Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Offer online language courses

The Boulder Public Library has expanded its selection of online language courses through a program that officials are touting as a pretty phenomenal resource that few people know is available for free.The library has offered its PowerSpeak language-learning software for more than a year, but the service was recently expanded to include courses in Korean, Russian, Italian, English for Mandarin speakers and Japanese.

The system was launched locally in May 2010 with programs in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese and English for Spanish-speakers.Melinda Mattingly, the reference and collection development manager for the Boulder library, said the program mirrors the capabilities of the popular language software produced by Rosetta Stone.But while a six-month subscription to one online language through Rosetta Stone costs about $300, Mattingly said the library's PowerSpeak software offers the same type of program for free with a library card.

We started looking for something that would really work for library patrons,Mattingly said.We saw the demonstration and were impressed. It uses a story to give context to the vocabulary.The library spent $1,800 for the system, which can be accessed using any computer with an Internet connection and a Boulder library card number.She said the service is also advantageous for the library, which doesn't have to worry about keeping track of the program.
It can't be lost or stolen, she said.We don't have to manage any materials. There's a real cost savings for us.

The popularity of the program has grown steadily from 684 sessions in 2010 to 850 sessions during the first half of this year, according to library statistics.But Mattingly said she hopes more people take advantage of the service.Our hardest problem is getting people to see what the library has electronically,Mattingly said.We have these incredible resources that we're using public money to buy so people can share them.The library is working on revamping its website to make those services easier to find.Cindy Merlin, who is from Bordeaux, France and teaches French at Fairview High School in Boulder, said she was impressed with PowerSpeak as a tool for beginners, travelers and tourists alike.It's very user friendly and very appealing, she said.It's quite thorough, actually. It's a good introduction to the culture and the language.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Many western students should study abroad

Educating citizens from Asia and elsewhere is big business for universities in Europe and the US. For the governments of countries like China, sending bright young people overseas to study is considered essential for ensuring the nation's continued economic success. Yet British school leavers are, on the whole, reluctant to study too far away from home, as are their peers in many other developed nations.Mauritians, Indians and increasingly Russians happily travel abroad to read for degrees and then return home, not only steeped in the latest knowledge but with fresh cultural insights and an international outlook that equips them for the demands of a globalised work environment.

It is a great pity that more young people in the UK, Europe and elsewhere aren't encouraged to spend part or all of their degree programmes abroad. With the seismic shift in the global economic and political power dynamics currently underway, it is an obvious competitive advantage in the workplace for those who do take the leap to have a keen sense of how things work in countries that are on the rise, like China.To a large extent, this trend of international students flowing mostly one way is based on the perception that university standards are much higher in developed countries than they are elsewhere. Students from less developed nations expect to get closer to the latest research and scientific and engineering methods in countries with mature tertiary education sectors.However, globalisation has led to major structural changes in the way education is delivered. It is no longer necessary to travel to the UK, for example, to graduate with a British degree.For example, it is possible to study in English at a British university in China such as the University of Nottingham Ningbo and graduate with a British degree. Or a student could opt to spend some time in the UK and some in China, and maybe even throw a period of study at Nottingham's university in Malaysia into the mix.

The modular structure of degree programmes and content uniformity across the university's campuses means it is uncomplicated for students to switch countries and they don't have to extend their degree programmes in order to study abroad. Quality is controlled through rigorous procedures, so that the same high standards can be maintained whether an exam or essay is being marked in Ningbo, Kuala Lumpur or the UK Midlands.Another reason students from western countries probably don't take up studies in Asia or elsewhere is quite simply the distance from friends and family.The prospect of spending some or all of a degree programme thousands of kilometers from home in another time zone is daunting, even though technologies like Skype can make someone feel like they are right in your living room.Students can also get a lot of exposure while studying in such universities and different course.

Then there is the issue of culture. Not everyone can cope with the prospect of experiencing a different lifestyle and meal options for anything other than a short, exotic holiday.Many of these fears are misplaced. At the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, for example, students can experience a new culture and different way of life at their own pace.They can opt to live in the international student residence, where the bedrooms and bathrooms look just as they do at home and where there is access to their own cooking facilities. Familiar food is available at an international store nearby.The residence is on an attractive, secure campus on a UK-style high street that includes shops, restaurants, a bank and post office, a hair-dressing salon and a travel agent. Also on campus are a Western-style coffee shop and sandwich bar and a restaurant that serves Western meals.

For students who are keen to take the plunge into Chinese living, there are a range of canteens specialising in different styles of cuisine from around China including one which is Halaal. There is a vibrant street market nearby where they can sample the local delicacies.We encourage students to socialise across cultural groups through the many societies and events at the university. One organisation is dedicated to helping international students settle in. The university offers organised trips to scenic and historical spots and nearby cities, and generally finds that it doesn't take long for students to start using the weekends and holidays to see as much of China and Asia as possible in their own groups.Many international students arrive eager to learn Mandarin as part of their degree programmes. We also offer complimentary Mandarin lessons for students who want some basic phrases so that they can get around and make the most of their time in China.

For serious matters, like visits to hospital and mandatory visa-related health checks, we have qualified medical professionals available around-the-clock at the campus clinic. We ensure they are taken care of as they would be at home.Finance is always an issue for young people contemplating degree programmes. Although the education fees at Nottingham Ningbo are comparable to the UK, students generally find living and travel expenses more affordable in China.And as part of our commitment to the internationalisation of all of our student communities around the world, the university offers opportunities for scholarships, bursaries and other forms financial assistance to international students.In short: most of what we do enhances the international student experience. The more nationalities we can attract, the richer and more rewarding the education experience will be for all our students in a fast-changing world where it increasingly matters to have an international outlook and perspicacity in dealings across cultures.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Introduction of textile engineering course

The introduction of textile engineering course at the University of Dar es salaam has been received with mixed feelings amid hopes that it would revamp the ailing textile industry.But, those who worked in the industry during its days of glory in the 1980s remain skeptical of the industry that thrived with over 23 textile mills in the country.The textile programme coordinator in the Mechanical engineering department at the University of Dar es salaam, Dr Leonard Mwaikombo, said in an interview with 'Daily News'

on Monday that they would have Bachelor of Science in Textile engineering and Bachelor of science in textile designs.The two programmes compliment each other,he said, noting that the programme was initiated by the government in 2006 but did not bear fruit at the time.But in 2007, he said, the Gatby Foundation approached the training institution to develop a textile programme, with the objective being to add value in the country's cotton.He said the programme would provide employment and reactivate the textile sector through supply of human capital. He said it would also trickle down to agriculture sector because of the huge consumption of cotton.By this, we will get creative human capital because, currently, there is a huge gap in the textile sector,he said, adding,We had over 20 mills and the country had trained people abroad.

