International News: February 2011
Febuary 2011

International News: February 2011

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Rates of Indian students to Australia essentially declining- Envoy

The flow of Indian students to Australia for higher studies has substantially reduced, said the Australian envoy adding an anticipation of the stringent migration policies to be the reason over incidences of attacks on Indian students there. “There is a large reduction in the number of Indian students, but I caution you from linking it to attacks. This reduction was because of change in the immigration policies,” said Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese. “Unlike the earlier generations, the Indian students over the last few years are going for private vocational courses that help them in attaining PR (permanent residence status). Like there were cookery and hair dressing courses, but we have changed the rules and these no longer lead to PR,” he added. On the drop in the number of Indian students, Varghese said the year on year decrease would be around 80 per cent. He said that the Australian government had also shut down many inferior institutes. “Institutes that were not offering quality education to foreign students were also closed on the directions of the government. This number is around 20 to 30. Some of them were closed down due to financial constraints,” said Varghese at a meet-the-press at Press Club here. “Some attacks could have racial elements and we obviously condemn them, but it would be a mistake to conclude that every incident was racial. These issues have now calmed down very significantly compared to a year ago,” stated Varghese.

ICT agreement between Uganda and Egypt

Eight letters of intent were signed between the Egyptian ministry of information and communication technology (ICT) has and the ICT ministry Uganda to build a smart technology village and establish a cyber security facility. Dr Tarek Kamil, the Egyptian minister of ICT at the meeting with the local ICT industry leaders last week mentioned that a strong partnership is being sought for Africa.

Among the areas of support and cooperation will be training 3,000 graduates on practical skills, using ICT for documentation of culture and national heritage, establishing business process outsourcing facilities, upgrading training institutions and establishing computer emergency response teams. Country churns out around 1,000 graduates from its universities annually; however, Uganda's business process outsourcing industry is yet to kick off on a massive scale. This number could be absorbed in the sector because of its sheer ability to employ large numbers. While Uganda has steadily enhanced its ICT skills base through education, it is yet to get to the stage of focusing on innovation and exports of the sector products to earn large revenues.

Malaysians now to benefit from Indian scholarships

The Indian government has offered 20 scholarships to Malaysians wanting to pursue courses in Ayurveda, Siddha, homeopathy and Unani in India for the academic year 2011-12 and onwards. The decision follows the visit to Malaysia of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last October. The high commission has invited applications from Malaysia nationals who wish to pursue traditional system of medicine courses. Eleven scholarships will be offered for the Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), five for the Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Sciences (BSMS), two for the Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) and two for the Bachelor of Homeopathy Medicine and Surgery (BHMS), the high commission announced on Tuesday. The scholarships will be offered for studies in selected colleges.

Chinese students aspiring for online American courses

With the advancement of education in various spheres, the implementing technologies of educational courses have also moved to the next level, especially for students who cannot afford to travel overseas but have the urge to pursue. According to the reports of an international daily, Chinese students can now go online for free courses from top American varsities on the Chinese website The open courses range from social science to business management and most of the students are white-collar workers and college students. “The online courses are excellent, professors are humorous, topics are interesting and the delivery is fun,” said office worker Guo Lei, who got in the habit of watching the online courses during her lunch hour. She is among many fans in China now, some setting up “free course groups” on social networking sites to share resources and discuss specific courses every day. The popularity of online learning also is leading to a boom for another industry, online script translation. A typical 45 to 70-minute course would take 70 hours of work, according to a group working together voluntarily to translate the lectures into Chinese subtitles.

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