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Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 39; November 10, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Int’l Students: Motivations behind the movement.

Abroad Perspectives

Universities push for ‘internationalization’ … minus the developing world?

Over The Counter

B-School Debate: China vs India for international student success

Globe Tipping

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Int’l Students: Motivations behind the movement.

A new study has shed some interesting light upon why international students make the study decisions they do.

The British Council’s Student Decision Making Survey, conducted over the past three and a half years, included information gathered from around 115,000 students who hoped to study abroad, originating from 200 different countries.

With the market for overseas students becoming ever “more sophisticated”, the report’s introductory note points out some major changes affecting study trends – with many countries upping investments into their own domestic higher education to convince more and more students to stay home, as well as a major increase in the number of non-Anglophone countries offering various courses taught in English (a trend most identified in the Nordic countries).

Focusing on why international students choose the study destinations they do, the survey found that those students wishing to study in the U.S. were found to be those most focused on enhancing their career prospects (38%), while those hoping to work while studying leaned more toward institutions in Australia or Canada (24%).

“Most of these perceptions are not based on reality,” says the Director of the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), Mel Broitman. “It’s all still steeped in old stereotypes and current brand exercise. It simply makes the case even stronger to have more presence in foreign marketplaces and constantly promote the country and institution’s value propositions.”

Meanwhile, Germany earned top billing for those most likely to mention low tuition fees as a priority (25%), and for students naming Britain as their ideal destination, 59% viewed quality of education as top priority – with the UK thereby outranking any other destination for that criterion (interesting conclusion given the study is backed by the British Council).

Although the cost of studying did not feature strongly with students taking the survey (only one in 10 cited low tuition as one of their top three deciding factors), higher quality of education (54.2%), career improvement (53.8%), and the more general chance to live overseas (51.5%) featured most prominently.
“I rest my case,” quips the CUAC’s Mel Broitman. “Higher quality of education, careers and status overseas are all big advantages for Canada, and certainly over the UK. But fact is, who knows about Canada?”

Source: “What Motivates International Students?” Inside Higher Ed, September 30, 2010.

2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVES – Universities push for ‘internationalization’… minus the developing world?

A recent survey, third in a series conducted by the International Association of Universities’ (IAU), has raised concerns over potential negative sides of “internationalization”.

The ‘Global Survey Report on Internationalization of Higher Education’ defines internationalization as “the process of integrating an international, intercultural and/or global dimension into the purpose, functions (teaching, research and service) and delivery of higher education”. Based off responses from 745 institutions worldwide, the report urges universities to face up to the risks of the current trends – particularly, in leaving behind some developing regions, while student mobility becomes increasingly more “elitist”.

Although the level of importance assigned to internationalization varied between different regions, the report found it to be a growing “central policy focus” across the board – with 48-51% of universities in the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean indicating their leadership to assign a high level of importance to internationalization, while in Europe, the comparable figure showed 71%.

Although interest appears to be growing, it still seems that less than 1% of student bodies worldwide are actually made up of overseas undergraduate students – confirming, reads the report, that, “despite the importance assigned to student mobility at the policy level, the level of mobility remains very low”. Emphasizing the importance of student funding in non-European countries in order to combat the perceived growing “elitist nature of internationalization”, it further explained that, “if international opportunities are to become accessible to a variety of students, financial and other support will have to increase.”

Ms Eva Egron Polak, IAU secretary general and co-author of the report, said that further study findings showed universities in the developed world to be “not always concerned about how [their] programs, [their] goals, may impact on [their] partners. Knowing that Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are not among the priority areas for anybody but themselves means we need to do more to stimulate interest in these areas in our internationalization strategies”.

Rather than focusing on international development and capacity-building projects (which was ranked only 7th out of 17 options for priority activities worldwide), the survey found that enhancing “reputation” was a far more pressing goal of internationalization for developed-nation universities.

Rather than “growing gaps among higher education institutions or growing gaps among countries and regions” – things which “very few” institutions stated as a major concern in their own policy-making – top risks of internationalization as ranked by the survey included “commodification and commercialization of education”, and “brain drain”.

