Saturday, July 30, 2011

Study Abroad and World Youth Day in Spain

Seton Hall's University's Center for Catholic Studies and the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture announce the 2011 Study Abroad in Spain including World Youth Day in Madrid.Foundations of Christian Culture: Spain will be conducted in two parts. Six required lectures will be given during the Spring 2011 semester at Seton Hall University’s South Orange Campus. The second part of the course will be held in Summer 2011, at Pamplona’s University of Navarra in Spain. To obtain credit, all course requirements must be fulfilled. The Spain summer study abroad is an experience of living and learning in community in the very heart of the university. During the first week, classes will be held at the University of Navarra and accommodations and meals are provided by Colegio Mayor Santa Clara. The Chapel is available for private prayer as well as the Daily Office. During the second week, accommodations and breakfast will be provided by Colegio Real Universitario Maria Cristina at El Escorial and there will be curriculum related excursions as well as attendance and participation in the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid activities.

Drawing on a variety of sources historical, literary, philosophical and theological this course examines the origins and nature of Christian culture within the Spanish tradition. The course will explore the history of the Iberian Peninsula, with attention to the inter-religious encounters of the Middle Ages and early modern era that shaped Spanish society. The Christian experience will be examined further through the writings of seminal figures such as St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Spanish mystics, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Site visits during the foreign study portion of the course will highlight the cultural legacy of Catholicism in Spain and its continued role in shaping the local community.This trip is part of the Catholic Studies Foreign Study Tour Program and is being held in conjunction with World Youth Day in Madrid. Richard M. Liddy will coordinate the course and other faculty members and special guests will give lectures to the students prior to the trip and Prof. Isabel Warleta of Universidad Complutense of Madrid, will give lectures and lead the site-visits in Spain.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big demand for Arts, Science courses

While Anna University expects more than 25,000 engineering seats to go vacant, there has been an overwhelming demand for arts and science courses this academic year, which has forced the Madras University to increase the number of seats in certain colleges.This trend has come as a striking surprise for many academicians and experts, who feel the sudden increase in employability of arts and science graduates and high course fee for studying engineering could be the driving factors. B.Com, Visual Communication, Bachelors in Computer Applications and Basic Sciences are turning out to be the hot subjects chosen by the students.

There has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of applicants opting for arts and science courses this academic year, according to Madras University Vice Chancellor G Thiruvasagam. Following this, more than 19 colleges had approached Madras University asking for permission to increase the number of seats per course by 20-40 per cent.On an average, the demand was to increase the number of seats by 30 per cent. After a university council meeting on the subject, we have allowed the colleges to increase the number of students per course by 10 per cent, Thiruvasagam told Express. Hence, in the 159 colleges coming under Madras University, each course in Arts stream can now admit 70 students and each course in Science stream 50 students.

While academicians and experts attribute the numbers to increasing availability of jobs, the Madras University V-C pointed out that an increase in first generation students could also have influenced the numbers. Irrespective of economic status, there is a wider awareness on need for education. And going by the trend, we have reasons to believe that most students are first generation learners, which is a good trend,he said.Since most government and government-aided colleges for arts and sciences provide free education and since cost of studying engineering is higher, many first generation students could have preferred the former.”

So, what has suddenly turned the employability wave towards arts and science courses? “The ever expanding services sector is absorbing the arts and sciences students like never before, almost equal to the number of engineering students,the V-C said.Professionals in the field claim that hiring arts and sciences graduates make more economical sense to them.Be it engineering or arts and science, all students need to be trained before they can handle the job. Hence, it makes no difference if the student is from basic sciences background or engineering background, in certain sectors of the job. Further, we can afford to pay lesser to a student from an arts and science college compared to an engineering student, said Jayesh M, HR manager with a top IT firm.Revision of syllabus with the addition of basic computer subjects even for humanities courses has increased employability of our students,said Thiruvasagam.The V-C also said that the employability benefits were not restricted to cities, but had extended to rural areas also.We made recommendation to HCL-BPO to recruit from rural areas. They shortlisted close to 1,600 students from various rural colleges and recruited 1,300 so far.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

MTSU scholars to study abroad

Four MTSU students are recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for fall 2011. With these stipends, the students will study in Jordan, Japan, India and Thailand.Funded by Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman Scholarship program provides grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad,according to the program’s website.

Recipients are selected competitively for these grants, which are used for such expenses as program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.Kristofer Hallfrisch of Westmoreland got a head start on his studies by moving to Irbid, Jordan, in May. He will continue studying Arabic there at Yarmouk University with his $4,500 scholarship until December 2011, when he will return to MTSU to graduate.A Global Studies major with double minors in English and Middle Eastern Studies, Hallfrisch taught English at an orphanage in New Delhi, India, in the summer of 2009.

Kimberly Puckett, an advertising major from Nashville, will delve into Japanese culture with a $2,500 stipend while enhancing her expertise in her minor, Japanese Language.I am hoping since Japan is known for its technology, media and its crazy commercials that maybe I could do something that is related to both my major and minor,said Puckett.Karissa Senn departed for India earlier this month with a $5,000 scholarship for studies at the University of Hyderabad and volunteer work with Asha for Education, a nongovernmental organization that helps residents of India’s urban slums.

Senn, who hails from Kingston Springs, will work to finish her International Relations degree, then pursue a joint graduate program for a master’s degree in International Public Affairs and a law degree.Yosaton Tungmanelatkul, a Global Studies major from Nashville, will study in Thailand equipped with a $4,000 stipend.To find out more about MTSU’s study abroad opportunities.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Universities offering courses to foreign students

In 2001, the Interdisciplinary Center, a small private college in Herzliya, inaugurated a new era in Israeli higher education by offering the country's first bachelor's degree taught entirely in English.For decades, Israeli universities have offered semester, one-year and summer study abroad programs for English-speaking students from around the world, but the Interdisciplinary Center, popularly known as IDC, started a trend that is now being duplicated at universities across Israel.

Israeli universities are now investing their energies in internationalization, says Prof. David Newman, dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.Universities now understand that they have to promote an international profile which focuses on research and full degree programs. Teaching an entire undergraduate course in English is seen as one way of bringing serious students from abroad.

Today, some 25 percent of the 5,000 students at IDC come from abroad. The Raphael Recanati International School at IDC offers undergraduate degree courses in business administration, government, communications and psychology as well as master's degree programs in government, business administration and organizational behavior and development.That makes up close to 1,100 students from 60 different countries all studying for degrees and all taught in English," says Jonathan Davis, IDC vice president and head of the Recanati International School. "That sets and creates a very special atmosphere on this campus. For years, there were many individuals overseas who wanted to come and study in Israel and do a full degree, but because of their lack of knowledge of Hebrew, they couldn't do that.A large percentage of our faculty comes from some of the top universities in the world, and there's a tremendous added value to being in an atmosphere where you have students from so many different countries, says Davis.

