‘Rapid test is a commercial commodity’: Ombudsman

first_imgTopics : According to her, the Central Java Ombudsman found that some hospitals in the region were charging up to Rp 500,000 for one rapid test kit and service. “If the rapid test can further contain the spread of the virus, mass rapid tests should have been done wherever a mass crowd is found. But the service has shifted substantially as it is now a mere commercial commodity,” Farida said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.Farida went on to say that there were only several independent rapid tests in the capital city of Central Java province, Semarang, and it was performed without any clear standard. She stated her concern as crowded places such as bus stops, ports, terminals and train stations in the region were rarely targeted for mass rapid tests.Even though some COVID-19 rapid test centers have adhered to the ministry’s price ceiling, the Central Java Ombudsman on Thursday reported that several hospitals were still charging prices ranging from Rp 250,000 to Rp 500,000 for a rapid test service. The Indonesian Ombudsman has urged the government to review the regulation on COVID-19 rapid tests as there might be price discrepancies between test providers, resulting in people being charged “unfair” prices for the test.Following the circular letter issued by the Health Ministry on Monday, which set a price ceiling of Rp 150,000 (US$10.49) for the COVID-19 rapid test, the ombudsman presumed that some stakeholders might be using the test and the pandemic situation to make a profit.Central Java Ombudsman member Siti Farida said “the state should have made rapid tests free of charge or at least subsidized the test,” as it was hoped to curb the spread of the virus.center_img Nevertheless, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) Slamet Budiarto deemed the government “too reckless” for issuing such a regulation. He argued that the price ceiling of Rp 150,000 would not be enough to cover all the expenses needed for one rapid test.“The basic price for a rapid test [kit] is between Rp 150,000 and Rp 200,000,” he said as quoted by tempo.co. Meanwhile, there are still many other components, which require financial expenses namely the disposable medical kits, personal protective equipment and the medical services.In other words, hospitals still need to cover the expenses of other components if they choose to adhere to the ministry’s price ceiling.“The ministry should have standardized the highest retail price for a rapid test [kit], not for the [entire] service price,” he said, indicating that the government should not have burdened the hospitals with the remaining costs.Prior to the Health Ministry’s circular letter, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said he had asked the Finance Ministry to subsidize rapid tests for public transportation users as they are required to submit negative COVID-19 tests before taking long-distance journeys.The request was made following numerous complaints over the high prices of rapid tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. As of Wednesday, nearly 970,000 samples had been tested nationwide. The official data show that 68,079 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Indonesia, with 3,359 deaths. Not only is the test currently unaffordable for many people, but stigma also deters Indonesians from getting tested for COVID-19. (trn)last_img read more


Futsal: BiH –Montenegro 3:1

first_imgIn the first preparatory match in City Sports Hall in Čitluk BiH Futsal team defeated the team of Montenegro with 3:1.BiH took lead in 3rd minute, when Kahvedžić scored the first goal for 1:0. In 18th minute Novoselec gave another goal for 2:0, which was the final result of the first half-time.In the 31st minute Pantić scored the third goal for BiH, and in 40th minute Barović scored the first and the only goal for Montenegro for the final result 3:1.BiH: Omerbegvić, Šunjić, Matan, Mulahmetović, Radmilović, Pantić, Novoselac, Bevanda, Devušić, Aladžić, Kahvedžić, Galić, Mičeta, Skuhan. Manager: Boro Matan.Montenegro: Despotović, Ćalasan, Barović, Perović, Dondić, Bojović, Jovanović, Vukčević, Mugoša, Novović, Bošković, Zeković, Junčaj. Manager: Sveto Ljesar.Second preparatory match between BiH and Montenegro is being played tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Čitluk.last_img read more


Missing boater was facing drug charges, and was an experienced sailor

first_imgThe Coast Guard was looking for a boater and his father who went missing while headed to Vero Beach.55-year-old Peter cook, 81-year-old Gerald cook, and four of their dogs were aboard a 52-foot yellow steel vessel on Feb. 13 before they went missing.However, new details show that Peter Cook was facing drug and weapons charges in South Carolina in connection with a marijuana grow house bust in May 2018, as first reported in the TCPalm.Officials say Peter Cook was also an experienced sailor who worked as a lobsterman for many years.Peter Cook was released on bond a few days after his arrest two years ago.On Feb. 26, the Coast Guard suspended the search for the missing boaters.last_img


