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Warning Over Quality Of New Universities

Monday, March 07, 2005

University chiefs have urged caution over plans to open up the nation`s higher education system to more competition from overseas colleges and private universities.

Warning that the push to allow more education providers to claim the tightly regulated title of “university” could damage the reputation of Australian universities, vice-chancellors yesterday suggested these new entrants could use a different name, such as college.
The ALP accused the Howard Government of preparing to unleash on students hundreds of `McDegrees” that were not “worth the paper they are printed on”.

The Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee yesterday rejected the claims of private providers that it was acting as the “gatekeeper” to the lucrative education market, maintaining that it would support plans to allow universities to specialise. At present, universities are required to demonstrate strong credentials in the areas of both teaching and research to qualify for the status of university.
“A fundamental point which must not be lost in the debate is that not every higher education provider should necessarily be termed a `university`,” AVCC president Di Yerbury said.
“There are many risks in undermining the confidence and certainty attached to Australia`s universities through any misuse of this meaningful title. We are certainly not trying to stop fair competition.”

In a new report, revealed yesterday, Building University Diversity, had urged a radical overhaul of the existing national protocols that determine which institutions can claim the title of university and what academics can teach.

It warned that Australia`s free trade agreements with the US, Singapore and Thailand required reforms to ensure overseas universities and private colleges were not discriminated against.
However, any changes require the agreement of the states and territories, which are likely to strongly oppose measures to open the floodgates to foreign universities but may agree to break the historic link between teaching and research, allowing universities to choose to specialise in one area.

National Tertiary Education Union president Carolyn Allport warned yesterday that the best way to ensure Australia`s higher education system was internationally competitive was to retain “strict requirements” for accreditation.

“Lowering standards by removing the obligation on potential university aspirants to engage in research and offer a broad range of disciplines will only reduce quality across the sector and confuse both Australian and overseas students about the nature of Australia`s university system.”

University of Wollongong vice-chancellor Gerard Sutton said it was timely to have a national debate as “the global situation has changed with a number of free trade agreements signed”.
“I also think that competition is healthy but the real danger in this is the devaluation of the title university.”

Melbourne University vice-chancellor Glyn Davis said: “At the end of the day, it`s going to be a matter of political negotiation between the commonwealth, states and territories.”

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State Schools Allowed To Relax National Curriculum

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ministers plan to allow most state secondary schools to relax the national curriculum. Schools will have the freedom to ditch chunks of the compulsory curriculum, which was introduced 18 years ago.

Stephen Twigg, the minister for school standards, said that many schools found the national curriculum stifling and teachers had no opportunity to introduce innovation. They could scrap much of the written work in science lessons and concentrate on allowing pupils to conduct more experiments. In music, they could abandon some of the written work in the compulsory timetable, allowing more time for the playing of instruments.

Teachers would be allowed to decide for themselves how to approach a subject, rather than stick to rigid lesson plans.
Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Education, is also encouraging more schools to introduce streaming, teaching children in different sets according to their ability in individual subjects.

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Australia Adopts E-Visa System For Students

Now getting a student visa for higher studies in Australia has become as easy as surfing the web.

The eVisa system taken up with the cooperation of the Australian Government is applicable for overseas studies through approved education agents. Each education agent will have a unique Login ID and password enabling him or her to access the service. IDP Education Australia Ltd., with seven offices in India, including one in Bangalore, is among the approved agents. “We have started processing student eVisas and we provide a student`s supporting documents as electronic attachments and this has all become easier because Australia no longer considers Indian students in the high risk category,” said Henry A.S. Ledlie, Director-India of IDP.

A student can apply for a student visa online if he or she has an Indian passport valid for six months, has an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment for the course and has an acceptable international credit card. “Since most Indians don`t like to part with credit card details, we take care of that process too in a secure way,” Mr. Ledlie said. The student has to pay the charges, lodge the application through the Internet, satisfy other requirements and submit any medical documents needed.

