Friday, August 24, 2007

Athabasca University Tests Mobile ESL Learning Technology

Athabasca University Tests Mobile ESL Learning Technology

Calgary’s Global Community College students participate in pilot project

Students at Calgary’s Global Community College participated in an Athabasca University pilot project, funded by the Canadian Council on Learning, to test the effectiveness of cell-phone technology in extending the reach of distance learning.

The pilot program took place at GCC February 16. The project is designed to explore how international students can use mobile devices such as cell phones to learn English. The project is probably the first in Canada to test the educational application of popular mobile devices, and according to Tony Tin, co-ordinator of Athabasca University Mobile Learning Project, the outlook is promising. “M-learning is a sibling to e-learning,” he said. “Studying via computer is now very common here, but in some parts of the world there is already a great deal of mobile learning happening, and there is great potential for this in Canada.”

One benefit of m-learning is that cell phones and other hand-held devices are relatively inexpensive and portable, more portable than even the smallest laptop computers, so they give students access to course materials anywhere and anytime. A student with a $50 cell phone could easily, for example, study while commuting or passing time in a waiting room where setting up a computer would not be practical. Tin said that, because of its low cost, m-learning also has great potential for providing educational opportunities to students in countries where access to computer technology is limited.

Any cell phone which has a text messaging function can be used for participating in the ESL lessons being used in the pilot project. Students at GCC will work through English lessons using cell phones and complete pre- and post-tests to measure their progress.Athabasca University has pioneered many forms of distance learning and Tin believes m-learning might be one of the most significant yet. “Anything that can make learning more convenient for learners is important in a world where knowledge is increasingly a valuable resource,” he said.

Athabasca University is pleased to work with GCC to conduct the testing project.

Athabasca University Mobile Learning Project:
Links to previous media coverage:
For more information, contact: Dr. Rory McGreal Associate Vice-President Research Athabasca University Email: Phone: (780) 675-6821Fax: Or: Xiao (Kevin) Su Director Global Community College Email: Phone: 403-265-6156, ext. 226

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review Part One: MacArthur's War

MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of An American Hero
Touchstone (2000) (Review Part One)

The Korean War is a fairly relevant topic for anyone who lives in Korea. So reading this book was on my list of things to do this summer but for some reason I left it on the shelf until last night. When I picked it up I thought, "Oh no, what another boring, pointless, waste of time." Who really needs history anyway? It will be a bland, useless topic of outdated information. I thought, "maybe I will just glaze through it and see if there are any interesting things."

The first thing to convince me that taking the time to read this book might be a valuable task was having read the story of Escape from Korea by John Fischer (Salado Press) immediately prior to beginning MacArthur's War. In that text, Fischer describes the harrowing events leading up to and during his crash landing in North Korea in a small fighter plane. His story fairly lept off the page.

That is really something I admire in good writers. They are engaging enough to grab my complete attention often at the cost of many other potential tasks and if I was a Mexican the taking of siesta would be a cherished pursuit. I would sneak a little time off with my sombrero and hide a book under it. In this I would allow as many Chileans as possible perhaps to take the opportunity to chill out, hurry up, and wait.

What jumped off of Weintraub's page? Revelation! Thirty-five thousand Americans died in Korea in three years compared to fifty-five thousand dead American soldiers in twelve years in Vietnam. Perhaps it was the speed of events, as Fischer described in his closing statements which explains perhaps why few Americans know where Korea even is or in that case even Vietnam.

Are Americans perhaps always in such a hurry to forget the last war and race to start the next one? In the case of MacArthur I think the answer remains definitely: foolishly, yes!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Canada, Stop Fearing the Free-Trade Bogeyman