Belton Park duo pick up PING Women’s Fourball Betterball Plate

first_img Congratulations to Jacqui Barson and Julie Beanland, of Belton Park Golf Club, who have won the PING Women’s Fourball Betterball Plate Final 2019.After an amazing day of Golf in Gainsborough, the duo won by 2 points with an overall score of 44, scoring 25 points on the front 9 and 19 points on the back 9.Barson and Beanland only met in January 2019 but play together regularly, they’ve become good friends and now are beginning to win competitions together.After a great front 9, the team were able to relax and enjoy the rest of the round, and, playing against another friendly pair, there was a nice pace of play and the duo we’re able to sail through the back 9 to secure an impressive victory.“We’re completely astounded and overjoyed,” said Jacqui Barson, “It’s unbelievable… we’re still shaking – it’s just surreal.”Congratulations to everybody who took part in the PING Women’s Plate Final – all eyes now turn to today’s Grand Final. You can keep up with all the action as it unfolds throughout the day here.Following the Finals this week (w/c 2nd September) the prizes have now been sent to clubs. 4 Sep 2019 Belton Park duo pick up PING Women’s Fourball Betterball Plate last_img read more


Govt officials not addressing oil payout proposal honestly

first_imgDear Editor,Since Professor Clive Thomas made the proposal that a part of the oil revenue be used to pay cash transfers to each Guyanese household, and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) subsequently adopting the recommendation, pointing out its potential transformative effects on the lives of the poor and powerless in the country, there have been a number of letters and articles expressing opinions for and against.I am aware that Dr Thomas and the WPA welcome the spirited debate that has emerged so far in response to the proposal, and are paying keen attention to positions and ideas coming from both policymakers and citizens.While I appreciate the interest shown in this matter, I am personally disappointed that critics, including Government officials, have chosen not to address the proposal honestly, but instead to engage in the tactics of deliberate misrepresentation and disinformation. Interestingly, this approach to the debate cuts across the political divide (Government, Opposition, and civil society), so much so that a case can be made that morality and honesty in public debate have become something that our political culture is devoid of.To illustrate the above, I have chosen to cite a recent letter written by Hamilton Green and published in the Guyana Chronicle’s Monday, August 13, 2018 edition, under the caption, “ Professor Thomas’ proposal may not be the best course of action”. Green has been a politician and public administrator for most of his adult life, and as he reminds readers, he had been “…on the hustings for generations”. Now retired, he has ample time to read and comprehend, and in relation to the Thomas/WPA recommendation for the use of part of the oil money as cash transfers to each Guyanese household, I can only assume that the veteran politician has done so. But his letter runs contrary to that logic and forces one to conclude, that he consciously decided to engage in deception and disinformation in stating his position on the proposal, bearing in mind that Thomas and the WPA made it quite clear that the cash transfers to each household of a minimum of one million Guyana dollars annually, would amount to a very small portion of the expected oil money since it represents between two to five per cent of gross revenue.This means that the Government has at least 95 per cent of the oil revenue to spend on other policy initiatives. Hamilton Green and similarly minded critics have mentioned in letters and articles many areas that the money should be spent on. In Green’s letter, he cited seven areas, all of which and more can be funded from the 95 per cent of the oil revenue the Government will have after giving the five per cent in cash transfers to the poor and powerless.I am convinced that the detractors of the proposal are aware that the Thomas/WPA proposal represents a very small portion of the enormous wealth that will be in the hands of those who manage the State. In spite of this knowledge, they choose to demonstrate ignorance in the public space (not understanding simple maths). In doing so they do a disservice to themselves and the country.The way they are debating this important national issue gave Clifford Krauss the ammunition to justify his ridiculous and racist description of our country and its people.Finally, I end by taking note of an article published on August 14, 2018 captioned, “Justice For All leader hammers WPA cash transfer proposal”. In this article, the Honourable Minister, Mr Jaipaul Sharma is quoted as referring to “… the suggestion from the WPA that oil revenues should be used for cash payouts to every Guyanese…”. This clearly illustrates my point about the dishonest approach to this debate by some Government officials. If he is quoted correctly, the Minister is devoid of political morality – he can’t claim that he doesn’t know the difference between each household and every Guyanese.Sincerely,Tacuma Ogunseyelast_img read more


