Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Canada has the potential to offer a world-class education at a fraction of the price one might find in the US, UK, or Australia, says US News and World Report. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 336,400 international students came to study in Canada in 2014 compared to 184,150 in 2008. US News and World Report adds that students planning to study outside the US should give strong consideration to Canada because of its affordable tuition rates and high-quality universities, quoting one student who celebrated receiving her Canadian education “without having to sell [her] kidneys to pay the tuition.”
Source: The Globe and Mail
Just days before thousands of students around the world are set to leave home to begin earning a Canadian education, some still don’t know whether they will be allowed into Canada in time to start school.
An ongoing strike by the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) has caused a backlog in processing visas of all types, including those required for international students landing at Canadian colleges and universities. The rate of visa approvals has dropped by 15 per cent, and there has been a 5 per cent decline in requests for visas, a PAFSO representative said.
The hold-ups are bad timing for Canadian schools making a co-ordinated push to raise the country’s profile as a destination for top foreign students. A federally commissioned panel has set the goal of doubling Canada’s international enrolments by 2022, but higher education officials fear the headaches over visa delays are doing harm to Canada’s reputation, and that could have lasting consequences. Each international student kept out of Canada represents a dent in a school’s bottom line. Foreign undergraduates bring important revenue to universities, paying an average of $18,641 in tuition and fees annually, and international students spent an estimated $7.7-billion in 2012.
“It is potentially a very serious issue,” said Gail Bowkett, director of international relations for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. “Perception is key, and if a perception starts spreading that Canada’s difficult to get into, then that really could damage our brand.”
After being admitted to McGill University, Sara Awad, 18, put in her visa application in mid-July through an agent in her hometown of Cairo, Egypt. She was stunned to learn it would take six to seven weeks – she was supposed to be on campus by then.
“My friends who are going to the U.S., they got their visa in three days, or even people going to France, they got it in 10 days,” despite the political turmoil that has engulfed Egypt, she said. “It was a bit difficult.”
Ms. Awad worried she might not make it to McGill in time, and considered the American University in Cairo as a backup plan. Luckily, her father had a contact in Cairo’s Canadian embassy whom he pressed for help, securing her a visa just last week. She is relieved, but will still arrive late in Montreal, and “will miss some parts of the orientation week,” she said.
Many higher education officials had predicted the backlog would be much worse. “So far, it’s not as bad as I thought,” said Ysaac Rodriguez, manager of international student services at Saint Mary’s University, where 26 per cent of students come from abroad – the highest proportion of any Canadian university.
Most colleges and universities are hearing from small numbers of students whose visas are yet to be processed, and who are starting to worry. Mr. Rodriguez has had a few such conversations, and wouldn’t be surprised if he winds up 50 students short at the school’s September orientation. At the University of Waterloo, about 15 students have voiced concerns, while about 20 others have told the University of Calgary they are anxiously awaiting visas.
“We think [the number of affected students is] a bit bigger than that 20, but until a little closer to September, when they’re needing to get on the airplane, we’re not entirely sure,” U of C registrar David Johnston said.
The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) was one of several groups to huddle with government and foreign-service union officials, making their concern known. “As we get closer and closer, if [a student] hasn’t received word from Canada about a visa and they’ve got an acceptance to another country – an Australia or a Germany or so forth – then they may go for that option,” ACCC spokesman Shawn Dearn said.
However, the ACCC was assured student requests have been prioritized where possible. Students fearing they won’t get their visa in time “may also submit a letter from an educational institution indicating that the institution would accept a late arrival, specifying until when,” Citizen and Immigration Canada spokesperson Julie Lafortune said in an e-mail.
In response, most schools have given international students a grace period – often until the first week of classes finishes in mid-September – through which they will hold spaces and residence rooms. “We are expecting late arrivals,” said Virginia Macchiavello, director of international development at Centennial College in Toronto, which had 5,000 international students last year. “We will provide support services to catch them up.”
For those who can’t make it soon enough, schools are recommending deferrals until next semester, or even next fall, and crossing their fingers the students don’t go elsewhere instead.
“The worst thing that could happen is that they arrive [too late] and then fall behind,” Mr. Johnston said.
Source: The Telegraph – Calcutta, India
New Delhi, Aug. 20: Students aspiring for higher studies at a top-flight foreign institution could soon realise their dream — without having to leave India.