Master's programs taught in English:

English-language master's of business administration (MBA) programs are available at a number of Israeli colleges, including Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv and Tel Aviv University which also offers master's programs in Middle Eastern history; teaching English to speakers of other languages; and conflict resolution and mediation.
The University of Haifa also offers an MBA taught in English and plans to increase its annual enrollment of foreign students to 3,000 within five years by launching 20 new international master's programs and strengthening the existing University of Haifa International School.Among the new international MA programs, Haifa is offering graduate degrees in global law; peace and conflict management; creative art therapies; applied child development; Holocaust studies; and interdisciplinary programs in marine sciences.In 2008, Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Science switched the language of instruction for its MBA to English for all students. The Technion American Medical School offers a full four-year medical degree for overseas students. Its International School of Engineering, founded in 2009, offers bachelor of science programs in civil engineering and water resources as well as environmental engineering, and master's degrees in environmental engineering and structural engineering.

Tuitions attractive to overseas students:

This fall, Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan will welcome its first class of students for a BA in interdisciplinary social sciences taught in English. The university offers graduate programs in English in linguistics, clinical research and creative writing, and an international MBA.The university is home to about 400 English-speakers. The campus dormitories and surrounding neighborhoods Ramat Gan, Ramat Amidar and Givat Shmuel are teeming with English-speaking students, as well as alumni who still consider Bar-Ilan their home, notes Rachel Sarafraz, Student Union coordinator of activities for BarIlan's large English-speaking community.Other major universities are expected to follow Bar-Ilan's example. With fees for overseas students at Bar-Ilan set at just $7,500 a year, a decision by Israeli universities to offer a broad range of first-degree courses to English-speaking students could prove an attractive alternative for students faced with rising tuition costs at their home country's universities.

Ben-Gurion University has established a wide variety of international programs for studying in English offered to foreign students. They include an international MD program at the medical school taught jointly with Columbia University in New York, and graduate degrees in linguistics, literature, communications, Middle East studies, mathematics and the politics of conflict.Foreign students can join Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian classmates for graduate degree programs at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers a wide range of MA programs in specialized fields including biblical and Jewish studies. Courses include the Bible and the ancient Near East; religion, Islamic and Middle Eastern studies; Jewish education; Israeli society and politics; and community leadership and philanthropy studies.The Hebrew University has a number of graduate programs that offer practical skills for work in the developing world and society. They include master of science degrees in plant sciences and nutritional sciences at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Environment in Rehovot and an international master of public health program taught at the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical center since 1970.

In fall 2011, the university's Federmann School of Public Policy and Government will launch its global community development studies a new MA program taught in English designed to teach volunteers and professionals working to assist impoverished communities across the world. A new LLM degree in human rights and international law will also be introduced in the coming academic year.At the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, the Feingold Graduate School offers graduate programs leading to master of science and PhD degrees in five major fields of study: physical sciences, chemical sciences, life sciences, mathematics and computer science and science teaching all available to English-speaking graduate students.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DFCC Bank provides loan facilities for Sri Lankan students

DFCC Vardhana Bank, the commercial banking arm of, DFCC Bank provides loan facilities for Sri Lankan students aspiring to engage in higher education activities or to further their professional qualifications in either Sri Lanka or overseas .You may find that a good education can be very expensive to obtain, making you think that the pursuit of higher studies is simply out of reach for you or your child. Our Nenasa student loans will help you or your child reach new heights and go places, said Rohan Tillekeratne, Manager Personal Financial Services of DFCC Vardhana Bank in an interview with Free Hold section of Sunday Times. He noted that the bank is keen to help Sri Lankan students overcome financial obstacles and pursue educational goals.

DFCC has continuously served to empower the youth of the country, through building skills, capacity and general knowledge. DFCC group's popular television quiz program Mind Star which is an example of their commitment to the development of human potential through higher education.The Vardhana Nenasa educational loans scheme has been designed to cater to both undergraduate and postgraduate students seeking education in Sri Lanka and abroad. A special feature of the loan scheme is that it helps youth who are already employed obtain professional qualifications from leading educational institutions such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, as well as locally based private higher educational establishments providing degree programs of reputed foreign universities.

Under the Vardhana Nenasa loan scheme customers have options of obtaining either short or long term facilities at competitive fixed or variable interest rates. Students are benefited by the convenience of being able to obtain these loans within a short period by providing all necessary documentation in a streamlined manner, where the Bank's officers will provide all necessary documentation and instructions to the loan applicant at the initial meeting. Loans can be obtained by parents on behalf of children who are looking to gain professional or higher educational qualifications, he revealed.

DFCC Vardhana bank has grown from strength to strength over the past eight years since its inception, and has over 44 branches that offer lending facilities including Nenasa student loans he said. DVB is one of the fastest growing commercial banks in Sri Lanka to have achieved in excess of 100 presences including Sri Lanka post office locations in regional and rural areas within a very short time period.This rapid rate of expansion coupled with the bank's vast network spanning every single district in the country, ensures that they are with the reach to every single one of its consumers and the majority of Sri Lankans. Therefore parents almost anywhere today in Sri Lanka are able to reach the bank for these loan facilities conveniently he added.. This is a uniquely styled education loan where customers can select a repayment scheme and interest rate to suit their budget. This loan scheme enables coustituents to apply for loans based on their income levels, age and purpose of the loan, all of which gives them full flexibility.

The Vardhana Nenasa loans are currently one of the few grants which support undergraduate, post graduate and MBA studies as well. Permanently employed parents can borrow with the student as co-borrower. These loans will cover majority cost of course fees, living expenses etc while direct remittance to the university is also possible he said.The Vardhana Nenasa lending scheme, backed by the strength and stability of the DFCC Group, is mainly targeted at the increasing demand for the funding of foreign education by Sri Lankans. DFCC holds education in high esteem and this corporate attribute is reflected in financing higher education countywide, Mr. Tillekeratne said.Referring to The Vardhana Nenasa students loan scheme being offered for both Undergraduate and post grad studies here and abroad, he added this scheme provides parents the comfort that their child's future higher education is financially secure.

Sri Lankan parents pay over 60 million US dollars annually to educate their children overseas. The actual figure could be much higher. "Every year 8,000 to 10,000 student leave Sri Lankan shores seeking foreign education, in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.Under such circumstances the Vardhana Nenasa student loan scheme will be of immense benefit to such students he said. Through this education loan scheme, parents will be able to have an affordable option to meet the financial burden of their children's higher education be it here in Sri Lanka or overseas, making it possible for students to gain even an internationally recognized qualifications with relative ease, he said.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Low fees, star lecturers and good facilities are proving increasingly attractive to British students

When the next generation of bright young architecture students begins plotting its route to Arb-registration, language lessons and visa applications are increasingly likely to feature.With tuition fees about to go through the roof in Britain, US scholarships and the continent’s state-subsidised schools will seem pretty tempting, even if you need fluent Italian or German to land a place.It has been an open secret among part IIs for a while, but doing the full five years abroad may soon become more common. At £900 a year in Switzerland instead of up to £9,000 in Britain, it’s easy to see why.

