Source: Times of India
UGC secretary PK Thakur requested that 123 soon-to-be varsities remove the word ‘University’ from their names.
Canada India Education Information & Networking Opportunities
Source: Times of India
UGC secretary PK Thakur requested that 123 soon-to-be varsities remove the word ‘University’ from their names.
Source: Study International
The institute claims to be the world’s largest tribal school, providing education to over 27,000 students.
Reports continue of increasing foreign student numbers at Canadian universities for the coming academic year.
Source: Financial Post via Academica
The Financial Post has crunched the numbers to determine whether students would earn more by paying tuition for 4 years or by investing the same amount of money in a retirement fund. The study assumes that the average cost of a degree is $68,933; assuming a 5% return annually over 45 years, that amount would be worth $619,364 as an investment, and would offer students the chance to put in 4 years more time in the labour force. Based on an average income of $30,817 for a high school graduate, the hypothetical individual could, were they able to bank 100% of their after-tax earnings, make another $800,000 by investing their money at a 5% return, for a total of $1.4 M in 45 years’ time. That’s the same amount that the Council of Ontario Universities suggests a university graduate will make in excess of an individual with a high school diploma. However, this figure does not take into account increases in earnings due to inflation, which could lead to the university graduate earning an excess of closer to $2.1 M; wisely invested, that could make the value of a degree as much as $3.8 M greater than that of a high school diploma. A university graduate, the article says, is “more likely to be more financially independent during their working and retirement years,” and would have more options available to them.
Source: The Globe and Mail, Courtesy of Academica | January 2, 2014
Business schools in Canada have begun to revamp their career preparation services for students in the wake of a tougher job market, reports the Globe and Mail. The Queen’s University School of Business has added more of these services to its redesigned one-year MBA program. The school also recently changed the start date of its MBA program to January from May to create post-program opportunities for paid-internship work experience. Similarly, University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business has its 16-month MBA program students prepare for 2 recruitment seasons – one for a mandatory summer internship and the other for full-time employment after graduation. Sauder also plans to launch a new “e-portfolio” program for its 110 MBA students to market themselves using social media.
TCS Insights: Due to a rapidly changing job market, Canadian business schools are beginning to adapt. To better prepare students, institutions are making internships a requirement so graduates will not only earn a MBA but gain valuable work experience before they seek full-time employment.
Source: The Economic Times | January 6, 2014
NEW DELHI: Indian institutions could improve their scores dramatically in Times Higher Education’s globally cited World University Rankings as the British magazine has agreed to develop and include India-specific parameters for assessment from the next time.
Confirming the development, education secretary Ashok Thakur said the human resource development ministry had asked all groupings of domestic institutions such as the IITs, National Institutes of Technology and central universities to appoint a nodal person to coordinate with Times Higher Education to develop India-specific parameters.
Domestic institutions have long argued that the rankings, which give 55% weight to research indicators and 30% to teaching environment, including 15% to the faculty, do not take into account extenuating “Indian circumstances”.
No Indian institution has yet made it to the top 100 in the rankings, in which Panjab University is the highest ranked domestic institution clubbed in the group of universities ranked 226-250.
India’s premier engineering colleges, the Indian Institutes of Technology, made it to the list last year, with the IITs from Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Roorkee all ranked in the group of institutions between 351 and 400.
The government has been concerned over the poor performance of domestic institutions in international rankings and keen to ensure that the rankings take India-specific parameters on board.
There is little clarity on what exactly constitutes “Indian circumstances” except the constitutionally mandated reservation quotas (15% for scheduled castes, 7.5% for scheduled tribes and 27% for other backward classes) and the cross-cutting quota for physically-challenged persons. But issues including intake of foreign students, foreign faculty, marketing and branding of institutions will be addressed while designing India-specific parameters for assessment.
Academics and analysts argue that it is unfair to compare India’s top institutions with American or other western institutions. Centrally-funded institutions such as the IITs, which have a national mandate, cannot admit foreign students at the undergraduate level, and restrictions on assistantships for international students make it difficult to attract foreign students at the PhD level.
