Author Archives: Ravi Lochan Singh
Bad data used in British Council’s Inside India report: Enrolment and Fresh Student Statistics has been used interchangeably. Should I just say LOL!
The higher education supplements around the world are reporting the Inside India report of British Council. The basic statistics quoted in the report is incorrect and so the summaries reported are incorrect too… And British Council would want you to buy that report.
Before I come to why I am saying that the report uses bad data, lets see how it has been lapped up around the world this day.
The Australian’s Higher Ed reports in INDIAN BOOM MIGHT NOT EVENTUATE, SAYS BRITISH COUNCIL…
The report ‘Inside India – A new status quo’ says demand from Indian students for British universities dropped by 23 per cent between 2012-13 and by 4 per cent in the US.
However, demand for Australian places increased by 36 per cent during the same period despite Australia being the destination with the highest living costs.
“The recent increase in students studying in Australia has happened when the currency valuation makes living costs very expensive. However, work opportunities seem to have mitigated the effect of high costs of living and the negative sentiment created in 2009-10,” the report says.
Inside Higher Ed reports from US in A NEW STATUS QUO ?
While the U.K. and U.S. are the top two destinations of choice, students are increasingly applying to universities in Canada and Germany, where they perceive education to be cheaper and employment opportunities to be robust. Canada stands out in terms of perceived opportunities for permanent migration, while students see Germany as offering world-class opportunities in the automotive, engineering, and manufacturing industries. The number of Indian students in Australia, meanwhile, appears to be rebounding after a precipitous fall following a series of violent attacks on Indian students in 2009.
Now let me show the bad data used in the report…
The report quotes the following data for its analysis and for the comments made by the above articles:
|2008-9||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12||2012-13||Most recent year percent change|
THIS IS WHERE IS AM GOING TO YELL: LOL…
- The data above is used the enrolment statistics and fresh student visa grants statistics interchangeably.
- The enrolment statistics are the number of students of one nationality at that time in that country. So when we say that there are 96,754 Indians enrolled in US during 2013, it means that there are 96,754 Indian nationals on F1 visa in 2013 and this includes students who may have entered US in the preceding years and still enrolled at the Universities. IT IS NOT THE NUMBER OF INDIAN STUDENTS WHO ENTERED USA. The same applies to the numbers shown for UK and Canada.
- However, the report has provided the Australian numbers of the total student visa granted during the year to Indian students. It is not a cumulative data at all. The enrolment data is much higher.
- Enrolment and Student Visa grants are not interchangeable.
I can understand journalists falling for it but not British Council. And then they want you to pay for this report using incorrect data.
Further a calculation based on enrolments have been found to be faulty. The duration of programs vary and it is known that a student in US tends to remain a student for a longer period of time. In UK, Masters are for only 1 year and so the Masters students in UK do not get counted for multiple years as in other places. When there is a sharp fall in student numbers, enrolment statistics can hide the fall and give a wrong impression. And wrong strategy and wrong impressions. Sometimes the use of enrolment statistics are with an intent to put a spin to falling student interest for a destination.
If you want to have the actual student trends INSIDE INDIA, you simply have to google and you will find the following…
It featured in my blog on 26th of May itself…
and the following followup reports including news items from newspapers that cross-checked the data and then reported…
However, the other conclusion that the the earlier projection of unabated growth from India was wrong seems to have been inspired by what I wrote too in my blog where I demonstrated that the total number of students going overseas from India to the big five destinations is actually declining and not increasing…
For this conclusion, my free blog would take you to the same as the priced British Council report. The reasons for this declining interest can also be found on the links on those said blogs and they are possibly more comprehensive.
British Council, you have disappointed with the kind of research that has been put in… Can expect others to make this error… not you… Please do not compare apples with oranges…
UK degree equivalence issue in India; New Bridge course solution & why it is still a half measure… one destined to fail.
Early last year when I blogged on the issue of validity of the 1 year Masters degrees, I did that to seek an equivalence and rectify the situation. I am laying claim at the fact that it was this blog that was the first piece on the issue in public domain. (http://ravilochansingh.com/2012/04/17/shocker-india-states-that-uk-master-degrees-as-not-master-equivalent-british-council-helpless/)
What followed was a series of articles in newspapers and magazines, a series of submissions and petitions by students, intensified lobbying by the UK Government bodies including prioritising of the issue by the British PM. (http://ravilochansingh.com/2012/07/19/one-year-overseas-masters-validity-in-india-issue-not-just-for-uk-to-resolve/)
However what we have now as a solution is still half-baked measure. It is aimed at satisfying the lobbyists that some action has been taken though it is not really a solution. It is also too narrow in focus.
The New Indian Express reports in an article:
The recent announcement of the Human Resource Development Ministry to introduce a six-month bridge course for those who completed one-year post-graduate courses in the UK has received sharp reactions from students and experts.
While some were of the opinion that efforts were finally being made to recognise their degrees here, most others felt that they were unfairly being made to wait for an additional six months before they can take the next step in their career.
Many students who have completed their PG degrees in the UK feel this move would pose an unnecessary hurdle, resulting in time being wasted in proving the validity of their degree.
First the facts:
- UK tends to structure all its Master degrees as less than two years in duration. Often of 1 year only.
- AIU, which is the body to grant equivalence has deemed that all Masters that are of less than 2 years and possibly all Bachelors that are of lesser duration to what is offered in India, are deemed unequal or not valid as a degree.
- If a student is returning after completing a less than equal degree he is only faced with an issue if he is applying for a job that asks for an equivalence certificate. Often in academia or in government jobs. This is when the equivalence gets denied and the student believes that the promotion of the less than equal degree as a globally recognised and respected qualification is only a half-truth in the Indian context.
Now the solution offered by the Indian Government:
- They say that the degree that is of less duration is still not equal to and Indian degree and hence will not be considered as a degree.
- Hence a student wanting to make it equal will have to study for a bridging program in India for six months or so and then will only be able to claim to have reached the Masters level.
- No solution yet offered for non-Humanities students.
- No solution yet offered for the 3 year British Engineering graduates.
- The solution for the British MBA is even more bizarre where the returning student can apply for equivalence after working in India for six months.
- First they say it is not equal and then expect them to get a job as an unequal degree and for the very first time I am hearing that work experience is going to count towards academic assessment of a degree in India.
- No solution offered for degrees that are done at two locations in parts.
It seems to me that UK has agreed to this solution and has put an end to the lobbying. All have gone back home safely and satisfied and appear to be not complaining any further.
The Telegraph has been reporting and pursuing the issue ever since I first did the blog and in a recent article it confirms…
The matter was discussed during the visit of Cameron earlier this year, and both countries agreed to the bridge course mechanism. The ministry then asked the UGC to suggest modalities for the course.
The Association of Indian Universities, the agency that gives equivalence to foreign degrees, has accepted the UGC formula.
I find this unacceptable since this in other ways is an acceptance by the British authorities that…
- Their degrees are inferior to Indian degrees.
- Their appeal to Indian students to study in UK since it offers a recognised degree is misplaced.
- And this could become the beginning of dumbing down of the UK degree by other countries that will look at how India has judged the qualification and how Britain has accepted the same.
- Or it could be a time for UK to do introspection and increase the duration of the degrees in line with the trend around the world.