Breathtakingly low fees are by no means the only attraction, though. The first-class facilities and variety of courses at places like ETH and Mendrisio, both in Switzerland, are putting the pressure on UK schools.But the single biggest draw is the tutors. Some of Britain’s best architects names like David Chipperfield, Tony Fretton, Jonathan Sergison and Adam Caruso are taking up professorships in Europe and the States and the most ambitious students are following them.Since so many students get jobs at practices with links to the colleges they studied at, this exodus is motivated by more than purely intellectual interest.

Francis Fawcett, now working for Herzog & de Meuron in London, was taught by the Swiss architects in his second year at ETH. He is one of a dozen or so recent Cambridge graduates to have studied at the Zurich school, a trend bolstered by Cambridge’s lack of a design-led diploma.When I was looking around in 2005 there was nowhere in the UK I really wanted to study at, he recalls.I did interviews and had places in the UK but didn’t see the attraction of the teachers and the work that was coming out of them.The chance to be taught by his idols in Switzerland was a head-turner, but other selling points included the facilities and the number of projects.

We did one per semester instead of one a year which meant you could do a completely different thing with a new professor every 12 weeks.If you end up with your third or fourth choice it will only last a semester, so you learn something and move on. I had a fantastic time and would totally recommend it.The most popular professors, like Peter Märkli, are reserved for second-year students so patience is required. But Fawcett, 30, says the variety of tutors was part of the richness of studying abroad.ETH is a technical university so architecture is taught as a technical subject,he says.They lay it on quite heavily but it’s really good to come out with these skills. In the later stages there is more freedom to try things out but it is quite formal compared with UK.

Annie Blackadder, another Cambridge graduate mid-way through her masters at ETH, says one of the frustrations is not being allowed to design in the first year. This is partly because the school’s popularity is placing space at a premium, which led to protests last year. The staff are addressing this but the result may be higher entry requirements in future.For Fawcett and Blackadder the toughest hurdle was the German test. Though once in, British students face a barrage of catch-up exams to prove they have reached the same standard as nationals.It was easy to get a place but harder to do the course. The workload is quite crazy, says Blackadder, 24.
The masters programme is three terms of lectures and design followed by a term of final design work. Students earn two points per lecture course at ETH; two and a half at Mendrisio.

The number of points required to graduate in Switzerland depends on whether a student’s previous university is affiliated.Cambridge is not, so students must cram in extra courses. At times the academic requirements, plus the bureaucracy involved in moving countries, can be overwhelming. But this is balanced by the chance to study under the likes of Märkli, Roger Diener and Hans Kollhoff.The facilities are also amazing,adds Blackadder.There’s a laser workshop with four lasers, a metal workshop, a wood workshop, a huge engineering hall, eight plotters. Everyone gets a desk in a studio.And the range of subjects you can do is vast from a digital fabrication course where you write a complete script, generate architecture and build it 1:1, to a column course where you design a classical temple and draw it in pencil.

The four Swiss schools Lausanne and Winterthur are the others are highly regarded by UK employers. Tom Emerson of 6a Architects, who has taught at ETH and London’s AA, says they have a brand value few others can match.But there is something about the Swiss system that is especially appealing at the moment, he says.The whole architecture scene is quite tribal so someone from the Bartlett would have something different to say,he admits.But there’s a certain scene of British architects that’s quite drawn towards Switzerland because over there they see teaching, practice and research as part of the same discourse. That’s hard to achieve in the UK.

We have people in the office from ETH and Mendrisio and they are really very good,he says.They have a very powerful set of practical and intellectual tools. They all want to make really good buildings which is not the priority at every school. If you go round the summer shows you’ll see the agenda at some schools is more experimental.The calibre of tutors at US schools is similarly high David Chipperfield and Chris Lee of Serie Architects are among new signings at Yale and Harvard this year.However, since the average student there graduates with $250,000 of debt and takes out a 25-year mortgage to pay it off, low fees are not one of the attractions.But there are ways round this. Lucy Pritchard transferred from Cambridge into the fourth year at New York’s Cooper Union on a scholarship, though she still had to pay annual admin fees of $1,000. Her application was her portfolio plus Cooper’s infamous home test”with questions like “do a self-portrait with no reference to body. Once there, she was required to do extra work including physics to catch up.

If you get a place you get a full-fee scholarship which makes for an interesting, diverse year group,she says.Moving country is a big hassle but I couldn’t find any courses I desperately wanted to do in the UK.At Cooper she was able to pursue interests in film and the historical and cultural context of architecture. She is now doing a PhD at London Met. Would she recommend studying abroad? “It turned out to be an invaluable education. I had the time of my life.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Students Receive Scholarships to Study Abroad

SUNY Cortland recently awarded nearly $17,000 in scholarships to help 22 students expand their educational horizons in Australia, Europe or South America.The students will study in Belize, Costa Rica, Spain, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany or France this summer or during the fall semester. Six different scholarships with awards ranging from $400 to $2,500 were offered through the College's James M. Clark Center for International Education.

We believe all students should have potentially transformational experiences as part of their college education,SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said.By studying abroad, students are immersed in a new culture and given an opportunity to develop a much broader and more diverse view of the world. Scholarships help make this experience affordable for many deserving SUNY Cortland students who might otherwise not have the opportunity.

Recipients were selected based on criteria that included high academic achievement, financial need, involvement in extracurricular activities, a personal essay and letters of Linkrecommendation.A description of the six scholarships and the students who won each award appear below:Overseas Academic Program Award Overseas Academic Program scholarships are awarded to students accepted in a study abroad program. The scholarship is $400 for summer recipients and $500 or $1,000 for fall recipients. The OAP Award recipients for the summer of 2011 are:

Christine Capobianco, a senior adolescence education: social studies major from Glen Cove, N.Y., to attend the Belize Summer Teacher Institute; and,

Kaitlyn Jaskot, a sophomore childhood education major from Blauvelt, N.Y., for study in Konstantz, Germany.

The OAP Award recipients of $500 for the fall of 2011 are:

Monica Bailey, a junior biological sciences major from Buffalo, N.Y., for study in York, United Kingdom;

Katilyn Boehm, a senior childhood education major from Port Washington, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia;

Jessie Ford, a senior physical education major from Westbury, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia;

Chelsea Leon, a senior psychology major from Northport, N.Y., for study in Dunedin, New Zealand;

Sara Pick, a senior childhood education major from Westmoreland, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia; and,

Jillian Walsh, a senior physical education major from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia.