Mr. Ledlie was in the midst of the Australian Education Fair conducted by his organisation and felt the reason for more Indian students going to Australian universities was not just the cost factor but a question of quality of life. Life in that country was less stressful and more relaxed and it helped students get on better with their studies minus any tension. “Cost-wise Australia is still 40 to 60 per cent cheaper than the U.S. or U.K./Europe, varying with the location,” he added.

Compared to the 270 student visas granted to Indians in 1994-95, the number has now grown to 21,000 and the forecast of 80,000 students in Australia by 2025 is fairly realistic, he said. Indian students will now have to pass more than TOEFL; Australia required students to qualify the International English Language Training Study (ELTS), a testing procedure evolved by IDP, Cambridge University and British Council. There were a number of testing centres in India and in addition to Australia, a few other countries too may join this testing.

As to what Indians are studying in Australia, technology and management studies still dominated the scene. Many were studying accountancy in addition to management subjects. Close to 75 per cent of the students are in undergraduate courses and the rest in postgraduate and more specialised courses.

Comment for Australia Adopts E-Visa System For Students
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enquiry for e visa
i wish to apply for australia e visa
and want to know what will be the fee
please give the details
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The students of the 6th batch of Radio & T.V. Journalism of IIMM secured prestigious media placements with channels

Successful placements
The students of the 6th batch of Radio & T.V. Journalism of International Institute of Mass Media (IIMM) secured prestigious media placements with channels like NDTV, Jain TV, CNBC, Bag Films, ETV, Sahara, Star News, Zee News and Doordarshan among others. IIMM offers various graduate and post graduate degree and diploma courses in Advertising & Public Relations, Bachelor of Mass Communication and Radio & Television Journalism. The faculty uses relevant true-to-life theoretical inputs, interactive sessions, field experiences and practical and studio training to instruct the students.

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Scrapping student loan interest: When good policies go bad

The Labour Partys proposed scrapping of the student loan interest rate will do nothing to lift quality in tertiary education, nor will it pay good staff more, help build New Zealands research base or encourage more on-the-job training, says the Education Forum.

Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque said the estimated $300 million annual cost (at maturity) of scrapping interest on student loans would mean less money for other priority areas, including schools, hospitals, police and tax cuts.

The government has argued that the change to student loans will massively reduce repayment times. But, while it will reduce the interest build up for students, some of this will be offset as more students are likely to borrow (and borrow more) given that student loans will represent free money to them.

Graduates will also have little incentive to make voluntary repayments under the scheme – a significant issue given that some 46 percent of repayments since the loan scheme began have come directly from borrowers, rather than through compulsory deductions by employers.

The proposed changes appear to be aimed solely at appeasing vested interests within tertiary education and will do nothing to advance the national interest.

Sources : Online Resources

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Bangalore Bio 2007 is Inviting researchers, scientists and technocrats to present papers

Bangalore Bio 2007
Bangalore Bio 2007 is Inviting researchers, scientists and technocrats to present papers on ideas and innovative research in various areas of biotechnology, at a Poster Session — “Walkway of Discovery” of a three-day Biotech Event. The poster session is being held in conjunction with the International Conference at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The last date for submission is May 10, 2007. With an audience of over 1,000 industry professionals and leading venture capital companies among others, this session offers a platform to foster top-notch collaborations with academia, research organisations, venture capitalists and the industry

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USEFI is organising an information session on Higher Education in the US

USEFI Session
The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) is organising an information session on Higher Education in the US: Prospects for International Students with representatives from Bryant University, Rhode Island, and Marquette University, Wisconsin, on September 18 and 20, 2007, respectively. Both sessions will start at 2:30 pm at the Fulbright House.

Ex-Governor, RBI lectures at IMI

Dr Bimal Jalan addressed the students of International Management Institute (IMI) and shared his opinion on Management of Economy and Politics. He said, The young of our country have a lot to contribute in economics, politics, and governance. The difference between management of corporate and management of the economy is same as the difference between micro and macro economics, Dr. Jalan said.

