My Rite to Read

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Saltire Appointment

One of India's gameshow millionaires spent his first million, in search of a masters degree in Scotland! This was revealed to me by Cabinet Secretary of Education and Lifelong learning in the Scottish Parliament His Honorable Mike Russell, in an elegant gathering of internationally diverse Commonwealth, Saltire and Chevening Scholars. An alum of University of Edinburgh, Mr. Russell asked what my postgraduate degree was about in Stirling, and I said an MLitt in publishing studies, at which he smacked his lips, saying "perfect!" adding that he had written seven books and that he had several more in the pipeline! The stately National Museum of Scotland, was home again to its annual ceremony commemorating diversity in education on its run up to St. Andrew's Day.

Cabinet Secretary of Education and Lifelong Learning: How do you address an 'Hon'ble MP'?

Others from different universities were intrigued about my subject being publishing studies as opposed to publishing itself, at which I offered that my course was tailored around the trends and topics within publishing that involved not just publishers but also agents, book historians,  gameshow publishers,  social media scientists/artistes, book e-tailers among several other niches. 

Patrick, PhD in Sports Psychology, on the prowl for parliamentarians

Universities, like corporate houses, are integral to society, and look for huge markets like India and Africa to recruit from. In the US, efforts are usually invested at getting/targeting any or all kinds of students, be they undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral or diploma students. But here in Scotland, I noticed a focused  effort to attract the post-graduate international student, someone who is far more capable of enhancing UK's post industrial economy with their professional skills and expertise, than nubile freshmen in cold water. This works both ways, undergraduates find greater undergraduate study-abroad opportunities in the USA, Canada and Australia, and feel more assured of post study work permits in these countries as compared to the UK which recently repealed its post study work permit program for international students (non-EU nationals). 

India and Malaysia are active hubs for recruitment for Scottish Universities and Mr. Russell himself had returned from his trips to both countries the last month. Students I met were mostly from China, Africa Canada and India. An all-male contingent of Chevening scholars were accompanied by members of the British Council. Commonwealth scholars, hailed mostly from Canada.

University officials were a friendly lot to chat up with,  them, in the habit of recruiting students on a constant basis through conversations. We were bid bye with a lot of cheers and good wishes for Hogmanaynot New Years eve, as we were reminded! I returned home the proud owner of a lovely Saltire key ring.

Visit Scotland: Gearing up for times ahead

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