The OAP Award recipients of $1,000 for the fall of 2011 are:

Brianna Carolini, a senior childhood education major from Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., to complete student teaching in Australia; and,

Abdoul Diallo, a junior international studies major from Bronx, N.Y., for study in LaRochelle, France.

Willi Uschald Scholarship

Created in 1991, the Uschald Study Abroad Scholarship is named for Willi A. Uschald, professor emeritus of foreign languages and director emeritus of international programs at SUNY Cortland. Uschald Scholarships are open to students accepted to a study abroad program who are U.S. citizens.

The Summer 2011 recipients of the $875 scholarships are:

Mallory Gorman, a sophomore adolescence education: Spanish major from Syracuse, N.Y., for study in San Jose and Costa Rica;

Maria Leonardi, a senior childhood education major from Spencer, N.Y., for study in Barcelona, Spain; and,

Jenna Wright, a senior childhood education major from Lockwood, N.Y., for study in the Dominican Republic.

The Fall 2011 Uschald Award recipients of $1,000 are:

Laura Emerling, a senior speech and hearing science major from Williamsville, N.Y., for study in Queensland, Australia;

Grace Wheeler, a senior international studies and anthropology major from Ballston Lake, N.Y., for study in Salamanca, Spain;

Morgan White, a senior English major from Binghamton, N.Y., for study at London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom; and,

Dustin Verga, a senior physical education major from Delmar, N.Y., to complete student teaching in Australia.

Gregory R. Huether '10 Scholarship

A scholarship was created in 2010 by Ronald and Marguerite Huether and family, who wished to honor the memory of their son, Gregory R. Huether '10, and the wonderful international education experience he had through SUNY Cortland. The Gregory R. Huether '10 European Sport Study Seminar Memorial Scholarship offers the College's sport management majors an opportunity to attend the annual European Sport Study Seminar. The inaugural scholarship of $2,500 for Summer 2011 was awarded to:

Rebecca Rooney, a senior sport management major from Middletown, N.Y., for an internship in Australia.

Gail Reed '67 Scholarship

Created in 2007, the Gail Reed '67 Scholarship is open to students who are U.S citizens and accepted to a study abroad program in destinations other than Great Britain for the sake of encouraging cross-cultural experiences. Reed created the scholarship to recognize the profound impact studying abroad had on her own life and to acknowledge the College's study abroad program founder, Willi Uschald. The $500 scholarship for Fall 2011 is awarded to:

Jessica Wilson, a senior childhood education and mathematics major from Medford, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia.

Kevin A. Rowell '83 Award

SUNY Cortland graduate Kevin A. Rowell '83 created the award in 1998 to support the overseas studies of a student who has participated in club sports, student government and volunteer work. The recipient of the $750 for the fall of 2011 is:

Heather Schowe, a senior childhood education major from South New Berlin, N.Y., to complete her student teaching in Australia.

Marcia Spaeth McDermott Scholarship

The Marcia Spaeth McDermott Professional Study Abroad Scholarship was created in 2009 by the late Professor Emerita Marcia Spaeth McDermott, former acting dean of the School of Professional Studies, to support the overseas studies of a SUNY Cortland student majoring in a School of Professional Studies program. The recipient of the $750 scholarship for the fall of 2011 is:Vanessa Gibson, a senior outdoor recreation major from Auburn, N.Y., for an internship in Belize.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More students struggle with online courses

As California's community colleges add more online classes to their offerings, a new report from the Community College Research Center has found that students are more likely to fail or withdraw from online courses than from traditional ones.The report, which comes from the Teachers College at Columbia University and was written by Di Xu and Shanna Smith Jaggars, recommends that colleges bolster support systems to increase students' success rates in these classes.While several reports have compared students' performance in online classes against traditional formats, this report focuses exclusively on community colleges and adjusts its analysis for student qualities. The study, covered this week in Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education, tracked community college students for nearly five years in Washington state, and its findings are similar to those of an earlier study by the same authors in Virginia.

The authors found that students who participated in online courses had lower success rates even after controlling for certain characteristics that tend to influence students' success, including their previous academic performance and the number of hours they worked while taking classes. Overall, online course completion rates were 8 percentage points lower than face-to-face rates, they found.The gap in success rates was even bigger for remedial English and math classes, which saw online course success rates that were 12 percentage points lower than completion rates for the face-to-face equivalents. The researchers tracked more than 50,000 students in Washington state community and technical colleges from fall 2004 through spring 2009.

They found that, in general, students who worked more hours and were more academically prepared were more likely to take an online class. Online courses also were significantly more popular among students who were female, white, fluent in English, transfer-oriented, eligible for financial aid, had never enrolled in remedial education or were older than 25 when they entered college.In California, community colleges Chancellor Jack Scott has advocated an increase in online education as one of several ways the college system ought to try to do more with less. In his 2009 speech,Living in Difficult Times, Scott said increasing the system's online class offerings was one of five necessary innovation strategies at a time when on-campus facilities are often "stretched to the max.An April 2011 report from the chancellor's office shows that online education has grown exponentially at the colleges and that students are less likely to successfully complete these classes than traditional courses.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Global Production Engineering,International Technology Transfer Management and Master Course.

The report looked at distance education courses, 89 percent of which are online classes. In 2005-06, community college campuses in California offered 21,407 distance education course sessions. By 2009-10, the colleges offered 39,964 distance education course sessions – an 87 percent increase. By another measure, enrollment in distance education classes grew from about 12 percent of total enrollment to about 24 percent in the five-year period.The report shows a gap between success rates for online and traditional courses. Face-to-face classes had a success rate of 67 percent 10 percentage points higher than the rate for distance education courses. Unlike the Teachers College statistical analysis, however, the chancellor's office report does not adjust its analysis for student characteristics.

A survey of more than 9,000 California community college students who had withdrawn from distance education courses indicated that the top reason for dropping was a personal challenge related to their family, health, job or child care.About 30 percent said they couldn't handle the combination of study and work duties, while another 30 percent said they had fallen behind and it was hard to catch up. The Teachers College report recommends that colleges do more to improve student learning in online formats. For one, the study suggests requiring that before students can sign up for an online class, they take an assessment on whether online learning is a good fit for them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Opportunity of study abroad and live in Australia

We together as RAO overseas consultancy Pvt Ltd and La Trobe University, will provide a wonderful opportunity of study and live in Australia. Rao Overseas Consultancy Pvt. Ltd has arranged a spot assessment session on 22nd July 2011, 12-2pm. Best opportunity to get yourself assessed by the college representative himself & seek guidance for your study options.
About Rao Overseas Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.

Rao Overseas Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. is engaged in overseas education consultancy with a host of services like study abroad counseling, university application and documentation, scholarship assistance, bank loan assistance, visa interview preparation and pre-departure briefings for countries like Australia, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Germany Singapore, Switzerland, Cyprus, Philippines.