The don said the institute had already made communication to some textile factories, which were in high demand of managerial think tanks and that they were looking forward to receiving their graduates.Mr Marceline Komba, who was the last General Manager for the gigantic Kilimanjaro Textile Corporation (KILITEX) before it went to the doldrums, said many industries were handed to some incapable investors.And, as a result many mills stopped producing clothes and were instead turned into warehouses while others were producing at low capacity.Government statistics suggest that over 20,000 tons of second hand clothes are imported into the country every year, filling a gap left behind by the drastic decline of the textile industry.Mr Godfrey Mwendwa, a textile specialist and former employee with Mwanza Textile, said there is need for a baseline study on actual capacity of the industry now, since it lost its glory in the late 1980s.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Scholarship Contest Supports President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s "100,000 Strong" Initiative

Abroad101, the world’s first and largest website featuring study abroad program reviews, has partnered with IEM Study Abroad to offer its first scholarship contest. The $10k China Giveaway,which launches today, will grant three lucky students 10,000 dollars worth of scholarships to IEM’s China program in Shanghai, promoting the mission of President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s 100,000 Strong initiative.Abroad101 is committed to helping as many students as possible study abroad by providing insider program reviews for students and universities alike,says Michael Stone, President of Abroad101.Given our mutual efforts to promote meaningful international experiences, we are thrilled to support ‘100,000 Strong’ by partnering with IEM to offer a scholarship to encourage more students to study in China.

Launched in May 2010 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 100,000 Strong initiative is,a national effort designed to increase dramatically the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China.In a recent statement, Hillary Clinton affirmed,Today, more than ever, there is a global understanding that no major challenge can be resolved without the active engagement of both the United States and China. That is why President Obama has called upon the nation to build up a cadre of Americans knowledgeable about Chinese history, culture, and language.Grammy-award winning musician and producer will.i.am has also become a supporter of this initiative, confirming that,In order to become responsible global citizens, young people need to experience the world around them. Kids from underserved communities rarely have the opportunity to study and travel abroad, and we want to change that.

Michael Vu, VP of Programs at IEM Study Abroad, states, IEM’s Study Abroad participants often refer to their time in China as among the most transformative events of their lives. Whether relaxing at Xing Wei College, touring China’s most historically diverse cities (such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an and Beijing) or interning in Shanghai with a cosmopolitan corporation, IEM Study Abroad students are deeply immersed in Chinese culture.Abroad101 is a popular destination for students to find the perfect study abroad program for their needs. Vu reaffirms that,Prospective study abroad students already visit Abroad101 to locate exactly the kind of unique and exemplary programs that IEM Study Abroad works so hard to offer programs that strike a happy balance between flexibility and structure, cultural immersion and cohort participation, adventure and comfort.Students can enter the $10k China Giveaway contest through October 17th

About Abroad101:
Abroad101 is a review website and online marketplace for the $40B International Education industry. Founded in 2007 by Tufts, Harvard, and MIT graduates, Abroad101’s mission is to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experience for all students through technology innovation in higher education. Abroad101 empowers universities with its free market-leading online evaluation tool and provides an advertising and student recruitment platform to global program providers. Abroad101 is a 2010 winner of the MassChallenge global startup competition.

About IEM’s China Program:
The IEM Study Abroad China Program presents a blend of East and West unique to the Study Abroad market. Students study at Xing Wei College, where they are able to survey and explore Chinese culture from the structural comfort of a familiar curriculum. At the same time, students participate in the outstanding IEM Peer Mentorship Program. This program intensively pairs each student with a Chinese counterpart who actively introduces that student to the finer points of Chinese culture. IEM Study Abroad has worked hard to ensure that the China experience is one filled with academic challenge, breathtaking excursions, a full schedule of fun activities and memories that will last a lifetime!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Global higher education's boldest step

As universities around the globe continue to internationalise, promoting study abroad, recruiting international students and forming partnerships and degree programmes, one recent trend the opening of international offshore, satellite or branch campuses - has taken off exponentially over the past 10 years. Of the estimated 100 branch campuses currently operating worldwide, more than a third are in the Arab region.There are nearly 60 transnational institutions and programmes in the Middle East today and of these, over 80% are located in the Persian Gulf with staggering concentrations in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Nearly half these institutions are affiliated with universities in the United States, while the rest are spread across several other mostly Western and Asian nations.

Several types of institutions or programmes can be identified in the region.Only New York University in Abu Dhabi has opened a replica campus, a full-scale, degree-granting, research university with a liberal arts and science college.Many institutions such as Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha and Manchester Business School Worldwide in Dubai have opened branch campuses that offer degrees in one or two specialised academic or professional fields of study at a foreign site.Additionally, old and new turnkey foreign-style institutions have been founded in affiliation or consultation with foreign contractors or institutions: for example, the long-standing American University in Cairo or the recently opened American University of Sharjah.

Transnational or offshore programmes do not establish their own physical campus abroad, but rather partner with a host country institution to teach, for instance, an American business curriculum at an existing university in Bahrain.A few foreign-style institutions have opened in the past few years, where independent institutions are modeled on or presented as a foreign system, but have no actual affiliation with an outside university: for example the American University in Dubai.Finally, virtual branch campuses, or online universities such as the University of Phoenix, are also present in the region.While all of these models and transnational partnership programmes have grown rapidly over the past decade, particularly in the Gulf region, branch campuses represent the majority of offshore institutions today.

Why this recent expansion and concentration in the Gulf region?A combination of increased internationalisation efforts hampered by rising administrative costs at many Western universities has dovetailed with wealthy Gulf leaders willing to pay these costs in order to make their mark on education reform in their nation.While globalisation has provided a catalyst for this form of transnational higher education, four regional factors are key in explaining this recent phenomenon and its rapid growth in the Gulf.First of all, the regional identity of the Persian Gulf has played an important role in the establishment and growth of the offshore educational model. The Gulf States Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates share a strong historical interconnectedness politically, culturally and economically.

Scholars of the region have noted that when one Gulf state makes a change, others are likely to follow. Thus similar higher education reform strategies across the region are to be expected.At the same time, each nation's leaders compete with their counterparts, so the diversity of institutional models in the region nonetheless underscores the particular contextual needs and goals of each host society.Regional economic and demographic transformations are also crucial in understanding why the Gulf States have pursued the transnational higher education model to such an extent.As the region's economy has shifted along with much of the world to a post-industrial stage where knowledge and flexibility are prized over unskilled labor in the job market, there is a higher demand for human capital development in order to stay competitive in the global economy.

As the youth population and unemployment soar in the Middle East, awareness is growing as to how the traditional education model in the region fails to provide students with the skills needed to work in the new economy. This is one reason why so many of the recently opened transnational higher education institutions and programmes in the region offer specialised professional degree programmes such as business, IT and health sciences.