The government has told the Rajya Sabha that the University Grants Commission is set to enforce the UGC (Establishment and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules, allowing foreign education providers to set up campuses as Section 25 — or not-for-profit — companies.
HRD minister M.M. Pallam Raju, who was replying to a question in Parliament recently, said the higher education regulator had prepared the rules that have been supported by the departments of industrial policy and promotion and economic affairs. The rules may be notified soon.
Foreign institutions cannot set up campuses in India now in the absence of a legal framework. The government had introduced a Foreign Education Providers Bill in Parliament in 2010 but it has been in the freezer since because of lack of consensus among parties. Because of the delay, the government has preferred to follow the executive route to allow foreign institutions.
Under the proposed rules, foreign institutions that figure among the top 400 universities in the world — according to rankings published by the Times Higher Education, London, Quacquarelli Symonds, a company that specialises in education and studies abroad, or Shanghai Jiao Tong University — will be able to set up campuses as Section 25 companies. A Section 25 firm is a not-for-profit institution that can generate surplus but must plough it back.
Foreign institutions intending to apply under the proposed rules must be not-for-profit legal entities that have been in existence for at least 20 years and registered by an accrediting agency of the country concerned or by an internationally accepted system of accreditation.
The foreign education providers will have to offer programmes or courses comparable in quality to those offered to students on their main campuses. Before being notified as a foreign education provider, each such institution will be required to maintain a corpus of not less than Rs 25 crore.
The rules also include clauses for penalties ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore for violating any of the provisions or the UGC Act, besides forfeiture of the corpus.
The degrees awarded by these institutions would be treated as foreign degrees, subject to equivalence accorded by the Association of Indian Universities for further studies or government jobs.
N.R. Madhava Menon, founder-director, National Law University Bangalore, said the UGC regulations could attract foreign institutions that want to expand operations but doubted whether top universities like Harvard, Yale or Cambridge would set up campuses in India. “I am not sure if the top universities will prefer to come.”
Former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental said the foreign varsities’ entry would boost research. “There is a fear some of the top faculty of Indian institutions will join them. But that is not a major concern. Their coming will be beneficial for our institutions academically.”
Source: Times of India
NEW DELHI: The HRD minister M M Pallam Raju launched the National Repository of Open Education Resources (NROER) on Tuesday, on the occasion of the conference on ICT for School Education in New Delhi. Inaugurating the conference, he said that the school education has in the recent times witnessed immense growth.
Also present on the occasion was minister of state for HRD, Shashi Tharoor who said that his ministry is continuously working towards inclusiveness of education. In order to make education inclusive, the use of ICT would be quite beneficial. Although technology may not replace the teacher yet it will make teaching more attractive.
Elaborating on the initiative, Ashok Thakur, secretary for higher education said that ICT initiative is not just about promoting school but teachers as well as students also. He said that at present 400 universities and 20,000 colleges are being connected through ICT highways.
Over 200 delegates from the government, NGOs and the private sector are participating in this two-day conference. The conference brings together a variety of stakeholders- policy leaders, practitioners, researchers, implementation agencies and developers of content to examine the policy in the light of their insights and impressions, identifying gaps in the system and suggesting a roadmap for implementing the policy. It aims to evolve a roadmap for using ICT into schools and help teachers and children make best use of the opportunities that ICTs provide. Based on National Curriculum Framework, the ICT Curriculum for teachers and students intends to provide a holistic introduction to ICT in education. The National Repository is a collaborative platform, which proposes to bring together the best of digital resources for different subjects domains, across different stages of the school system and in different languages.
Some of the issues to be taken by the conference are ICT for education: Exploring the potential; implementing the national policy on ICT for school education in India: Challenges and Issues; Showcasing ICT practices – Going Beyond computer Literacy; showcasing ICT practices – learning from state/ BOOT partners/NGO Experience; e-Governance Mission Mode programme in school education. This Conference is being organized by MHRD and NCERT.
Source: Government of Canada
Indian students contribute to depth of education experience on Canadian campuses
Nine elite Canadian universities are coming to India from August 19th to August 31st, 2013 to meet with top Indian students and discuss Canada as a premier destination for higher education. The delegation is led by Robert Finlayson of Carleton University in Ottawa and Michelle Beaton of Ryerson University in Toronto. The tour, organized by the Canadian Higher Education Committee (CHEC), under the aegis of the Council of International Schools (CIS), is in its ninth year and will include stops in Mumbai, New Delhi, Dehradun, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The tour is of special interest to Standard XI and Standard XII students who exhibit strong academic standing, school guidance counselors and parents. The tour schedule will include a combination of visits to select school and information fairs.