La Trobe has been one of Australia’s pioneering universities for forty years. La Trobe University is a multi-campus university based in Victoria, Australia. With learning, teaching and research designed to enrich the world and a history of academic innovation, La Trobe is leading the way in higher education. It provides infinite opportunities: academic challenges, courses that open career doors and the chance to learn from outstanding staff recruited from around the world. It offers a truly global education, internationally recognised and professionally accredited courses, world-leading academics and research. La Trobe University offers a variety of scholarships to attract the best and brightest students from all over the world. Hurry, get yourself registered for the event.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Innovative application this fall to help students prepare for the new Algebra I end-of-course exam.

Following a successful pilot program, Plano schools plan to roll out an innovative iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch application this fall to help students prepare for the new Algebra I end-of-course exam.We've had very positive results in the pilot program,said Julie Merrill, high school math specialist for the Plano Independent School District.Three-quarters of the students who used the application said it prepared them better than paper-and-pencil worksheets. Seventy percent said they would recommend it to other students. As with our other uses of technology, we find that our students are more engaged in the learning, with positive results.The end-of-course exam preparation has heightened significance to future graduating classes, as next year's 9th grade class will be the first cohort of students whose diploma will no longer be contingent on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, but rather on a series of end-of-course exams, including the one for Algebra I.

Walch Education, a Maine-based instructional materials and applications developer that specializes in purpose-built resources deeply aligned to state standards, local curricula, and state and local testing formats, worked closely with Plano educators to develop the application.The beauty of this is that we are nimble and cost effective enough to work on a targeted basis for a district like Plano. We give them exactly what they want and feedback is quickly reflected in revisions and enhancements,said Al Noyes, president of Walch Education.The age of the generic one size fits all textbook or software application is over.

Walch was able to customize the Algebra I application to reflect the way Texas teaches Algebra I and tests it, even down to mimicking the formats, fonts and typography of the state tests, according to Walch.The Algebra 1 Help Texas EOC application gives students a sequence of interactive assessment items and follow-up instruction to ensure that they have the concepts and skills necessary for success on the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam and in future math courses.The app includes questions in the five Objectives of the Test Blueprint: functional relationships, properties and attributes of functions, linear functions, linear equations and inequalities; and quadratic and other nonlinear functions. The five Objectives also serve as the reporting categories. The application responds to each student, providing additional questions and follow-up instruction or explanation, based on their specific answers to each item.

The questions are closely modeled on the content, style, and format of the end-of-course exam, with multiple choice questions and answer choices designed to represent typical errors, gaps in prior knowledge, and common misconceptions associated with the concept or skill. The app provides immediate feedback, reinforcing correct answers and allowing students to move on, or offering targeted instruction to address identified issues.Students and teachers can use the program with an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. Teachers with an iPad and adapter can employ a projector to use the app with groups of students. Teachers are notified by email of progress and results, allowing them to tailor instruction and support individual students appropriately.

Walch will formally release the application at the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching which starts July 18 in Grapevine, Texas. The application is available for school districts and also for individual teachers, home school students and others through the Apple App Store. Walch is developing a web-based version of the same application.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Free Online study

Web based learning are the educational crazing that is sweeping the world now. Distance learning and correspondence courses have been around since the invention of mail. And private, for-profit schools flourish with thousands of student enrollment, most of them online. An average pack DVD or an online educational tutorial download costs more than $200.Have you already taken advantage of Khan Academy's free online education tutorial, which recently received millions of dollars in grant from Bill Gates and Google? It doesn't matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, and adult returning to the classroom after 20 years.

The Khan Academy's materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. Advise yourself or a friend not to be scared of any course. Just watch and practice over 2400 educational self-tuition videos in any subject of your choice. The program offers tutorials on wide range of topics from Mathematics, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, History, Biology, Finance, Banking and even prep material for GMAT, SAT, introducing wide variety of concepts under each topic in an extremely easy to understand manner. Salman Khan the founder produces short videos, 10 to 20 minutes long and uses a black screen on the computer and a pad pen to explain complex concepts step by step through use of doodles and graphics. Students can make use of the extensive video library, practice exercises, and assessments from any computer with access to the web. This free online education program has received 18 million page views worldwide, including from the Gates progeny. Most page views come from the U.S., followed by Canada, England, Australia, and India. Safe your money and wipe away your tears for the fear of some subjects which has become a monster before you. Do you remember the book called Economics without tears? This is a free online education without tears, fears and lack of money to pay a tutor.

This information is brought to you by World Partners for Development; an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering human lives through high impact educational and training programs that provide positive solutions for sustainable future.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fund for Postgraduate Education

Professor Nii Noi Dowuona, Executive Secretary of the National Council for Tertiary Education, said Ghana must invest more in post graduate education to meet her aspirations of creating a nation with people living a long, productive and meaningful live.He said these aspirations, as enshrined in the Constitution, would remain elusive if the nation did not grow her human capital.

Prof. Dowuona said this at the 17th Annual Dialogue on Postgraduate Education in Winneba on Friday.The four-day conference was organised by the Graduate Students Association of Ghana.
It was under the theme;Enhancing Research Education for National Development: The need for National Policy and Funding for Postgraduate Education.Prof. Dowuona stressed the need to grow the human capital when he spoke on the topic;Meeting the Nations Developmental Aspirations; the Need for a National Policy on Postgraduate Education and the Role of Government in Facilitating Postgraduate Education in Ghana.

He said there was the need for a national policy on postgraduate education because of limited resources.He suggested that a research fund must be set up for researchers in priority areas to compete for, adding that in the allocation of funds, credit must be given to institutions that had more graduate students.Prof. Samuel M. Quartey, Dean of the School of Research and Graduate Studies of the University of Education, Winneba, said government scholarships should be extended to all those undertaking postgraduate studies to enable them to concentrate on their studies as was being done for their counterparts abroad.

Speaking on the topic;Accessing Funds for Quality Research Work for Postgraduate Programmes .The Way Forward,Prof. Quartey said research firms and organisations should also take interest in students’ research works and pay for researches in relevant areas.If such funds are made available, post-graduate students will be compelled to select topics which will address some the problems such organization may face.He suggested that the government, through the GETFund, should fund post-graduate studies, adding that as a matter of policy,we need to enforce that all those who gain admission into relevant postgraduate programmes locally will be given study leave with pay to encourage them to study.

If this is done and their outputs are also funded, students will put up their best to produce quality research which will benefit the nation in its development efforts,he said.Prof. Augustine Yao Quarshiga, Associate Professor at UEW, who chaired the function, appealed to postgraduates to always use dialogue to address their problems.He said; We are in the brain world and not blow world and therefore should not be militants.He said as students they should ensure to work to find solutions to challenges that may come their way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scholarship for Study Abroad

The Ministry of Education and Research approved 14 applicants for its 2011 Compatriots Program scholarship, which gives Estonians living abroad the chance to study in Estonian public universities and applied higher education institutions.Eighteen candidates put in for the scholarship this year, originating from neighboring countries Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Sweden as well as from farther away Brazil and Kenya. To qualify, candidates cannot have not lived permanently in Estonia for at least 10 years.

