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Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 33; September 29, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Ontario business school aims to take its piece of the Indian cake.

Abroad Perspective

Med School set to expand in Western Africa.

Over The Counter

Coming or Going? China’s brain drain.

Globe Tipping

Gourmet Travel: Eating food where it’s at its best.

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Ontario business school aims to take its piece of the Indian cake.

Realizing the mass potential in India for international student recruitment, Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management (Toronto), has announced plans to set up an India strategy group, aimed at attracting more students to its courses.

“India is on our radar for a whole series of reasons,” explains the University Dean, Ken Rogers. “Not only [do] we have a large Indo-Canadian community, which is a good fit. But we have made a commitment to linking the Ted Rogers School to that country [which] is a fast growing economy.”

Including its students of Indian origin (ie: those not born in India), Indian students currently account for about 10% of the schools population, numbering up to 500 per year. But with the government’s increasing commitment to strengthening international student intakes, Rogers is hopeful that the university’s courses will be key in attracting more students from the South Asian nation.

At present, Ryerson has ruled out opening a campus on Indian soil (an option which other universities, such as York University’s Schulich School of Business, have been more keen to move ahead with), but will focus on building partnerships with leading Indian business schools, faculty exchanges and joint research programs.

Source: “Canada’s top management school to woo Indian students”. The Economic Times, August 21, 2010.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Med School set to expand in Western Africa.

Plans are in place for the Guinea-based American International University (AIU), a private medical institution currently operating in the Guinean capital city, Conakry, to expand its programs to nearby country, The Gambia.

Having already gained support from its new host country, AIU signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gambian government earlier this month, and has made public its hope to start enrolling students in the small coastal nation’s branch by as early as next January.

Operating in relationship with the already-established University of The Gambia (UTG), the new institution will focus on offering degrees in three main areas: the School of Medicine (a five-year program), the School of Dentistry (also five years), and the School of Pharmacy (four years).

Unlike most western medical schools, AIU is unique in that it accepts students straight out of high school (or senior secondary school), though AIU President Dinesh Shukla is keen to impress that the university’s course material will be nonetheless intensive and comprehensive, based upon current American medical school curriculums. By sharing facilities and lending professors to UTG, Shukla says he hopes that students from both institutions will benefit greatly from the new addition.

“We hope to synergize resources so that we can make local institutions more strong in terms of methodology, equipment and faculty,” he explains.
After political instability coursed throughout Guinea last year, AIU management felt it important to set up a new unit within the region, considering Gambia to be a more stable option.

A building has already been secured to act as the university’s temporary central campus during its initial start-up phase (located along Banjul’s Kairaba Avenue, next to the U.S. Embassy), and construction for the permanent campus to include professional school buildings, as well as hospital, research centre, student and faculty housing will be commenced shortly, upon land provided by the Gambian government.

Hopes are high that the institution’s low tuitions fees (allegedly 75% cheaper than those at institutions located within the U.S.) will help attract future students from all over Africa, as well as from Europe. To ensure quality physicians for the host country itself, 10% of enrollment seats will be reserved specifically for Gambian students, with 100% free tuition to be provided for the duration of their studies.

Source: “Gambia: Medical University for Nation Soon”. The Daily Observer (Banjul), September 1, 2010.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Coming or going ? China’s brain drain.

Although much talk and much effort has recently supported the idea of significant numbers of Chinese talent heading back home, a number of studies and articles are now suggesting that, in fact, it’s actually the exact opposite that is now taking place. Or more correctly,continuing to take place.

In 2007, China became the largest contributor to emigrants worldwide. According to official Chinese media, 65,000 Chinese last year secured immigration or permanent resident status in the U.S. alone, with an additional 25,000 doing so in Canada, and 15,000 more in Australia. In the U.S., the only ethnic group to outnumber Chinese when it comes to official green card holders is Mexicans (2009).

The number of Chinese students expected to stay abroad after earning degrees and/or professional qualifications continues to rise. A recent article run by Asia Times Online stated that among the 270,000 Chinese attending foreign universities as self-paying students this year, only about a quarter are projected to return to China after graduation.