Source: “Warning: developing regions may fall off the world maps”. Times Higher Education, October 28, 2010.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – B-School Debate: China vs India for international student success

Both major business centres, with growing economies. Both considered ‘powers’ of the Asian continent. So why are Chinese business schools attracting far more international students than those in India?

Although India prides itself on a high quality of business education, the fact remains that many of its institutions remain unable to label their programs as official ‘MBAs’, as even the country’s best business schools remain non-university-affiliated. This is the problem says Professor of Entrepreneurship Academic Director (International EMBA Program), Dr Ramakrishna Velamuri. He says to attract international student recruits, it’s key to achieve a globally recognized ‘MBA’ distinction.

Dr Velamuri, who works for the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), was recently interviewed by MBA-focused website ‘’, along with his colleague, MBA Program Academic Director, Lydia Price. With CEIBS proving to be a current forerunner in attracting top quality international students (36.1% of their student body are international recruits, hailing from 19 different countries worldwide), the two professionals shared a number of thoughts on why their Chinese institution is performing so well – and how other Asian B-schools in places like India can learn from their model.

As Ms. Price points out, “with the deepening and extension of China’s economic growth, graduates with aspiration, managerial potential and international orientation are in high demand,” she explains. “And with China’s growing impact around the globe…the China experience has become many international students’ competitive edge.”

Dr Velamuri agrees with Price, adding that “China is much more connected internationally than India, both in terms of trade and investment. China’s exports in 2009 exceeded $1.2 trillion compared to India’s $164 billion. China’s imports in 2009 were $954 billion versus India’s $268 billion.”

Also helping China’s reputation as a sudden international education destination, no doubt, is the government’s strong commitment to attract 150,000 international students for higher education each year – a goal which has spurred heavy institutional support as well as improvement in quality of faculty, designing more international education programs, and increasing services for foreign students.

Source: “Chinese aggression: How Indian b-schools can compete in the international arena”., October 20, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Think before you point and shoot.

Although salespeople might disagree… the fact is, you don’t need an expensive digital SLR camera in order to take an impressive photo. Here are some tips to help get the most out of even your most basic point-and-shoot camera – helping you to capture all those great travel memories, just by knowing the function of a few basic settings.

1. Balancing the White. Different light sources naturally give off a range of colour temperatures – from red to dark blue. However, like the human brain, a digital camera’s “Automatic White Balance” (AWB) is designed to automatically correct such hues – in other words, making the “white” always look “white”, rather than yellow or blue. However, the problem comes in when the AWB – unlike the human eye – has trouble distinguishing between types of hues. For example, the rich redness of a sunset (which you want to capture), versus an orange glare from an incandescent bulb (which you likely want to eliminate). The AWB cancels out all such colour-casts – good or bad. The solution, therefore, is to switch off the AWB and instead use the ‘daylight’ setting – capturing warmer light in such conditions as sunset or sunrise. Or, if under a fluorescent bulb, you can try using the fluorescent or incandescent setting. Such settings typically give better results than the AWB.

2. Know your flash. If you’re taking pictures at night or trying to create blur or ‘movement’ in your photos, you’ll need a longer exposure – which is achieved by using a slow shutter speed. Once light levels drop below a certain level, your camera automatically sets a faster speed and turns on its flash. So in order to get back that slower speed, turn your flash off – your camera will automatically lower its shutter speed, allowing the lower light conditions to register in your photo. Many cameras also have an Auto ISO feature – which selects more sensitive settings in low light so that the camera’s shutter speed is faster. Switch this off if you want to shoot longer exposures using a tripod.

3. Slow flash. If shooting at night, you will likely notice that when using flash, the object directly in front of you is typically brightly lit, while the background is very dark – often creating a very harsh, sometimes washed-off effect. So if you want to light a whole scene rather than just one object with your flash, set your flash to the ‘slow-sync’ setting. The flash with go off as usual, but the camera will also set a slower speed, so that the ambient lighting also registers, and the background isn’t so dark. However, just realize that this may also create a more blurred sensation in the background – which may or may not be what you’re hoping for.

…Looking for additional tips? Be sure to catch next week’s edition for three more camera techniques!

Source: “Get creative with your compact camera – top 5 tips”. Wanderlust, November, 2008.–top-5-tips


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