Daily Archives: March 19, 2019

Despite Brexit Uncertainty, Business Schools in UK Continue to See Strong International Demand

Majority of Candidates Say Brexit has No Impact on Decision to Study in the United Kingdom

RESTON, Va., March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In response to the initial Brexit vote in June 2016, the Graduate Management Admission Council™ (GMAC™) has been tracking Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) examinee interest in studying in the UK.  This has included periodic surveys of non-U.K. citizens who sent a GMAT score report to a UK business school program, as an indication of where they are interested in studying. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, it was unclear what the impact would be on the international flow of students to UK programs, which are heavily reliant on enrollees from other countries. Brexit, it’s been feared, could restrict or complicate the student visa process and dampen international candidates’ postgraduation job prospects in the UK, both because of possible changes to work visa policies and jobs leaving the UK.

However, the most recent survey findings, from December 2018, show that 54 percent of respondents overall say Brexit has no impact on their decision to study in the UK, up from 46 percent in December 2016. Likely bolstered by a falling pound and reduced interest in other study destinations around the world over the same period, there has been an increase in candidates’ selecting the UK as their first-choice country for their business school experience.

“The level of interest we’re seeing from international candidates in UK b-schools is a major factor in the overall global stability we’re observing in graduate management education,” said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO.  “It’s also a success story in mobility that I hope will continue in the UK as Brexit continues to unfold.  If we are to maintain a healthy climate for aspiring candidates, we need to make it possible for people from different regions and backgrounds to study and work in the location they desire.”

The survey findings show that candidate consideration of the UK as a study destination is driven by the reputation of the UK educational system, a candidates’ desire to develop an international network, and a candidates’ desire to improve their chances of having an international career. Their ultimate selection of a study destination is primarily influenced by a desire to study at a specific program or school in the location.

The survey findings also show, however, that there is some hesitancy among candidates amidst the uncertainty of the looming exit from the E.U. at the end of this month. While overall most respondents to the December 2018 survey say Brexit has no impact on their decision making, about half of non-UK Europeans say they are less likely to decide to study in the UK because of Brexit (51%). Most non-UK candidates overall consider Brexit as a detriment to the availability of student and work visas in the UK, and over time candidates’ perception of the impact of Brexit on the cost of education and living in the UK have become more negative.

Despite this, GMAT score sending behavior shows that UK programs have remained just as popular a choice for business school as before the 2016 Brexit vote. In fact, the share of GMAT score reports sent to UK programs has increased slightly since the Brexit vote and is stable or up across world regions of citizenship. The increase is particularly strong among examinees from Asia-Pacific countries and examinees with a total score of 600 and above. Findings from GMAC’s annual Application Trends Survey also show continued strong international demand for U.K. programs, as 71 percent report year-on-year international application volume growth in 2018.

With the continued uncertainty about how Brexit will proceed, it’s not clear how international student mobility will be affected should the actual departure from the E.U. take place. GMAC plans to continue to conduct survey research on this topic as events unfold. Please visit the Market Intelligence and Research page on gmac.com for continued updates on this and other issues relating to trends in graduate management education.

About GMAC
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is an association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. Founded in 1953, we are committed to creating solutions for business schools and candidates to better discover, evaluate and connect with each other. We work on behalf of the schools and the graduate management education community, as well as guide candidates on their journey to higher education, to ensure that no talent goes undiscovered.

GMAC provides world-class research, professional development opportunities and assessments for the industry, designed to advance the art and science of admissions. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test™ (GMAT™) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment, recognized by more than 7,000 programs worldwide. Other GMAC assessments include the NMAT by GMAC™ (NMAT™) exam, for entrance into graduate management programs in India, South Africa, and the Philippines, and the Executive Assessment (EA), specifically designed for Executive programs around the world.

Our flagship portal for graduate management education resources and information, www.mba.com, receives 6 million unique visitors a year and features the School Search matching tool and Graduate Management Admission Search Service™ (GMASS™) database, matching candidates and business schools.

GMAC is a global organization with offices in Hong Kong, China; Gurugram, India; Singapore; London, United Kingdom; and Cambridge, Massachusetts and Reston, Virginia in the United States. To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com.

Media contact:

Geoffrey Basye, Director of Media Relations, GMAC
+1 (703) 668-9799 or gbasye@gmac.com

Validated with Microsoft Skype for Business, Patton Delivers Cloud-Powered Integration

SmartNode VoIP gateways and eSBCs, validated by TekVizion, integrate legacy telephony, ALL-IP communicationsor both concurrentlywith Skype for Business

SmartNode VoIP… More than Just Talk!

GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Patton—US-based enabling solutions provider for unified communications (UC), UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) and Cloud—now announces all SmartNode VoIP products version 3.X—including Virtual SmartNode (vSN)—are validated for interoperability with Skype for Business (SfB).

SmartNode products are validated by TekVizion, a Microsoft-certified lab, in the SBC and enhanced gateway categories, and are forward compatible with Microsoft Teams. Bobby Patton, CEO

>>Certificate of Validation: Patton SBC/Gateway 3.X

Patton Cloud edge orchestration service makes it extra easy to activate, configure and manage the SmartNode-enabled connection with on-premise or hosted Skype for Business.

In addition to enabling enterprise transition to ALL-IP using SfB, Patton’s VoIP CPE products also support co-existing legacy telephony systems—during migration, or forever.

“Executives know effective communication with customers, partners, and employees is key to sustainable growth,” said Robert R. Patton (Bobby), President and CEO.

“Still, countless organizations operate today using traditional Key System or TDM PBX voice communications. With validated interoperability with Skype for Business, Patton empowers those businesses to connect to the IP world, delivering increased mobility, enhanced teamwork, heightened customer engagement, and higher productivity,” Mr. Patton said.