At Qatar's Education City, for example, the resident American university programmes specialise in arts and design Virginia Commonwealth, medicine Weill Cornell, engineering Texas A&M, computer science Carnegie Mellon, international relations Georgetown and journalism Northwestern. These programmes fill a void in the local university system.As regional inadequacies in higher education are highlighted, and the private sector continues to grow, the traditional system dominated by large, public universities designed to feed graduates into high-status, stable public sector jobs has been called into question.

The development of transnational branch campuses has not replaced the local university system, but rather provides some competition, especially at the undergraduate level, while also offering specialised graduate and professional programmes currently unavailable at public institutions.These new transnational institutions recruit students not only locally but also regionally, adding to the regional nature of this phenomenon. As a result, students in the Middle East now have a wealth of higher education options available to them 'at home' that previously were only available to those who could study abroad, usually young wealthy males.

Finally, political and cultural issues specific to the Gulf region explain in part the rapid adoption of this educational model. In this time of revolutionary political and cultural change throughout the region, some Arab leaders view educational reform as a crucial part of the liberalisation process.In Qatar, the Emir and Sheikha Mozah spearheaded the Qatar Foundation's educational initiatives, founding Education City in pursuit of their vision to transform Qatar into a knowledge-based economy by building durable human capacity.Since Virginia Commonwealth first began offering its arts and design classes to female students in 1997, Qatar's unprecedented investment in higher education saw the addition in 2010 of programmes in executive education and management (HEC Paris) and museum studies (University College of London) at Education City, as well as the opening of the Community College of Qatar, based upon the Houston Community College model, in Doha.

As we begin to understand the critical regional component in this international higher education trend, many questions are raised for the university administrators, scholars, students and policy-makers concerned. Issues such as women's rights and free speech are consistent battlegrounds in the Middle East and the education arena.Have Western universities expanded too quickly, scrambling to join what David Arnold, former president of the American University in Cairo, has referred to as the gold rush in higher education?While their future success remains questionable, these transnational institutions and programmes represent one of the most significant developments in both the globalisation of higher education and local education reform in the Gulf region to date.Elizabeth Hanauer and Anh-Hao Phan are PhD candidates in international education at New York University. This is an edited version of an article Hanauer co-authored with Cynthia Miller-Idriss that appeared in the May 2011 edition of Comparative Education. Anh-Hao Phan's dissertation research investigates the Qatari example of educational borrowing, with a case study of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. She contributed an article to the Middle East Institute's Viewpoints Special Edition:Higher Education and the Middle East: Building institutional partnerships.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fulbright Scholar grant to study abroad

Maureen Brady Coyle, Director of Study Abroad at Felician College, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to study and observe educational developments and international education in the Federal Republic of Germany.According to Coyle, the Fulbright grant will provide Felician the opportunity to forge exchange agreements with German as well as other international educational institutions thereby increasing the number of countries in which Felician students can choose to study. Moreover, students from a greater number of countries will then have the opportunity to study at Felician.

Study abroad is a priority for Felician College President Sister Theresa Mary Martin,said Coyle. She would like the program to grow in order for it to continue to meet the needs of our students.The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education. Coyle is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012.Coyle, who as worked in the field of international education for more than a decade, previously held leadership positions with the International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, the Institute for the International Education of Students, and Trinity College.

About the Fulbright Program:
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty three Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes. Prominent Fulbright alumni include: Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director and Founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; John Atta Mills, President of Ghana; Lee Evans, Olympic Gold Medalist; Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University; Riccardo Giacconi, Physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate; Amar Gopal Bose, Chairman and Founder, Bose Corporation; Rene Fleming, soprano; Jonathan Franzen, Writer; and Daniel Libeskind, Architect.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rising fees at home have made other countries a tempting destination for UK students

With university tuition fees rising to a maximum of £9,000 a year from 2012, UK students are increasingly exploring their options for studying overseas. With some degrees in Scandinavia still free to EU students and with scholarships available elsewhere to tempt the academically gifted, now is a good time to begin looking at the alternatives.The Open Doors report by the US Institute for International Education found that a record 8,861 UK students studied in US universities in 2009/10, marking a 1.8 per cent increase from the previous year. A little under half of all UK students heading to the US are studying at undergraduate level, while a third take postgraduate degrees.

Next term, Erica Leishman from Manchester will fly out to begin a Bachelors degree in digital arts at the University of Oregon.I always wanted to study in America, because I’ve got dual citizenship and family there. I think that the range of subjects on offer is a lot more exciting than in the UK. In my first semester I’m going to be studying French, tragedy in literature, art, kickboxing and drama,says Leishman. US universities teach a general first year that allows for a wide breadth of study. Students taking liberal arts degrees only have to choose their major subject in the third year. This has advantages over the UK system, where subject specialism does not allow for easy changes of direction. Leishman’s degree will last four years, in which time she will take a mix of arts and science as well as her major, optional languages and sports. Each module contributes credits towards her final degree.

The University of Oregon is run by the state, which means local students pay lower fees. Leishman found she qualified for an out of state grant to help offset annual tuition fees of around $20,000 (£12,200). Although high, many American institutions offer generous scholarships. Well endowed by their alumni networks and with a tradition of gifting money, many private universities seek to attract the most academically gifted UK students with full or half-cost scholarships, particularly at private universities and the elite Ivy League institutions, such as Harvard, Wharton, Yale and Stanford. You’ll need to be quick, because they tend to have early deadlines. There may also be scholarships attached to specific subjects, says Leishman, who receives a $7,000 (£4,200) a year from such a programme.

UK students should also apply early for their visa through the US embassy. Since Leishman has dual nationality she was able to apply as a non-resident and was even eligible for a US government loan. There is no equivalent to Ucas in the US, so students must apply directly to universities.Ruth Kinsey, who graduated in May with a magna cum laude honours degree in German and history from Vanderbilt University Nashville, was in the sixth form of Wycombe Abbey school when the dean of Vanderbilt’s school of arts and sciences came to give a talk.After a holiday visit to several US universities the summer before she applied, Kinsey narrowed her shortlist to two, Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt, which won her over by awarding her four scholarships to pay all her tuition, accommodation and living expenses. In the course of a four-year degree, Kinsey received just over $200,000 (£122,300) in scholarships.It is very unlikely Ruth would have been offered a place to study history at an English university as she had studied all science A-levels at school. With the American system, she didn’t have to specialise immediately. Vanderbilt gave her the chance to change academic direction, says her mother, Sue Kinsey.My husband and I pay her air fares and medical insurance but, as we are both teachers, without a full scholarship there’s no way we could have afforded to subsidise her, she says.