For the first time, those receiving the scholarship this year will need to take an Estonian language test. If their language skills aren't sufficient - as was the case for half of them - the students are required to spend the first year of their studies taking intensive Estonian language and different courses.When they begin their studies this fall, 10 of the students will be attending the University of Tartu. Two will be studying at Tallinn University, one at the Tallinn University of Technology, one at the University of Life Sciences and one at a gardening school in Räpina. Eight of the students have Estonian citizenship.

In addition to the new students, another 26 will continue their studies through the program in the coming academic year.Two students from Russia finished their studies this spring. One earned her master's degree in public relations from the University of Tartu and another received an applied higher education degree in mechatronics at a school in Võru County.In 2010, there were 23 applicants from seven countries, 11 of whom were awarded scholarships. Around 20 Estonians from abroad have completed their schooling with the help of the Compatriots Program scholarship over the years.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Temple’s President Hart receives award for international leadership

Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart has been named a 2011 recipient of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.Established in 2000, the Malone awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to international education at public and land-grant institutions. Hart received the award in the Presidential Leadership category, which recognizes exceptional contributions toward internationalization of state and land-grant institutions by university chief executive officers.

I am deeply honored to be selected to receive the 2011 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award,said Hart.Globalization has changed everything. If our institutions do not internationalize teaching, research and outreach, our students will be increasingly left behind in a dynamic and changing world and increasingly unaware of the true nature of that world.Under President Hart’s leadership, Temple has become progressively more internationalized, with global commitment emphasized as one of the university’s four top priorities identified in its strategic plan, the Academic Compass.Several key initiatives put in place during Hart’s presidency have helped students recognize their potential as citizens of the world and as collaborators and competitors in a global marketplace. She and her husband have personally established and funded the Ann and Randy Hart Passport Program, which covers the application fee for a U.S. Passport for students who have not previously traveled out of the country. Over the past five years, more than 200 undergraduate students have benefitted from the program.

Hart's international programmatic accomplishments include the development of the Diamond Ambassador Scholarship program, which provides $2,500 grants to up to 25 students each year to help support a for-credit study abroad experience. In addition, the university’s general education program for all undergraduates, begun in 2008, includes a selection of courses designed to teach students to understand the many influences on world societies, analyze materials related to global cultures and become informed observers of world events.Another of Hart's priorities has been the creation of new agreements with institutions abroad to increase the number of international students and scholars at Temple. Since 2006, 60 new international partnerships have been established, creating opportunities for student and faculty exchanges, professional and research collaborations, study abroad partnerships and joint degree programs.

Other initiatives at Temple have included the creation of a comprehensive Office of International Affairs to spearhead the university’s global efforts and the development of an International Educator's Academy certificate program for full-time faculty and administrators interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in the area of international education, research and programming.

The Malone awards are named in honor of Michael P. Malone, president of Montana State University from 1991 until his death in 1999. Malone made many contributions to MSU and U.S. higher education through his work as chair of APLU’s Commission on International Programs, where he focused the group’s efforts on issues critical to international programs and increased its stature within APLU and elsewhere.This year’s Malone Award recipients exemplify the true spirit of Michael’s legacy with their amazing efforts in international education and development,said APLU President Peter McPherson.Their focus on international problems speaks well of America’s highly regarded university system and the willingness of our scholars to promote higher education at home and across the globe.Other 2011 recipients of the award are Vish Prasad, vice president for research and economic development at the University of North Texas, and Peter H. Koehn, professor of political science at the University of Montana.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Increases fees for higher study courses

FEES for higher education courses at Warwickshire College in 2012-13 will range from £5,500 to £6,500.Those planning to study part time will get a reduction and some students could pay £4,500. The college offers a range of higher education courses including honours degrees, foundation degrees, HNCs and HNDs.Director of Higher Education at the college Dr Ann Cotterill said:The college has a variable fee policy which means that no students are subsidising the costs of other students.

Our fees enable us to re-invest in the quality of our courses, including training and developing our staff, so that students have the very best learning experience.In addition, all of our HE courses are designed with input from employers, ensuring that students are equipped to work in industry.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Contest for study abroad at public expense in Azerbaijan 20 August

The Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan has announced a tender procedure for education at public expense within the State Program of Azerbaijani Youth Education Abroad 2007-15.The selection committee reports that the competition provides an opportunity for the Azerbaijani youth to receive foreign education in the field: information technology, engineering, oil industry, medicine, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, ecology, agriculture, tourism, and accounting.

The tender is held in two directions - education for Bachelor’s degree and for Master’s degree.To participate in the tender the applicant must fill in an application form posted on the Ministry’s website. At that, the applicant for Master’s degree education is required to submit a document confirming passing his mandatory military service or a temporary reprieve from military service. Deadline for applications: 20 August 2011.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Germany,France, provide of aid for study

The world's biggest higher education aid donors have emerged as France and Germany. France provides some $1.36 billion and Germany around $1.05 billion a year, mostly in the form of scholarships and fellowships, according to VN Varghese, Secretary General of the International Working Group on Education, a Paris-based group of aid agencies.A large chunk of aid to higher education is coming from France and Germany. They are providing money to attract students to their own countries, partly through scholarships but also through other subsidies,Varghese said.

Aid for higher education in the form of scholarships for overseas study and support for developing country universities has grown in recent years, reversing a trend in the 1990s when aid donors prioritised primary and secondary education in developing countries, he said.Varghese predicted that aid to higher education would continue to increase, as the sector is back on the agenda of major donors.There is no possibility of aid declining in higher education. The higher education system has to expand,he told University World News.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course.

And the growth in aid to higher education has been rapid.Many countries see this as a way of creating new markets,Varghese said.Education as a share of bilateral aid to developing countries is around 18% in France - mainly going to Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa and around 13% in Germany and the Netherlands, compared to just 3% in Britain and 3.5% of US bilateral aid.Globally, a change is taking place in aid to education,Varghese explained.Education aid increased to $12.1 billion [by 2010] and 40% of that is going to post-secondary education. It is a big jump from just 33% of aid flows being channeled to the post-secondary sector in 1999 to 2000,he said.India and China are big beneficiaries of the retargeting of education funding. For example, China receives $700 million a year in aid for higher education, according to a recent paper by Varghese, who is also an official at the Institute of International Education of UNESCO in Paris. Other major beneficiaries are Vietnam, Malaysia and Iran. In North Africa Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are the main beneficiaries.

