Monday, 27 February 2012

Art Resources on the Web

    Here is a short list of useful art resources which can be freely accessed:

    • Arts Section of the Virtual Library: extensive list of resources on art history 
    • The search engine Art Cyclopedia indexes online museums and image archives including works of over 9,000 fine artists. Art news, museums and other useful links can be found on the left-hand side of the page. The resource was shared by Project Gutenberg.

    Dolphin Language & the Holographic Theory Applied to Sound

    Researchers investigating the dolphin language have come to the conclusion that dolphins see "sono-pictures", i.e. they see with sound. There is hope that one day humans will be able to communicate with dolphins.

    Highlights from the 2012 FutureMed Conference

    The 2012 FutureMed Conference was organized by the Singularity University.

    Some of the ideas shared were covered by MedGadget articles Surgical Robotics Pioneer Discusses Holomers and Palsma Medicine and IBM Doctors Advocate New Approaches to Medicine. More articles will appear under Press Coverage - News & Videos Section. 

    Insights from the Physician Social Network Doximity

    Doximity, the US physician network linking medical minds, was launched last year. Articles published on the website cover issues such as med technetworking and demography.

    Study Abroad Intentions Tweets: US & UK Top Choices; Wealthy Chinese to Go Abroad Earlier

    Genius Recruiter has created a map of students' preferred study destinations based on January 2012 tweets. The US and the UK stood out as top destinations, especially for students from Europe, East Asia and South America; Australia was attractive for Southeast Asians, and Canada saw a growing interest in India.

    Since Twitter is blocked in China, there was no data for Chinese student preferences. However, another post (published in July 2012) examines why Chinese students are going abroad and where they are going. Again, the US (27%) and the UK (22%), followed by Canada (15%) and Australia (7%) were the most preferred countries, although this study focuses on the children of the rich Chinese. While it is not surprising that Chinese parents are (or want to) sending their children to the US to get a quality education and all-round development, Genius Recruiter reports that 35% of the surveyed wealthy parents, or HNWI (high net worth individuals), were planning to send their children to high school education, followed by 30% to college education, 21% to junior high school and only 4% at the level of postgraduate education - here is the original infographic. While 85% of HNWI were thinking of sending their children abroad, this was the case for 9 out of 10 UHNWI (the ultra rich). The survey was carried out by the Chinese magazine Hurun Report and the Industrial Bank.

    Having accessed the Chinese Luxury Consumer White Paper, one can read that children's education was the 3rd consumption hot spot of the HNWI, just behind luxury travel and healthcare, and that more and more parents are planning to send their children abroad earlier. Actually, while more HNWI parents planned to send their children abroad to junior and senior high school in 2011 than in 2010 (21% vs. 17%; and 35% vs. 32%, respectively), the UHNWI were clearly showing more interest in senior high school (40% in 2011 vs. 23% in 2010) and were less interested in college-level education (18% in 2011 vs. 27% in 2010 – this compares to 30% in 2011 vs. 29 % in 2010 for the HNWI, see p.40 of the white paper). At the same time, the study states that wealthy Chinese care not only about their children's education but also about their own - 30% of HNWI were taking further education courses in order to increase their professional knowledge and expand their social networks.

    Chinese parents' plans on their children's earlier education abroad may aim at a more effective learning of the host country language and culture as well as at building a social network as early as possible, but they may also reflect the idea that their children should return home once they graduate from the program. International Business Times (quoted by Genius Recruiter) reminded of last year's estimates of Fujian's Overseas Chinese University: only around 500,000, or less than 1/3 of the 1.62 million students who arrived in the US in the period 1978-2009 returned to China.

    While it is not unlikely to see more Chinese and other foreign students going to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, rather than to the UK and the US, as a result of aggressive recruitment, targets set by the former countries and two-step migration policies making it easier for students to stay, it is also possible to expect changes in admission policies and screening procedures in order to prevent frauds (e.g. New Zealand declined 3453 applications from India and 1027 Chinese applications in the past 12 months because of fake documents).

    References (posts & reports mentioned):

    International Students Future Forecasts, (15 June 2012), blog post by Genius Recruiter, 

    International Student World Map Based on Tweets, (15 February 2012), blog post by Genius Recruiter,

    Tan, Lincoln, (19 July 2012), Thousands from India Failing Student Visa Bids, an article by NZ Herald accessed on 20/07/2012,

    The Chinese Luxury Consumer White Paper, (March 2012), prepared by the Hurun Report and the Industrial Bank, accessed via Hurun Report website on 20/07/2012,

    Why Chinese Students are Going Abroad, (6 July 2012), blog post by Genius Recruiter,

    Zhang, Yifei, (7 April 2012), 90% Of China’s Super-Rich Want To Send Children Abroad, an article by International Business Times accessed on 20/07/ 2012,

    The post was updated on 20/07/2012

    Sunday, 26 February 2012

    Why Multiculturalism Works in Australia

    Several months ago, I read the report Selection, Migration and Integration: Why Multiculturalism Works in Australia (and fails in Europe) written by Marc Hartwich and published on the Australian Policy Online website. He compares Australia with the UK and Germany and claims that it is not any other policy towards migrants - such as education or integration - but the very policy of selection that makes AU newcomers so successful.

    Research Posters & Presentations

    Unfortunately, very few university programs worldwide (esp. outside US and in the social sciences) offer meaningful courses in academic writing & presentation relevant not only to theses writing but also to attending conferences and journal publishing.

    Free Resources for All Writing Genres

    This compilation of useful writing resources targets all writing genres and audiences - children, students, beginning, freelance and online writers.

    Citizen Science Projects & Resources

    Citizen science, also known as crowdsourced science, refers to the participation of non-scientists on a volunteer basis in projects led by academic scientists. Normally such projects have a wide community (and sometimes world) impact but they can concern only a particular geographical area. Citizen participation is especially helpful when a lot of data should be sorted and analysed. This is the case of projects in astronomy and biology. Aside from the technical help provided, citizen science has an educational aspect - citizens accumulate knowledge through the process of participation and by reading the available learning materials. Here below are some of the major citizen science platforms:

    Student Journals & Conferences

    This post provides some resources for student journals and conferences: 

    Open (text) Books: Online, Free and Serious

    Here below is a list of the most important open textbook providers and some other repositories of open access educational content as well as content-rich websites curated by librarians and former educators. Although most of the resources target university students, some are geared toward K-12 students while others may benefit all lifelong learners.

    • The Open Course Library (OCL) is a Washington-based initiative that has made available courses for free as an alternative to the costly traditional textbooks in the US. They have published on the website links to open access resources  - open textbooks, courses and other learning materials created and peer-reviewed by academics, and sponsored by foundations. 

    Saturday, 25 February 2012

    ADBI Roundtable on Labour Migration in Asia

    Here are some of the presentations, papers and videos from the 2nd ADBI-OECD Roundtable on Labour Migration in Asia held in January 2012 in Tokyo.

    No surprising data have been presented. My favourite presentation, both in terms of content and design, is Labour Migration: Malaysia as a Receiving Country by L. Ahmad.

    Some presentations highlights:
    • Most immigrants in Malaysia come from neighbouring countries (52 % from Indonesia); security with regard to illegal migrants a major concern; 1/3 of the country's 1M emigrants are highly skilled (2010 data); more than 50 % of Malaysia's skilled labour is concentrated in Singapore (Ahmad);