India, China eye Coega IDZ

first_img30 January 2008Several Indian companies are in talks to invest in the region of R16-billion in metals and automotive projects at South Africa’s Coega industrial development zone, while Chinese companies are showing strong interest in the Eastern Cape’s hottest industrial property.In a statement last Thursday, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) said that several companies from India and China were looking at the Coega IDZ outside Port Elizabeth to locate their investments.This follows an increased focus on luring investment from the two Asian giants, and according to CDC business development manager Belu Mabandla, it took only a few visits to India and China before they got 15 companies to show “serious intent” to invest in the zone.“Among Indian companies, the total value of investment projects being negotiated exceeds R16-billion and covers the metals and automotive sectors,” the CDC said, adding that three investments from India may be signed during 2008/9.According to the CDC, many Chinese investors view South Africa as a launch pad to the rest of the continent, especially in light of that country’s “Go Africa” strategy.Chinese investors were especially looking at attractive industrial estates for both greenfield projects and merger opportunities with existing local companies.“One of the projects in consideration for the Coega IDZ is large enough to occupy nearly half of the automotive cluster once all phases have been completed,” the CDC said.CDC business development manager Christopher Mashigo said the level of interest from China was beyond his expectations. “There is a high level of optimism about investing in Africa, and most importantly in South Africa”, Mashigo said. “Furthermore Chinese companies understand the concept of an IDZ and what the CDC can offer.“Four to six visits are planned with Chinese companies this year for site visits and discussions regarding the project,” he said.CDC spokesman Ongama Mtimka told The Herald last week that an Indian company, Afro-Asia Steel, had already signed a R75-million project for a steel billets plant at the IDZ.“A record of decision would be formalised soon and the first phase of construction was expected to begin early in the second half of this year,” the paper reported.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


South African scholars to study in China

first_img25 August 2015China beckons to 53 scholarship recipients, who have landed an opportunity to study in the eastern nation. They were excited about the chance, they said at a pre-departure orientation yesterday at Unisa (University of South Africa) in Pretoria.The Department of Higher Education and Training receives scholarships from various foreign governments that are targeted at South African youth to advance the skills development agenda.Time of possibilityKgaugelo Mpyana said he was looking forward to his degree in architecture at the Beijing University of Technology.“This is a great opportunity for me because China is the generation of great innovation,” he said. “I will get an opportunity to learn from the best at no cost at all.”Ofentse Tyawo was thrilled that her dreams to study in China were finally being realised. She will be studying an undergraduate in biological sciences at East China University.Both students will also do a year-long Mandarin course, as well as learn more about Chinese culture.Mutual respect“This is an opportunity of a lifetime; grab it with both hands,” advised Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana. “We are proud that you have been selected and that you have shown bravery because it’s not an easy decision to make to go study abroad.”He encouraged students to represent South Africa well in China. “Respect the cultural norms and values of China; make sure that you adjust to them.”Li Song, China’s deputy ambassador to South Africa, congratulated the scholarship recipients and thanked them for choosing to study in his country. “I believe that through their hard work, these young talents will come back and contribute to the rainbow nation after their successful completion of their studies in China,” Song said.“South Africa has the most overseas Chinese students in Africa,” he added. There were 1 100 South African students studying in China and more than 2 400 Chinese students studying in South Africa.More than 180 applications were received for the scholarships.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more