None of India’s publicly-funded higher education institution can hire foreign nationals as regular faculty members since guidelines prohibit hiring of foreigners for jobs with salaries less than $25,000 a year. Moreover, even at higher salaries, international faculty can only be brought in on contract for up to five years.
The ministry had also approached the widely respected Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings to develop India-specific parameters for assessment.
TCS Insights: By using India-specific parameters, Indian educational institutions will be better able to compete with international colleges and universities when ranked together. It is difficult for publicly funded institutions in India to measure up to global competition while unable to take in foreign undergraduate students and competing for PhD students from abroad. Times Higher Education has made it possible for such institutions to compete in a manner that is better suited for them.
Source: CFI News Release, Courtesy of Academica | January 8, 2014
The Canadian government has announced a $63-million boost for research infrastructure under the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. Currently, the fund is contributing to research equipment, laboratories and tools at over 250 facilities at 37 universities across Canada. “Our government believes significant investments in Canadian research are essential to sparking innovation, creating economic prosperity and improving the lives of Canadians,” says Minister of State (Science and Technology) Greg Rickford.
TCS Insights: The CFI awarded $48.4 million through their John R. Evans Leaders Fund in order to help Canadian universities attract top available research talent. This increase in funding will enable researchers, such as Ryan D’Arcy of Simon Fraser University, make use of portable technologies at sporting events, hospitals and homes.
Situated in Vancouver, Canada, Acsenda School of Management specializes in leadership and business with a distinct international focus. The school is a small, private institution with undergraduate programs, a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree program with different specialities since 2004 and, beginning in January 2015, a Bachelor of Hospitality Management Degree. Acsenda operates with its own academic governance model modelled to support a strong academic culture.
Source: The Indian Express, via India NewsWatch, October 6, 2013
Pune: In a bid to get rid of random disbursement, the government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. This will also ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This has been one of the mandates given to the special committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to improve research performance of academic institutions.
The 18-member committee, headed by chairman of Centre’s Department of Biotechnology, has former heads of UGC, AICTE, and NCL. The heads of NAAC, NBA, IISc Bangalore and JNU are among other educational establishments.
“As India moves in the global knowledge economy, building awareness about critical global rankings, research evaluation and targeted and competitive research funding would be central to the country’s strategy to improve its research capacity and performance. The government has decided to constitute a committee to drive up the research performance of academic Institutions,” a MHRD notification reads.
Review of existing arrangements for funding of research, both core funding of research facilities, infrastructure and project funding in academic institutions, to identify gaps and create a framework to evaluate research and rankings are some of the key objectives the government has laid down before the committee.
TCS Insights: In a bid to eliminate random disbursement, the Indian Government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. The move is also expected to ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This is a progressive move by the Indian government towards more application based research and from traditional research focused on publishing papers in journals. This approach has the potential to create opportunities for Canadian academic institutions to focus on high quality research exchange programs with Indian counterparts.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s education team has connections with a range of academic institutions in India across the areas of social science, physical science, engineering, technology, management, finance etc. and can facilitate discussions.
Source: US News
One Sunday in late August 2007, my college swim coach sat down with me and six of my teammates. Our American peers had been dismissed and we were left, a group of international students representing Sweden, South Africa, Croatia, and France.
“This first week of classes, you have a special assignment,” he said. “After each class you must introduce yourself to your professors. Then you must come up with a question, go to their office hours and ask it. It can be a question you already know the answer to; it doesn’t matter, just go anyway.”
It was the evening before the first day of classes. I was a 19-year-old freshman at Limestone College, a small college in rural South Carolina, and was strongly considering not completing my coach’s seemingly pointless assignment.
Later I realized it was the most important piece of advice anyone gave me during my years in college.
Most college professors share a number of attributes. They enjoy learning, which is why they chose a profession allowing them to read and research. They enjoy being around young people, which is why they chose to work in a college environment. And they, too, have been young at some point.