What would I have done if I was the one negotiating from the British end:
- I would have stuck to the ground that the British degree is differently structured and is accepted as a Masters by several countries around the world where the Masters are generally of two year duration.
- I would have insisted that the load of the program is high and there are pre-requisites that are also applied.
- I would have insisted that if the system works for other countries then why not for India.
- I would have insisted that UK has had issues with quality of output of some of the Indian Universities and has not disadvantaged those students.
- I would have brought into focus that it is not just Indian students studying in UK that are affected but also the fact that Masters in NZ is differently structured too and though Australia is gradually offering only two year Masters, it has had students with lesser than two year Masters too. US which traditionally offered two years Masters has in recent times been offering less than two year degrees.
- I would have insisted that the world is now more and more global and there is a need for growing mutual recognition of degrees.
- I would have insisted that UK and India should have an MOU on the lines that India has with other countries for mutual recognition of the degrees.
At this time, some students desperate for a job in India with the government or to pursue PhD in India will have this new option of the bridging course but over a period of time this bridge course is bound to fail and there will be hardly any interest. A student who wants to study overseas will not want to have spent money on something that will require him to come back and then do a further study just to make their qualification equal, if their intention is to work with the Government or work as lecturers or professors in Indian Universities.
This brings me to the thought that what India has decided as an option for UK degrees is simply because UK lobbied. It should have just made it an option for all the less than two year degrees from around the world and then it would have had more takers. The once it has no takers, the program will be dropped and momentum lost but UK degrees will then remain branded as inferior in content to the Indian degrees. Which is far from the truth, as we all know…
In summary, I believe that both India and UK have only played to the galleries and agreed at something that is just not acceptable and that has hardly any future.
Reblogging: Why IB (INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE) still doesn’t fit into the INDIAN scheme of things?
I did a blog last year detailing why I feel that IB may be an excellent curriculum but does not fit into Indian scheme of things. This particular blog continues to be that gets maximum hit even right now and I keep receiving emails on whether what I stated then is still valid from my perspective.
Readers, the fact is that not much has changed since then and now. Entrance Exams for Engineering Colleges still are in May and it clashes with the date for the IB and hence making the IB students more or less ruled out. IB curriculum is great but not in line with the entrance test curriculum for various colleges and institutes in India that run the entrance tests. The results are also declared well after admissions to colleges in India have been finalised and only a handful of colleges may allow a provisional admission based on expected results.
The earlier blog that I have referred to is on the link below… Feel free to critique…
Counseling on Careers needs to include family’s aspirations and circumstances. Not just student’s aptitude and grades.
Click on the link below to view my earlier post which is so very relevant even now…
Australian Federal Elections have been quite bitter and a lot is at stake. Over the last six years of the Labour Government, the Export of Education was impacted quite severely especially in context of the Indian market. Lets look at the Student Visas issued to Indian Sub-Continental students during this period… It is the offshore visa statistics taken from the immigration site on this link.
Now, we can give various reasons for this trend but all in the know that it is largely due to the tightening of the skill migration program and/or the transmitted perception that Australia aimed to restrict access to work market signficantly.
These are what appears on the face of it though. And only so. There are some undercurrents too…
Population of those from Indian Origin is increasing significantly over the years and it is expected that in a few years it will touch 1 Million. This is about 5% of the total population and if we consider that this population is concentrated in certain pockets of larger cities, it changes the game altogether. Any such change and I must say inevitable change in the demographics has a much more lasting impact. We can see the thrust now being given to Asian languages and also the fact that Hindi is one of the languages identified for additional study at the school level. While this may only be a measure to appeal to the population of these new migrants, it has also other messages associated to it.
By the time the elections arrive again in three years, we can get prepared for constituencies where we may even celebrate with candidates of South Asian origin.
So, what can we expect from the elections facing us this weekend…
THE ECONOMIST is one of the widely respected publications in the world and not as partisan as the newspapers and media in Australia. The current issue features the Australian Elections and I share the first page of that where the role of migrants from Indian region is indicated… It will be even more in the years ahead when thousands of current PR (who were Students during the student visa peak) will become Citizens and hence voters.
I will be observing “anxiously” the election day unfurl and will be at the residence of the Australian Ambassador in Nepal in the evening and in the company also of senior members of the DIAC and AEI. Also of 24 Australian Education Providers who are traveling for a Global Reach organized Australian Education Promotion. I look forward to gathering their observation on what can be expected over the next three years… Will all that has been promised prior to elections really turn out as reality. If yes, there is a concern there too. If no, that is a concern too.
₹avi £ochan $ingh : “How can Education Providers still remain accessible to Indian Students at this time of Rupee Meltdown?”
Last week we discussed the century by the £ and how ₹ continued to dip against the $. We discussed the frantic moves of the RBI to stem the flow of forex from India. However these have not helped and ₹ is all set to continue slipping and we may see it go well past ₹ 70 to an US$. This is going to have far reaching consequences for the Indian students. Not just those who are to proceed now but also to those who are already studying and are being supported by family.
Today we discuss what can be the strategy for the education providers and how they can still be accessible.
In an article in THE TELEGRAPH (on this link), I have tried to give out some quick actions that we do expect to be taken… It is important for the trade of education to continue and for it to remain accessible… The ones who react first will be the ones to benefit.
Calcutta-based education counsellor Ravi Lochan Singh said it had been “a very difficult last few days” for Indian students just when American, British and Canadian universities were gearing for admissions.
“It’s time these institutions stepped in and helped out the (Indian) students who are about to reach their campuses,” Singh said.
He suggested that scholarships or India-specific grants amounting to 10 per cent of the tuition fees should be offered to bridge the widening gap between the planned and real costs.
Singh also cited the Reserve Bank’s move to lower the cap on annual overseas remittance by individuals from $2 lakh to $75,000.
“A sum of $75,000 is still quite adequate for a student on an average, but if this is reduced to $50,000 or lower, the situation will become serious,” he said.
Another hurdle, Singh said, is the Rs 20-lakh ceiling on loans for overseas education.
“The limit has not changed since 2001, when the rate was Rs 25 to Rs 30 to a dollar. In 2001, a sum of Rs 20 lakh could cover an Indian student’s full education costs in most countries. Now, it barely covers the first-year costs,” Singh said.
I have tried to indicate that the Universities should freeze their tuition fees for a few years and they should also issue out large number of bursaries aimed at Indian students that can discount the fees by about 10% at least. Universities do teach Economics and the first lesson relates to demand and supply and how the price is fixed. We should let that be applied here too.
I am often asked as to what can be done by institutions to cut on costs to be able to give out the lower tuition fees and the first thought is to reduce the wasteful expenses. For example the printing of brochures in today’s age and time when the online versions remain more up-to-date anyways. We can deal with slightly higher student-staff ratios but then we do need premium education to remain within reach for as many as possible.
I sign off this blog with what is on my mind… “₹£$” for “₹avi £ocean $ingh”.
My blog of May on Australian SVP being compromised resulted in denials but today newspapers report that IMMIGRATION HAS CONFIRMED THAT SVP IS BEING ABUSED BY SOME…
In May, I wrote a fairly detailed blog and my comments were carried by THE AUSTRALIAN too.