Canada, Stop Fearing the Free-Trade Bogeyman(Globe and Mail)
By David Binks
For the next two days, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are scheduled to meet in Montebello, Que., to discuss ways to improve trade between the three countries. This has prompted a torrent of editorial comment for and against the initiative.
Following soon after Mr. Harper's visit to Latin America and his proposal for a free-trade agreement with Colombia, opponents have worked themselves into a lather. They see closer trade ties as a recipe for unfettered access to Canadian riches by resource-hungry nations, with the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway" - a massive road, rail and pipeline corridor stretching from Mexico to Canada - as the principal means by which our resources will be siphoned south. They agonize over the potential loss of sovereignty, despite post-NAFTA experience to the contrary. They trumpet the term "deep integration" to conjure up the spectre of our Canadian identity in imminent peril from hemispheric free trade. And finally, they argue that free-trade agreements with nations like Colombia that are still struggling with human rights issues would provide legitimacy to unworthy governments.
While Canadians worry about closer ties with our neighbours, the rest of the world moves on. Anyone who has visited or lived in the European Union has likely marvelled at the ease of travelling through an essentially border-free territory or the advantages of having a common currency. They may also have reflected on the fact that none of this economic integration has had any impact on the rich cultural, social and linguistic diversity that is the hallmark of Europe.
Compare that with Canada-U.S. commercial relations, which have become increasingly strained due to delays at the border and to irritants such as the protracted softwood lumber dispute. Even within Canada's own borders, trade is hampered by restrictive regulations and interprovincial rivalries. Canada still has a stock market regulator in every province, and a school teacher certified in Manitoba can't get a teaching job outside the province without going back to school.
Canadians may be angst-ridden about opening up our trade, but the socialist government of Chile, as reported recently in this paper, seems to have no trouble with the concept. The country has entered into trade agreements with an astounding list of nations in virtually every region of the globe, making it by far the richest country in South America.
I won't go into all the arguments for and against free trade for Canada. This debate is already in the public domain and, sadly, it feels like déjà vu. What I can say, without hesitation, is that the unprecedented expansion of access - to goods, services, ideas and opportunities - is the primary driver that has created profound and positive change for nations, businesses and individuals around the world, and Canada is no exception to this rule.
There is nothing new about the idea that trade and prosperity go hand in hand. The greatest and most durable empires in history flourished because of open commerce among their various territories. Foreseeing the explosion of global trade and commerce in the late twentieth century, former U.S. secretary of state George Shultz correctly argued that the free flow of information made possible by the revolution in communications technologies would force closed societies like China, India and the Soviet Union to open up.
Although Canada is behind many other countries in entering international trade agreements, we actually fare quite well with regard to our level of access to goods, services and information. This assessment is based on a comprehensive landmark survey commissioned by FedEx and conducted by the independent, non-profit research institute SRI International. Called "How Greater Access is Changing the World," the study introduces an Access Index that ranks 75 countries on 22 indicators of access to physical items and information in the categories of trade, transport, telecommunications and news, media and information services. Three related subindexes measure the impact of greater access on people, businesses and nations, using 18 to 20 variables in such areas as empowerment, connection, innovation, market reach, growth and competitiveness.
Canada ranks 13th on the main index, one below the United States. By comparison, Hong Kong and Singapore occupy the number one and two slots, respectively, with Nigeria and Bangladesh coming in at 74th and 75th, respectively.
These scores intuitively suggest that access is a key determinant of wealth and quality of life, and indeed there are many examples of the clear correlation between increases in access and decreases in poverty. We've already noted Chile's enormous progress as a result of its many free-trade agreements. In 1978, the year that China began to liberalize its trade policy, poverty levels were at 28 per cent of the population. Twenty years later, the level was 9 per cent. In India, poverty decreased from 51 per cent to 27 per cent during the two decades since the country opened its markets.
It is certainly true that poorer, more closed societies would enjoy more immediate benefits from greater access than highly developed economies like Canada and the United States. However, there is stiff competition for international markets among the top twenty Access Index countries, which includes economic powerhouses like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. No country can afford to rest on its laurels in a global economy.