Collecting on the carry

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest BeansOn a positive note, beans rallied early last week due to palm oil prices increasing to highs not seen in several years. This increased demand for soy oil as a substitute in some Asian markets.On the flip side, the USDA report published last week was bearish. National yield averages were a bushel higher than last month’s USDA report. This means that exports will need to remain strong to relieve a potential burdensome bean carryout. Unfortunately, recent global news also isn’t positive. There are rumors that China may be capping speculative commodity buyers. Also, after another corruption charge in Brazil, their currency dropped in value. This will likely keep South American beans cheaper and put pressure on the market. CornThe USDA report last week shocked many as the national yield estimate increased back over 175. At this level, a 2.4 billion carryout is likely. Still, prices stayed $3.40+, which is a positive sign long term.Exports, feed demand and ethanol can’t slow down, or prices will likely falter. With the high yields across the Midwest some farmers are having trouble unloading corn as harvest finishes. Elevators and ethanol plants are reducing hours and lines are long (up to four hours in some cases). Unfortunately, many farmers have less than 30% of their crop sold, so any rally will most likely be met with many farmers selling, especially as creditors start calling as farmers crawl out of the combine. What’s next?With the election over and the Nov report behind us, South American weather will be the hot topic for the next two months. Still U.S. weather also continues to be a concern. So far in Minneapolis temperatures haven’t hit freezing yet, and it may not before Thanksgiving, which has never happened before. I’ve never mowed my lawn in November, which I did today. Green grass across the Midwest reduces demand for cattle feed. This potential loss in demand isn’t something the grain markets need. Long-term weather forecasts suggest a bitter cold winter in the upper Midwest, but these forecasts as with lots of other predictions this year have been very unreliable. Market ActionAll year I have been making sales for the corn I just finished harvesting against Dec ’16 futures. Since the market is paying me to hold, I don’t want to deliver my corn in Dec. So I have to be out of the Dec ’16 futures by the end of the month. “What do you mean?”Currently the Sep ’17 futures contract is a 30-cent premium above the Dec ’16 futures contract. So, I bought all of my Dec ’16 futures sales back. Then I sold the Sep ’17 futures at the exact same time. In other words, I “rolled” my position forward. “What about the price? I don’t like prices right now.”Farmers need to understand that the price on the Dec and Sep futures isn’t as important as the spread between the values. Many people get caught up in the actual values, thinking money was made or lost in their hedge account based upon the current and/or future price. However, since I have grain in the bin that is not sold, I’m still completely hedged at the same values. The money made or lost in the hedge account doesn’t mean anything yet in the bigger picture. What does matter is the extra 30 cents I pocketed for now. “So you keep the 30 cents?”Probably not all of it. I’ll have to move 15% to 20% in early winter to core out my bins, so I’ll have to move some of this sale back to Mar futures. This portion will likely reduce to 10 cents premium. Also, I may not hold all of the remaining grain until Sep. I may move some in June or July, which would likely be about 7 cents less (resulting in only a 23-cent premium). “So, why did you pick Sep?”The last two years I actually “rolled” my hedges forward to July. This year the premium was 23 cents. In 2015 I received 18 cents to roll to July. In the last 8 years I did this trade, I’ve averaged around 24 cents.I selected Sep this year because I’m expecting the spread between Sep and July to narrow. I think there is a good chance that farmers won’t sell and the spread between the two months will tighten. If this happens, I’ll pick up a few more cents in the spread when I move my corn in the winter and early summer. There is a chance that I might hold my corn until Aug or Sep and this move would save me some brokerage costs down the road. The bottom line is I feel I have more options later by rolling to the Sep now.To be fair, the spread could widen a few more pennies, but the downside risk is limited by storage costs and interest. In reality, farmers would have to sell a lot of grain for this to happen, and I don’t expect that to happen considering current prices and the recent USDA news. “Why should farmers collect on the carry?”Collecting on the carry is very low risk. The market is very clearly paying farmers to do it. Waiting to sell from Dec to Sep is 10 months for 30 cents. The market is paying me three cents per month to wait to move my grain. “What about interest on the grain?”Yes, I need to consider this by deducting the expense from the carry profits. Assuming 5% interest rate, $3.25 corn cash value X 5% / 12 months = 1.3 cents per bushel per month to hold grain. In other words, the market pays me 1.7 cents per bushel per month to hold grain in my bin. “Where does basis factor in?”I will now watch basis levels for a rally. Currently, basis values for next summer are 15 cents better than today and 10 cents better than the best bid I saw at the beginning of harvest. Adding this premium to carry, and I will collect 25 to 30 cents of profit just for waiting to move my grain. I have not yet locked in my basis hoping that there is more upside in the basis. This is risk that I must manage going forward. “Why doesn’t everyone do this?”One, it requires on-farm storage (I recommend getting to 100% capacity) which many farmers aren’t willing to do. Two, it requires that you have your grain priced by harvest, again not something most farmers are willing to do. Granted much of this premium will go to pay my grain payment this year. However, my bin loan was only for seven years (this is year six of ownership for me). After next year, all of this profit will go in my pocket every year. An additional benefit to 100% storage is the drying/shrink savings and avoidance of long lines.“That sounds great, but it sounds a little complicated. I prefer to just store my grain unpriced and wait for rallies. I’ve done ok in the past.”This is a common phrase I hear from farmers. However, farmers need to remember that they will always need to sell another crop in 11 months. All farmers are hoping we get back to $4 or even $4.50 (me too). Even with my strategy if prices get above $4, I still get to take advantage of those prices. I’ll just be selling for 2017 instead. Then I STILL get to take advantage of carry/basis premium (25 to 30 cents) next year PLUS I get the benefit of the increased prices (if they were to happen). It’s a win-win-win for little to no additional risk. “But I need money for cash flow…”Most farmers are surprised when I tell them that if they explain their plan to their banker that their banker will likely be on board with this kind of plan. Cash flow is never a reason to sell grain if you have a plan that reduces risk and provides opportunity.But in order to take advantage of these opportunities you need to do two things right now:Build storage — plan to get to at least 100% storage on your farm by next year.• Create a marketing strategy that includes not just futures price, but carry and basis too.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more