Australian Streamline Visa Processing is one of the innovations seen in this area in recent years. I believe that it is the right step and has the potential of helping the country gain-back the students. Most of the institutions are attempting to do the right things. However, there are definitely loop holes and not all providers and/or their agents are vigilant enough. There is a need to keep ensuring that the minority doesn’t derail the good system. There is also a need to embrace the possible improvements and implement them in our processes.
(Do read the blog of May titled WHEN I WARN INSTITUTIONS ON THE SVP ABUSE, AM I AN ALARMIST OR A WHISTLEBLOWER.)
There was denial in the newspaper article as can be seen on that blog and some institutions believed that there was no concern at all.
However, there is an article in today’s THE AUSTRALIAN that states that “Immigration confirms new student rort”. At-least there is a prospect of a review now… Also, in May, I had argued that the current caste system should end as far as SVP is concerned and quality private providers and all TAFE should be included in the SVP. This blog can be found on this link. I find that with the elections in Australia in two weeks, the current “opposition” has promised to do so… Let us all watch out for September now…
It has been very difficult last few days for Indian students. US, UK and Canadian intakes are around the corner and the rate at which the Indian rupee has lost value, it has ruined the plans for most Indian students already… It is time for institutions to step in and help out the students who have or are about to reach their campuses.
I do believe that scholarships, bursaries or India specific grants to the tune of 10% should be offered to act as a bridge between planned costs and real costs.
Last week, I did a blog (see link) indicating the possibility of some more fiscal tightening by RBI and the possible scenarios. They were hypothetical but today I hear that even the duty free baggage allowances of travelers are being reduced. These will not save much but then they do build in the panic and somehow give an impression that RBI too is uncertain as to what can be done…
I am a little surprised too as to how India which has an economist as the PM can fail to stem the depreciation of the currency. Should he not take over the Finance Ministry under his control and take some firm decision that can at-least give a perception that things will change. It will instill much needed confidence.
The above are the rates from the Thomas Cook India website of this afternoon. AND BRITISH POUND is now well past Rs 100… Sad…
India brings down the max limit on forex purchase from $200K to $75K, a year. WHAT IF… India puts restrictions on foreign exchange for overseas study!!!
Today is INDEPENDENCE DAY and one of the few days in a year when all of us feel proud of relatively young nation. However, this morning, newspapers talk of the RBI’s increased restrictions on foreign exchange for resident Indians. It prohibits purchase of properties overseas and also changes the limit of forex use from $200,000 a year to a much reduced $75,000 per year. (See newspaper article here)
This change doesn’t immediately impact the foreign traveling students from India but certainly there can be some further tightening in offing if the situation of weakening of the Indian Rupee doesn’t ebb. The USD is now close to Rs 65 and not all can be blamed to the policies of the coalition government in India.
The self-anointed PM candidate of the opposition recently made some shocking comments when he stated that students going overseas lead not just to brain drain but also wealth drain and gave out a hugely exaggerated figure on the money that has left India. I will not put too much of credence to his speech as it was to an audience that may not be so aware to know that such theories have long been debunked and we all know that overseas education actually amounts to “brain gain” and the inflow into India from students who settle overseas is actually much more than what they may have spent on their education. However, this clearly indicates the thinking in the minds of politicians who believe in “inclusivity” of a different type.
Returning to the more factual situation where RBI is being forced to put some restrictions, I am left thinking on WHAT IF the rupee continues to lose shine and the USD continue to rise further. Will this mean that the RBI may impose some further restrictions and if yes, will that include the forex being used by students for their studies.
Maybe not immediately but it is a scenario that is possible. I am reminded of that period in 1990 when I was to go overseas for my education and in those days, students could only take $500 without a permit and for anything that is more, we would have to seek a permit approved by the RBI. Getting the permit was not really a huge deal but it was a hurdle anyways. Thereafter funds only as per the permit could be converted to forex.
Now the “nightmarish” situation is:
- What if, RBI reduces the limit of forex for overseas education to say $50,000 a year? Very likely and it will have an impact.
- What if, RBI instructs forex to be only used for education at Post Graduate level and if at Undergraduate level, then only at institutions that are in top 500 in the world? Far fetched but well… not impossible considering that Indian Government wants only such institutions to work with Indian institutions.
- What if, RBI refuse to increase the upper limit on education loans for overseas education? The limit has not changed for last 10 years and now with the current rate of forex, it barely covers the first year costs only.
- What if RBI restricts forex for vocational type education that they may believe to be a non-priority?
All this is hypothetical at this stage but well, situation with regards to forex reserves in India is dire and anything is possible especially in the election year when the Government is under pressure to chain the rate of exchange and to reduce the demand for forex. The government is also under pressure from the opposition that seems to believe that overseas education leads to brain drain and wealth drain… An unfortunate scenario!
“Migrants should be called CALD” and Australian Culture = “Edna Everidge, pavlova, fish and chips, Australian Rules football, the summer barbecue and drinks after work”
AUSSIE workers have been urged to soften their strine and avoid traditional slang, in a Federal Government push to make workplaces more migrant friendly.
Bosses should stop calling migrants “ethnic” because it might be discriminatory – and instead use the politically correct term “CALD”, or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse.
Casual swearing should also be avoided, as it may appear provocative or aggressive.
Despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s penchant for obscure Aussie colloquialisms, the Immigration Department is frowning upon strine and slang in the workplace, in a new guide for employers.
The official document warns the Australian accent can baffle even English-speaking migrants, and tells bosses and workmates to speak slowly, clearly and simply.
“Keep in mind common Australian expressions may be misunderstood, for example, ‘bring a plate’, ‘this machine is cactus’ and ‘he really spat the dummy that time’.
“For some people, casual swearing may also be seen as aggressive or provocative and new employees may not be sure how to respond.
“If it appears your new employee is baffled by the sense of humour and the jokes of your other employees, have someone help them out.”
“Referring to someone as an ‘ethnic’ is not acceptable, given its assumptions and stereotypes, and connotations between the term and other racial slurs such as ‘wog’, ‘chink’ and other discriminatory labels,” its fact sheet states.
The Harmony in the Workplace guide says Australian culture can seem “alien” to migrants – including “Edna Everidge, pavlova, fish and chips, Australian Rules football, the summer barbecue and drinks after work”.
It tells bosses that migrants are “entitled to wear religious dress at work unless it creates a safety hazard”.
“If items of clothing cover the face you can ask an employee to show their face for reasonable identification purposes,” it states.
ACCI director of employment Jenny Lambert said bosses were entitled to set dress standards and make staff wear uniforms.
“There is no doubt employees can have uniform codes, although many workers may also wear a turban if the employer says it’s OK,” she said.
The Harmony in the Workplace guide also explains that some migrant workers will need time off work for prayer.
Multicultural Affairs Minister Kate Lundy launched the “harmony” guide and fact sheets last week.
One in four Australian workers was born overseas, and 17 per cent hail from non-English speaking countries.