It requires no leap of faith to see the connection between liberalized trade and international influence. Canadians hearken back to a time when, through the genius of leaders like Lester Pearson, we punched above our weight in the world's council chambers. It is difficult to see how we can once again aspire to have such a voice without a corresponding level of free trade with other nations - especially in view of the connection between greater access and better living standards for underdeveloped countries. Think of it as "putting our money where our mouth is."
As one of the world's most inclusive and multicultural societies, we have a head start in the race to build closer relations with Latin America. The Montebello summit meeting is a golden opportunity to co-ordinate our strategy with our most natural allies in this endeavour - the United States and Mexico. Canada needs to step up to the plate. We have nothing to lose but our angst.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Breaking Frames

An interesting paper entitled: Breaking Frames: Economic Globalization and the
Emergence of lex mercatoria
published in The European Journal of Social Theory 5(2): 199–217


Assistant Professor of Management - Tenure Track
Millikin University’s Tabor School of Business invites applications for a full-time position in the Management department at the rank of Assistant Professor, tenure track, effective August 2008. Qualifications are PhD or DBA in Management with an emphasis in Human Resource Management or related area. ABD’s will be considered. Candidates must be committed to excellence in teaching, maintain an active scholarship in their field and support service to the university.
We are seeking a broadly trained scholar who can teach undergraduate level courses in more than one of the functional areas of HRM. A demonstrated interest in teaching entrepreneurship, team building and/or an international immersion course would be a plus.
Candidates are expected to embrace a teaching philosophy grounded in experiential learning consistent with an institution that extensively engages both its faculty and students in external based learning. Student mentoring is an important part of the faculty’s teaching.
The Tabor School of Business offers a comprehensive business curriculum with seven ACBSP accredited undergraduate degrees in the major functional areas, a leadership-focused MBA, and an evening accounting program. Our graduates’ placement rate is outstanding. We strongly advocate theory and practice education through internships, client-based activities, student consulting, and international opportunities with our international partners. Our Center for Entrepreneurship is nationally recognized as a leader that includes an Arts and Entrepreneurship program. The Center provides faculty a wealth of opportunities for scholarly research, student projects, and consulting opportunities. The Tabor School has close relationships with the business community that includes local Fortune 100 firms and numerous entrepreneurs.
Millikin University is a vibrant, comprehensive institution with 2400 students, four colleges or schools; Arts and Science, Tabor School of Business, Professional Studies, and Fine Arts. The University has two professional graduate and several adult evening programs. Millikin takes pride in preparing students for professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment, and a personal life of meaning and value.
Applicants should send curriculum vitae, three references letters, and a teaching philosophy statement. For full consideration, applications should be received, either electronically or as a hard copy by October1, 2007. Address inquires and applications to Dr. Larry Stapleton, Coordinator of Management, Millikin University, 1184 W Main Street, Decatur, Illinois 62522. E-mail ; phone217-424-6361. Millikin is an EO/AA employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One Man's Walk...

