All Posts Tagged With: "international"
Concert would “deeply offend”
Tel Aviv University will not permit a scheduled Richard Wagner concert to take place on its campus after angry protests, reports Haaretz. A university spokesperson chastised the show’s organizer, Attorney Yonathan Livni, saying that the performance would “deeply offend the Israeli public in general and Holocaust survivors in particular.” Livni is the founder of the Israel Wagner Society. Wagner, a nineteeth century composer, espoused anti-Semitic views and was a favorite of Adolf Hitler, the German chancellor who led the Holocaust that killed six-million Jews during World War II.
Luka Rocco Magnotta arrested in Berlin, Germany
Update (11:00 a.m. EST): Police in Berlin, Germany have arrested Magnotta.
With an international manhunt underway for Luka Rocca Magnotta, the weekend papers worked overtime to fill in details surrounding the case of the fugitive who police allege is responsible for the heinous killing and dismemberment of Lin Jun, a foreign student in Montreal.
Here is just some of what journalists have turned up:
- 1. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has talked to Chinese officials about the case. “I just spoke to China’s ambassador to Canada to convey my deep condolences on the senseless killing of Chinese student Jun Lin,” read a message sent Friday through Baird’s Twitter account.2. Lin was in Montreal to attend school, but his real goal was to find love. A three-byline story in the Globe and Mail suggests the Chinese native’s stated ambition was to marry. “He was in computers, and he was looking for love,” a former classmate told the Globe team.
3. Lin’s online presence was complicated. A second Globe story reported from Beijing reports that while the student went to see The Smurfs movie in 3D and liked to post cat photos on social media, his Internet persona also revealed a troubled side. Reports the Globe’s Mark MacKinnon from Beijing: “On Valentine’s Day last year, he posted a computer-altered photograph of himself with wild purple hair and a cracked face that turns grey around a mouth of broken and missing teeth. ‘My self-portrait,’ he wrote beneath the repulsive image.”
4. Lin loved nothing more than to go to dinner with friends. “Korean barbecue was his favourite,” reports Andrew Chung of the Toronto Star. Continue reading Body-parts murder: 10 new things we know
Asian Tigers and Australia dominate new ranking
University rankings often favour older institutions, because, in many cases, older schools have bigger endowments, more alumni and prestige.
The new QS Top 50 under 50 ranking takes the age-bias into account by removing all the universities founded before 1962.
Young schools are ranked on the same six criteria used in the QS World Top 300 ranking: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, student/faculty ratio, international student ratio and international faculty ratio.
But the results are very different. In the World Top 300 rankings, the U.S. and U.K. dominate. Canada has 14 entries, but none are in the Top 50.
Universitas 21 releases first world ranking
Researchers have created what they say is the first ranking of countries from best to worst at providing higher education. The report is from Universitas 21, a network of research-intensive universities whose Canadian members are McGill and the University of British Columbia.
The ranking followed a detailed examination of 48 countries using 20 metrics, including both input and output measures (see below). Each nation’s score is a percentage of the winner’s score, which was automatically 100. Here are the top 20:
Drips relax and energize students ahead of exams: school
An official in China has confirmed that a controversial photo of high school students hooked up to intravenous drips is real, reports China Daily.
The photo, taken at a school in Xiaogang City, Hubei during a late-night study session, was posted by a microblogger this week and quickly spread across the country. Students are currently preparing for June’s competitive National College Entrance Exam, also known as the Gaokao.
A spokesman for the school said that the drips contain amino acids to help students relax and stay energized. Experts warn that the practice has no proven benefit and comes with a small risk of infection.
Toronto, McGill and UBC in top 25
Three Canadian universities are among the top 25 schools worldwide in the newly-released 2012 Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings.
The University of Toronto ranks 16th. McGill University and the University of British Columbia are tied for 25th place. No other Canadian school is on the top 100 list.
Our universities’ reputations outshine those in most other countries, especially when our relatively smaller population is considered.
Among the top 25 (which includes two ties) fifteen are located in the United States, four are in the United Kingdom, two are in Japan, and there is one each in Singapore and Switzerland.
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Cambridge took the top three spots.
Why they got rid of the University of Western Ontario
There ‘s much fuss among alumni over the news that Western is changing its name, for most day-to-day purposes, to Western. Or Western University. Or Western University Canada.
What it won’t call itself, in colloquial use, is the University of Western Ontario. That remains the place’s legal name, but it won’t be the name Western travels with.