AUSSIE WORKPLACE TRANSLATION
Sickie – day off sick
Bludger – lazy person
Flat out – busy
Offsider – assistant
Stoked – pleased
Stuffed – tired
Compo – compensation
Smoko – coffee break
Hard yakka – hard work
Arvo – afternoon
Cuppa – a cup of tea or coffee
She’ll be right – it will be OK
You bewdy – excellent
Cactus – broken
Fair dinkum – true
Spit the dummy – get upset
Give it a burl – try it
Knock – criticise
Bring a plate – of food to share
Mate’s rate – discount for friends
No worries – everything’s OK
Tee up – set up an appointment
The above has been taken from a news article on the News Network and to read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/strewth-aussie-workers-told-to-cut-the-slang/story-fncynjr2-1226694726246#ixzz2bbsTNvIo
After more than 2 years of media reports, US Authorities finally act and order closure of University of Northern Virginia… leaving Indian students searching for answers…
In March 2011 itself, The Chronicle of Higher Education in an article Little-Known Colleges Exploit and covering the Tri-Valley University Scam wrote…
More than 30 students are squeezed into a classroom at the University of Northern Virginia, located in a series of office buildings in the suburbs of Washington. Soft drinks have been provided, along with bags of chips, a bowl of salsa, and dozens of cupcakes. But the students, all of them Indian, aren’t interested in the snacks. They have heard about the federal raid at Tri-Valley and have one question: Will their university be next?
It seems that the time has finally arrived after two years and yes; their University too has been ordered closure. To understand the mindset of such institutions, read on to what that article of 2011 reported…
In an attempt to reassure them, Northern Virginia’s chancellor, David V. Lee, explains how the university was extremely careful to follow regulations. He concedes that there had been trouble in the past. A recruiter working for the college in India was “throwing I-20′s up into the air and letting the wind blow them around,” Mr. Lee tells the students. He clarifies later that the recruiter was encouraging applicants to falsify the I-20 immigration documents so they could come to the United States. That recruiter, he says, was let go.
The students seem unsatisfied, grilling officials on the details of the university’s compliance with immigration law. Their suspicions are understandable: Northern Virginia’s business model looks a lot like Tri-Valley’s.
The heart of that model, according to Daniel Ho, its founder and the majority owner, is its ability to enroll foreign students in the United States. Nearly all of its students are here on visas, and the vast majority are from India. Like Tri-Valley, Northern Virginia has students who live in other states, some as far away as New York and Ohio, but university officials insist that, unlike Tri-Valley, those students—most of whom study computer science or business administration—commute regularly to Virginia to attend classes.
Still, much of how the university operates remains unclear. When asked how many students it has, Mr. Lee answers “between 1,000 and 2,000.” According to Virginia government records, the university had 1,216 students this past fall, but that doesn’t take into account the thousands of students working toward Northern Virginia degrees overseas.
How many other so-called partner institutions award University of Northern Virginia degrees? Mr. Lee says the number is four. Mr. Ho says it’s more than 20, though he doesn’t know the exact figure. He says the university graduates students everywhere in the world except for South America and Australia. They have, according to Mr. Ho, more than 2,000 students in China alone.
“We are very big,” Mr. Ho says with understandable pride.
Daniel Ho is an engaging, energetic presence who’s in his mid-50s but seems younger. He is also an entrepreneur with a hand in multiple businesses. Recently he sat down with a reporter in his corner office at UNVA, offering his guest lemon tea and imported pineapple pastries. Mr. Ho is knowledgeable about a range of foodstuffs, in part because he owns three grocery stores in the Washington metropolitan area. The headquarters of his grocery business, Super Q Mart International Food, is in the same building as the university.
Until 2008, UNVA was accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which is federally recognized. That accreditation was revoked, though neither the university nor the council would say why. The university now claims accreditation from the little-known American University Accreditation Council, which is not recognized by the Department of Education. The accreditor, however, has a professional-looking Web site featuring a photograph of new graduates, dressed in caps and gowns, holding their diplomas aloft in front of a billowing American flag. The site also has a photo of a modern office building, presumably its headquarters.
But drive to the address on the contact page and instead you’ll find a bustling auto-body repair shop. That shop, it turns out, is owned by Gary Zhu, acting chairman of the board at UNVA. Reached at the Szechuan-style restaurant he also owns, Mr. Zhu said he’s never attended a board meeting held by American University Accreditation Council, though he did agree to serve on the board. When asked who runs the accreditor, he named Mr. Ho.
Mr. Ho says that’s not true. When told that the electronic file containing the accreditor’s by-laws appears to have been created by him in July 2009, Mr. Ho acknowledges writing the by-laws but says that was the extent of his involvement. He says he hasn’t been in touch with his university’s accreditor in years and can’t name anyone who works there. He is surprised to learn that the headquarters was an auto-body repair shop.
The university says that 357 foreign students are working while attending Northern Virginia; four of those students work in the accounting department at Mr. Ho’s grocery business. While he won’t say exactly how much his university earns, he hints that revenue is well above $10-million a year.
“It is very profitable,” Mr. Ho says, leaning back in his chair. “Very profitable.”
So who is regulating UNVA? In granting approval to admit international students, the federal government relies, in part, on an individual state’s certification that a college meets its requirements to operate.
But even Mr. Ho admits that the agency in Virginia that oversees colleges is “not tough,” though he contends that California is even more lenient. Besides, according to Virginia officials, the state has no authority over the programs the university runs outside its borders. When asked if he could simply sell degrees overseas, Mr. Ho responds, “absolutely” but argues vigorously that he would never endanger his reputation by doing so.
“I can sell degrees. I can sell diplomas. But I won’t,” he says. “Who’s going to supervise me, control me? Myself.”
Newspapers today are reporting that… the University has been ordered to be closed and students (MOSTLY INDIAN) are once again facing similar dilemmas as they faced when Tri Valley was ordered to be closed.
If you never got to experience the thrill of a fraternity rush at the University of Northern Virginia, the electricity of a basketball game featuring the UNVA Fighting Commuters, or the silent satisfaction of having your F-1 visa application validated, your opportunities are gone. (If they were ever there.) The University of NoVa, operating out of the ground floor of an office building on Little River Turnpike in Annandale, has been ordered to cease and desist after 15 years of operation, due mostly to the fact that it has been unaccredited by any recognized group for five years now, and also because it failed four audits by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia which indicated failure to hire “qualified faculty” or use “appropriate curriculum content.” Which are key elements in any good university.
… from this link on Washington Post
- What took two years to act when the issues related to the institution had already been reported in March of 2011 and was known to authorities.
- And… please desist from blaming education agents this time atleast. The modus operandi is already known from Tri-Valley experience and most students then (even from India) were recruited onshore in the US. I continue to question the visa grants and the system that allows students to move from one institution to another so easily. I continue to question the vast difference in quality that exists in US between one and the other “accredited” University.
TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge re-start your lobbying. Your test disadvantages as only IELTS suits Aussie bound International students.
It pains me when I write this. There was a time when IELTS and OET were the only English proficiency tests accepted by Australia for visa purposes. Several years ago, I and my colleagues at AAERI had led the battle for acceptance of other tests as equivalent to IELTS. The efforts had resulted in successful acceptance of the other tests for the “student visas”. The immigration site announced in 2011 that…
From 5 November 2011, the department will accept test results from the following specified English language tests for Student visa purposes taken in any country:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based test (TOEFL iBT)
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (also known as Certificate in Advanced English).