Review of: Korea, A Walk Through the Land of Miracles (ISBN 0-06-075044-8)
Harper Perennial (May 31, 2005)
First of all, this is not a new book and in fact had its first publication date in 1988 obviously to conicide with The 1988 Seoul Olympics cashing in as many writers often do on global events which bring whatever brief attention to areas of uncommon interest as which may be found "here, there or everywhere" as one Dr. Seuss once claimed. Funny things are everywhere from his perspective and even here in Korea things which reveal paradoxical cultural examples of dualism in economic or social development are often from an outside observer's perspective up for critical observation and whimisical portrayal. That which makes cultures cross-comparative or cross-contrastive often robs them of any superiority one over the other. Many readers claim Winchester did not provide a very informative or balanced description of Korea, that his writing was in a way derogatory, that his descriptions of a walk from the south to the DMZ were too anecdotal and that his recounting was overly concerned with the opinions and ideas of foreigners in Korea rather than Koreans themselves.
Seeing as today is Korea's annual Liberation Day, one might observe that sixty-two years of liberation has seen many developments in Korean culture, society, economic growth, and future challenges for development, some of which are commented upon by Winchester as of 1989 in a book which reveals a considerable degree of research and historical accuracy. However in the complete text of President Roh's address to mark this special event in 2007, nowhere in the text were any thanks extended to the liberators of Korea from the yoke of Japanese imperialists. Namely, the US Armed Forces and by extension their allies in the Pacific are missing for the credit they may deserve and the assistance they extended to forment Korean Liberation. This is not a serious indicator of a lack of appreciation for US involvement in Korea's liberation. An equally omissive lack of credit was extended to Canada during the post 9/11 speech of George W. Bush which could easily be explained by a comfortable reliance and trust in support of friendly allies.
Winchester made a personal account of a historically researched book out of his walk through Korea in the 1980s and it is interesting to note that many of the places he visits along the way are places I have been. Out of an unwillingness to take too many accounts of the Korean experience seriously I have perhaps avoided reading these types of books simply because enough of what is said is often common enough experience for any foreigner in Korea to relate to. However the focus of his text is related to the distinct experiences and encounters he has made along a mapped route and brief forays into local areas off the track of progress which he made through his own journey here. In addition, the courtesies extended to him by those he encountered, either through conversation, lodgings or sharing of meals were built through the support of a Korean context of networking and it seems unfair to presume that the people he met and talked with should be in any way arranged to present some ideal of balanced accounting beyond those who would extend the courtesies he enjoyed here.
Through extension it is easy to formulate generalisations of entire communities and social groups as in Korea. There are to some degrees continued forms of social hierarchy here and in many other nations which permit gross stereotypes of social status to be displayed whether these are exemplified by narrow definitions of success in education, marriage partnerships, or real estate acquisitions or choices of investment. So too due to such a small comparative number of foreigners taking up residence here and interacting with Koreans on a daily basis or in other homogenous nations, misinterpretations and misunderstandings of the diginity and value of communitarian versus individualistic definitions of self-determinism or public comment or debate may easily be experienced. The representation of information and the dissemination of critical, enlightening and relevant cultural information is often thus highly biased towards the communal strain of consciousness often ascribed to by Koreans often at the cost of logical or research-based assessments of data which perhaps casts events or reflections upon social mores in a more critical light. Ethnocentrism is after all a fairly natural first "knee-jerk" response of anyone not fairly globalized. The challenges of differing opinions on common issues and the resulting display of forethought, consideration, and degrees of conscious tolerances for the thoughts and feelings of others not sharing a similar perspective are often absent here as contrasted to nations such as Australia where as many as 25% of the citizenry can claim birth in a foreign nation. Thus individualism is often fortified within a shared and expected culture of openess and a required sense of tolerance for those of other nations and cultural viewpoints. Many Koreans or even many cultures considered in many ways homogenous might have difficulty understanding, validating, or appeciating the opinions of informed, educated, and diffuse experiences which deviate from the generally considered local ones.
It is here that one must discuss Winchester's style. In some instances the colour and nuance of his writing may appear grossly unappreciative of Korea and Koreans. However even in terms of cross-cultural dealings many advocate an adjustment of behaviour, ettiquette, or social behaviour to attune to the needs of one's business connections. In many ways what Winchester has written has indicated that he had obeyed certain practical courtesies to Koreans which he encountered himself in person. What appears to be up for question is his treatment in writing of several Korean cultural tendancies, beliefs and traditions. It is difficult to generalize on cultures withoutt offending many and perhaps some of the criticism of his style is well deserved. However, a writer's style and the opinions, reflections, and discourses he might offer are a highly difficult facet of the freedom of expression to which so many writers have been attuned to over the entirety of their reading and writing existence. Turns of phrase, nuance, tone, and self-deprecation are often enough displayed to suggest that Winchester spared himself no less. There are countless misrepresentiations of Korean culture and Korean social characteristics which more often than not stem from an assumption that Korean culture is not solid or mature enough to accept critical observations made either through reasoned expression or evidence-based debate. Yet again, a best measure of Winchester's style rather than dismiss it entirely as a hateful description of his experiences in Korea would be to enter into further reading of his considerable list of published works to gain a wider understanding of what does or does not indicate a particular bias in this book or a general lack of reverential treatment of any or all manner of topics and lines of thought. To which may be added reading in a general rather than specific fashion often enough out of enjoyment remains an enriching past-time which I hope only to encourage. Winchester wrote so many other books.
What I am writing here is opinion-based and thus exemplifies the point I am trying to make. If it is a man's style which is considered the problem then really there is little that can be done regarding Winchester's work on Korea. One must expect and accept that various writers on the topic will take various opinions and styles which may or may not more strenuously attempt to satisfy the perceived reader as audience. In Winchester's case it is my opinion that the imagined reader of his book, thus the target reader that the writer might have had in mind at the time is a westerner with little prior knowledge or understanding of Korea or Koreans. Thus by default it should not be difficult to understand that the opinions of other foreigners in their experiences and dealings with Korea and Koreans should be considered of interest to the reader. It would seem that also is the point. Koreans should perhaps have more care for and concern over what visitors to the nation have to say about their experiences here in terms of realizing the benefits of gaining perspectives on cultures and societies who represent the end user of their increasingly globalized products and services. Such a concern should be perhaps measured by an extension of awareness and an appreciation of the profits which may come not only from listening to a diversity of opinions, often frank, at times negative, but often enough giving credit to those which in many ways demonstrate inclusiveness, diversity, and global-thinking all means to securing greater growth in innovation and creativity.
In my mind, my understanding of such people includes many Koreans.