Asia and the Pacific receive the highest share of global aid flows to higher education, at around 29% of the annual $3.3 billion in aid to higher education reported by the World Bank in 2010, on the basis of the most recent complete statistics, many of them from 2007. Arab states receive 21% and Africa 18%.Germany's Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the biggest higher education funder globally, providing 66,000 to 67,000 fellowships a year. Two-thirds of these, 45,000 fellowships, are awarded to foreign students the rest is for German students to study abroad.Most of the money is going to North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also Eastern Europe which gets a large chunk as the German government is keen to build a better relationship with their eastern neighbours,Varghese said.

While Britain and the US have focused on research, Germany's strengths include a strong vocational and technical education sector.French aid to higher education was $380 million a year in the late 1990s and has increased to US$1,360 million a year according to UNESCO statistics published in 2010. Around half of the aid is spent on scholarships, mainly for postgraduate students in France.The French government sees that the way they can protect their markets is by nurturing an elite that will support France,Varghese said.France is looking to strengthen links with francophone Africa. Many Africans are getting higher education funding [in the form of scholarships] from the US or the UK and this is affecting trade and markets. Globalisation has taken away the protected market structure of the old colonial ties, and competition has become fierce.

Half of France's scholarships are for study in France. Aid to Cameroon alone is EUR107 million (US$153 million) a year.Using higher education assistance to help develop and build markets is nothing unusual. In the US many doctors from India in the private and public sector are trained in the most advanced medical technologies before they go back.They find that they can sell their medical equipment in India because practitioners are familiar with it,Varghese said.VN Varghese,Where Does Higher Education Aid Go?, in The Geopolitics of Overseas Scholarships and Awards.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

NMIT is offering free business administration courses

The Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is offering free business administration courses at the Marlborough campus to help people upskill during tough economic times.The polytechnic is waiving the $3000 course fees for the July 25 intake of the Certificate in Business Administration Level Three.Students will still have to pay for their work book, printing costs, student services levy and student association fee for the 20-week course which costs about $200.

NMIT leader of information technology and business administration programmes Mary-Claire Proctor said the one-off zero fees course was to help people upskill and become more employable in the tough economic environment.We're hearing from the community that businesses have been hit hard recently. We hope that this gesture will help those who want to get into a business administration role to make that transition as easily as possible.

The course would qualify graduates to take jobs as receptionists, bankers and accounts clerks straight after finishing, she said.Students had the chance to work in a mock office while studying, she said.It's set up exactly like an office so they are learning in an environment that directly relates to a real office situation. That's a big advantage and something that's special to this course.The course can take up to 20 students. The polytechnic offers zero course fees for its Certificate in Business Administration Level Two course permanently.The course is open to everyone over 20 and those under 20 with NCEA Level 1.

Friday, July 8, 2011

RUSSIA announced Plan to fund 10,000 a year to study abroad

The Russian Ministry of Education expects most of the students to go to the United States. But others will go to universities in Australia, Europe and elsewhere. Under the terms of the initiative, participants will be required to return to Russia to work after completing their studies.
The Russian government has announced plans to fund up to 10,000 students a year to study abroad at the world's leading universities.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said:Thousands of our young scientists, engineers and public officials will receive masters and doctoral degrees at the world's leading universities during the next decade. Hopefully, studying abroad will allow them to take key positions in Russian business, government, science and education.Under the plan 2,000 Russian students will be able to enrol in foreign universities from 2012, rising to up to 10,000 in 2015. The first year of the initiative will cost an estimated USD$60 million.

The programme is expected to be divided into two large blocks, depending on degree type. The ministry estimates the cost of obtaining a PhD at about $120,000 a year, an MBA at $80,000, and a masters at $15,000 to $20,000, with as additional $40,000 dollars for living expenses.The government also plans to prepare a list of potential employers who may be interested in hiring graduates after their return to Russia.Education Minister Sergei Fursenko said:We are planning a complex programme which will involve domestic employers, who will express their interest in highly qualified specialists and ensure they are offered attractive high-paying jobs.

During the initial years of the programme, students will be able to choose their courses by themselves. But the government in future years may introduce requirements for places to be filled in particular subjects to produce specialists in demand, such as engineers, lawyers and economists.Russian experts believe that the new Medvedev initiative could be highly beneficial for both the state and students.According to Leonid Fituni, head of the department of world economy at the International Independent University of Environmental and Political Sciences and Computer Science, such specialists will be in great demand in the Russian labour market.

This is really important in terms of the gradual establishment of a single labour market and the ever-increasing internationalisation of higher education,Fituni said.Graduates who refuse to return to Russia will be obliged to pay a penalty, in accordance with a mechanism developed by experts of the ministries of education and economic development.This is expected to involve a legally binding contract, signed between the applicant and the Ministry of Education, specifying the date when the student will return after graduation.The final mechanism is likely to be approved by autumn this year.However, many Russian higher education experts do not believe that students who have studied at Western universities will go home.Sergei Komkov, President of the All-Russian Education Foundation, said most state-funded students would try to stay abroad, tempted by more and better-paid job opportunities in the US and Europe compared with Russia.So far, the government has funded the education of just 40 domestic undergraduate students and 60 postgraduate students in foreign universities under a presidential scholarship programme. Launched in 1993, it selects candidates based on the results of a nationwide public competition.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Increase applications for science and engineering courses

Collage applications have dropped from last year’s record high, but almost 76,000 people are still competing for entry to third-level courses in the autumn. The final entry data from the Central Applications Office also shows that student interest is continuing to rise in science, technology and engineering degrees, though arts and social science programmes remain by far the most popular, with 27% of applicants making the subjects their first preference.

The figures have been compiled on the basis of the final course lists provided by the 75,874 CAO entrants up to last Friday’s deadline for changing course choice. Although this is a slight reduction on the 77,480 applicants at this stage a year ago, it is unclear if this is due to a fall in demand.There is greater availability than last year of free college courses offered through Government initiatives for jobless people seeking to improve or widen their qualifications. For example, many of the 6,000 higher education places for the unemployed offered through the Springboard scheme could be taken up by those who would otherwise have applied through the CAO.

While about 45,000 students who sat their Leaving Certificate last month must wait until they get results in mid-August to find out if they secure a place through the CAO, 7,374 people have already been offered places.These include mature students, those who deferred places last year and those who need to make visa arrangements before taking up a college place.Applications opened last week for the 2011/2012 student grants scheme for which the Department of Education has set aside €386 million, €24m more than last year’s spend because of rising numbers of eligible students and more people qualifying for higher levels of support.

There have been no major changes to the proportion of first preferences for courses under each of the 17 categories of level 8 courses, but there is rising demand for science and applied science up from 11.1% to 12% of first preferences and engineering/technology programmes.Between them, they account for 14,235 of this year’s 66,889 level 8 first preferences, almost 600 more than a year ago. The level of attraction to science, engineering and technology is contrasted by slight falls in the numbers seeking entry to education degrees (5,239 or 7.8% of level 8 first preferences) and administration or business courses. The latter category still, however, accounts for more than 10,300 first preferences at level 8.