Even official Chinese media does not deny the West-bound trend, admitting that professionals and to some extent businessmen, are leaving due to large-scale dissatisfaction with continuous contradictions in Chinese politics and society.
The Chinese government is taking notice. This summer, the State Council unveiled its “Mid-to-Long-term National Plan for the Development of Talents”, set to run from now until 2020. Its goal is that, by 2020, China will have entered into the front ranks of countries with superior human resources.

Back in January of this year, Beijing also launched a “Thousand Talents Program”, another initiative aimed at attracting accomplished and educated Chinese back from overseas. According to Asia Times’ Lam, by May the central Chinese government had only managed to attract about 600 so-called experts and entrepreneurs under the scheme, most of whom have apparently chosen to still hold onto their overseas passports and green cards.

Source: “China’s thinkers pack and go”. Asia Times Online, August 10, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Gourmet Travel: Eating food where it’s at its best.

You know that feeling when you’ve finally arrived in a new country, and are excitedly scanning the menu at your first ‘local’ restaurant – but with all the new exotic names and options, the idea of picking just one dish to start with seems a bit overwhelming?
Well, here is a list of iconic national dishes to help you get started – and to help ensure that your first meal is just as memorable (and authentic!) as you’d ever hoped it would be!

Tapas in Barcelona, Spain: Calamares fritos (fried squid), patatas bravas (potatoes in spicy tomato sauce), chorizo (pork sausage), pimientos asados (roasted peppers), and berenjenas gratinadas (cheese-baked aubergine) are just a few of the legendary Spanish snacks known as tapas – found at their very best in Barcelona (particularly along La Rambla – starting at Plaça de Catalunya and heading south).

Doner kebab in Istanbul, Turkey: Although the traditional doner kebab consists of grilled mutton on a bed of buttered rice, the meal is far more popularly found today in its more modern, fast-food form – spit-roasted meat with salad and yoghurt sauce wrapped up in a fresh pita. Perfect for eating ‘on your feet’, while wandering the old cobblestone streets of beautiful Istanbul.

Pasta in Naples, Italy: Although still debated as the original birthplace of pasta (it seems food historians are torn between there and China – from where Marco Polo may have imported it back to Italy in the 13th century), it is widely agreed that by the 18th century, Naples had emerged as the world’s “pasta capital”, topping off their long-mastered flour-and-water mixtures with squashed tomatoes – the authentic pasta napolitana, still found at every trattoria in town.

Steamed dumplings in Shangai, China: What might at first seem like ordinary dough balls are quickly discovered for the tasty little morsels they are – filled with a hot broth flavoured by ground pork, crab or vegetables. To avoid scalding your mouth, nibble delicately at first – until the liquid begins to seep out.

Feijoada in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Brazil’s national lunch, feijoada, is a dark and spicy stew made with a base of black beans and pork. A real treat for the taste buds, but highly filling! Just be careful when you’re eating – as many local joints that serve up the concoction are sometimes known to thrown in not only chunks of meat, but also slightly less common ‘treats’ of ears, tongues, and short curly tails.

Gumbo in New Orleans, USA: This Louisiana favourite of hearty seafood or smoked-meat broth, thickened with okra or ‘roux’ (a wheat-and-fat mixture) is as much a part of local life as listening to jazz or the swamp blues. Served on a mountain of rice, gumbo comes in a huge range of styles – from traditional Creole to spicy Cajun.

Couscous in Casablanca, Morocco: Mint tea and couscous are Morocco’s classic staples. Prepared from semolina (ground durum wheat), couscous is often topped with a spicy stew of vegetables and/or meat, and traditionally prepared in a special pot called a couscoussier.

Nasi Goreng in Penang, Malaysia: Literally translated as “fried rice”, nasi goreng is a simple yet delightful dish, prepared by stir-frying with along with chicken or seafood, veggies, eggs, and a sweet soy sauce. Found in various forms across Indonesia and Singapore, it is believed by some to be at its best when sampled from hawker centres found across the island of Penang.

Curry in Mumbai, India: Although “local curries” can be found all across Asia, from Punjab to Japan, the birthplace of curry is India. And in Mumbai, the authentic fare is at its best – typically prepared with seafood and coconut, with a blend of spices (“masala”) such as turmeric, coriander, ginger, or red chili.

Source: “Lonely Planet’s top 10 foodie holidays”. , August 11, 2010.


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