As an international student you bring to the table knowledge and points of view that can differ widely from those of your American peers. For a professor, usually an expert in his or her given field, this is extremely intellectually stimulating. Professors also, like any teacher, love to share their expertise.
Being able to carry an intelligent conversation with your professor on the subject he or she teaches will therefore elevate you to a level far above that of the average student. Seeking help outside of class doesn’t show that you are unintelligent, but that you are a motivated student.
So when you eventually fall behind, miss a class or fail to hand in an assignment, the relationship you have established with your professor will become invaluable. Your occasional tardiness can always slip by, because you have already proved that you are a good student, right?
U.S. colleges often have dozens of scholarship programs funded by various earmarked endowments, and more often than not professors make up most of the committees selecting the recipients. The hours you spend getting to know your professor may end up being rather lucrative.
And although you probably won’t be thinking about graduate school during your first week of classes, one day you just may, and already knowing whom you can ask for a letter of recommendation will lift a significant weight off of your shoulders.
Last but not least, most professors are genuinely nice and interesting people, which itself is enough reason to reach out to them.
As for me, I ended up doing what my coach told me. It resulted in not only an additional academic scholarship, an academic award, solid grades and a number of grad school recommendations, but also friendships that have lasted to this day.
It all began with an outstretched hand and a “hello.”
Anders Melin, from Sweden, is a former collegiate swimmer for Limestone College and the University of Missouri, where he earned an undergraduate degree in finance. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at New York University.
Source: Vancouver Sun
Henry Luan came to Vancouver from China in 2011 looking for a western high school experience, and a chance to go to university in Canada.
The Grade 10 student is among thousands of international students who have arrived in the Lower Mainland during the past decade. But many face an immediate and significant challenge — they speak little or no English, which makes it a struggle for them to communicate and fit in.
Many of these students have trouble with course material and often graduate late from high school. The language barrier also makes it harder to get into university, leading to more stress and pressure.
“When I first came here, I was trying to talk to people, but they didn’t understand what I was saying. It was awkward and I felt so bad,” says Luan.
Even after two years at University Hill Secondary School, he still has difficulties today. “You know you [understand] a lot more than you can actually express, and it is frustrating,” he said.
Joanne Park is a Grade 11 student at Earl Marriott Secondary School in Surrey. But if she had remained in Korea, she would already be in Grade 12.
In order to earn enough credits and learn English, Park has had to push her graduation off a year. Still, she is uncertain if this decision will give her a better chance of getting into university. It is even more frustrating because all of her friends will be graduating this year.
There is help available to such students within the school system.
If international students’ English-language skills are inadequate for regular English courses, they are put into English as a Second Language/English Language Learners (ESL/ELL) classes.
In B.C., students need at least 80 course credits to graduate from high school. That creates a problem because students cannot earn credits from ESL classes.
On top of that, in order to graduate, students must also have credits for English 10, 11, and 12, as well as provincial exam marks for English 10 and 12.
“Everyone wants to graduate on time, so they rush through our ELL programs,” explains Gleneagle Secondary’s head counsellor Bindy Johal.
She sees many international students drop English 10 because of failing marks, but that makes graduating on time even harder.
Some try to earn these credits in other ways, such as taking online courses.
Johal doesn’t believe that is a good idea. Online courses lack the “face-to-face” element that is important when learning English, she said.
Iqbal Gill, a counselor at University Hill Secondary, said it is expensive for international students to study in Canada, and parents are unwilling to accept that their children will not graduate on time.
Gill said that students are being sent to Vancouver at younger ages to have more time to learn language skills. But this can be a double-edged sword, since it is harder for younger children to be away from parents, she says.
“There are times when I see (young international students) struggling, and it would be really nice if they could be with their families,” said Gill.
Another challenge is that international students’ proficiency in English also affects their mark in other classes. They understand the concepts behind math and science courses, but the language barrier brings their marks down. This also pulls down their admission average for universities.