This is all causing a certain amount of consternation among people with a link to Western and, I think it’s fair to say, to people who follow branding exercises with a certain healthy amount of skepticism. Objections I heard this morning include:
1. This is dumb. Everyone calls it Western already.
2. This is dumb. It’s in Eastern Canada.
3. This is dumb. It’s in Southern Ontario.
To me, it’s not as dumb, but its cleverness takes a bit of explaining. Continue reading That’s Western University to you
Students had been waiting in line for days
A woman died from head and chest injuries and three others are in critical condition after a stampede at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, reports The Telegraph.
It happened on Tuesday morning after hundreds of applicants and their families stormed a gate to try and get coveted spots in the university. Some had waited in line since Sunday morning. The university received 85,000 applications for 11,000 first-year spots. The seats available Tuesday were “overfill.”
South Africa has a youth unemployment rate of roughly 50 per cent, according to the OECD.
Police are investigating
Joey Basha, a 25-year-old Canadian who had been studying international and public affairs at the University of Hong Kong, was found dead last week by local police. Basha, originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, disappeared Dec. 21st after going for takeout food, prompting a search by his family. Police found him last week dead in a public washroom, but without any identification documents. They told CBC News that they do not consider his death suspicious.*
*Update at 11:30 on Dec. 29: Phyllis Basha told The Canadian Press that police say evidence from an autopsy has prompted a criminal investigation into her son’s death.
Closed for renovations or revenge?
Côte d’Ivoire, a West African nation, has had its two universities shut down by President Alassane Ouattara until at least September 2012, provoking condemnation by human rights organizations frustrated that students will lose even more time.
Côte d’Ivoire has experienced increased instability in recent years following a civil war from 2002 to 2004 and a 2010 election when former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing the vote. He was ousted with the aid of French and United Nations troops earlier this year and is now facing justice in the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The fighting caused many lost semesters at the country’s two universities.
Now, Ouattara’s government will close both the Cocody and Abobo-Adjamé universities again, ostensibly to renovate the buildings and reorganize the higher education system to meet international standards. But some Ivorians believe the closure is punishment for students and professors who supported Gbagbo. You can read more at University World News.
A student’s revolt against Pinochet’s school reforms
Story by Richard Warnica.
If one were to rank the legacies of the Pinochet era in Chile, education reform wouldn’t likely make most lists. The former dictator devastated his country in many ways. Thousands of his opponents were murdered or simply disappeared. Countless more were tortured or forced into exile. But Augusto Pinochet also radically deregulated the education market, pulling funds from the public sector in the early 1980s and spreading them into a parallel private system. Remarkably, it is that decision that has his country roiling today.
How one mother coped when her daughter left for school
From the Maclean’s University Rankings—on newsstands now. Story by Ellen Vanstone.
I wasn’t actually planning to attend college with my daughter Eliza when her acceptance letter arrived in the mail last spring. That would be creepy—like the mother in that Robert Munsch book who stalked her grown-up son, breaking into his house to cuddle him while he slept. I am perfectly aware that the parentally appropriate, non-crazy thing to do when your child leaves home is to let them go and have their own life.
And yet, I still felt there should be some kind of special dispensation in my case—since the school that accepted my child was the Savannah College of Art and Design, on the Savannah River, in Savannah, Ga.
The basics of studying abroad
From the Maclean’s University Rankings, on sale now. Story by Jane Bao.
Study abroad programs let students immerse themselves somewhere else, maybe halfway around the world, while earning credit at their home university. And depending on the field, a stint overseas could give grads a career boost. It’s not uncommon for engineers to work abroad, says Jean Choquette, an executive director at Université de Montréal’s engineering school, École Polytechnique. “Openness to foreign cultures, languages and methodology are part of the basic competencies that employers are looking for,” says Choquette.
Tuition is paid to the Canadian university—a good way around some hefty international fees—but students must count on travel and living costs. And the door swings both ways, allowing international students to study in Canada and meet their Canadian peers.
No snacks? No professor.
A professor at Sacramento State University in California walked out of his first-year psychology class Thursday because his students didn’t bring any snacks, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Some students were upset about missing their last lab before their midterm exam and complained.
But Prof. George Parrott said students were warned in the course handout that “Not having a snack = no Dr. Parrott or TAs. Now you are responsible for your own lab assignment.”
Parott told The Bee that the snack obligation is his way of encouraging students to work collectively, because they must collaborate on what to bring.
“Having these goodies in the class breaks down some of the formality and some of the rigidity in the class,” he added. Parrot, who is semi-retired, said he has required snacks in class for 39 years.