Categories: Education, International, Management Tags:

Indian Students Courted By Italy

Friday, February 11, 2005

India is emerging as the top battleground for foreign universities looking for students.
UK universities are rolling out their education road show for Indian students, the US is easing visa procedures to keep the flow of the “best and brightest” coming in. But the most interesting is the new entrant — Italy. It is showcasing its top design schools and universities to attract Indian students.

For the first time, this acknowledged leader in fashion and design technology wants to open the doors of its prestigious institutes to Indian students. The best part is that all the courses will be in English.

They will offer post-graduate courses in everything — from fashion to ceramics to environmental design and communication design for cultural heritage, car design to yacht design.

The UK begins its huge annual education road show here on Friday with 60 universities laying out their education wares to recruit Indian students for undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. Travelling to five top Indian cities, the representatives of schools, colleges and universities will launch an extensive drive to get Indian students to study in the UK, complete with student and visa counselling services.

Taking advantage of a visit by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, five top Italian schools of design and fashion will do their own road show. On February 7, the UK government also announced that from April, non-EU students will have to pay as much as 500 pounds for visa services. For instance, in January, Oxford University said it planned to cut the number of UK-EU students from 11,000 to 10,000 and expand the percentage of non-EU overseas students from 8 per cent to 15 per cent by the end of the decade. Not that universities agree — they believe SEVIS is the single biggest reason for visa delays.

This has followed several and repeated complaints from universities and students about a significant drop in foreign enrolments in American universities.

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State-Funded School In Bradford Tops Progress Chart

Monday, January 17, 2005

London The first state-funded Islamic school in Britain, Feversham College Bradford, has topped the league table for the progress of pupils. According to the sources, the commitment of Muslim families in Bradford was a strong factor in the school`s success. Feversham became a maintained faith school in 2001 and since then four more private Muslim schools have been awarded voluntary aided status further approving two more applications.

Director of the Association of Muslim Schools said, “We hope the success of Feversham will boost our cause for more state funded Muslim schools.”

Supportive parents were also praised at Guru Nanak Sikh Comprehensive in Hendon, west London, which came second in the value added league table. Sikh families passed on their commitment to education to their children, said Greg Hall, the school`s deputy head.

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Microsoft Chairman Challenges Governors to Improve High Schools

Monday, February 28, 2005

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, delivered a blistering critique of American high schools on Saturday, and his foundation promised $15 million to states to make immediate improvements.

Mr. Gates, speaking to the National Governors Association, said that “America`s high schools are obsolete” and are “ruining the lives of millions of Americans every year.”

High schools, he said, leave most students unprepared for college and for today`s jobs. “When I compare our high schools with what I see when I`m traveling abroad,” he added, “I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow.”
To address the problem, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it would give $15 million to the National Governors Association, to be disbursed to states that take significant steps to improve their high schools.

Marie Groark, a spokeswoman for the foundation, said states would have to develop proposals and compete for the grants.
To qualify, she said, a state would have to match the foundation`s grants with its own money. In addition, each state would have to devise a plan to improve its high schools – for example, by adopting rigorous academic standards, revising curriculums and developing tests to ensure that students have the skills needed for college or for better-paying jobs.

The Gates Foundation said it had invested $733 million in more than 1,500 high schools – about 8 percent of all public high schools – in the last five years.
In a roundtable discussion with several journalists, Mr. Gates said, “What we know about graduation rates, the people who graduate and the skills they have – it paints a very scary and almost shameful picture of the contrast between the idea of education as a great equalizer and the actual state of affairs.”

Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat who is chairman of the association, said: “Three out of 10 students who enter high school do not graduate. Four out of 10 who do graduate lack the skills and knowledge to go on to college or to succeed in the work force. The economic ramifications of that could be devastating to our country.”

Mr. Gates, one of the world`s wealthiest people, said there were moral as well as economic reasons to upgrade high schools, which he portrayed as a crossroads where children`s paths diverge. “Some go on to lives of accomplishment and privilege,” he said. “Others, to lives of frustration, joblessness and jail.”