It was kinda victory for many of us and I blogged ecstatically on it at that time. TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge too increased their marketing pitch and invested heavily in markets such as India.
However, they did not realise that it was in reality a bluff. In the months that followed, Australia rolled out the SVP (Streamline Visa Processing) and also announced PSW (Post Study Work). Both turned out to be the sole drivers for an upward trend in student numbers from around the world.
University degree students now applied for visa now under SVP where the role of ensuring the English proficiency level of a student was bestowed on the Universities and the Department of Immigration hence in a way was not really concerned if the student was taking the IELTS or the newly included PTE or CAE for such students. They left it to the Universities joining the SVP to ensure this aspect. The Universities could and are also accepting students who may have met other evidences to demonstrate their English abilities such as their own English Placement Tests or as in some cases even the medium of instruction being English. Hence, introduction of SVP meant that the gains from lobbying leading to inclusion of PTE or CAE or TOEFL was wasted.
The real slight on these tests was however the PSW guidelines. Post Study Work is the other tool used to turn around the dipping student interest in Australia. Its initiation at a time when UK has withdrawn the same plus the fact that PSW is not linked to any occupation category is of critical importance. Apart from the duration of study, the only requirement that Immigration has prescribed is that the student must meet the English proficiency and the only tests that they are accepting for doing this is the IELTS or OET. And beat this, while the general validity of IELTS is for two years, for the purpose of PSW they would accept a test score that is within three years. The immigration site states…
The English language requirement is Competent English, which is a minimum score of 6 in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or the equivalent score in another English language test specified by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for use with this visa. The English language test must have been undertaken in the three years prior to lodging the visa application.
For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485, only IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) results are acceptable. Currently, English language tests other than IELTS and the OET are only acceptable in the student visa program. The department will evaluate the implementation of alternative English tests in the student visa program before making any decisions to expand their acceptability to other visa programs.
So lets look at these facts:
- Almost all the students aspiring to study in Australia for a degree is also looking at the Post Study Work opportunities to gain experience… Hence if a student has taken PTE or TOEFL or CAE and met the equivalence, the student can get admission and even study in Australia but if he will have to take the IELTS at some stage and get the required score. So in a way, the IELTS is not being replaced by the other tests. The message to the student is loud and clear: Take only the IELTS if you want to meet the requirement for study AND for the post study work.
Is this fair… Not at all… If a student can meet the equivalence to IELTS through the other tests, the student has met the equivalence generally and that should be enough for PSW. PSW is now an instrinsic part of the student’s decision to study in Austraia and almost part of a package with studies. The immigration allows it be be marketed by the institutions as an attractiveness for Australia as a destination.
Pearsons, Cambridge and TOEFL: Time to restart your lobbying once again. It will soon be two years since you gained some kind of acceptance and it is now time for immigration to accept your scores as equivalent to IELTS for Post Study Work too which is part and parcel of a student’s plans in Australia.
Students: Till then you should only take the IELTS if you want to avoid the need to spend money and time in taking the test later on. Only IELTS (and OET) is accepted for PSW and you must have a 6 in all bands. Even if an institution accepts you as having met the english proficiency requirement due to these other tests, you will be forced to take the IELTS once in Australia if you want the PSW. Why not take it right in the beginning…
WHICH CITY offers the best return on investment to an International Student? A report analyses cities for precisely this information… Montreal top and Delhi at bottom of those assessed.
We have seen several ranking on “Which University” but that doesn’t put any value on the location of the University. Which city offers the best Return on Investment to an International Student? This is what the Bank of Communication Sea Turtle Index and the report published by The Economist aims to assessing.
I am quoting the executive summary of the report below… The link to the full report is provided at the end of this blog…
As the pace of globalisation accelerates and demand for higher education grows, global student mobility is on the rise. In 2010, more than 4.1m tertiary students were enrolled outside their country of citizenship, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Prospective students who want to study abroad, and their parents, face a staggering choice of locations in which to do so. Of course, the quality of the educational offering is crucial. Yet this is often not the sole consideration. Other factors include the potential for returns on financial and real-estate investments, the availability of work experience opportunities for graduates and the depth of cultural experience that an educational location will offer.
The Bank of Communications Sea Turtle Index takes all these factors into account in ranking 80 cities by the overall potential return on an undergraduate education at institutions in those cities. The index considers:
- Educational returns: how highly valued the education is elsewhere in the world, balanced against whether it represents good value for money.
- Financial returns: how open the investment environment is to non-nationals, and how high are policy, economic and currency volatility risks that may affect returns on investments.
- Realestate returns: the potential of the local real estate market, the likely returns on investment in the form of rent and how taxes will affect those returns.
- Work-experience: the openness of the local job market to overseas skilled applicants, whether overseas students are supported by their university in seeking jobs and whether the local economy offers high-pay, low-tax opportunities.
- Social experience: whether students are exposed to world-class cultural experiences and can study among a truly multicultural student body.
To compile the index, different weightings were ascribed to sub-indices representing each of these five factors (themselves compiled from a variety of separate indicators). Educational returns received the highest weighting since, ultimately, this factor is likely to influence most people’s decisions more strongly than any other. A full explanation of the index methodology is available in the Appendix to this paper.
This report analyses the results of the headline Sea Turtle Index and sub-indices representing each of the five factors. Its main findings include:
An open environment pays dividends.
The importance of an environment that is open to overseas students and their investor parents is strongly reflected in the index. The city of Montreal in Canada takes first place for this reason. The quality of education at institutions in the city is important, but Canada’s welcoming immigration policies, offering good opportunities for employment after graduation, also make it an appealing destination. Its comparative openness to foreign investors and its cultural diversity also boost its attractiveness as a destination for international undergraduates.
Richer Asian cities score highly
The index reveals a shifting educational landscape, with some of Asia’s more affluent cities scoring highly. Hong Kong makes it to third place in the headline index, while some cities with younger universities in emerging markets come out surprisingly strongly. Several Asian cities make it into the top 30 overall, with many—including Beijing, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei—appearing high up in the five sub-indices. Hong Kong’s high overall ranking reflects an appealing combination of openness to investment, soaring real-estate returns and an increasingly high-quality education.
Cost and limited workexperience potential push down many US cities
Since the index takes into account more than just educational quality, some cities hosting leading educational institutions—particularly in the US—emerge weaker than expected. This is the case for Boston,2 which is the highest-ranked US city at seventh place overall, despite the exemplary educational quality of many of its educational institutions. Their relatively lower scores in terms of potential work experience after graduation also counts against US cities. The absence of visa programmes that enable graduating foreign students to remain in the jurisdiction to conduct a job hunt is one reason for this.
Bang for the educational buck: Asia is increasingly appealing
The sub-index ranking educational returns shows that the UK cities of Cambridge, Oxford and London continue to offer the best education after factoring in value for money and the cost of living. But Asian universities also perform well, with three Asian cities—Seoul, Beijing and Taipei—featuring in the top ten. Along with the improving quality of education on offer at institutions in Asia, value for money is also a significant consideration, giving these cities a comparative advantage. In addition, many Asian universities—particularly in China—are forming joint ventures with prestigious long-established Western universities, giving students the best of both worlds: affordability and quality education.
