8 research universities of Australia are planning to tie-up with 6 elite schools in Delhi in a bid to absorb Indian students who would otherwise prefer to go to Oxford/ Cambridge/ Ivy League universities in the US/ UK.

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During President Obama’s recent travels to Kenya and Ethiopia, he had the opportunity to meet a 16-year-old girl named Linet Momposhi Nenkoitol during a civil society roundtable held at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. She shared with the President her efforts to pursue education as a girl in Kenya, compared to one of her primary school friends who, unlike Linet, was forced to be married off at age eleven and had undergone horrific female circumcision. Linet avoided this same fate because she had the fortune to grow up in the same village as Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, the founder and president of the Kakenya Center for Excellence . Dr. Ntaiya paved a path for girls like Linet by being the first girl to leave her village and earn both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States, with a promise to return and build a school for girls. As a member of the first group of girls studying at the center starting in 2009, Linet said : Being at the center ensured that I was away from men who could have shown interest in me. I was also able to focus my mind on class work now that I was not performing domestic chores. The only way to make sure that girls are safe and remain in class is to have them in such centers. This way, we can give millions of girls freedom to excel and in the process bring participate in society development. Linet is now a Form Two student at Pangani Girls’ High School in Nairobi, the first from her village to attend a national school in Kenya. Linet also shared her dream of becoming a cardiologist and her hope of attending the same school President Obama attended – Harvard University. In March, the President and Mrs. Obama announced the Let Girls Learn initiative, a U.S. government-wide effort to call attention to the lack of secondary education opportunities for girls worldwide and to encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education. As President Obama noted at the launch: The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. President Obama emphasized this message throughout this trip through Kenya and Ethiopia, most visibly in his exchange with Linet. NAFSA also believes in the importance of expanding educational opportunities for women and girls around the world, drawing attention to the issue with the plenary speakers we have featured at our annual conferences over the years, such as Nobel Prize winners Wangari Maathai, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman ; author Sheryl WuDunn; Malala Fund cofounder Shiza Shahid; as well as Dr. Ntaiya, to name a few. Numerous studies show that increased education for women results in higher confidence, later marriage, lower birth rates, and increased employment productivity and wages, which benefit not just individual women, but entire families, communities, and countries. It is by supporting initiatives like Let Girls Learn that we can help fulfill the dreams of girls like Linet, and transform the world for the better.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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There has been a record increase of 69% in the number of Indian students studying in New Zealand (NZ), as per statistics provided by Education New Zealand (ENZ.) From 11,652 students in 2013, Indian student population in New Zealand mushroomed to 19,662 by 2014.