Like all UK students wanting to study in the US, Kinsey had to take a scholastic aptitude test (SAT), a standard for university admission based on mathematics, critical reading and writing. She scored over 800.I started to major in history in my third year and in the final year I submitted a 60-page research paper. My topic was the history of the Jesuit mission to the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota,says Kinsey.Her time at Nashville will be memorable for another reason. While on the course, Kinsey met her future husband, Alex. They got married on 30 July at a church in Nashville.Alex and I are now living in Madison Wisconsin and I’ve just started a new job at the Gordon Flesch Company as an executive assistant,she says.

The Fulbright Commission offers scholarships to encourage talented international students to study in some of the best US universities. According to the Fulbright Commission, the top five US universities receiving UK students are Harvard University, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California. A Fulbright award can cover the full tuition costs or even half the costs of a degree at an Ivy League university.Studying environmental stewardship as part of the Fulbright Summer Institute hosted by Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, Anna Dominey from London was part of a small group of students from the UK to join a six-week international study programme that would give students a taste of the US campus experience.

Dominey, who went to Lady Margaret School in Parson’s Green, holds offers from Oxford University and St Andrews to read theology.I heard about Fulbright through the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity that supports students from lower-income backgrounds. I was eligible through receiving an education maintenance allowance and having a strong academic track record. I wanted to apply, because I have always wanted to explore somewhere far from home, she says.Dominey would consider applying to a US university, possibly to do a postgraduate degree.From what I have seen, universities in the US have as much, if not more, to offer as UK institutions. There is so much to explore and experience, and the differences in culture add new dimensions to one’s area of study,she says.Thanks to the Bologna Process, which created a European higher education area, it is now easier for UK students to study as undergraduates in Europe, and three-year degrees are widely adopted as standard. Those taught in English, with high academic standards and competitive fees, are attracting keen interest.

Joint degrees including a language encourage students to spend a year of their degree being taught at a European institution. The University of Bristol, for example, offers several law degrees, including law with French or German, and a four-year Bachelors degree in law, one year of which is spent at a European university. Law students at the University of Glasgow spend a year out at a university in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal or Spain.However, European university fees are roughly equivalent to, and in some cases higher than, tuition fees in the UK. With the pound at such a weak position against the euro, UK students are likely to suffer from higher fees and a higher cost of living in some parts of the Continent than they otherwise might. But other European countries have clung on to their tradition of offering free university education. In Sweden, Finland and a small number of German federal states, undergraduate degrees are free. UK students enjoy the same rights as other EU citizens to a free higher education in these countries and most of the degrees are taught in English. Finland’s University of Tampere and the Lund and Link√∂ping universities in Sweden have an international reputation for health and social sciences, while the University of Bayreuth and the University of Kassel in Germany specialise in ecology and renewable energy. It is best to check with German institutions to see what fees are payable.

The downside of studying in Finland is that the winters are severe and the cost of monthly living expenses is estimated by the Scholarships for Development website at €700 (£610) a month. Outside the university campus, English is not widely understood and the language can be a hard one to learn.You are unlikely to have this problem in Sweden, where fluency in English is almost universal. Over the past decade, the numbers of foreign students studying in Sweden has more than tripled, totalling 36,000 in 2008/09. Tuition fees have been introduced for all non-EU students, but there are no plans yet to extend charging.The University of Lund is Sweden’s largest and best-known institution. Around 50 programmes are taught in English, ranging from international human rights law to sustainable urban design. Excellence is required in all areas of activity as Lund ranks as one of Europe’s leading institutions of higher education. There are about 35,000 undergraduates at Lund and the large student population contributes to an active cultural life, with a wide range of activities and entertainment available.

European universities offer generous contact time and, in some cases, career opportunities that would not be available in the UK.At Grenoble, there are more taught hours. We attend class on Saturdays and the lessons are in three-hour blocks, not the 40-minute slots you find in the UK, says Mark Thomas, associate dean of Grenoble Ecole de Management.Academics, however, point to the UK’s reputation and long track record in delivering high-quality degrees. They say that it is not the number of taught hours that count but the quality of teaching and academic research.The number of UK undergraduates studying in Europe is rising. There is no centralised data, but leading European universities are reporting average numbers of UK students at around 5 per cent.We have 30 to 40 UK students each year and 75 different nationalities, says Patrice Houdayer, vice-president of EM Lyon university.

The European Commission’s Erasmus programme provides funding to UK students to spend time at European universities as part of their degree studies. Developing a more international outlook is imperative for students in the 21st century and there is little doubt that EU-funded projects such as Erasmus, under which students spend part of their degree at a European institution, have encouraged better international understanding.Eight per cent more UK students were heading to Europe in 2009/10 and a further increase is expected this year, says David Hibler, the Erasmus programme manager at the British Council.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Students interested studying abroad in Europe

University students interested in studying abroad in Europe now have new program options at top-ranking universities in Northern Ireland and Ireland through International Studies Abroad.
Beginning in spring 2012, International Studies Abroad (ISA), one of the leading study abroad program providers in the United States, will offer programs at Queen's University Belfast and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Our programs offer students the opportunity to explore a different side of the Europe,said Jimmy Brazelton, ISA Coordinator of New Program Initiatives.Students who study in Ireland or Northern Ireland will take courses with locals at renowned universities while immersing themselves in traditional Irish culture.In addition to offering courses in Irish Gaelic, the programs feature student excursions to destinations such as Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, County Antrim, and Londonderry, to name a few, all led by on-site ISA staff members.

"As we gear up for ISA's 25th anniversary in 2012, we're excited to add Ireland and Northern Ireland to our growing list of study abroad locations, said Arturo Artaza, Executive Vice President of University Relations and Marketing.We're pleased to be leading the field with on-site resident staff to support students in both Belfast and Galway.Queen's University Belfast, founded in 1845, is the largest higher education institute in Northern Ireland and is recognized as one of the UK's 20 leading research universities. From Accounting to Women's Studies, ISA students can choose from over 3,000 courses in 100 different subject areas to fulfill academic credit requirements while abroad.

National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, founded in 1845, is a leader in research and teaching. Hosting more than 100 student societies and sports clubs, NUI Galway encourages the integration of international students throughout the entire campus. ISA participants can join any of these student organizations or the university's popular volunteer program to enrich their experience abroad.For close to twenty five years, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, England, France, India,Austria, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Panama, Peru, South Korea and Spain.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

VTU start post-graduate courses in Bangalore Centre

Visvesvaraya Technological University is all set to introduce post-graduate courses like Masters in Computer Applications and Masters in Business Administration apart from post graduate courses in Engineering from this academic year.With the construction of the University’s Bangalore Centre over two acres on Magadi Road, the Vice-Chancellor Dr H Maheshappa told The New Indian Express that courses would begin from this academic year.We have written to the Karnataka Examination Authority informing them about the availability of these courses and the data of the seats available for inclusion during the counselling process,he said.