Park has had to retake Biology 11 after failing last semester because she did not understand many questions.
International students who want to enter university must also meet specific English requirements. Not only do they have to complete English proficiency entrance exams, they need a minimum grade in their English classes. For example, the University of B.C. sets its admission minimum at 70 per cent for English 11 or 12 courses, while at Simon Fraser University the minimum is 60 per cent.
The ESL courses and outside tutoring that many international students sign up for also take away from time that could be spent on other subjects.
Luan, who is interested in computer sciences, could not take the electives he wanted during his first year because he was enrolled in four ESL classes.
Due to the intense focus on improving their English, many international students also miss out on extra-curricular activities, something that universities look for in admissions.
Park said that because of tutoring sessions, she no longer has time for volunteering or sports.
Faced with these pressures, counsellors say students need to accept that it is going to take extra time to learn the language.
Students should not be pressurized to rush their education, and are welcome to stay longer than usual in high school, said Johal.
Youmy Han is a Grade 12 student at Gleneagle Secondary School
By Shashidhar Nanjundaiah
Imagine a light that flashes each time there is mail in your outdoor postal mailbox, while another switch transfers the mail indoors through a pipe. Perfect for the elderly, especially in treacherous weather.
Four years ago, I had an opportunity to attend an “Invention Convention” meant for school kids up to nine years, whose products were chosen from about 10 schools in rural Warren County in New Jersey, USA. The children came up with products that were practically applicable and answers to many of modern household and social American problems. What impressed me even more than design elements was the school kids’ preparation to explain, pitch, market and sell effectively.
The mail-switch product, fully functional, was one such on display there—designed by an 8-year-old, sparkling-eyed, shy little girl. Would it be a surprise if this young woman went on to do something innovative in her career? There were about 20 such products on display. The students’ ability to come up with complete solutions for their society reflected an ability to identify a need and think seamlessly between physics, social science, economics, and pure and practical common sense; to do this in their own way, independently, with some simple but effective guidance from teachers at the implementation stage.
Education-application synergy has been well-documented, yet it seems to largely elude the liberal arts. The fracture between subjects, and between those academic subjects and industries, is particularly ubiquitous and confusing when it comes to liberal arts, humanities and the social sciences. Our current systems often do not allow students to understand and use the interdisciplinary side of their professional world. Some of us educators have pontificated on the application of subjects to the dreaded ‘real world.’ The more daring among us have even attempted to point out what ought to have been the obvious: that the subjects we teach have a bearing on our life’s experiences. But very few educators have attempted to show how. Further, few, if any, have attempted to draw linkages between subjects or areas of study.
So how can educational institutions change the methods to make their students think independently and to question themselves? Simple: teach them how to seek answers. For this, independent and proactive learning is imperative, and one way is to allow interdisciplinary research projects that will help students apply those linkages.
Linking language and culture studies to employablity
Conventionally, languages and culture studies have been taught as purely academic disciplines, with few employment opportunities outside the sporadic jobs at government departments of culture and languages. The media industries do hire off humanities colleges but feel the need to retrain students toward business awareness, audience perception, knowledge of marketing, and such “downstream” skills. No longer is it enough to be merely creative experts—the ability to understand audiences and disseminate information with optimal effectiveness is best exemplified in blogs and the social media. With the explosive growth of the media, culture and languages have a large scope to consciously be dovetailed and insinuated into the communication industries, including the media and the segments servicing them, i.e., advertising, public relations and media research. Instead of having separate “creative” schools, the institutional (as opposed to individual) endeavor should be to integrate disciplines of writing, culture, media and communication studies. Extrapolate that to sociology, anthropology, history, etc, and you get an exponential growth in employability all around.
Employability of professional graduates: what’s the problem?
Higher education typically suffers from “little knowledge creation.” This was a conclusion reached at the 2006 seminar ‘Washington Symposium’ hosted by NAFSA. They probably stopped short of another obvious truth: lack of knowledge creation in our campuses is a major reason that “unemployability” persists.