Nursing degrees continue to attract huge demand, as they are listed as the favoured honours degree for almost 5,800 applicants, up slightly from last year to almost 9% of applications overall.For level 7 and 6 courses ordinary bachelor degrees and certificate programmes, arts and social science courses appear 41,000 times on the choices of more than 51,045 who filled the appropriate application, and were the first preference of 10,277.But they were third favourite to courses falling under the administration/business and engineering/technology categories.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Loyola students win study abroad scholarships

Brianna Powell and Andre Lebeau are recipients of two prestigious study abroad scholarships. Powell has been awarded a scholarship from the Foundation for Global Scholars and Lebeau is the recipient of two competitive awards, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Annette Kade Scholarship for Study in France.Powell, a psychology and Spanish double major, was awarded $1,000 to study in Cordoba, Argentina, for the fall 2011 semester. There she will study Spanish language, culture and literature while enrolled at Universidad Blas Pascal through the International Student Exchange Program.

Lebeau, a French and Spanish major, was awarded $2,500 by the Gilman Foundation and $1,000 by the Annette Kade Charitable Trust. His scholarships will apply to his fall 2011 semester at Universite Charles de Gaulle in Lille, France. His program, like Powell's, will be coordinated through ISEP.Many Loyola students are prime candidates to apply for these and other study abroad scholarships. I am excited that Brianna and Andre were selected this year, said Mariette Thomas, Study Abroad Advisor in the Center for International Education.Scholarships are still being considered for fall 2011 and spring 2012 study abroad programs.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Online courses

Germantown Friends School is venturing into the realm of online instruction.The 166-year-old Quaker school has joined nine other private schools across the country and abroad to launch Global Online Academy, a nonprofit organization that will offer rigorous courses online, including media studies and Spanish. The private-school consortium is scheduled to roll out the first five courses for its own students in the fall.

Unlike online courses designed for mass consumption and to save money, Global Online classes will be limited to 18 students per course who will collaborate on projects.Germantown Friends head Dick Wade said the opportunity for students to work with peers from other private schools will be an enriching experience for all concerned.The courses, for students in grades nine to 12, are meant to supplement, not replace, traditional classes.The goal, Wade said, is for participating schools to offer their challenging courses online and show that they are taking a cutting-edge idea into the next phase of education.

Germantown Friends, which has 1,845 students in kindergarten to 12th grade, is the only school in the region involved.The consortium includes such well-known private schools as the Dalton School in New York; the Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Sidwell Friends in Washington; and the Punahou School in Honolulu, which President Obama attended. King's Academy in Jordan is also a founder.Online instruction has been around for years. In 1997, the nonprofit Concord Consortium in Massachusetts helped launched the Virtual High School with courses at 27 public high schools in 12 states. Now, an independent nonprofit organization, the Virtual High School Global Consortium provides 412 courses to 770 member schools in 35 states and 45 countries. It specializes in AP and enrichment courses.

Cyber charter schools - where students receive Internet-based instruction in their homes - operate across the country, including a dozen in Pennsylvania.But Global Online Academy is different.It aims to take challenging courses taught by skilled teachers at participating schools and put them online for students at other schools.With those schools spread across multiple time zones, courses will employ asynchronous learning, which allows students to access lessons and information from the network on their own schedules.Classes will incorporate Skype and other applications and tools to make sure students communicate regularly with teachers and one another.We are doing something we believe in,said Robynn Polansky, communications project manager at Lakeside School in Seattle, which has led the project.This is not a money-saving endeavor. It's the opposite of that.Member schools are contributing $30,000 to launch the project and hire a director, Polansky said. Wade said an anonymous donor is covering the costs for Germantown Friends.

Lakeside administrators got the idea for Global Online Academy last year after attending a conference of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and hearing such speakers as Michael Horn, coauthor of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. The NAIS magazine has predicted half of high school courses will be online by 2019.Lakeside invited 15 NAIS schools to a conference in March. Nine agreed to join in forming the nonprofit.Teachers spent last week at a training session in Seattle.The wonderful challenge for the fall is how to engage in meaningful dialogue with the class,said Meg Goldner Rabinowitz, a GFS English teacher who will teach a media-studies class.Rabinowitz said she spent time learning and experimenting with ways to translate a course she has taught in a classroom for years to an online environment.Other courses being offered include global health, which will be taught by a Lakeside instructor, and math for computer scientists, led by a Dalton School teacher.Polansky said Global Academy, which will be based at Lakeside at least at first, plans to add courses for the second semester and expand to 10 to 15 by September 2012.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course Global Production Engineering,Bioinformatics and Intelligent Software Systems.

Because the program was announced in the spring, many students already had selected their fall courses. Wade said five GFS students will take online electives.We are choosing to make it an extra course and not a graduation requirement,he said. He expects students will participate in online classes at school, as well as at home.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Study abroad and courses

Few years ago, there was a huge boom in the information technology (IT) sector and anyone with a high school certificate was joining a computer training institute and taking off for the US shores. The Y2K wave was the next thing that added to the popularity of computer training. Going abroad and being considered successful has been our obsession since the 1970s. However, the recession in the recent past had somewhat defused the enthusiasm. But if the queries one receives on a regular basis are any indication, the youth in India still believes that getting a job abroad is easy. They prefer pursuing such study options that would open the doors of both Indian and foreign job markets.

While the youth, down the years, has not given up on traditional careers like medicine or dentistry, careers related to rehabilitative medical courses such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy are now directly being targeted by students who are pursuing class XII. This, as against a few years ago when such courses were pursued as a consolation prize for not having got into MBBS or BDS. Engineering continues to be a popular choice but obsession with IT or computer science and engineering has given way to a more informed approach . Media as a career is very popular. Becoming a DJ or choreographer are other popular choices.

Wanting to chart out a career in animation, gaming or automobile designing or aeronautical engineering or becoming an astronaut, space scientist , actuary, actor or biotechnologist or joining travel and tourism or retail or aviation are the diverse aspirations prevailing among the youth today . Any new development or aspect in any career, popping up on a computer screen, is enough to get the youth of today searching. Often, the goal is to try and spot something so new that one gets the 'first mover' advantage.

Many college students and fresh entrants in the job market are keen to learn a foreign language to be more employable in the global job market. I must mention that there is a definite decline in the quality of English usage and communication skills. So in this wonderful world of global opportunities that the youth inhabit today, they must always keep in mind that while the space for new and exciting careers continues to open up and traditional avenues get rejuvenated, the basic life skills reading , writing, listening and speaking attributes that are important, not just in any academic course or career, but in enhancing the quality of one's own life and success will continue to reign supreme and be the keystone to the fulfilment of their aspirations.

Any new development or aspect in any career, popping up on a computer screen, is enough to get the youth searching. Many college students and fresh entrants in the job market are keen to learn a foreign language to be more employable in the global job market. It may be noted that there is a definite decline in the quality of English usage and communication skills