In the letter, he has informed the KEA that 120 MBA seats, 120 MCA seats and 25 seats each in five M Tech courses would be available for the students to choose at the Bangalore Centre. When questioned about no All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) intimation available on these courses, he clarified that an autonomous university need not seek AICTE’s approval but would inform the statutory body about the introduction of these courses. While students would welcome more engineering seats at the Post-graduation level, they have been apprehensive about the quality of infrastructure in government-run institutes. However, Dr Malleshappa allayed such fears and said the decision to introduce the course was taken following the availability of infrastructure. “The three-storey building housing PG classrooms and administrative area is complete with only interior work to be taken up. The regional office will also have laboratories, guest houses and faculty quarters and has been built at the cost of`25 crore,he adds.The work at Muddenahalli campus too is all set to begin next week and the vice-chancellor hoped that admission for the various courses on the campus will be possible from next academic year.

Revamp of UBDT Engg College

The first ever Government engineering college in the state the UBDT Engineering college in Davangere will now get a revamp of its infrastructure at the cost of `2 crore.The college, brought under the VTU earlier this year, was found in a really bad state.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Exchange Rates for Study Abroad

Students heading back to school amid a slumping economy and a downgraded national debt rating need only two words to get their outlook and finances back on track: semester abroad. Students considering skipping the country for a semester face some tough choices, but could make out on the deal if they choose their destination wisely. Retail sales rose 0.5% from June to July, while July sales were up 8.5% from the same month last year, according to the Census Bureau, but consumer confidence tanked to a three-decade low around the same time. This doesn't paint such a rosy picture at home, but students headed abroad may also be in for some sticker shock as soon as their visas are stamped. Paul Watson, senior vice president for the American Institute for Foreign Study based in Stamford, Conn., says many of the 5,000 students enrolled in his program's academic year, semester and summer programs gravitate toward the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand when they're not up for learning a language or to Italy,Germany, Spain and France when they dream of romance languages and Eurail trips.

The problem is that all of these locations are fairly costly for students looking to convert their weak, wilting dollars into traveling money. The value of one British pound is up to roughly $1.63, which quickly turns a wad of American bills into the U.K. equivalent of a change purse. Economic upheaval and debt crises in many of its own nations hasn't prevented the euro from providing only a slightly deeper discount from the sterling at $1.42. America's study-abroad slackers shouldn't expect much love during trips north, either, as the dollar amounts to only 99 Canadian cents these days.Despite the fact that the decline in value of the dollar has impacted the cost of studying in the traditional and most popular destinations in Europe, the cost of study abroad has remained very stable, while the cost of higher education in the U.S. continues to increase dramatically, outpacing and often at double the rate of inflation,Watson says.For students attending private colleges, study abroad is comparable to the cost of staying on campus, and in many cases it can be lower.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Graduate Study Abroad

Evelyn Robertson was consulting in Canada and the Caribbean for Xerox when she decided to enroll in Pepperdine University’s Organization Change Program at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology to broaden her career internationally. The doctoral program takes a comprehensive view of the world’s changing business environments, arming graduates with the ability to create change within and across their own organizations. She studied and conducted research in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

When she returned stateside and earned her doctorate in education, Xerox immediately promoted her. Today Robertson is a strategic organization change consultant at Robertson and Associates, a management consulting firm in Long Beach.And because consultants like Robertson work in an increasingly global environment, Pepperdine and Cal Poly Pomona have comprehensive study abroad programs to help them adapt to those demands.Pepperdine’s EdD program of 12 eight-day sessions draws students from across the globe for online study and classroom seminars in West Los Angeles and in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, the Czech Republic, China and Canada.

Kay Davis, director of the organization change doctoral program, said that students interested in the program work in a corporate environment and are charged with changing initiatives to help an organization create new practices in terms of employee performance. Sometimes they’re in HR management. Many CEOs and people in supporting roles want to influence change. In smaller organizations, they may be chief operating and learning officers or entrepreneurs.” Their industries range from healthcare to high tech and nonprofit.Students in Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management have the opportunity to earn MBAs internationally by attending a partner university in one of 25 locations throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. Business internships abroad and courses in conversational French, German, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish are among the program’s academic highlights. The 15-month master of science in the global business program, for students with limited work experience, offers study abroad courses in 17 countries.

Cal Poly Pomona’s International Program convenes in numerous countries, including Ghana, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, China and England. Renford Reese, a professor of political science and director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Colorful Flags Program curriculum abroad geared toward increasing cultural competency takes undergrads and students enrolled in select master’s programs to Amsterdam and Ghana.He also takes Cal Poly Pomona teacher candidates to experience a culture other than their own and to examine education in a different context,explained M.G.Peggy Kelly, dean of Cal Poly’s College of Education and Integrative Studies.In Ghana, the nine-day program includes lectures by University of Ghana, Legon faculty as well as by ministers from the country’s government offices.It’s a melange of lectures, site visits and outdoor activities,Reese said.In Amsterdam, students shadow social workers in the Dutch Salvation Army. Cal Poly’s Landscape Architecture Italy Program goes to Tuscany, where students study ancient and contemporary styles of art, architecture and landscapes, with a focus on sustainability.

Studying abroad has made me a global-minded citizen by enabling me to analyze social issues from a comparative perspective,said Richard Woo, who completed the nine-day programs in the Netherlands and Ghana.Writing my thesis helped me couple theory with practice.These study abroad programs help students step outside of their comfort zone and empathize,Reese observed.You’ll never forget this experience.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Opportunities abroad are available in many countries around Europe, USA and Australia

A-level results day 2011 promises to be a disappointment for an estimated 100,000 students in England. With British universities unable to fulfil the demand for places, students are advised to consider universities elsewhere in Europe, USA or Australia.International higher education advisor A Star Future has compiled a list of available places at universities this September and October.

There are opportunities in a wide range of subjects from business to medicine, classical civilisation to hotel and tourism management.The situation changes so rapidly at this time of year that any list of available places is quickly out of date. For example, there are many courses that are full at the moment where vacancies could open up next week. We try to keep on top of developments in order that we can offer the best advice possible to British schools and students,commented Mark Huntington, managing director of A Star Future.Last year, A Star Future helped a small number of students gain places at universities in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Australia during clearing. This year is expected to be much busier and many parents and students have already been in touch looking to line up an alternative should the worst happen next Thursday.