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Photo by David Sachs, SEIU , licensed under CC BY 2.0 . As we mark the 50 th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act tomorrow, it would be natural to assume that securing the right to vote for people of color could be crossed off America’s to-do list. Instead, it has become clear that the law’s roots are beginning to wither, threatening the integrity of the principles on which our democracy was founded. A Problem in Need of a Solution In 1870, the 15 th amendment to the United States Constitution ensured (male) citizens of their right to vote regardless of their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It gave Congress the power to enforce the right. Nevertheless, for the next 95 years, some states imposed hurdles such as literacy tests and poll taxes to prevent African-Americans, not to mention Latinos, Native Americans and other people of color, from exercising their right to vote. When those tactics failed, law enforcement looked away—or tacitly sanctioned—threats, intimidation and actual violence against non-whites trying to vote. After the violent reactions to Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful protests in Selma, Alabama were televised, outrage overcame hate, and on August 6, 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) into law. This most fundamental piece of civil rights legislation bars practices or procedures that discriminate against minority voters. To ensure that Congress had the power to address nearly 100 years of voter suppression, section 5 of the VRA required federal “preclearance” before jurisdictions with a history of restricting minority voting rights could change any voting practices or procedures. A Solution in Need of a Problem It would be many years before the VRA reached its full potential (if, indeed, it ever has) but eventually a movement began not just to decrease voter suppression, but to make voting easier—a goal that should be unobjectionable given that the vote represents the voice of the people. The federal motor-voter bill, vote by mail and early voting were among the successful efforts to ease and expand registration and voting. Rather than view the expansion of voting rights as the embodiment of democratic ideals, some view it as a threat. “Fraud” is the guise by which opponents of voting expansion have made their case. To preserve the integrity of our elections, they argue, we must guarantee that not a single ballot is cast by an ineligible voter. It is a lofty argument, but the facts belie the clamor to address voter fraud. In the United States, cases of ineligible voters trying to cast a ballot are almost nonexistent. One expert found only 31 credible allegations (not convictions) of fraud in a one billion vote sample. Another said that he could not find a single case since 1980 where “an election outcome could plausibly have turned on voter-impersonation fraud.” The real fraud is not letting people vote. According to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice , 22 states have made it harder to vote since 2010. They have enacted voter ID laws, which prevent 11 percent of citizens (and an even greater percentage people of color and the elderly) from being able to exercise their right to vote because they don’t have the proper form of identification. Some states have also made it harder for citizens to register and have curtailed early voting. Partisanship may have led to many of these changes. Again according to the Brennan Center, of the 22 states that passed more restrictive voting laws, 18 were controlled entirely by Republicans. Both parties are guilty of trying to manipulate the system so that they have a better chance of gaining and maintaining power, however preserving the right to vote would seem to be an issue that is sacrosanct and one on which we can find common ground regardless of political beliefs. In addition, prejudice appears to have played a role in the move to pull back the right to vote. Many of the changes to voting laws came on the heels of the 2008 election, where for the first time in history, the percentage of African-Americans who voted was roughly the same as the white vote. Seven of the 11 states with the highest African-American turnout in 2008 put in place new restrictions on voting. NAFSA’s members understand that, as we strive for a more interconnected world, our own democracy must be a source of pride and an example of what works. Even a hint of racial motivation undercuts our belief in our own system and makes it more challenging to build a more globally engaged and peaceful world. Shelby and the Forgotten Lessons of History Many of the new, restrictive laws were enacted in jurisdictions that, under section 5 of the VRA, would have had to ask for preclearance from the Justice Department before changing the conditions of voting. However, in 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the VRA, eliminating the preclearance requirement. In the case of  Shelby County v. Holder , the majority said, in essence, that the VRA had worked and it was time to move on. Unfortunately, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her powerful dissent in the case, The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the VRA has proven effective…In truth, the evolution of voting discrimination into more subtle second-generation barriers is powerful evidence that a remedy as effective as preclearance remains vital to protect minority voting rights and prevent backsliding. A recent New York Times Magazine article documenting the undoing of the VRA shows the devastating impact of the Shelby case. Before the decision, the North Carolina House had passed a voter ID bill. The legislation was 14 pages long and allowed a wide range of identification, including state college IDs, to be used to prove eligibility to vote. It lay dormant for a few months when, just weeks after the Shelby decision, a new voter ID bill came to light. This one contained 57 pages of the new provisions designed to make voting harder, including ending same-day registration and invalidating the use of student IDs to vote. None of the changes would have been likely to pass muster if the Supreme Court had not invalidated section 5. All of them disproportionately impact people of color. As one of the world’s oldest modern democracies , we should be willing to take extra care to preserve that which makes the United States democratic. At NAFSA, we embrace educational exchange and global learning not only as a way to learn about others, but to share the strengths and assets in which we take pride. Before Shelby , the Voting Rights Act was one of those assets. We should come together to embark on efforts to remake it so that we can take pride in it once again. Lisa Rosenberg is the senior director for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 20, the Cuban flag was raised outside of the newly official Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., for the first time in more than 50 years. The crowd erupted into applause and cheers of “iViva Cuba!” Nearly ten hours later, I walked up to the embassy on my way home from the NAFSA office and was happy to see that the celebrations had not died down. A large crowd was still chanting, singing, drumming and dancing on the sidewalk. Colorful signs calling for the end of both the travel ban and trade embargo were still weaved through the posts of the fence in front of the embassy building. I was proud to personally witness such a historic moment . The opening of the Cuban and American embassies on Monday is an important step forward toward fully normalizing relations between the governments of the United States and Cuba. As NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson said at the recent NAFSA conference in Boston, “Engagement, not isolation, is the best way to work toward human rights, prosperity, and security for all.” In a similar ceremony to what happened Monday in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to raise the American flag over the new U.S. Embassy in Havana on August 14. Like most Americans, I won’t be able to see it in person. The travel ban still exists, making Cuba the only country in the world that the U.S. government prevents Americans from visiting. Lifting the travel ban must be part of the reengagement between the United States and Cuba. While the opening of educational exchanges to Cuba in 2011 was a monumental advocacy victory, licensing requirements for academic travel and other categories of travel still exist, making it difficult for Americans to visit the country and experience it firsthand. At NAFSA we believe that travel is inherently educational, and that travel is a right. That is why we are continuing to work with a diverse coalition of business, religious, agriculture, trade, and travel organizations, who are advocating for lifting the travel ban and embargo of Cuba. There is a bill pending in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives right now that would lift the travel ban to Cuba. It is called the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act ( S. 299 ; H.R. 664 ). In order for this bill to move, it needs more cosponsors and support. More than 100 international educators came to Washington, D.C. for NAFSA’s Advocacy Day last March and lobbied their members of Congress to support the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act. Since then, 23 Representatives and 25 Senators signed on to the bill. But we still need more. You can be a part of this movement by sending this email to your Senators and this email to your Representative , urging them to cosponsor the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act. [VIDEO] Dancing outside the newly official Cuban embassy #Cuba #EndTheTravelBan @ EmbaCubaUS http://t.co/XDn2Rfn6iZ — Katie O'Connell (@KatieAtNAFSA) July 21, 2015

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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Millions of foreign students who dream of working in Britain along with studying in publicly funded colleges may find their dreams getting shattered.

[via International – IndiaEduNews.net]

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Many institutes in India offer the five year PhD programs, whereas the six-year Integrated MS-PhD programs are available only at a handful of places . Typically the competition for the seats available is high due to a perceived exclusivity of these programs. See PhD Admissions

[via Colleges in India Admission Alerts]

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Could you use an elixir for disillusionment with the U.S. political system or the hand-wringing about the future of the United States? Listen to “ Abdi and the Golden Ticket ,” a story broadcasted on NPR’s “This American Life” about Abdi Nor, a Somali refugee living in Kenya who won the Diversity Visa (DV) program lottery. The goal of the DV lottery, when it was created by Congress in 1990, was to diversify the immigrant population by allowing people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States to apply for one of 55,000 green cards available annually under the program. Unlike the vast majority of others who apply to live permanently in the United States, DV applicants aren’t required to have family already here or an employer sponsoring them. Each year, during a one-month filing period, eight to eleven million people apply. Let that sink in for a moment: in one month, eight to eleven million people enter a potentially life-changing lottery for the chance to “win” one of 55,000 green cards. Actually, they are vying for 50,000 green cards because 5,000 have been allocated for use under a different program, lessening their odds even further. Winning the DV lottery is no guarantee of a future in the United States. As Abdi’s story demonstrates, it is only the beginning of what can be a harrowing, even dangerous path to life in this country. As a matter of policy, some see it as illogical, if not absurd to grant green cards in this way. Others see it as a tiny way to tip the scales to help those who didn’t have the good fortune to be born in the United States or have access to the education that enables them to immigrate because an employer has sponsored them. No matter what side you’re on, Abdi’s story is a fascinating glimpse into the luck and perseverance needed for the chance to live and work in America. Abdi’s excitement when he learns that he has won the Diversity Visa lottery is a humbling reminder of the hope many have about the opportunities this country offers, and his story is a sobering indication of the challenges of turning that hope into a reality.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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State bank of India (SBI) Probationary Officers – This is the Junior Management Level direct entry point for dynamic young graduates. A Probationary officer gets exposed to challenging assignment as also gets the opportunity to involve in nation building developmental activities. The opportunities include working in Personal banking, Rural Banking, Credit, Forex, Treasury etc.

[via Colleges in India Admission Alerts]

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Melbourne: While US and UK continue attracting the highest number of students from India, Australia has seen a year-on-year escalation in students enrollment from the Indian territory this year.

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