“India is a key undergraduate student market for Canadian universities,” said Robert Finlayson of Carleton University and Tour Director. “Indian students are sought for their academic strength and their rich contribution to student life on Canadian university campuses. Each year we are seeing more Indian students choosing Canada as their first choice for study – as evidenced by the success of this tour. Indian students are drawn to our universities’ common attributes of international reputation for academic excellence, state of the art resources, and safe campuses in welcoming locations,” Finlayson said.
List of participating universities in 2013:
University of British Columbia, Carleton University, Concordia University, Guelph University, McGill University, Queens University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, York University.
Canadian universities are engaged internationally as leaders in education through teaching, research and partnerships. Undergraduate education in Canada is a hybrid of US and UK styles offering breadth of program options, flexibility in choice and a degree that is ultimately recognized world-wide.
Indian students choose Canada because a strong education and a positive international experience is the foundation for their exciting and successful futures. The quality, affordability and renowned research opportunities are key factors in this decision. University campuses across Canada offer multicultural environments, beautiful spaces and friendly people. As a leader in business, political diplomacy, arts and culture and technology, Canada’s education system is at the core of its success and its graduates are players on the world stage.
Council of International Schools Backgrounder:
The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a non-profit, international educational organization that facilitates links between institutions of higher education and secondary schools to increase their visibility with school leavers and the school guidance community. The 40+ CIS Canadian higher education member universities’ interests are supported through the efforts of the eight person team of member volunteers that comprise the Canadian Higher Education Committee (CHEC). The Committee’s goal is to facilitate the exchange of information about Canadian higher education between international schools and the CIS Canadian higher education membership through various activities such as recruitment tours, like the 2013 India tour.
Source: Times of India
With foreign currency getting expensive, universities offering twinning programmes are seeing a surge in student enrolment.
In 1994, Manipal University’s International Centre For Applied Sciences (ICAS) was built to accommodate about 200 students; only six students had signed up then. For long, the centre saw a steady rise in students and about 150-odd candidates joined last year. “I feel we will have around 250 students by the end of this year’s admission season,” says ICAS director G M J Bhat.
Other universities have the same story to tell. As Bertrand Guillotin, director of the international program office at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, notes, “Education remains the best long-term investment you can make, regardless of currency fluctuations.” But while twinning courses improve accessibility to higher education, they also potentially retain a slice of the £8 billion (US$13 billion) leaving India with foreign education-seeking Indian students.With that, international universities wanting to attract Indian students are also open to signing partnership agreements with Indian colleges. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and vice chancellor of Carleton University, says, “Students benefit from such programs as they represent less time away from home and reduced costs in terms of tuition and residence.”
At the other end, she adds, universities benefit from the close collaboration of faculty members which can also result in productive joint research projects. A study conducted by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) revealed an upswing in the number of foreign education providers in India, from 144 in 2000 to 631 in 2010. Of these, 49 are operating under twinning arrangements, with MBA and hotel management being the most popular courses.
For the full report, log on to www.timesofindia.com
CIEC welcomes over 70 Canadian & Indian Associate Members (open to Canadian & Indian Academic Institutions) to CIEC’s membership ranks along with several new Academic Members & 4 new Agent Members (CARE):
- Touchstone Educational
- Singh Foundation
- Western Overseas
- Sophiya Consultants
The new Associate Membership Category and simplified, inclusive & budget-friendly CARE Process will allow members to network with each other and showcase themselves and their institutions in this vibrant and burgeoning education corridor by highlighting recent developments & new programs, engaging in dialogue on emerging opportunities, stimulating thought and discussing new initiatives and ideas in our monthly newsletter and live news portal ‘Disha’ which is read by over 19,000 academics and thought leaders from both countries. CIEC’s highly penetrative and potent network reaches academic champions from both countries, high level government representatives and policy makers, besides Colleges & Universities.
CIEC’s is also expanding its reach through the use of various social media outlets. These include:
- Linkedin Group: Network of Canada-India Education Leaders and Stakeholders (over 300 Members)
- Facebook Group: CIEC’s International Student Forum (over 300 Student Members)
- Like us on Facebook (278 Likes)
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- Join Us On LinkedIn (2361 Connections)
CIEC invites you to get involved today! www.CanadaIndiaEducation.com