New study destinations

first_imgStrict visa regulations and falling employment opportunities in UK are now prompting Indian students to look towards alternative institutes in Europe.Here is our list of the top emerging study destinations.Between 2000 to 2009, European universities saw the number of Indian students increase from 3,348 to 51,556 with the UK alone,Strict visa regulations and falling employment opportunities in UK are now prompting Indian students to look towards alternative institutes in Europe.Here is our list of the top emerging study destinations.Between 2000 to 2009, European universities saw the number of Indian students increase from 3,348 to 51,556 with the UK alone logging a rise from 3962 to 36,105 students. Today however, strict visa regulations and falling job opportunities in the UK along with an increase in initiatives to attract foreign students by universities on mainland Europe, are prompting many Indians to experiment with new destinations for their higher education. For example, instead of taking the traditional route of completing her studies in England, Judith George, 17, decided to look for course options in Poland. “I wanted to study in Europe but in a country which was both affordable as well as unique.I found out about Poland through an education fair held in my school. The beautiful campuses, interesting programmes and lack of fierce competition immediately prompted me to apply there,” says George, who completed her schooling in Delhi.In the last few years French universities have received nearly double the number of applications from students in India, while Ireland has clocked a 120 per cent increase to date in interest from Indians for higher education opportunities in the country. “While cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham still continue to attract a fair share of students, many Indians are also considering fresh options.Most of them feel that it is easier and cheaper to study on mainland Europe, Scotland or Ireland while getting the same quality of academics and professional exposure,” says Ajay Singh, a Mumbai-based education consultant. So whether it’s to experience a new culture or simply explore the rich academic heritage of the region, there are plenty of new options to choose from in Europe today.advertisementPolandOne of the youngest members of the European Union, Poland serves as a geographical and cultural crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe. With over 1 lakh international students coming to pursue various degrees here, the Polish education system has quickly been expanding over the last few years. The number of higher education institutes in the country has quadrupled in the last ten years.Interestingly, the Polish education system dates back to over 650 years ago. The magnificent Jagiellonian University in Krakow, for example, was founded in the 14th century, and today is recognised as one of the oldest universities in Europe. Similarly the University of Warsaw can trace its roots back to 1795. Today the university has been consistently ranked as one of the top 100 higher education institutes of the world by QS and the University Web Ranking system. “When I visited universities in England, I felt as if I was back in India because of the large number of students from back home. Having to study with such large concentrations of international students was not my idea of higher education. I wanted to be someplace where I could truly experience European culture and history. Poland was a perfect choice.The professors are warm and helpful and universities are not overcrowded. You get time to really enjoy the country and experience a relaxing yet stimulating approach to academics. It is also much cheaper to study here than in other European countries,” says Abhijeet Patel, student from Warsaw University. “My parents were skeptical at first because they didn’t know much about the country. After visiting the university, they too were bowled over. The campus is so picturesque and facilities for students are of top quality.The libraries and architecture in particular are phenomenal both because of their history and design,” he adds. Currently there are over 400 courses offered in English in Poland, many of them at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Poland’s medical schools, in particular, have been attracting the attention of many international students. “Many students are now looking towards foreign countries to study courses that are difficult to get through in India.Engineering and medicine have both witnessed an increase in interest over the last five years, especially as these programmes are now being taught in English,” adds Singh. The Polish higher education system is generally divided into three levels: the undergraduate level (Licencjat, Inynier), postgraduate level (Magister), and doctorate (Doktor). This system applies to all fields of education in the country except for law, pharmacy, psychology, veterinary medicine, medicine and dentistry, which involve only a two-stage system (postgraduate and doctorate).Top institutes1. Warsaw University,2. Wroclaw University of Technology,3. Jagiellonian University,4. Medical University of Warsaw,5. Wroclaw School of EconomicsAverage cost of living: Euro500 – 600 per monthAverage tuition fees: Euro2000 – 3000 per yearadvertisementFranceWhether its infrastructure, social life, affordability or heritage that you are looking for, French universities have something to offer every international student. Here students are guaranteed to enjoy themselves both inside and outside the classroom. The country’s standing in global rankings reflects its commitment towards education with a total of 35 French universities making it to the 2012-13 edition of the QS World