“‘Insult” to India
Indian students have been left in the lurch after the British government excluded the country from ‘low risk’ list during a proposed change in visa policies. Students from countries designated as low risk have less hurdles to overcome if they want to study at British universities.
The changes are designed to facilitate the arrival of more international students into the country and take effect in July 2018. Students from low risk countries don’t have to prove their English ability, qualifications, and financial wealth to the same degree as those from ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk areas.
But despite its close historical connections to the UK, growing economy and reputation for educational and technological excellence, India has been left out. This means that Indian students have a much higher mountain to climb than those from the US, Canada, China, New Zealand, or Mexico, Thailand and Bahrain.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, said the decision was an “insult” and “another kick in the teeth” to India and accused the British government of having an “economically illiterate and hostile attitude to immigration”.
From Facebook to Messangers for Trending News
Young people are getting less of their news from Facebook and other social media sites and instead turning to messaging apps where they can discuss current events with friends. Research from the Reuters Institute found that use of Facebook to get news has fallen by 9% in the past year but among younger generations has fallen by a massive 20%. The result is a reversal of recent trends, which have seen more and more people turn to social media for news instead of traditional media sources.
“The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth,” said Nic Newman, research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. “We continue to see a rise in the use of messaging apps for news as consumers look for more private [and less confrontational] spaces to communicate.”
The research was conducted before Facebook was embroiled in a series of scandals about ‘fake news’ and its use of algorithms to target consumers. Rather than a revolt against Facebook itself, the researchers found that young people in particular are seeking an alternative space to discuss their views, away from the spotlight and often aggressive nature of public forums.
A huge global survey from the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. has found a growing divide between young and old regarding attitudes towards religion. The difference is especially stark in European countries with a Christian heritage. In Poland, Portugal, Greece and Romania, older generations (40+) are at least 20 points more likely to say that religion is important to them than those aged 18-39.
There are also substantial differences in Germany, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Switzerland. In the UK and Russia young people are less religious, but the difference isn’t notable. Georgia and Ghana are the only countries where younger generations actually attach more value to religion that their older compatriots.
Around the world Canada, the US, Japan and China all reported much less religious younger generations. The same pattern was found in Lebanon, Nigeria, and Iran, countries with lower levels of wealth but which have witnessed a quick face of development in recent years.
This leads the authors to conclude that lower levels of religiosity among youth may be related to economic development “as collective worries about day-to-day survival become less pervasive and tragic events become less frequent.”