Beyond growth rates: foreign-friendly rules play a role
Strong GDP growth rates are only valuable to foreign investors if they are accompanied by an open economy and banking system. Factoring in these two indicators means developed markets dominate the top ten on the sub-index measuring financial returns—and Hong Kong, famed for the openness of its economy, is at the very top. In a global regulatory environment that is increasingly suspicious of offshore investments, and with stricter taxation being applied in several locations, some developed markets (including some Swiss, American and French cities) fare poorly in this factor.
Canada and Australia’s generous visa rules offer good work experience potential: Cities in Canada and Australia dominate the work experience sub-index, thanks to progressive, open policies that seek not only to attract students from all over the world but also to give them the opportunity to contribute to the dynamism of their economies. Canada allows students to stay on after graduation for as many years as their course lasted (with a minimum of eight months and a maximum of three years), without requiring a work sponsor. Australia allows people with bachelor degrees to stay on for two years, also without a work sponsor.
Cultural vibrancy: Western names still at the top
Unsurprisingly, the cities that have long been known as the world’s most culturally vibrant remain near the top of the social experience sub-index. It would be surprising if cities such as London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris did not score highly in this respect. However, a city’s appeal can often have a lot to do with how well it has promoted its brand internationally. In this respect, Singapore (in fourth place in the social experience sub-index) has done well, helping boost its position in the overall Sea Turtle Index to 12th place.
I remember my school days when I too, like several of my mates aspired for the prized Duke of Edinburgh’s awards… I had reached the Silver level of the awards though just didn’t have it in me to to pursue the ardous treks that took up vacations of the boarding life to get to the Gold or as we referred to at my school as the Duke’s Blazer. Those who got it were able to wear a different coloured blazer to identify them from rest of us. There was also an aspect of “scoping” linked to them and by this I mean that those who wanted to be nominated as prefects often made an extra effort to seek out the blazer… I often felt that it was the aspiration to be the “nominated” leader of the herd that got the aspirants charged up and not really the value of the award by itself. Many found out that Indian Universities also didn’t really give much weight to the award and so that may have also led to a drop in interest. In recent years I have not heard of the Duke awards much in my alma mater.
Now even the Duke Awards have an identity crisis. This is natural considering the fact that the earlier route of Elite Schooling leading to Elite University Education leading to Elite Careers is giving way to the realisation that today’s workforce needs different skills and more and more are getting disillusioned with the mere degree that they receive and which still leaves them unemployed. The focus is also moving to towards “vocational education” as they are seen better as “job ready” qualifications.
Hence this week, Duke of York, Prince Andrew, announced a new award for technical education modelled on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award started by his father in 1956.
The Duke of York Award will issue bronze, silver and gold certificates for a combination of vocational qualifications, work experience and skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and communications.
In an article titled ‘No regrets’ not going going to uni, from The Australian quoting The Times…
THE DUKE of York has called for greater respect for young people who train to be machinists, builders or technicians, saying that vocational skills deserve a higher status.
Prince Andrew said that the “conventional route” of A levels leading straight to university did not suit everyone and alternatives should be better recognised.
This week he announced a new award for technical education modelled on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award started by his father in 1956.
The Duke of York Award will issue bronze, silver and gold certificates for a combination of vocational qualifications, work experience and skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and communications.
Prince Andrew said: “The conventional route is as good as any, but there are other ways of doing it, and not everybody fits into it. There is another side to this. The conventional education may not fit the needs of the workplace.
“In fact, I think there is already a mismatch between what qualifications we are producing and what the workplace needs. So let’s open the opportunities up.
“I don’t want young people to feel that they are being told they are not good enough to do something. At no stage should anything in their education be de-motivational.”
The Duke said that he had never regretted not going to university and that he was fortunate that when he was at Gordonstoun School, Morayshire, the focus was much broader than exam grades.
It was “an education of the whole person, not just from the neck up”, he said. “So it wasn’t totally focused and driven, and this was the days before we had league tables and exam results being the be-all and end-all and teaching for the exam.”
The launch of the Duke of York Award for Technical Education marks a stepping up of Prince Andrew’s work supporting skills, science and enterprise, on which he has focused since quitting as envoy for UK Trade and Industry in 2011 after a series of controversies.
Sour Grapes, Hot Potatoes, Go Banana, Apples vs Oranges, Rotten Apple, Carrot & Stick, Crushed Cherry, and Biwi Kiwi: My “Education” notes from NZ visit.
This week was so well spent in New Zealand indeed. My first touchdown in this country was 13 years ago and I clearly remember that the country at that time was not so easy for Vegetarians like me then. However, now it has certainly become more understanding even though my breakfasts and lunches included an overdose of fruits and vegetables that the thoughts that linger on include fruits still…
I had done my homework before this important visit to “avoid” NOT KNOWING BEANS or to be FULL OF BEANS. This blog is not to “SPILL THE BEANS” but will briefly touch upon the key bullet points that concern NZ Education Export to India.
Go Banana: As I boarded the early morning Air NZ flight to Wellington, what woke me up “literally” was the best ever SAFETY INSTRUCTION VIDEO that I have ever ever seen in any of the flights that I have experienced. Yes, I did watch it from beginning to end and then also googled for a copy of the same… This was the introduction to the NZ ingenuity and I encourage you to watch it before you go further on this blog… You will “GO BANANA” on it…
Hot Potato: The “outgoing student numbers” from India is shrinking and in an earlier blog I have seemed to disturb the apple-cart projections of several so-called experts. Indian numbers to Big Five English speaking destinations (including US) has reduced to about 40% of what was in 2009. The situation hence for all the education exporters to India can be described as HOT POTATO… This was the declining trend that has bothered NZ strategists too and so hopefully my inputs helped…
Apples versus Oranges: The Big Five are US, UK, Australia, Canada and NZ. However comparing the trends between them indicate that we are often comparing APPLES with ORANGES. The reasons for students to go to the countries differ and if you take a closer look, you find that while while US has been on a steady and gradual decline over the last few years, Australia and UK have seen a significant growth and then a significant drop, Canada has seen a definite growth and now a slowing down and NZ has held itself around 5000-6000 Indian students a year for several years now. The reasons for the “education” being more with “migration outcomes” is more with NZ and Canada than with other destinations though Post Study Work and Settlement continues to be a factor for 90% of Indian students seeking education overseas. You may say that there is a decline of about 10% this year but then, it is also a fact that as a market share, NZ has actually increased… 5000 of 150000 Indian students in 2009 to 5000 of 60000 in 2012… Certainly a commendable increase of marketshare… Infact the marketshare for NZ of the total Indian outgoing student numbers has increase by 300% over the last five years… The Private Providers and Polytechnics are getting more Indian students and the visa does not differentiate. Hence, comparing the experiences of one with the other can be similar to comparing APPLES with ORANGES….
Carrot: NZ needs to identify the “migration pathway at the most economical price” as the CARROT that it can dangle.
Rotten Apple: The one sector within the education space in NZ that needs more regulations or self regulation are the PTEs. Quality extremes are visible and while there is greater acceptance for commercial vendors in today’s world, some continue to be more about finding “loopholes” than delivering the “quality”. Similarly there are a few polytechnics who seem to moving towards aping the business models of the lower quality PTEs and some are moving into the University space. The challenge for the regulators is to pick out the ROTTEN APPLES and discipline them or isolate them to avoid rotting of the entire basket. A CARROT and STICK approach required. Possibly through the Australian style SVP (Streamline Visa Processing) methodology that can be offered to chosen and complying institutions.
