet”. The Australian, May 28, 2010.
“International education outlook stormy”. Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor Steven Schwartz Blog, June 7, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Avoiding Offense [Part I]

Different countries, different cultures, different rules of etiquette… and dis-etiquette. Read on for some of the top travel ‘faux pas’ – in other words, a collection of offensive actions to avoid:

1. Giving the thumbs-up gesture in Iran
2. In Iran, the simple “all good” sign has a very different (and highly insulting) translation – literally, “sit on this”. Similarly, the typical North American “a-okay” hand signal, in which the thumb and forefinger meet one another in a circle, should never be used in Turkey or Brazil, where it signifies that you are comparing someone to one of the, umm, crudest parts of the body.
3. Patting someone’s head in Thailand
4. In Buddhist countries, a person’s head – as the seat of their soul – is considered sacred. So touching or patting someone there (even a child) is insulting. Another gesture to be careful of is finger-pointing. In Malaysia, “pointing” uses the entire fist, with the thumb on top to indicate direction, and Filipinos only shift their eyes or purse their lips toward an object or place.
5. Referring to Ireland as one of ‘the British Isles’
Many countries have their taboo ‘topics’ – Aborigines in Australia, dowry deaths in India, human rights in China, and, in Ireland, referring to the land as one of the British Isles. Basically, if you’re ever uncertain, it might be best to stick to the topic of the weather – at least until you’ve gotten a better feel of the land.

…Want to learn more things not to do on your travels? Keep an eye out for next week’s NSF!

Sources: “Top 10 travel faux pas”. The Guardian, October 15, 2007.

“Top Faux Pas Travelers Should Be Aware of”., August 10, 2009.


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