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Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 29; September 1, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Overseas, Overwhelmed 2010: going global for grad students

Abroad Perspective

Floods aggravate higher education in-fighting in Pakistan.

Over The Counter

Foreign campuses vie for British students who face ‘closed doors’ at home.

Globe Tipping

Packing for business success.

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Overseas, Overwhelmed 2010: going global for grad students

Later this month, the publishers of Overseas, Overwhelmed host a special day-long seminar, fully dedicated to improving international student recruitment for Canadian universities.

With the world of international student recruitment constantly being turned inside out – with former industry leader Australia taking a nosedive in international student enrollment numbers, and the UK tightening its entrance requirements for foreign student applicants (while even their own local hopefuls are turned away from already over-crowded university courses – read this week’s Over the Counter to find out more!) – the time has never been more opportune to up our own recruiting game here in Canada.

Bringing together some of the country’s most experienced international student recruiters, this seminar will feature a range of key addresses and plenary workshops designed to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the field. Held in downtown Toronto on Monday, September 20, it is sure to be one of this year’s biggest recruiting events.

To find out more about the seminar, and/or to register, please visit 
- or, alternatively, contact Cheryl Ramage via email or telephone: or +1.416.461.1570.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Floods aggravate higher education in-fighting in Pakistan.

According to recent reports from the BBC, the monsoon floods which have devastated much of Pakistan are now responsible for more than 16,000 deaths, and have left about six million residents homeless in their aftermath. The epic tragedy of the flood waters is also muddying up an already murky situation regarding the academic qualifications of Pakistani parliamentarians.

In a move to verify the required educational qualifications of certain government MPs, the country’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) had demanded copies of Matriculation and Intermediate certificates for MPs be submitted by ten different universities – with the warning that any failure to do so before the August 25th deadline would result in “appropriate action” being initiated against them.

At least six of the MPs’ degrees have already been confirmed as fake. According to an August 12th report run by one of Pakistan’s leading newspapers, “The News”, HEC sources were concerned about the parliamentarians in question using the floods as an excuse to slow down the verification process.

Meanwhile, the Higher Education Commission itself is facing considerable financial difficulties, due to the non-provision of funds already approved for Public Sector Development Projects (PSDPs). According to another article in “The News”, of the 30 billion rupees formerly agreed to be provided to HEC for the 2010-11 financial year, only half the funds have so far been allotted – an amount which looks very likely to be cut down yet again, due to authorities’ new commitment to supporting relief work in the country.

Throughout the article, the word “bankruptcy” was splashed around as a potential outcome for the already frustrated HEC.

Sources: “On the verge of bankruptcy”. The News, August 12, 2010.

“Abid will ask PM to sack Aseff”. The News, August 12, 2010.

“HEC warns universities to submit papers by 25th”. The News, August 12, 2010.

“Floodwaters in south Pakistan ‘begin to recede’. BBC News, August 30, 2010.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Foreign campuses vie for British students who face ‘closed doors’ at home.

With this year’s record-breaking A-level results in Britain (in which one in four students received at least one ‘A’ grade), thousands of high performing British students are set to remain without a university placement this fall.
Despite a recent ‘toughening up’ of the exam system, this year’s college admissions are widely being considered the most competitive for British students in recent times. With a 10% increase in the number of university applicants (up to 660,000) and higher than ever A-level results across the board, it is estimated that as many as 200,000 applicants will miss out on a UK university placement altogether this year.

The British government has faced a storm of criticism over the situation. Although a short “I am sorry” was issued by Universities Minister David Willetts (after he predicted that up to 3,500 students with at least three A grades would be among those left without places), his only piece of advice was for those disappointed by the situation to “look at applying for slightly less competitive universities” in 2011.

University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, expressed her astonishment over such an “insulting response to the university crisis”: “After years of being inspired to aim higher,” she said, “the coalition government is actually telling students to aim lower.”

What ‘solutions’ the situation has led to is a flurry of offers from overseas campuses. The University of Nottingham, for example, has confirmed that 40 places were up for grabs at its centres in Malaysia and China, while the University of Bolton has proclaimed “unlimited places” at its campus in the United Arab Emirates. Dutch universities have also already moved into the competition, with offers of free rail fares and annual tuition fee reductions of £1,500.

Sources: “A-level results 2010: 3,500 straight-A students miss out”. Mail Online, August 20, 2010. 

“A-level results: universities close doors on students”. The Telegraph, August 19, 2010.

“A-level students offered universities places in China”. August, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Packing for Business Success.

Deciding what (and how) to pack for a business trip can be a challenge – one made all the more difficult when travelling to new destinations, going overseas, or stopping in multiple locations. Dressing to impress is of course a priority, but then factors such as varying airline baggage allowances, weather forecasts, and cultural norms must also all be taken into account.

Here are some tips to hopefully help you with the tough decisions.
- Choose your luggage based on the length of your trip – as well as any work-related equipment you’re going to need: laptops, projectors, etc. For most trips, a 22-inch suitcase is sufficient. Rollers can definitely make life easier, but depending on where you’re heading (ie: the regularity of sidewalks), realize that you might not be able to use them much outside the airport or hotel – and consequently, be sure that any suitcase is never too heavy for you to tote by hand!
- Choose your plane wear – and hand baggage – carefully. After all, if your checked luggage gets lost or delayed, this might be all you’re left with. Any small but necessary toiletries, prescriptions, and work materials are a given (ie: if you can’t give a presentation without a certain handout, then keep it in your hand baggage!), and you might want to consider at least one full change of clothes as well. Another suggestion is to wear dress shoes and a dress jacket on the flight – which can easily be hung up, buffed, and/or steamed at most hotels, and will ensure you at least one suitable outfit if (forbid!) your main luggage is a no-show at the airport conveyor belt.
- A set of appropriate sports clothes and/or shoes can often come in handy – for unforeseen casual business activities such as golfing or tennis, as well as trips to de-stress at the hotel gym.
- Light-weight, wrinkle-free, mix-and-match. When deciding what business attire to stick in the suitcase, these should be key words. Clothes that can be worn more than once, layered, or matched with at least two other items also in your bag are often your best bet.
- Put all your toiletries into zip-lock bags, and pack them carefully. Having a blue mouthwash stain on your white dress shirt is not going to impress anyone.
- Ensure you have chargers – as well as any necessary adaptors if you’re going overseas – for all electronic equipment you’ll need. Especially if you’re only going for a few days, a mistake in this department could be devastating.
- When travelling abroad, make sure you have your money situation sorted beforehand. Realize that some countries are notoriously difficult for changing traveler’s cheques, don’t take certain credit cards (Visa is the most widely accepted, but even so – it’s safest to have a backup option), and/or only change certain currencies (US dollars, euros, and UK pounds are generally the safest best). Also, make sure you’ve memorized all PIN numbers, and warned your bank that you’ll be using your ATM or credit card elsewhere – a freeze on all transactions is the last thing you need!
- And finally, make sure to carry all necessary travel documents on your person – passport, visa, invitation letters, address of where you’ll be staying, vaccination records, return ticket, extra passport photos, etc. Depending on the country you’re visiting (and the unpredictable mood of customs officials), it can also be useful / a potentially enormous time-saver to carry photocopies of each of these items along with the originals.

Source: “How to Pack for a Business Trip”.


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