Mr. Gates, whose mother was once a schoolteacher, said states should publish detailed data showing the percentages of children who drop out of high school or go on to college, broken down by race and income. The data, he said, would expose “the injustice” of the current system.

“In district after district,” Mr. Gates said, “wealthy white kids are taught Algebra II while low-income minority kids are taught to balance a checkbook.”

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Manipal Education & UK Co Together To Serve NHS

Only a few Indian healthcare service enterprises were able to foray into the big-ticket UK and the US market. A fresh entry into this has been the Manipal Education & Medical Group (MEMG), a leader in the Indian healthcare business, which has invested in a UK firm, 4 Ways Healthcare, to provide teleradiology services for the British NHS (National Health Services). NHS has a huge shortfall of medical professionals, and it is said that there are still over a million people in the UK waiting for NHS treatment.

MEMG CEO Dr Ranjan Pai told that the JV Company will offer a mix of onshore and offshore teleradiology services (reading of CT scans, MRIs etc). A team of doctors will be located by MEMG at the 4 Ways TeleRad Centre, a collaborative radiology reporting facility near London. Some of the teleradiology services will be off-shored to Manipals facility in India.

Dr Pai said Manipal Health System has access to a large pool of Indian doctors, some with exposure to NHS services or holding UK medical degrees but running private practices in India. It can make such medical professionals available for short assignments in the UK. In the near term, MEMG has plans to provide Indian doctors to 4 Ways to offer ophthalmologic, orthopaedic and ENT services.

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India, Myanmar To Reinforce Education Cooperation

India till now, has trained 177 students from Myanmar in various subjects between 2001 and 2005 under a bilateral education programme as the two countries are planning to enhance cooperation in the field.

The programme was part of the two countries` cooperation in human resources development initiated through a visit to New Delhi by Myanmar state leader Senior-General Than Shwe in October 2004, as reported on Tuesday.

The weekly quoted sources in the Indian embassy as saying that the students had undergone training in India in various subjects.
Under the bilateral education cooperation programme, India will help turn Yangon University here into a centre of excellence for scientific research by providing aid in terms of laboratory equipment and up gradation of physics, biotechnology and information technology (IT) laboratories.

As part of its programme to aid human resources development in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, India is also funding the establishment of a business training institute – the Entrepreneurship Development Centre.

Indian academics will train Myanmar students in IT, banking, managing small and medium enterprises and English language, according to the report.

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Ojai School District Seeks Additional Tax

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The five-year, $150 levy on Tuesday`s ballot would help to maintain education programs. A two-thirds vote is required for passage.

Faced with chronic budget problems, Ojai`s public school leaders are asking voters to approve on Tuesday a $150-per-parcel tax to help the school district maintain programs that would otherwise be cut.

The tax would raise about $1.4 million a year and continue for five years, enough time for Ojai Unified School District administrators to come up with long-term solutions to money problems, said Supt. Timothy Baird.

Additional dollars would mean the difference between maintaining high-quality schools that offer music, art and after-school programs and a more bare-bones education, Baird said. A two-thirds vote is needed to pass the tax.

“Good schools are good for communities,” he said. “That`s the bottom line. If you have quality schools, home values improve.”

The district should instead cut operating costs to meet new fiscal realities, critics said.

“Every parcel will be levied $150 per year,” said Wendy Larner, a long-time resident and former county school board member. Opponents also said the tax would be unfair to those rural property owners whose homes are built on multiple parcels. I feel for them,” Beasley said of the district`s budget managers. Ojai`s schools have seen state funding slashed in recent years as Sacramento deals with its own budget crunch. Meanwhile, the district`s operation costs have spiralled, particularly the costs of employee health benefits and insurance, Baird said.

School leaders said the five-year tax would provide a buffer for them to come up with ways to raise new revenue or consolidate schools.

Board member Rikki Horne said the district in recent years has already made considerable cuts. School officials attribute the drop in enrolment to rapidly rising home prices, which are shutting young families out of the Ojai Valley. Ojai`s population is aging as the tight-knit, artsy community of 8,000 continues to draw older, wealthier home buyers.