University Rankings; 22 of which were ranked in the top 500. “Universities frequently organise conferences, seminars, field trips, projects and outdoor activities.There really never is a dull day when it comes to living here. Speaking of academics, there is little to complain about either. Professors here are all extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help you gain access to the best resources and infrastructure. They also encourage a lot of independent thinking and never dissuade you from trying your hand at a new topic or sub-discipline,” says Vineet Mehra, 26, a student at Institut Superieur de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE) in Toulouse.Small tutorial sizes and heavy instructor intervention are additional highlights of pursuing your studies here. The smaller class sizes and involved instructors seek to ensure that every student has the time and the attention needed to learn, ask questions and clear their doubts. “It’s common to find students and teachers catching up after lectures are over. It actually helps you perform better as a student when you have such a high level of interaction and engagement with your professors,” he adds.Nuclear, space and aviation programmes in particular are very popular amongst Indians. Those who attend universities in France often do so because of the technology they offer. “The emphasis laid on university infrastructure and resources is admirable. No matter what subject you choose to study, you will be guaranteed the best reading material, lab resources and equipment for your studies. Some institutes even go out of their way to procure special books and journals for their students,” adds Mehra.Other upcoming disciplines include teaching, languages, art, history, medicine and law. Today international students in France also have the chance to study a wide number of courses in English. Universities also offer add-on courses in French for those looking to learn the language alongside their studies. “It’s not compulsory to learn but it will make living here easier. Also, if you want to work in France after your studies, you will need to know the language.Fortunately when you are living here, it is much easier and faster to pick up the language because you always get a chance to practice,” says Mehra. With special Campus France offices across India ready to help students with their applications alongwith a number of attractive scholarship opportunities and visa benefits being extended to Indians, it’s little wonder then that student interest in French institutes has steadily been on the rise.Top institutesl. Ecole Polytechnique,2. Ecole Normale Superieure,3. ParisTech,4. Institut superieur de l’aeronautiqueet de l’espace,5. INSEAD, HEC Paris, Sorbonne UniversityAverage cost of living: Euro1000 – 1200 per monthAverage tuition fees: Euro170 – 2500 per year( Euro3000 – 10,000 for business and management programmes)advertisementIrelandAll it took was one trip to the University College Cork for Sanya Kapoor, 19, to fall in love with Ireland. From the ornate Tudor Gothic quadrangle to the variety of specialisations available in the field of law, Kapoor could think of no better institute to attend for her undergraduate degree. “My only criteria was to study at an institute where my choice of programme was available. But when I visited Cork I realised how important quality of life is as well. From the food to the living conditions to the various extra-curricular opportunities, students here have just about nothing to complain about. You need to have a fun and comfortable life in order to focus on your studies,” she explains. The anticipated growth to over 2,000 students from India in Ireland over the next 18 months, coupled with a dramatic 120% increase in Indian student visa applications last year, is evidence enough that Ireland is rapidly growing its share of the huge Indian education market.This mission coincides with the various Education in Ireland fairs conducted over the last few years in Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai. These fairs have all focused on promoting the country’s various education qualifications and rich cultural experience amongst prospective students in India. “Ireland’s education institutions are already making a name for themselves in the Indian market, and are successfully building a very strong brand under the Education in Ireland banner.The overall aim is to position Ireland as a quality and respected education destination for Indian students,” explains Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland, Head of International Sales and Partnering. Education in Ireland is the international brand promoted by Enterprise Ireland for the Irish international education sector. Nearly 17 different Irish higher education institutions and colleges attend the fair each year to enhance their links and partnerships with India.”International students have a significant impact on the Irish economy. In the short term they deliver fee income, local expenditure and job creation in Ireland, and in the medium-to-long term, they build strong strategic relationships with future key influencers in India which can deliver major benefits in the form of trade and investment over future years,” says Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland. “On the jobs front, we can anticipate over 650 new jobs on the basis that approximately 13 new jobs are estimated to be created for every 100 international students that come here. These Indian students also play an important role in deepening the business, cultural, education and research ties between India and Ireland,” he adds.Top institutesl. University of Cork,2. Trinity College Dublin,3. University of Limerick,4. Dublin Institute of TechnologyAverage cost of