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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Volume 9, Issue 7; February 24, 2010

Let’s Go Canada

Study: Scared in Australia

Abroad Perspective

Dublin hotel complex becomes English Language school for Saudis

Over The Counter

Sweden to charge tuition to foreign students

Globe Tipping

Safe Travels for You and Your Data

1) LET’S GO CANADA – Study: Scared in Australia

More than 500 students from Asia took part in a Victoria University study on violence against international students in Melbourne, Australia. Government officials, police officers, and representatives of the education industry were also interviewed.  The study was released in the wake of a series of violent attacks on young Indian ex-pats across Australia in the past year which have damaged Australia’s lucrative student recruitment industry and dampened diplomatic relations between India and Australia.

About half the students surveyed believed their race or religion made them vulnerable to unprovoked violence.  Although the co-authors concede that “more work needs to be done to find out what part racism has in the attacks”, the study does acknowledge that a variety of factors, including a reliance on public transportation, put students at greater risk.

The Victoria state government says it is working with the police to make students feel more secure, however Indian student groups continue to accuse local authorities of not doing enough to combat racist gangs.

Source: “ ‘Racism Rife in Australia,’ International Students Say”, Voice of America, February 17, 2010.
 
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Dublin hotel complex becomes English Language school for Saudis

South Dublin’s Citywest Hotel complex will become a live-in English language school for 750 Saudi students.  The program commences this April and is part of a 6-year contract with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Higher Education worth approximately $350 million dollars CAD.
The project which will help create 293 jobs in the County is welcomed by the local Chamber of Commerce, but not everyone is pleased. Sources from Dublin’s Department of Education and Department of Justice have raised concerns that the new centre ‘conflicts with integration policy and could lead to ghettoisation’. 
Citywest Institute of Education has enlisted County Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC) to provide the program. CDVEC’s acting CEO Marie Griffen acknowledged the concerns voiced by the Departments of Education and Justice but assured that their experience in educating and assimilating foreign students will make this project a success.

Source: “Saudi language school plan sparks ‘ghetto’ row.” Independent News, February 20, 2010.

3) OVER THE COUNTER – Sweden to charge tuition to foreign students

The Swedish government announced last Friday that it plans to institute university fees to foreign students beginning in the autumn of 2011. 

Education Minister Tobias Krantz explained that Sweden’s free post-secondary institutions attracts many international students, but that many foreign students do not complete their studies.  Krantz concedes that the introduction of tuition fees will be met with a decline in international students studying in Sweden, but that eventually these numbers will rise again as Sweden is a knowledge based nation.

The proposed tuition fees will range between $9,500 to $11,000 USD per year. The government will also introduce a two types of scholarships. One worth $4 million USD per year to help students from countries that have a long-term aid relationship with Sweden, the other worth $8 million USD per year and will be granted to exceptional students.

Source: “Foreign students to pay university fees.” The Local (Sweden), February 19, 2010.

4) GLOBE TIPPING – Safe Travels for You and Your Data

It’s hard enough to make sure the data you send and receive is safe when you’re at home or at work. But traveling brings a whole new set of hazards: from publicly accessible computers to unprotected wireless networks to crowded and pickpocket-plagued airports.
Below are some reasonably easy and cheap ways to avoid a digital disaster when on the road:

1. Computers in cybercafes and hotels are notorious for having malware on them. Before using public computers, ask what security measures are in use.
2.
3. Always use a firewall when using airport, hotel or other public Internet connections and Wi-Fi.  If your transferring sensitive information over the internet such as bank transactions look for “https” in Web addresses, and check if a Wi-Fi network uses encryption by reading privacy policy on its Web site.
4.
5. Laptop loss and theft at airports are rampant. Consider backing up your data to a USB flash drive or a disc, especially if you store confidential personal or business documents.
6.
7. If you are using a smartphone find out whether Web sites and mobile apps you use to move confidential information use encryption. Also, intruders can use Bluetooth to read contacts, text messages and other data stored in your phone, so turn it off if you don’t use it.

Source: “Safe Travels for You and Your Data”, New York Times, February 17, 2010.

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