Larner and other critics say the district should be looking at such things as cutting employee benefits or reducing administrative staff to save money. They predict that if the tax passes, even fewer people would move to Ojai.

“I can`t imagine anyone wanting to buy property in Ojai with taxes this high,” said Beasley, who attended Ojai schools and has two children enrolled in them.

But Baird said the district had little choice. Unlike businesses, the only way a school district can raise operating income is through a parcel tax.

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Education Needs Emphasis At The Proletariat: Aiyar

The union minister for Panchayati Raj, Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, has said that the government made a mistake by not involving Panchayati Raj institutions in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

He said Panchayati Raj institutions had the resources as well as manpower to provide quality elementary education and they should be entrusted with the task. He said the nations future depended on the quality of education imparted.

The entire responsibility of elementary education should rest upon the Panchayats as Indias future depends on the quality of education, he said addressing the National Conference of Reach India, a consortium of 75 NGOs working for childrens education.

Mr Aiyar said: The authorities running Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan rarely have any integral relationship with Panchayats. They often look down on efficiency of the local governments, which should be corrected. Bureaucracy is not helping the cause (of elementary education) and I do not know how to change it, he said.

The minister said the biggest demand of rural India was to provide elementary education and suggested establishing community grievance cells at local levels to ensure efficiency and quality

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Teachers’ TV Channel Launch Today

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Teachers` TV – the new professional development channel for teachers – will launch today.

Funded by the Department for Education and Skills but editorially independent, Teachers` TV is aimed at helping busy education professionals with programmes that share ideas and practical experience. It will contain programmes of interest to all who work in schools, over a million people – from head teachers to newly qualified teachers, governors to support staff.

Programming will cover training and development, education news and current affairs, classroom observation and analysis, and resource reviews. Curriculum-based programmes for use in the classroom will also form part of the schedule. A Board of Governors, comprising senior educational and media figures, will ensure the editorial independence of the channel.

Teachers` TV will broadcast 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on digital satellite and cable, and overnight on Freeview. Teachers` TV programmes will be supported by an interactive website, containing downloadable resources (such as lesson plans and worksheets). Many programmes will also be available to view and download online.

Nigel Dacre, Chief Executive, Education Digital said: “Today marks the start of the countdown to the launch of the first ever government funded public service broadcasting channel for a professional group. It will help share the many great ideas, materials and excellent teaching practice that exist across the system and I believe it will become a valuable resource for the teaching profession.”

Schools Minister Stephen Twigg said: “Teachers` TV is a highly innovative way to make relevant professional support accessible to all those who work in schools. The channel is another key step forward in ensuring we make full use of digital technology to support teachers, teaching assistants, school governors and others in further raising standards in the classroom. By supporting educational professionals with a vision of good classroom practice, of good schools management in action, we can further improve standards throughout the system.”

Teachers` TV is operated by an independent media consortium, Education Digital – which was selected by the DFES after an extensive tender process.

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Free Education Extension Welcomed

Private early childhood educators are pleased that Labour plans to extend its free education policy to private centres, but say the party should not have discriminated against them in the first place.

Labour yesterday back flipped on a plan to offer 20 hours a week of free education only to children aged three and four who attend teacher-led community-based centres – a plan that would have seen private providers miss out.

The back down will double the cost of the policy.

Tui Children`s Learning Centre teacher Jocelyn Dixon said yesterday that Labour`s original plan would have made the retention of staff and children more difficult.

“We were looking at losing a lot of clients – purely on the basis of finances.

“I`m not surprised (by Labour`s backflip). I think they realised their mistake and have quickly rectified that.”

Palmerston North`s Five 2 Five Childcare centre owner Pam Zajonskowski said the change will give parents a choice of childhood education providers.

Milson Head Start manager Johanna Korent said Labour`s change of policy, four weeks out from an election, is ironic.