With the increase in tuition fees coming in 2012, reapplying next year is not an option that many students will wish to consider,continued Huntington.Average student debt is estimated to reach £60,000 for a three-year degree starting in 2012. Many options around the world are considerably more cost-effective and even countries such as Australia are unlikely to prove more expensive in real terms.A full list of available clearing vacancies is hosted on the home page of the A Star Future website and will be updated regularly over the next two weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sakshi Mehrotra lavishes praise on the University of Glasgow, UK, for teaching her many a valuable lesson

The main reason behind my decision to study abroad was the fact that India still does not make it easy for students to make a switch in fields. After completing an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, I wanted to pursue post-graduation in Civil Engineering. I came to the University of Glasgow because the course structure I am studying is welcoming of students from diverse backgrounds. After almost a year of study, I strongly believe it was a sound decision.

Right from the application stage till I entered my first classroom, there was step-by-step guidance from the friendly staff of the university. Moreover, the university has representatives in cities all over the country, making course information easily accessible to students. In addition, there are visits by international officers from the university to a few major cities in India, where they offer on-the-spot admissions and if appropriate, academic scholarships as well. I was privileged to receive a scholarship of 3000 pounds as an academic excellence award. The university staff is very cooperative and helpful in answering any questions that students might have.Web Chat sessions organised by the international office from time-to-time were particularly helpful.

The process of ‘do-it-on-your-own’ is greatly emphasised here. The structure of the curriculum encourages students to develop their analytical skills. I assume this is because once we step out into the industry, the decisions we make will have an impact on society as a whole. Students are expected to put in a lot of independent effort into assignments and projects. So many a time, there is no unique correct answer. There could be several right answers. This is one area I think that differs from Indian pedagogy, where the correct answer syndrome looms large over every classroom session. It’s the approach that matters, more than just the final solution.

Apart from the knowledge gained, I have grown as an individual, and this comes only by living independently in a different environment. The multi-cultural background of students from diverse nations helped me immensely in understanding other students and developing a bond that will last a lifetime.The university campus has me in awe even today. It is a unique blend of state-of-the-art buildings with traditional Scottish architecture which is symbolic of the progress made with time but keeping intact the reminiscence of the past. The environment here on campus is absolutely vibrant.The university has one of the best libraries in Europe with a wonderful view and the perfect place for bookworms to snuggle. For others who like to balance studies with extra-curricular enjoyment, there is no dearth of activities organised by the students’ bodies or the trips and events organised by the international society. Name it, and it is right here from sports to literature to music to theatre.

The university also has a Careers Service department where students can seek help in preparing CVs, or get quick coaching for job interviews which is a great service for international students who are applying for jobs in the UK.In the course of my stay, I have realised that apart from the quality of education, the living environment plays a very important role. Glasgow is a wonderful city to be in; it is rightly called the City of Music. A few hours’ drive from Glasgow will take you into the beautiful and majestic highlands of Scotland where nature is preserved in its best form.Yes, being away from home may not be easy, but there are lots of Indian societies and temples/gurudwaras/mosques around the campus so the environment is almost the same as back home.I would strongly encourage prospective students to take the leap and make the best use of the plethora of opportunities here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

400 International Students from 25 Countries joined University in the session 2011-2012

Lovely Professional University welcomed more than 400 International students from 25 countries of four continents, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa at its campus. Commenting on this significant development, the Chancellor of the University, Mr. Ashok Mittal said This is one the biggest international recruitment done by any of the university in India for foreign students. With this addition of close to 400 new international students, the university has now reached another benchmark of becoming the largest university in terms of having the most number of international student in a single campus. The total strength of international students in the campus reached to 600. The present rate of admission of international students is 200% more in comparison to the last year. Various countries from where the students are studying in India includes USA, Italy, Iran, Bhutan, Nepal, Germany,Afghanistan, Dubai, Thailand, Iraq, Indonesia, Burundi, Sudan, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Kenya etc. These students have opted various courses like BCA , B.Tech, BBA, MBA, MCA and BJ(MC) etc.

In order to acquaint the students about the university, a six hours informative induction programme was scheduled for them. It was comprised of addresses by senior authorities and presentations from relevant departments. Also PPTs were made on the rules and regulations and systems of the university like how to access online available material, academics, examinations, security and discipline. Aimed to get the fresh-students well-adjusted to the culture and traditions prevalent at the University, a campus tour and a two-hour cultural evening was also specially arranged to entertain them.

In a suggestive welcoming address, the Chancellor of the University, Mr. Ashok Mittal expected of all such students, from different continents of the world, to represent themselves, in a way, as true official ambassadors of their respective countries. He said:Now, on becoming an integral part of the LPU community; you are of course shouldering new responsibilities of more of humane behavior by sharing your culture and traditions with those of others.Motivating them, he exclaimed:Indeed, it is an entirely new phase of your life. Upholding the traditions and values of India, you have to co-exist with your fellow students on international standards during your entire span of study programme.He also mentioned:It is really making us proud to see a regular addition in number of students from more and more countries, in every new session. Prior to this, students from India used to go abroad for higher studies but now the trend has been changed a lot. Our University has enrolled many foreign students from different lands. It is, indeed, a strong indication that our efforts will never go in vain and India is once again going to wear the coveted crown of a Master in the realms of Education.

In the evening, students were made to swing, sing, stamp and keep tossing their heads on the melodies of Bhangra & Giddha, Rajasthani Jhoomer, Classical Dances and Rap Performances. Getting boosted the International students also showcased their inborn talents. Some of such students Rafi from USA, Abba Ahmed Muhammed from Nigeria, Suchet from Indonesia, Ganga from Nepal, Vishma Chuwan of Bhutan, Alen Atem representing Sudan, Adeeb al Rumayhi of Bangladesh and others said joyfully:We are indeed lucky to be received at the largest university of India in the most possible humane manner. No doubt, certain uncertainties were lurking in our minds at first, but the very first day of ours under special Induction Programme has assured us firmly that we are in our own country and among our own persons.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Student's Guide to Going to college Outside of U.S.

Growing up is tough enough without the worries of your financial future, so Money101 is here for you. E-mail us your questions and let us take off some of the pressure.For college-bound kids hoping to get a little bit farther away from home than a couple of states over, pursuing a degree in another country could be an option worth exploring.Rather than studying abroad for only a semester or two, some Americans are choosing to attend school full time overseas. In addition to the more than 260,000 students who study abroad each year for academic credit at a U.S. college or university, more than 40,000 American students enrolled in higher education institutions outside of the U.S. for full degree programs, according to a forthcoming report which will be issued by the Institute of International Education later this summer.

By choosing an international degree program, not only are you able to earn a degree, you have the opportunity to live and travel abroad as well,says Ashley Mikal, who is working on her master’s in anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.In this last year I have met so many incredible people, including my professors and classmates, and I’ve been able to travel around Europe, spending time at museums and historical landmarks that I otherwise would have only read about in books.Before students pack their bags and get their passports squared away, experts advise there are some factors that should be considered before crossing the pond to get an education.