Sour Grapes: NZ is unique in a way that the various sectors (PTEs, Polytechnics and Universities) sometimes offer the same course being sought by the student. Hence for the student, the differentiating lines tend to smudge between the sectors and as ROI becomes an issue, the hard sell of the lower institutions can win over the difficult process of higher institutions. Then instead of focussing on making their internal processes and fee proposition as attractive, the complain often points at the short-cuts adopted by the others. SOUR GRAPES possibly.
Forbidden Fruit: NZ Universities generally are far more conservative than the Universities in other countries and have very high standards. There is a need to convey their strengths to the world in a way that they do not remain a FORBIDDEN FRUIT. My only concern is that the employers that we met seemed to be considering the graduates of the Universities and the Polytechnics to be “like two peas in a pod” and the same applies also to the Immigration NZ as far as visa processing for the two sectors are concerned. With the focus moving towards final outcomes more than experience, the other sectors are gaining over the Universities. It can change with some efficiencies on part of the NZ Universities especially in the minds of Indian parents who remain in possession of mindsets that favour degrees over diplomas and Universities over Polytechnics… How and Who will devise the strategy is the question. Does it not bother the Universities that their approach and need to keep doing recruitment visits to attract students even after being in India for 15 years indicate that the brand has just not been communicated adequately. Pull is missing… and differentials gradually weaning.
Crushed Cherry: Two years ago when the Eathquake hit Christchurh, I had done a blog titled EARTHQUAKE CANNOT QUAKE NZ’S ZEAL and I was hence looking forward to my visit to Christchurch. The city definitely is a CRUSHED CHERRY but the remarkable thing is the way it is going about with the REBUILDING process. The amount of science and engineering that is now going into the 10 year plan is so forward looking and I am sure the world will have a new Christchurch soon. It was my favourite Kiwi city and will remain so once again just because of this quality and determination. The students and employers that we met indicate that the potential at this time is immense. Jobs linked to reconstruction are aplenty. Property prices are up and the economy is once again moving upwards with migrations and returns into the city. Strong recommendations to all Civil Engineers and Urban Planners and all other such skills to consider the Canterbury region for their future.
Students go to Universities for “experience” and not for “education”. Hence, ONLINE OFFERINGS cannot replace traditional Universities… Sorry experts.
High Costs continue to make quality education “out of reach” of more and more students each year and this impact is felt even more in the third world’s aspiration for International education. The news of USD climbing sharply and touching close to Rs 60 is real bad news for thousands of students as without a change in tuition fees, just the dollar conversion will make education in the big apple even more expensive. And don’t forget that with fewer international students being able to pay the fees and the government funding going down, the Universities have to keep jacking up the tuition fees anyways… It is indeed a vicious cycle.
The result of this is before us and as I blogged some days ago, the real data of student visa issuance from India is indicating clearly that FEWER STUDENTS ARE HEADING OVERSEAS now as compared to five years ago.
Here jump in the experts… Instead of advising on ways to cut costs in the traditional universities, they have started prescribing that more and more degrees are offered ONLINE and that the future lies in the delivery ONLINE and some even predict an end for the traditional Universities… What’s hilarious is the fact that many say that the Universities have failed and by naming a few like Gates, Jobs or for the matter in India, Dhirubhai… they say that the University doesn’t matter…
So, lets take it one by one…
Does the traditional University matter and can we simply replace it with Online degree?
The obvious answer to the above is that not everyone is Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. That’s true, and that’s why there’s no college ‘bubble’ forming. Indeed, if we were all like Jobs or Gates, it’s fair to assume that the ‘bubble’ would have already popped. But since we’re not, since very few of us have the entrepreneurial gene, most of us will work for someone else coming out of college.
Because we will, education matters. It matters once again not because of what we’re taught, but because where we go says a lot about how smart we are. College tuition is the price paid by parents and ambitious teens to slot them for future employment. Even without government subsidies, tuition for the name schools would still be high simply because parents and kids will pay enormous amounts for something scarce in the form of an elite degree that carries weight with employers. On the other hand, online education, precisely because it represents the opposite of scarce means it brings with it very little job-attaining value.
And Do we really go to the University only for the degree?
Though skyrocketing tuition and a growing anti-government tide are seemingly swimming against traditional university education, the true educational bubble forming is in the online space.
Yet to hear and read the pundits, online education is set to transform how we learn. Thanks to technology and the internet, kids anywhere in the world can be instructed by the world’s best professors. To buy all the giddy commentary is to believe that traditional college education will meet its maker thanks to crushing cost pressures from the online world. To put it plainly, why pay $50,000+ annually for undergraduate business instruction at Vanderbilt or SMU if for a fraction of the cost you can learn equities from Jeremy Siegel at Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? How about political science classes taught by Bill Clinton?
It all sounds so good and promising, until we realize that college is not about learning much as we might wish it were. Online education would erase traditional schooling if learning were truly the purpose of attending Princeton, or if employers cared what was learned at Princeton.
But when parents spend a fortune on their children’s schooling they’re not buying education; rather they’re buying the ‘right’ friends for them, the right contacts for the future, access to the right husbands and wives, not to mention buying their own (“Our son goes to Williams College”) status. The same is true for students taking out loans.
With university education jaw-droppingly expensive, it’s often asked what in terms of instruction kids are getting in return for the huge cost. Of course that’s a false question. Parents and kids once again aren’t buying education despite their protests to the contrary. Going to college is a status thing, not a learning thing. Kids go to college for the experience, not for what’s taught.
There’s no college-education ‘bubble’ forming simply because teens go to college with an eye on a fun four years, after which they hope the school they attend will open doors for a good job. Online education only offers learning that the markets don’t desire, and because it does, its presumed merits are greatly oversold. There’s your ‘bubble.’
This BLOG has quoted from FORBES article ONLINE EDUCATION WILL BE THE NEXT “BUBBLE” TO POP, NOT TRADITIONAL UNIVERSITY LEARNING. Of-course, laced with my “vishesh tippani”.
Yes,the University is not just for “education”… It offers much much more… If there was no Harvard Experience for Mark Zuckerberg, would there have been the Social Media revolution… Certainly Harvard curriculum may not have taught him that, the experience and the situations created by Harvard for him, did. Imagine, Mark being enrolled Online…
The experts who still prescribe ONLINE OFFERINGS need to visit India… They will realise the perception of ONLINE degrees only as options for discards… Lets not create the two tier… So can the costs for traditional Universities come down… Yes it can… Embrace Online in the processes. Stop printing brochures, Increase the class sizes, Reduce the number of course offerings to only the strength areas and become focussed and involve more “PG scholarship students” in teaching of undergraduates. Some say that it will compromise on quality but it will certainly be better than going totally online…
Students don’t go to Universities for “education”. International students don’t go overseas for “education”. They go for “experience” which online cannot deliver…
Australia announces new SOL effective 1st July 2013. Accountants continue to be on it negating all rumours spread by migration agents.