Comments Reveal More Conservative Incompetence

International Trade Minister Emerson’s Comments Reveal More Conservative Incompetence(Liberal Party of Canada Press Release)
Ottawa- International Trade Minister David Emerson’s dismissal of the Liberal call to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers in a potential free trade agreement with South Korea demonstrates the lack of importance his government places on Canada’s automotive sector, Liberal Trade Critic Navdeep Bains said today.

“The Liberal Party is firmly committed to free trade, which is why we want to ensure Canadian companies have free access to compete in the Korean market,” said Mr. Bains. “The Canadian Motor Vehicle Association and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters have endorsed our position. Mr. Emerson's comments reveal his complete misunderstanding of both the Canadian auto industry and the overly protectionist trade barriers currently in place."

Yesterday, Mr. Emerson called the Liberal position “bizarre,” and claimed that the reason Canadian carmakers are shut out of the South Korean market “is probably more to do with the fact that North American auto producers have not really produced the kind of vehicles that are in demand in Korea” than the existing trade barriers between the two countries.

These comments are grossly misinformed and are a tremendous insult to Canada’s auto industry, said Mr. Bains.

“The cars produced by Canadian workers at our world class automotive plants consistently win awards for quality,” he said. “For nearly every 400 cars South Korea ships to Canada, it imports just one. Companies from Japan and other countries face similarly stiff barriers. Does Mr. Emerson truly believe that Korean cars are 400 times better than the Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Hondas and GM cars produced in Canada?

“How can Canadians trust the Conservatives to conclude an agreement that ensures our automakers have access to Korean markets, if their Trade Minister thinks the problem is the quality of the cars they're producing?”

According to a recent Canadian Press article, Mr. Emerson’s implied that the recently negotiated free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea has repercussions for Canadian industry and that cars made by Asian manufacturers in the US are currently subject to duties in Canada. Mr. Bains pointed out this clearly shows Mr. Emerson’s lack of understanding of both current trade issues and existing trade agreements.

“The US-South Korea free trade agreement is being stalled by Congress and Mr. Emerson is alone with US President George Bush in thinking it is a done deal,” he said. “If he thinks that cars made in the United States are subject to duties in Canada perhaps he should also reread NAFTA.”

Mr. Bains said he had little faith that the Conservatives will put Canada’s long-term economic interests first, given Mr. Emerson’s history of claiming false victories over hastily signed agreements, as was the case in the flawed softwood lumber agreement that forced Canadian industry to surrender $1 billion in illegally collected duties to United States and did not resolve the longstanding trade dispute. The United States has commenced litigation to resolve issues under the new agreement which severely undermines Mr. Emerson’s statement that his hasty agreement would bring an end to litigation.

“Mr. Emerson doesn’t seem to grasp that standing up for Canadian industry so that they can have free access to foreign markets is good trade policy –not protectionism,” he said.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Universities feeling left out

Friday, March 11, 2005 The Halifax Herald Limited

Universities feeling left out
School officials say province has 'dropped the ball' by limiting their role in helping immigration

By STEVE PROCTOR / Staff Reporter
Nova Scotia universities can play a bigger role in attracting immigrants than the one the
province has planned for them, say two university presidents.