Ms Korent, who manages two other early childhood education centres in Levin, said she wants to see a more innovative policy.

“All they`ve managed to do is equalise things. I think they basically did the obvious.

“We knew, in election year, it wouldn`t be left like that – it just couldn`t be.”

Early Childhood Education Council chief executive Sue Thorne said the announcement redresses an inequity that would have given free early childhood education to millionaires in some parts of New Zealand and nothing to “battlers” in others.

The council represents 850 education and care centres nationwide.

The National Party has promised tax breaks for all types of childcare for pre-school children of working parents.

National education spokesman Bill English said he predicted that Labour would have to change its policy.

“Treating all centres on the same basis is better than the silly policy they had. But we believe parents are still better off with our package, because they have more choices.” He said Labour`s change of heart was cynical.

“This policy depends on overtaxing everybody and recycling the cash to buy the support of another small selected group,” he said.
“It`s another lolly in the scramble.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark said the expansion is possible because of stronger-than-expected government accounts.

Although the change does not include play centres, Miss Clark said Labour will review their funding assistance.

The teachers` union, NZEI, which defended Labour`s previous policy, said it supports the new policy. But it wants to see an extension of the commitment to quality education, national president Colin Tarr said

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UEI Global, in collaboration is offering several fast-track programmes in hospitality education

Admission Open
United Educational Institutes Global (UEI Global), in collaboration with The Hotel school, The Hague, Netherlands, is offering several fast-track programmes in hospitality education. These include the Foundation Certificate in International Hospitality Management, Grand Certificate in International Hospitality Management and Certificate in Food Production. The yearlong programmes are open to all those who have passed class XII The last date for receiving applications is November 30,2007.

Categories: Education, International, Management Tags:

EU Entices Indian Students Offering Special Scholarships

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Even though Britain plans to make it difficult for overseas students — including those from Commonwealth countries like India — to get visas for studying in universities in the UK, good news has come from Brussels for Indian post-graduate students wanting to go for higher studies in Europe.

The European Commission is encouraging Asians, especially Indian students, to study in one of hundreds of European universities that have joined the European Union`s Erasmus Mundus programme.
The India Window of the Erasmus Mundus programme is being provided with Euros 33 million over a period of three years. It will provide full scholarship to just over 900 students, in any discipline of their choice in any of the 19 universities spread over the length and breadth of the EU.

The grant will cover all expenses, tuition fee and boarding and lodging.

The students would be required to apply to the EU Mission in New Delhi. A senior diplomat at the Indian embassy in Brussels said that Indian students could also apply for scholarship outside the India Window, through the general channel.

India`s ambassador to the EU, Rajendra M Abhyankar, had earlier signed the India-EU agreement under which Indian students could enrol under the Erasmus Mundus programme.

The programme — which has a total budget of 230 million euro — provides scholarships for students from non-EU countries. Consortia of at least three EU universities offer the courses.
More than hundred European universities in 18 countries are participating in 36 master level courses in fields like arts, sciences and humanities.

In the academic year 2005-2006, Erasmus scholarships may be granted to 900 students and 100 academics.

According to a latest report, The European Commission has selected a further 17 Erasmus Mundus master`s courses, involving 69 European universities new to the scheme.

“After a successful launch last autumn, this new selection of Erasmus Mundus master`s courses is an illustration of the growing importance of this programme,” said Ján Figel`, European commissioner in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism.

“European universities continue to come forward in big numbers to participate in the programme, which responds to a real need among higher education institutions and which contributes to restore Europe to a leading position on the international university scene”.

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USEFI is organising an information session on Higher Education in the U.S.

AT USEFI
The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) is organising an information session on Higher Education in the U.S.: Prospects for International Students with representatives from Robert Morris University- PA on Wednesday, June 13, 2007, and a session on Successful undergraduate admissions in US universities on Thursday, June 14, 2007. Both sessions will start at 2.30 p.m. at USEFI, Ful-1 bright House, 12 Hailey Road, New Delhi.

Categories: Education, International Tags:
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