When deciding to go to school abroad, students should ask themselves the same questions as they would if they were looking at schools in the U.S., says Josh Irons, director of product marketing at StudyAbroad.com: do you want to study in an urban or rural environment? Do you want a large or small school? Is there any religious affiliation?As a student narrows down their choices they should look at the application process,says Irons.In the UK for instance, AP [advanced placement] exams are a major entry requirement because they are more closely aligned with the types of entry exams a UK student must take.In some programs, students may be expected to learn on a more independent basis, says Mikal, and could receive a sizeable reading list, be expected to read everything, attend lectures and write a paper at the end of the term that counts for the entire grade.Everything is done on your own,says Mikal.For some this works, for others it is a big adjustment.

Do your research

Students should always verify that a school is accredited regardless of the country they plan to study in,says Irons.A student should consider length of degree, cost, language of instruction and degree types offered.Students also have to do their due diligence in educating themselves about the countries and the cultures that they will encounter, says Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education. He suggests students talk to alumni or people that you know who have completed a degree internationally. That’s as important for an American student going to the London School of Economics or to the Sorbonne [in Paris] as it is at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China,he says.It really pays to talk to someone who’s done it or is there doing it so you know exactly what to expect because there is no one size fits all.After students determine what university to attend, they should verify that they’re going to have some level of support from the host institution to help navigate the move, advises Dr. Brian Whalen, president and CEO of the Forum of Education Abroad.

The support services are very important and some universities actually have representatives here in the United States and they can meet with students to provide some support from here in the United States through their branch office,says Whalen.That can be very helpful for students and also for parents who might have questions and concerns and want somebody who’s located nearby whom they can call upon to help out.The majority of international degree programs take less time to complete than standard four-year American universities, which can be cost efficient in terms of tuition in the long run, according to Irons.

Many countries’ average tuition is less than that of the US,he says.The caveat here is that the weakness of the U.S. dollar has made some places that were traditionally bargains not as cost effective as they used to be.While the currency exchange is definitely something to consider, as well as other amenities like room and board and travel expenses, Mikal found it less expensive to pursue a master’s degree abroad because she completed her program in one year instead of two.While there are few scholarships available for U.S. students, because of the difference in tuition, it still ends up being an affordable decision,says Mikal.Additionally, you receive free healthcare and there are many student run events and free opportunities as well.

As far as U.S. federal financial aid goes, there is a lot of debate concerning new financial aid regulations and how foreign institutions relate and accept the processing of aid for American students going to school abroad, says Whalen.That is something for the student to ask about upfront, to understand the policies that the individual universities have and that may determine whether or not they apply and what kind of financing they might be able to obtain,says Whalen.

Differences in education

Attending a university in a foreign country can be a great learning experience for students, but it can also serve as a reality check of the differences between the American and foreign education systems. Goodman points out that American students tend not to be prepared to deal with other countries’ lack of grade inflation.There is a different grading standard probably the hardest thing to understand about grading abroad is that very few people get ‘As’,he says.The average grade abroad is probably a ‘C’ and that’s perfectly fine. In a job interview, you may have to do some explaining about that.The experts suggest students find out if the field of study or degree that they are pursuing is transferrable to other parts of the world before committing to a degree program. Whalen suggests finding out what alumni who have completed the program are doing career wise and if that degree is widely accepted.

They will have to weigh the cost benefit of that, whether being overseas and pursuing that degree for a period of time takes them out of the loop of the traditional way students proceed from graduation from getting perhaps an internship during the summers here, getting their first job and perhaps going on to graduate school,says Whalen.It will be a different path for sure, but the student needs to consider how they will proceed through that path themselves.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Study abroad of Kuwaiti students

The Cultural Office in the UK would more firmly regulate the study abroad of Kuwaiti students, starting from the selection of their language courses and all through actual study, head of the office Mohammad Al-Hajri told KUNA on Monday.Al-Hajri added that the students would be distributed among proper institutions and geographical locations without too much concentration in any one destination of study, and it is crucial that students only register for language courses and support with institutions accredited by the office, most particularly in their first year.
Any registration with an institution not accredited by the office shall not be considered, he pointed out, and the majority of students who shied from the office's advice in the past came to regret their decisions and suffered academically, as well as socially.

Certain destinations of the past are no longer allowed, he noted, after several problems and failure of the institutions involved to cooperate to resolve them. Students were allowed appropriate compensation, such as re-study of the first year at no charge. Gulf authorities were apprised of the difficulties with these institutions so that other Gulf students are spared the suffering, he remarked.The official urged all students accepted for scholarships in the UK to apply for the International English Language Testing System evaluation if they wish to start study in the next semester, starting in September, and are also urged to seek information regarding visas.As always, our students are the homeland's ambassadors, and they should act accordingly,Al-Hajri stressed as a final word of advice.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kassia to offer MBA, BBA courses

Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association Kassia will now have its own school of business management which will offer a range of short-term and long term management courses like Executive MBA, BBM. Kassia state president Prakash N Raikar told Sunday Times of India that the courses will be offered through distance education. They are intended to develop entrepreneurship skills among people working in the industry.

Kassia has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kuvempu University for the purpose. Though it is a distance learning programme, there will be compulsory classes during weekends. The faculty will be drawn from specialists in industry and business management education.The syllabus has been designed to suit the industry needs and help the entrepreneurs to expand their domain of business. It will lay stress on skills like finance, marketing, labour acts, human relations etc, which Raikar said most of the small entrepreneurs are lacking, affecting the growth of their industries.

The learners will also get the study materials. To begin with, short term courses in finance and business administration will be started from September. The duration of short term courses will be one to three months.The executive-MBA and BBM courses will start from January next year. The intake for each course will be 50. Raikar said that first they will start these courses only in Bangalore and depending on its success they will extend it to other major cities of the state.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Universities to open free online courses

Liao Kaili, a girl from a poor rural family with three children in Henan province, dreams of never leaving the campus.What a wonderful dream it would be for me to listen to a professor's lectures while living in Beijing,the 18-year-old told China Daily.Liao had to give up an offer of a place in high school, as her parents needed her to get a job to support her little brother who is still in primary school.

However, the dream of attending a university will no longer be so remote for Liao as about 20 of China's top universities, such as Peking and Tsinghua universities, plan to open 100 online courses to society in the autumn term.To improve the quality of education and balance teaching resources among different regions, the number of online open courses will increase to 1,000 during the 12th Five-Year Plan 2011-2015 period, said the Ministry of Education.The first batch of online open courses from Chinese universities were launched in April, after similar courses from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford had become popular across China.Inspired by this, domestic universities, like Fudan University in Shanghai, have started to make their lectures and courses available to the public on platforms such as v.163.com/open.