Gail Dinter-Gottlieb of Acadia University in Wolfville and Sheila Brown of Mount Saint
Vincent University in Halifax say the minimal role they have been assigned under the government's immigration strategy amounts to little more than carrying out research.

"The province has dropped the ball in recognizing what we can do for them," Ms. Dinter-Gottlieb said. "If you look at the government's immigration strategy document, on the list of partners, universities are dead last." She said two submissions made on behalf of Nova Scotia's university community detailing what they can offer to help fix the immigration crisis were largely dismissed.

"We are key players in attracting and retaining skilled workers," Ms. Brown, outgoing president of Mount Saint Vincent, said Thursday.

"We attract research staff and faculty. We should be more explicitly identified as partners, not relegated to the bottom of a list and tasked with research."

She pointed out that foreign students attending universities are among the best candidates for citizenship.

"We don't want to devastate the Third World," Ms. Dinter-Gottlieb said. "It is important that many of the students return to their home country with skills to help their local economy, but even if we kept 10 per cent, that would be doing better than we are now."

During their four years of study, foreign students become familiar with Canadian culture, make friends and establish contacts, so it is less likely they would need to live in ethnic conclaves to feel comfortable, the two said. With 400 foreign students from from 70 countries on campus, Ms. Dinter- Gottlieb said Acadia is home to the largest percentage of foreign students in the

Elizabeth Mills, executive director of the province's Office of Immigration, agrees the approximately 4,000 foreign students are a great group to approach.

"Not only do they feel comfortable here, but they've gotten their professional credentials here so they don't have to fight an uphill battle to get their international credentials recognized," she said.

The listing of partners in the strategy was not intended as a ranking of importance, she said, because "all partners are key."

"It is wonderful that partners are so anxious to get working with us on this initiative," she said.

Ms. Mills said she also sees universities as a liaison with the foreign students, a contact point with foreign businesses and governments during their international recruitment trips and key to solving the problem of local recognition of international certification.

"We're all at ground zero," she said. "It's a great time to start firming up what the strengths of the various players might be."

But while Nova Scotia is finding its feet, other provinces are pushing forward aggressively. Ms. Brown said. New Brunswick has been very aggressive and has signed a deal that allows foreign students to work off campus, earn some income and put down more roots in the community.

In Nova Scotia, foreign students can only work on campus.

"We've been trying to sign a similar memorandum of understanding for a year, but it has been slow going," said Ms. Brown.

Last year, the provincial and federal governments agreed to extend the amount of time international students may work in Nova Scotia after graduation to two years from one year.

Earlier this month, ACOA minister Joe McGuire said his staff was looking at ways his agency could be helpful in the issue, perhaps serving as as a regional hub for implementing policy.

Ms. Dinter-Gottlieb said a regional approach makes sense to her, while Ms. Mills added that while provincial agencies are already working together, a regional approach could be useful.

More than $400 million was earmarked in the recent federal budget for helping improve immigration. Ms. Dinter-Gottlieb said now is the time for action. "I'm afraid it's going to be a fad unless we get realistic about what we can do," she said.

Acadia University Admissions, enrollment departments between rock, hard place

Admissions, enrollment departments between rock, hard place
Admissions struggles to keep numbers up
Acadia University
The Athenaeum
September 28th, 2006
Vol. 69, Issue 03