living: Euro800 – 1000 per monthAverage tuition fees: Euro9000 – 20000 per yearScotlandWith a population of around five million, Scotland retains its own, distinctive culture within the UK. The country is famous around the world for its breathtaking Highlands scenery, tartan, whisky and friendly inhabitants. It is also home to a number of cosmopolitan cities, international festivals and a thriving education scene. With 19 universities, Scotland is credited for having more world class institutes per head of population than any other country in the world. Additionally, all these institutes have embedded employability into their learning and teaching strategies.As a result of which graduates from Scottish universities have the highest rate of employment and enjoy high starting salaries six months after graduating than anywhere else in the UK (according to HESA, 2011). Today there are over 4,000 international students at Scottish universities and together they represent 180 different countries. “I was keen to live and study in a country where I felt right at home but at the same time would have exposure to different cultures and people from various walks of life.Scotland was the right choice for me because it offered all this and at the same time I was able to gain admission in a programme and university of my choice,” says Mihir Pathak, 27, a graduate of Edinburgh University. Scots are also quickly making a niche for themselves in the fields of medicine, engineering and science, politics, history, arts and sport.Scotland’s legacy of great innovators includes John Logie Baird, an alumnus of Scotland’s universities, who invented the television and Professor Higgs, who first posited the existence of the Higgs Boson particle while a professor at the University of Edinburgh. Interestingly, Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce universal school education and was one of the first European countries to establish a quality assurance system for its educational institutions. “While universities in Scotland have long been recognised for their excellent academic facilities and quality of research, it’s still taken a while for Indians to realise their potential.This is mostly because access to information used to be limited five or ten years ago. Today there are offices and centres of various Scottish universities in India itself who are available to help students with their applications, living arrangements and visas,” says Pradeep Sra, an education consultant from Delhi. “Many institutions have also tied up with their Indian counterparts for various student and faculty exchanges.This has also helped familiarise students with the various programmes and support available at Scottish universities,” adds Sra. With its significantly lower cost of living than the rest of the UK, strict student safety measures and plans for reintroducing a poststudy work visa for students, this is one country certainly worth checking out for your higher studies.Top Institutesl. Edinburgh University,2. University of Glasgow,3. University of Aberdeen,4. Robert Gordon University,5. Queen Margaret University,6. University of Dundee,7. University of St. AndrewsAverage cost of living: Euro800 – 1000 per monthAverage tuition fees: Euro13000 – 25000 per yearGermanyAfter completing his PhD studies in the UK, Avinash Patel had no doubts about which country he wanted to pursue his post-doctoral studies in. “I really admire both the German passion for research as well as the support given to academics in the country. I knew for a fact that I wasn’t ready to go back to India. Germany was the best choice for me,” says Patel, who is currently a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology. “The institute feels like home. You are encouraged to interact and engage with your colleagues and everyone is very approachable.The facilities are of the highest quality. Furthermore, living in Dresden, one of the most picturesque and historic cities in the country, is an additional bonus,” adds Patel. Be it medicine, science, humanities or management, German institutes have a wide variety of programmes to offer international students. Interestingly, both national as well as international students are charged nominal tuition fees at all public universities here. Students and researchers can also apply for scholarships and grants from various German funding organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service and the DFG, German Research Foundation.”There are some great opportunities for pursuing your higher studies and research here. Institutes do take the application round very seriously. It’s important to find a research group or programme that matches your interest and to demonstrate long term interest in your application,” says Dipthi Somesh, who is pursuing her doctorate from the Berlin Bradenburg School for Regenerative Therapies. The number of foreign students in Germany has doubled since 1995, from 140,000 to 280,000 at the start of the 2013 academic year and that number is only set to increase in the years ahead. “Students are quickly realising the potential of studying in Germany.Not only are the living costs and tuition fees more affordable but the country is also home to some of the best research institutes and universities in the world. Additionally these days one no longer needs to know the native language to study in Germany. There are several programmes that are taught in English,” says Naveen Chopra, Director, Chopra Consultants.Top institutes1. Max Planck Institutes,2. Heidelberg University,3. Free University of Berlin,4. University of Cologne,5. University of Munster,6. Dresden University of Technology,7. University of BonnAverage cost of living: Euro600 – 1000Average tuition fees: Euro200 – 15,000last_img read more