Less than 25 percent of our country’s professional graduates are employable, says a Government of India research. As Michael Spence said in the 1970s — and Infosys’s Chief Mentor N. R. Narayanamurthy echoed more recently — educational institutes have merely become a captive space from where employers pick up inherently bright students. We have heard the rhetoric time and again from management gurus and industry experts on what category of Indian professional graduates are largely unemployable:
Unfortunately, the above list would include a majority of professional graduates and institutions in India. Individual talent will always continue to shine through but, systemically, educational training doesn’t prepare our graduates to solve problems in a practical world where they must apply more than just their field of study.
Surely the education system in India cannot look the other way while our industries (Infy itself, for example) are starting up their own training institutes to transform professional graduates into employable professional graduates?
And content isn’t really the problem, is it? Information is at our fingertips today — quite literally. It is the structure of learning, or pedagogical methodology, that’s dubious. It is in human nature to apply eclectic learning to real life, and our education system can easily put that inherent advantage to good use. All it takes is reengineering our thoughts about what education really is.
Why were some of us made to take a specific combination of subjects at college – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Biology at pre-university; then Physics, Chemistry, or Mathematics at the graduate level? Why not a mix of Physics, English Literature, and Geography? Is it because the makers of education policy wanted to make sure the degrees they were awarding were either a ‘B.Sc.’ or a ‘B.A.’ or a “B.Com”?
The easiest thing for students to understand would be linkages across disciplines in the professional world. “Interdisciplinary” indicates that our learning needs to be across disciplines, not just in one discipline, and linking disciplines along the way. The Harvard Business School, in its review seminar in November 2008, felt that its MBAs were increasingly becoming irrelevant in a globalizing world. The solution? Their MBA programs will become increasingly interdisciplinary in approach.
If each level of higher education provided the following to our budding managers, communicators, and techies alike, each of us would feel far more educated than we do today:
Why are we learning what we’re learning?
Input (and output) among a majority of our educational institutions has been largely tools-oriented. If you asked professional graduates why they should or ought to know what they know chances are they would draw a blank.
UNESCO’s International Commission on Education for the 21st Century states that education must be organized around four types of learning:
The global marketplace is more demanding of broader skill-sets than before. The requirement set is solutions-driven: a combination of technological, professional, business, social, and life skills — and many more intangible concepts. No longer is it enough to “super-specialize” – there is more demand for multi-skilled multi-specialists and generalists, who can adapt to specific environments. While some of these skills may evolve over time, many of them need a fundamental change in the way academic institutions think.
True integration of UNESCO’s four principles can only occur when learning is the acquisition of skills for employment and/or entrepreneurship. But learning cannot be as narrow or as super-focused on employment: it must make a student employable as a method to make him or her grasp the concepts in all their applications.
The integration and interaction of disciplines at once widens the boundaries and expects an employee to quickly learn to specialize. It is important to recognize that education is only a trigger to learn and often results in individuals understanding their own capabilities in a better way. Faculty training, periodic faculty meetings where faculty make presentations and help one another to understand why students must experience an interdisciplinary education, and a healthy interface with the industries will go a long way in addressing the still unrecognized problem.
Source: Mint via PwC – EdLive
In a bid to diversify, InterGlobe Enterprises Ltd, which runs budget carrier IndiGo, plans to launch a university with a Canadian partner. The 1.09 billion USD Company, which also sells business jets, operates hotels, runs an airline distribution system, and supplies travel software, will launch a university in Delhi in collaboration with the Ontario-based University of Waterloo. The university will be located on a 100-acre campus for which land has already been acquired along the Dwarka expressway in south Delhi, close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport. It will follow the Waterloo model of work- integrated studies in which students attend a university programme for one term of three to four months and acquire paid practical experience by putting in one term with an employer.
The university, a name is yet to be decided is expected to open for students by 2016, offering programmers in engineering and technology.