A series of lectures about ancient Chinese philosophy by Wang Fansen, a famous history scholar, are now available.Fudan holds more than 2,000 lectures annually. In the past five years, the university has recorded more than 500 lectures, some of which will be gradually opened to the public, according to the university.However, people doubt whether the domestic open courses will be competitive with foreign open classes.I prefer to listen to a foreign professor's open course unless it is about China's history or culture,said Huang Wenwen, a graduate from the communication and new media department of the City University of Hong Kong.The professor's good presentation skills and the courses' special features give foreign open courses an advantage.

China has provided high school lessons to the public for several years, but the influence has been limited as the courses are hard to understand.Although those online lectures have been very popular in China, domestic open courses have a long way to go to have an impact on society, said Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a Beijing-based non-profit private educational policy research body.However, some university professors argue that online open courses are resources shared by the university and its teachers.The free open courses are an infringement of the intellectual property rights of teachers,said Chen Lidan, a journalism professor with Renmin University of China.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An informed choice of subjects and good use of university time make for a more marketable graduate

Every time Today presenter John Humphrys makes a withering remark about media studies degrees, he might be unwittingly inspiring another batch of unrelenting creatives to scribble just that course name on their Ucas forms. Oversubscribed as these degrees may be and poorly paid as so many trainee media content producers may be the disdain shown by grumpy old men gives them instant credibility.As Danielle Goldstein, a young intern bound for a Journalism degree at City University, explains:At my school, there was one group who wanted to do art, English, media and design degrees, and a group who wanted to make money.The latter did law.

University is not solely about the subject you study, but with tuition fees set to rise to as much as £9,000 per annum from September 2012, young people and their families will have to consider carefully the repayment prospects and jobs they are likely to obtain on qualifying.The key these days is versatility.When you first go to university, start thinking about what you’re going to do once you have graduated,says Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, a not for-profit organisation representing more than 800 firms. The days of, 'If I get a good degree, that’s sufficient,’ are gone. At university, there’s plenty of scope for voluntary work, internships or work placements to help you discover what employers offer and what they’re looking for. Find out about work opportunities and about yourself, reflect on this and articulate those skills to prospective employers.

According to AGR’s 2011 Summer review, law firms expect to offer the highest median starting salary to graduates at £37,000. Investment banks or fund managers come second at £36,500. At least as relevant, especially in a recession, are the figures for increases in recruitment, which indicate growth in a number of sectors. Consulting and business services are expected to rise by an impressive 149 per cent, and retail and insurance by a healthy 76 per cent and 53per cent respectively, while the public sector, banking and construction all take a dive with negative growth. Of the 21,507 jobs to be offered to graduates by the 202 firms that responded to the AGR survey, more than 40 per cent will go to would-be accountants and consultants, those providing business and professional services, and those pursuing careers in retail. But Gilleard points out that raw statistics are only one of many factors school-leavers and their families should take into consideration.They need to be aware of where the growth areas lie. For instance, in waste management and environmental jobs, renewable energies and agriculture, or specialisms such as Mandarin and linguistics, cultural sensitivity and emotional intelligence will be major recruitment factors in the 21st century.School-leavers should also explore what is available at small and medium-sized businesses and in areas they might never have thought of, such as procurement. Most people are unfamiliar with this sector, but the person doing the buying plays a major and often global role in affecting a company’s bottom line.

Many degrees are oversubscribed, and many jobs are short of applicants. The AGR’s Graduate Recruitment Summer Survey 2011 shows that while investment banking received more than 230 applications per post, engineering and industrial sectors received only 46 per vacancy. Combine this with an increase of 46.5pc in graduate-level engineering posts this year and a starting salary of around £24,000-£26,000, and this diverse sector would seem to offer opportunity and potential for growth.Prof Matthew Harrison, director of education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, makes the case:Engineering is a global business dealing with all of today’s big issues: energy, climate, water, transport, health and international security. As a result, it rewards those individuals who make a global contribution engineering graduates feature strongly in the annual tables on graduate salaries.

By harnessing science and technology in order to create systems that not only work, but work really well, engineers also gain huge personal satisfaction.The recent Sutton Trust charity report made headlines with the shock statistic that only five top schools send more pupils to Oxford and Cambridge than 2,000 other comprehensives or sixth-form colleges combined. One of the reasons the trend is so extreme relates not to ability, but simply to state-school pupils’ choice of A-levels.Reviewing last year’s A-level results, Dr Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of universities, says,It’s encouraging to see an increase in the number of students taking and achieving good passes in A-level sciences and maths. The skills learned by taking these subjects are essential for many courses at leading universities particularly in engineering, economics and medicine and can significantly improve a student’s life chances.

Dr Piatt says that subject choices are crucial.It is still true that too few students from state schools are opting for science and particularly single science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at GCSE, and advanced and university levels. All students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, must have access to appropriate information and guidance about the choices that will maximise their potential from an early age.Websites such as those of the AGR, The Daily Telegraph, Ucas and the Higher Education Statistics Agency, as well as university league tables and the Complete University Guide can help. But it’s also crucial to study prospectuses as all English degrees, for instance, are not the same and none are quite like the A-level courses designed to prepare pupils for them.Gilleard adds, “Be flexible, adaptable and mobile whatever you choose may not be the job you’ll do for the next 50 years. It is OK to follow your passions.In an increasingly specialised world, young people need to be alert to new and niche subjects. If journalism and art are cool, how much cooler is it to go into farming, to become a detective or to create something everyone wants to buy?

Monday, August 1, 2011

New opportunity to study abroad at the Prague Institute

High Point University is offering HPU students a new opportunity to study abroad at the Prague Institute in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic.The program will be a faculty-in-residence study abroad program, meaning faculty member Dr. Marlon Winters, professor of business administration, will accompany the students while they study in Prague for a full semester. The program will begin in spring 2012 and is a partnership with North Carolina State University.We're excited to add this academic opportunity to our faculty in residence study abroad program along with a similar program in Oxford, England, where HPU students have had the opportunity to study since 1991,says Dr. Dennis Carroll, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.Prague will allow our students many educational and cultural experiences in Eastern Europe under the instruction of an HPU faculty member.

The Prague Institute is a branch campus of the North Carolina University system. A North Carolina State University professor also will accompany students on trip.By studying in Prague, students will also have the opportunity to visit surrounding cities known for their history and culture, including Berlin, Budapest, Vienna and Istanbul.We have been so successful with our faculty-in-residence program in Oxford,says Winters.We now have an opportunity to send our students into Eastern Europe along with a faculty member who will teach courses for our students, and provide guidance and assistance throughout the semester.

In addition to the new Prague study abroad program, HPU students have the opportunity to study abroad for a full semester at 25 universities in 17 countries.At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among America's Best Colleges.Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference.