eWENR, March/April 2000: The Americas (Regional News)


According to a study released late in 1999, there are fewer international students in Canada today then there were at the beginning of the decade while only 3percent of all Canadians are studying abroad — most of them in the United States. The National Report on International Students in Canada 1998/99, published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), suggests that the current strategy to attract foreign students and to encourage Canadian students to study abroad isn’t working.

The CBIE report reveals that while there are more than 2 million students around the world now studying outside their home countries (double the number 10 years ago) Canada’s share of the international student market has shrunk dramatically in recent years.

In the past decade, Canada’s rank as a host country for international students has dropped from fourth to seventh. Both Australia and Japan have surpassed Canada in this regard while countries such as Malaysia, France and Britain are all stepping up overseas recruitment efforts to reel in greater numbers of international students.

The majority of international students studying in Canada come from France, with most of them attending higher education institutions in the province of Quebec. These students pay local fees rather than international student fees through bilateral agreements between France and Quebec.

There are also approximately 25,000 Canadians studying abroad. The vast majority of these students — 22,000 — are attending colleges and universities in the United States.

One reason for the decline is lack of funds. Grants and scholarships dispersed through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) fell from 3,267 in 1992 to a mere 947 in 1998.

Other factors contributing to the downward trend, according to the report, include increased competition from other English-speaking countries and an outmoded federal marketing strategy. The current strategy focuses more on filling empty university places than it does on accommodating the needs and desires of international students and concentrates on only two regions of the world: Asia and Latin America.

— Correspondence from the Canadian Bureau for International Education
Dec. 3, 1999

United States

Women currently earn 55 percent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded by U.S. institutions of higher education. In addition, female students are not far behind men in Ph.D.s either. According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, women earned 41.8 percent of all doctorates granted in 1998/99, up from 40.6 percent the previous year.

Moreover, that percentage grows even larger once the number of foreign doctoral students, who are predominantly male, are subtracted. Of the total number of U.S. citizens earning doctoral degrees, women accounted for 47.7 percent in 1998 compared to only 29 percent in 1978.

As the number of newly minted female Ph.D.s continues to grow each year, the percentage of male recipients has actually declined slightly in recent years.

— Business Week
March 27, 2000


With demand rising for job applicants with business know-how and technology skills electronic commerce is being offered as a major at more and more campuses around the country. Students pursuing these degrees study basic programming in tandem with marketing and business concepts.

Although critics doubt that the new degree major is little more than a passing fad, others claim that students enrolling in e-commerce programs will gain a competitive edge in a job market increasingly dominated by the Internet.

The University of South Alabama in Mobile plans to offer a Bachelor’s of Science in e-commerce starting in the fall semester 2000. Between 20 and 40 students are expected to enroll in the program.

Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. is launching both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in e-commerce.

Texas Christian University in Fort Worth started its degree program in e-business for undergraduates in January 2000. Eighty students are enrolled in the program and many more are on the waiting list.

Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh now has a master’s of science program in electronic commerce. The degree, offered jointly through the school of computer science and business school, can be earned in 12 months.

Despite the trend, some schools do not see much point in launching degree programs in e-commerce. Educators at Stanford University’s business school, for instance, believe e-commerce will become so prevalent in the next few years as not to require specialized study.

Other schools that may not offer such degrees allow business students to choose e-commerce as their area of specialization. Starting last November, students at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, can major in electronic commerce.

— USA Today
Feb. 23, 2000