The population of Canada has a reputation for being particularly well-educated. Significant funding goes into our schools and universities. Unfortunately, since the demographics of Atlantic Canada are rapidly changing, fewer students each year are entering into post-secondary education. Over recent years, there has been a steady decrease across the board of about 4-5%.
What contributed to this? According to Shawna Garrett, Acadia’s Director of Enrollment Management, there are a couple factors. Perhaps we can attribute the low numbers this year to the poor economy province-wide. Less money is being put into the universities, which means that government is not subsidizing education as heavily as some other provinces, and students are bearing the weight of hefty tuition prices across Canada, especially in Nova Scotia.
Another interesting statistic is that 60% of university students are female. Garrett pointed out that some males are either bypassing university altogether, or they acquire a two-year diploma and find a job out west, where the economy is booming. This lure of immediate employment contributes to the lower number of students applying to universities all over Canada, not just at Acadia.
But the fact remains that Acadia’s enrollment in 2006 has dropped a dramatic 21% since last year. Enrollment rates peaked in 2003 as a result of the double cohort year and targeting marketing in Ontario specifically. Relative to that year, it is no surprise that enrollment has decreased since then.
Unfortunately, Acadia can’t sit back and wait for the numbers to rise again. Garrett explains that Acadia needs to compete to stay in the game – there are 11 other universities and colleges in Nova Scotia all hoping to attract the same population of graduating high school students.
“Students now are savvy,” notes Garrett. ”Times have changed,” and students now are making the universities fight for their enrollment.
Acadia employs a multitude of tactics to encourage students to attend. Last year, the “administration kicked in half a million dollars to merit based scholarships,” says Garrett. In total, Acadia offered 2.5 million dollars to incoming and returning students. But competing universities raised the bar even higher this year: Dalhousie, for example, offered a total of 13 million.
The cost of an Acadia education is an obvious hurdle with which the University is struggling. “The average [tuition] in Nova Scotia is six [thousand],” explains Garrett, while the national average is only four thousand. This year marks Acadia’s most expensive year yet, hitting a record-breaking $8,000.
On the bright side, Acadia’s rate of retention is steadily improving, as reported by Dr. Gail Dinter-Gottlieb’s address during the Open Hour on September 12. The university is working hard to improve the lives of its current students, hoping that word-of-mouth will increase enrollment in the future.
Programs such as the academic support for students on probation and the accommodations provided for those with learning disabilities have been hugely successful. These programs along with other new resources, such as a first-year advisor, are giving a larger percent of the student body a chance to be successful here.
Garrett views improving enrollment as a campus-wide initiative and would love to “get current students engaged in the recruitment process.” She suggests that when students visit their old high schools over vacations, they could bring packages of materials about Acadia and help promote it to both rising students and guidance counselors.
Acadia also puts an emphasis on keeping family connections strong within the community, as seen with the alumni scholarships, and since “current students are so valuable to recruitment,” Garrett recommends passing along the name and email address of any relative or high school student who expresses interest so that Acadia can follow up.

Job boom hurting enrolment at B.C. universities

Job boom hurting enrolment at B.C. universities
Many potential students would rather work than hit the books
If you want a university education, now could be an easier time to sign up.
The economic boom is making it tougher for universities to meet their enrolment targets, which means some B.C. schools may have empty seats when classes resume after Labour Day.

University administrators say the economic boom with its abundance of good jobs has reduced the pool of potential students. Many would rather make money than hit the books, they say.

The University of British Columbia will meet its target of 4,500 new undergrads this September, but only because it has lowered its admission grade point averages.

Brian Silzer, UBC's registrar, said some departments have reduced their admission averages by three or four per cent from last year.

"So this year, in fact, it was a little bit easier to find a place," said Silzer.
The University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George says it will have room for more students when classes resume in September.

Spokesman Rob Van Adrichem said UNBC is trying to boost enrolment by offering more scholarships and bursaries.

"Money talks, and if we can be competitive in the awards we provide students we're hopeful that we'll be able to attract more students," said Van Adrichem.

Van Adrichem said UNBC is also trying to fill its empty seats with more students from Alberta.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

To Give Trade its Due(CSCB)

To Give Trade its Due(CSCB)

This article is extracted from the 31 July 2007 edition of “”.

Trade officials have always been the second-class citizens of Canada's missions abroad…. That attitude is folly as Canada scrambles to forge new global trading links. So it is encouraging that Stephen Harper is upgrading or opening foreign offices in regions where Canada sees more trade potential or where its companies have mining and energy interests.

The decision, part of the Prime Minister's effort to put a Conservative stamp on the nation's foreign policy, comes at a good time, as Canadian companies diversify away from American markets. Although the value of Canada's merchandise exports to the United States did not shrink last year, in part because of energy exports, trade with other nations, especially in Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, is growing more rapidly. And a significant chunk of that new trade comes from resource exports.

In response, Canada's energy and resource firms are increasing their presence abroad. In Yemen, where the oil industry has significant interests, Canada has only an honorary consul. That diplomatic post is said to be in line for an upgrade; so is Mongolia, partly because Canadian companies have significant mining interests there but Canada has no trade officials….

The shuffle is significant, because Foreign Affairs is considering closing as many as 19 offices abroad as it deals with a budget cut this year of nearly $143-million. It recently eliminated two consulates in Japan and Italy. At the same time, in a strong signal of his priorities, Mr. Harper moved this month to deepen trade ties with Colombia and Chile. In the past two months, his government has forged foreign investment protection and promotion agreements with India and Jordan. Similar investment talks are under way with China, and free-trade talks are well advanced with South Korea.

Those initiatives are especially timely as the U.S. economy begins to stall….
Korean Exports Post Jump in July(

Korean exports are on an upward momentum thanks to strong overseas demand for automobiles and mobile communication equipment.

A report released by the Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry on Wednesday shows that Korean exports in July reached US$30.9 billion. That's a whopping 20 percent jump year-on-year.

Korean exports have maintained double digit growth for 18 consecutive months.

The report also revealed an increase in Korean imports. Imports this month stood at $29.4 billion, up nearly 15 percent compared to the same period last year.

Ministry officials say the rise resulted in a trade surplus of $1.6 billion.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Small Canadian Businesses Say They Like Globalization...

Small Canadian Businesses Say They Like Globalization,
Yet Shun International Trade
(CanWest News Service)

Many smaller Canadian businesses are reluctant to go global, even though most say the globalization of commerce is a positive trend, survey results suggest.

"Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say they are hesitant to expand their business beyond Canadian borders," said the analysis of the results of the survey conducted for UPS Canada by pollster TNS Canadian Facts.

The spring survey of 637 executives at such firms found that 37 per cent believe they have enough business to deal with in Canada, while an additional 17 per cent say global trade is out of the question until they expand their business domestically.

Only one in five sells outside Canada.

"This is disconcerting when one considers that SMBs make up 98 per cent of Canadian businesses," said Mike Tierney, president of Canadian arm of the international parcel-delivery firm. "Canada runs the risk of being left behind in the increasingly competitive global market unless there is a shift in the practices of our entrepreneurs to capitalize on the international trade opportunities available to them."

Global trade

Those firms that have chosen to conduct cross-border and international trade see the benefits of doing so and intend to continue the practice, according to the survey, which found almost half planning to expand their workforce in the coming 12 months, nearly double the 26 per cent of businesses that do not participate in international trade.

Though they are reluctant to dive into global commerce, the vast majority believe globalization to be positive or neutral, with only 15 per cent viewing it negatively, the report said.

While nearly two thirds of importing firms and 56 per cent of exporting ones view globalization positively, a little more than half of the non-importing, non-exporting firms are undecided about whether it is a good or bad trend.

"There is a discrepancy between the actions of SMBs to expand internationally and their positive perception of Canada's future position in the arena of global commerce," said Tierney, adding that if businesses are to achieve the successes they expect, must take a determined approach to global trade.

"However, many feel challenged on how to begin international trade," he said.
The survey found that hooking up with trustworthy suppliers and understanding complex trade practices are major barriers keeping firms at home.

Considering expansion

However, Garth Whyte, executive vice-president at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said that while a little more than half of SMBs have no interest in going global, the survey results also suggest close to half were at least looking at trading internationally.
"That's darn good," Whyte said, noting that there are some smaller businesses, such as local retailers, that have no reason to look beyond their local or domestic market.

Also, the strong dollar and shortages of labour may be deterring some firms from looking at expanding into foreign markets at this time, Whyte added.

The survey, meanwhile, found that most smaller businesses are also optimistic for success at home, believing the Canadian economy is more likely to grow than that of rapidly expanding markets such as India, the analysis said, noting that two-thirds expect to see Canada growing economically over the next three years, second only to China in terms of economic growth.
Meanwhile, 22 per cent see the U.S., which is Canada's largest trading partner, declining economically over the next three years, while 24 per cent see the Middle East losing ground as well.