For a few months, the blogs and advise issued by several migration agents referred to an article from The Australian of January of this year (CHANGE IN MIGRATION LIST ADDS UP TO FEAR). Thereafter several migration agents gave out differing interpretations to this and an impression was created that accountants would cease to be on the SOL from July. However, it has all turned up to be incorrect and “just smoke without any fire whatsoever” and this day, DIAC has released the new SOL. The following is taken from the list on http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/skilled-occupation-list.htm
Annual Update of Skilled Occupation List – 1 July 2013
The Skilled Occupation List
The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will change from 1 July 2013, with five occupations to be removed. The SOL determines which occupations are eligible for independent and family sponsored skilled migration.
The updated SOL is based on expert advice from the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency (previously known as Skills Australia). The list of occupations reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to a skilled migration program that delivers skills in need in Australia. The SOL will continue to deliver a skilled migration program focused on high value skills that will help to address Australia’s future skill needs.
Summary of changes to the SOL
The following changes have been applied to the SOL.
Occupations removed from the SOL
|323111||Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)|
|323112||Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)|
|323113||Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures)|
Occupations on the SOL from 1 July 2013
|133111||Construction Project Manager|
|133513||Production Manager (Mining)|
|134111||Child Care Centre Manager|
|134212||Nursing Clinical Director|
|134213||Primary Health Organisation Manager|
|134214||Welfare Centre Manager|
|232214||Other Spatial Scientist|
|232611||Urban and Regional Planner|
|233513||Production or Plant Engineer|
|233611||Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum)|
|234611||Medical Laboratory Scientist|
|234914||Physicist (Medical Physicist only)|
|241111||Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher|
|241411||Secondary School Teacher|
|241511||Special Needs Teacher|
|241512||Teacher of the Hearing Impaired|
|241513||Teacher of the Sight Impaired|
|241599||Special Education Teachers nec|
|251211||Medical Diagnostic Radiographer|
|251212||Medical Radiation Therapist|
|251213||Nuclear Medicine Technologist|
|251311||Environmental Health Officer|
|251312||Occupational Health and Safety Advisor|
|253111||General Medical Practitioner|
|253311||Specialist Physician (General Medicine)|
|253317||Intensive Care Specialist|
|253322||Renal Medicine Specialist|
|253324||Thoracic Medicine Specialist|
|253399||Specialist Physicians nec|
|253517||Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon|
|253912||Emergency Medicine Specialist|
|253913||Obstetrician and Gynaecologist|
|253917||Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist|
|253999||Medical Practitioners nec|
|254412||Registered Nurse (Aged Care)|
|254413||Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)|
|254414||Registered Nurse (Community Health)|
|254415||Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)|
|254416||Registered Nurse (Development Disability)|
|254417||Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)|
|254418||Registered Nurse (Medical)|
|254421||Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)|
|254422||Registered Nurse (Mental Health)|
|254423||Registered Nurse (Perioperative)|
|254424||Registered Nurse (Surgical)|
|254499||Registered Nurse nec|
|261111||ICT business Analyst|
|263111||Computer Network and Systems Engineer|
|263312||Telecommunications Network Engineer|
|312211||Civil Engineering Draftsperson|
|312212||Civil Engineering Technician|
|312311||Electrical Engineering Draftsperson|
|312312||Electrical Engineering Technician|
|313211||Radio Communications Technician|
|313212||Telecommunications Field Engineer|
|313213||Telecommunications Network Planner|
|313214||Telecommunications Technical Officer or Technologist|
|321211||Motor Mechanic (General)|
|321212||Diesel Motor Mechanic|
|321214||Small Engine Mechanic|
|322211||Sheetmetal Trades Worker|
|322313||Welder (First Class)|
|323212||Fitter and Turner|
|323214||Metal Machinist (First Class)|
|331211||Carpenter and Joiner|
|332211||Painting trades workers|
|334112||Airconditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber|
|341112||Electrician (Special Class)|
|342111||Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic|
|342212||Technical Cable Jointer|
|342313||Electronic Equipment Trades Worker|
|342314||Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General)|
|342315||Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class)|
|399111||Boat Builder and Repairer|
Indians NOW lead the migrants to Australia but the thats nothing surprising… Why are so many “Pommies” migrating to Australia?
Pommy or Pom
The term pommy, pom or pommie, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa usually denotes a person of British heritage or origin. It was ruled not offensive in 2006 by the Australian Advertising Standards Board and in 2010 by the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Newspapers around the world are recycling the newly released immigration statistics that indicate that Indians have edged past China and Britain to emerge as “the” source country for migrants to Australia. However, this doesn’t surprise me at all since bulk of the IT workers who have been coming on the 457 subclass visas have been Indians and also the huge number of Indian students who were on various bridging type visas over the last few years and so in a way in the queue to settling in the lucky nation.
But what amused me was that the number of people from Britain who have been travelling into Australia as migrants is also quite quite significant and has increased too. Unlike China and India, to an Indian brain, Britain is always seen as a developed nation which would offer less incentive for someone to travel to Australia to settle. This is not the way “Poms” think apparantly and Australia remains an attractive destination for the British…
So I look around for articles which would give some more intelligence on the British thinking and came across this article from The Guardian. I provide some extracts from the same…
Australia is like Britain in the 70s, but without the strikes, the power cuts and punk (too much soft rock here for anyone’s good). Some of the relics are bad. Political correctness doesn’t exist here. British comedy dinosaurs such as Mind Your Language are re-run without complaint.
Sometimes, Australia is so far behind, it’s actually ahead. How I mocked the supermarkets when I first arrived here. Remember Tesco from two decades ago? Basically bearable but with lots of teenagers on work experience, tinned peaches on special, and a 15-minute wait at the deli for two slices of shiny ham? That’s a lot of Aussie supermarkets. THEY DON’T EVEN SELL BOOZE. This, though, has allowed independent butchers, grocers, and vintners to survive and thrive, far more than in the UK. No horsemeat scandal here – most people can name the field or farm where their steak comes from. The Australian food industry’s baby has not been thrown out with the bath water and nothing equine has been added.
Since I’ve lived abroad I’ve realised why we Brits can be so self-deprecating. It’s because we had it all – and lost it all. We know we’re over our peak. We’re the old man of the world. Australia is the young buck nowhere near his peak. That’s pressure. Twenty million people rattle around this enormous continent with potential and optimism. Most come here purposefully for a better life. That makes an enormous difference to a national psyche. The government seems to have incentives for everything. My tax rate (not a Jimmy Carr dodge – completely kosher) as a small business is to die for. The government pays half my childcare bill (not means tested), and Australians – particularly my beloved Tasmanians – will cut off their arm to help you. They are unfailingly friendly and helpful. Just don’t try to change things. They don’t want things changed. Things are fine the way they are unless they say so. Or, as one taxi driver said to me: “You could live here a hundred years and still be our guest. You’ll be treated like a guest but a guest doesn’t try to change the hotel decor.”
So come and give it a go. If you can get through the multiple forms, medical tests, chest X-rays and sniffer beagles at customs (don’t bring foreign fruit – it’s almost like bringing in crack). Just remember, the sun is setting on Australia as part of the empire. This isn’t the place it used to be. Skippy is dead, but long live the new multicultural Australia that is emerging from the ashes of … Ooh – Shhh! Don’t mention the Ashes! They still don’t like losing!