Tuition rally fizzles
Despite having 4,000 police ready in case the protest got out of hand, Scotland Yard says that only about 2,500 protesters showed up for a mass rally against high tuition fees in London, U.K. Organizers, on the other hand, told Sky News that 10,000 showed up, though they hoped more would have joined. After all, more than 50,000 marched with the same demands in the summer, during which protesters smashed the windows of the Conservative party’s headquarters.
At today’s protest, students carried placards denouncing the government’s policy that allowed tuition fees to rise to $14,500 at many schools. Some showed their middle finger as they passed the London Stock Exchange. Twenty were arrested by 4 p.m. local time, police told The Telegraph.
Police had warned on Monday that they would use rubber bullets and batons if necessary to quell violent protesters. Twitter users blamed police intimidation for the lower-than-expected turnout.
Up to 1,000 a year will be accepted
Canada is making it easier for international Ph.D. students—who make up one-quarter of the total—to stay permanantly, Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear announced today on behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Starting Nov. 5, international Ph.D. students can apply to be accepted as federal skilled workers, so long as they have at at least two years of study toward the doctoral degrees under their belt or have graduated in the past 12 months, and are in good academic standing.
Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, said the announcement will give Canada a “competitive edge” in attracting international students.
Taxpayer watchdog opposed
Starting next April, foreign students attending high schools or post-secondary schools in Manitoba will get free health care coverage for themselves and their dependents, reports the Winnipeg Sun. That will save them roughly $400 each annually on private health insurance.
But the Canadian Taxpayer Federation’s Manitoba director says it’s “madness” for the province to pick up the tab, citing a growing provincial debt.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health defended the decision, saying that providing free health care to the province’s 3,200 international students and their families will give Manitoba a competitive advantage in recruiting more students, who may eventually settle in the province. The official did not provide an estimate of how much the program will cost, but suggested it will be minimal because most students are young and healthy.
But how long can it last?
Norway is one of the last remaining countries where foreign students can attend university without paying a cent of tuition money. But with free school increasingly rare, how long can it last?
Shocking as it may seem to many Canadians, Norweigians don’t charge any tuition to anyone—which was, until recently, normal in Scandinavia. Now, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all charge tuition fees, leaving Norway the only free option.
It should be unsurprising then to learn that foreigners are choosing Norway more often than ever. When non-European Union students were charged tuition fees for the first time this year in Sweden (up to $21,000 each), applications dropped 85 per cent. Meanwhile, Noway’s University of Oslo experienced a 60 per cent rise in popularity. Since 2008, the number of foreign students in Norway is up 27 per cent overall.
Forbes lists The Top 10 Most Expensive Colleges
Forbes has compiled its annual list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Colleges in America. The winner (uh, winner?) is Sarah Lawrence College, a 1,300-person institution in Yonkers N.Y., which costs $58,334 per year. So what exactly are students getting for their $240,000 degrees? “In practically all cases, our classes are seminars with an average head count of 12 students,” Thomas Blum, vice president for administration, told Forbes. It’s also noted that their small size means a small endowment, making it difficult to keep classes so intimate without charging more.
Every school on the list topped $40,000 in tuition, but that’s a bit deceiving considering most schools give out large amounts of student aid to most students. For example, the second most-expensive school is the University of Chicago, which gives out an average of $27,460 per student to nearly two-thirds of the student body. An exception is the New School for Design, which offers little aid, but still manages to attract students willing to pay $57,199 to study where Donna Karan did.
Curiously, Columbia University in New York, at No. 5, is the only Ivy League school on the list.
Students fight back with class-action lawsuit
An American college, Linn State Technical in Missouri, implemented a mandatory drug testing program this month, claiming to be the first college in the U.S. to sample students’ urine.
“Drug screening is becoming an increasingly important part of the world of work,” the school wrote in a statement. If students refuse to urinate in a cup, they face possible expulsions.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday alleging the school has violated its students’ constitutional rights. Also on Wednesday, a Missouri federal judge granted the ACLU’s request for a restraining order to stop the school from analysing the urine specimens it collected or releasing any of the test results, an ACLU spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.
“Linn State Technical College…. has had no documented drug problems over the course of its 50-year history and no reason to suspect that the students subject to testing have been engaged in the use or abuse of illegal drugs,” says the statement of claim filed by the ACLU. “The mandatory, suspicionless drug testing required under the College’s new policy is a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Ordinarily, the Fourth Amendment prohibits such searches…”
Kent Brown, a lawyer representing the college told the Wall Street Journal: “Linn State Technical College takes seriously its responsibility to deliver quality technical education to Missouri students while exploring every available avenue to protect and prepare those students to compete effectively in occupations where pre-employment drug testing is quickly becoming the norm.”