By installing SmartNode VoIP gateways and enterprise session border controllers (eSBCs), organizations can reap the cost-savings and productivity benefits of SfB UC and UCaaS solutions while preserving investments in working analog or digital PBX and fax equipment, phones, speakers, intercoms, and paging systems—and without sacrificing traditional PSTN connectivity.

Known as the world’s “most interoperable” VoIP CPE, SmartNode offers all the standard telephony interfaces, so companies can seamlessly interconnect their hybrid or ALL- IP networks, existing FXS/FXO POTS services, ISDN BRI/PRI lines, and otherwise incompatible SIP telephony systems to SfB.

Mr. Patton continues: “By providing universal access to the high-powered SfB unified communications and collaboration (UCC) platform, Patton provides increased mobility, enhanced teamwork, heightened customer engagement, and higher productivity for enterprises.”

To facilitate trouble-free installation, Patton has published a free SfB Configuration Guide for SmartNode Products .

In related news, as Microsoft opens its first data centers in Africa, Patton has appointed two new leaders to expand operations in EMEA.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e9e5ba97-b119-447f-8fa8-faf3072dcd5d

Media Contact: Glendon Flowers | +1 301 975 1000 | press@patton.com

Letter from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to Airlines, Passengers and the Aviation Community

CHICAGO, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ —

We know lives depend on the work we do, and our teams embrace that responsibility with a deep sense of commitment every day. Our purpose at Boeing is to bring family, friends and loved ones together with our commercial airplanes—safely. The tragic losses of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 affect us all, uniting people and nations in shared grief for all those in mourning. Our hearts are heavy, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board.

Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and ensuring safe and reliable travel on our airplanes is an enduring value and our absolute commitment to everyone. This overarching focus on safety spans and binds together our entire global aerospace industry and communities. We’re united with our airline customers, international regulators and government authorities in our efforts to support the most recent investigation, understand the facts of what happened and help prevent future tragedies. Based on facts from the Lion Air Flight 610 accident and emerging data as it becomes available from the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, we’re taking actions to fully ensure the safety of the 737 MAX. We also understand and regret the challenges for our customers and the flying public caused by the fleet’s grounding.

Work is progressing thoroughly and rapidly to learn more about the Ethiopian Airlines accident and understand the information from the airplane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders. Our team is on-site with investigators to support the investigation and provide technical expertise. The Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau will determine when and how it’s appropriate to release additional details.

Boeing has been in the business of aviation safety for more than 100 years, and we’ll continue providing the best products, training and support to our global airline customers and pilots. This is an ongoing and relentless commitment to make safe airplanes even safer. Soon we’ll release a software update and related pilot training for the 737 MAX that will address concerns discovered in the aftermath of the Lion Air Flight 610 accident. We’ve been working in full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board on all issues relating to both the Lion Air and the Ethiopian Airlines accidents since the Lion Air accident occurred in October last year.

Our entire team is devoted to the quality and safety of the aircraft we design, produce and support. I’ve dedicated my entire career to Boeing, working shoulder to shoulder with our amazing people and customers for more than three decades, and I personally share their deep sense of commitment. Recently, I spent time with our team members at our 737 production facility in Renton, Wash., and once again saw firsthand the pride our people feel in their work and the pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies. The importance of our work demands the utmost integrity and excellence—that’s what I see in our team, and we’ll never rest in pursuit of it.

Our mission is to connect people and nations, protect freedom, explore our world and the vastness of space, and inspire the next generation of aerospace dreamers and doers—and we’ll fulfill that mission only by upholding and living our values. That’s what safety means to us. Together, we’ll keep working to earn and keep the trust people have placed in Boeing.

Dennis Muilenburg
Chairman, President and CEO
The Boeing Company

Video – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/837630/Boeing_CEO_Video.mp4
PDF – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/837617/Boeing_CEO_Letter.pdf

 

 

THE WORK OF THE INDEPENDENT BOUNDARIES COMMISSION GETS UNDERWAY IN JUBA

The Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) has completed a two-day meeting in Juba as it commenced its work aimed at considering the number of states of the Republic of South Sudan, their boundaries, and the composition and restructuring of the Council of States.

On Monday the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Weis officially established the IBC, which is one of the key institutions set up under the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

The IBC is chaired by Ambassador Thembi Majola of South Africa and consists of four other members from the African Union High Level Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan, five representatives from the incumbent government, two from the SPLM/A-IO, and one each from the South Sudanese Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Former Detainees (FD), and the Other Political Parties (OPP).

In the coming days the IBC is expected to receive and consider a report from the Technical Boundary Committee (TBC), which was tasked with defining and demarcating the tribal areas of South Sudan as they stood on 1 January 1956, and the tribal areas in dispute in the country. In addition, it is expected to consult with various stakeholders, and other South Sudanese as well as subject matter experts, as it works on coming up with recommendations on the number of states and their boundaries.

The IBC is expected to continue its work to the end of the Pre-Transitional period. Once complete, it will submit its report to the IGAD Executive Secretariat to be enshrined in the R-ARCSS as an addendum.

Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development

Cyclone Idai Has Caused Massive Devastation in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai is one of the most destructive storms to hit this region of Africa in decades. The death toll is still unknown, but likely to be in the thousands. Hundreds of thousands of people in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique have been displaced and vast numbers of houses, structures and farmlands have been destroyed.

Mozambique is the hardest with vast stretches of land submerged.

From Save the Children

According to the Government of Mozambique, 600,000 people have been affected, more than 1,000 people may have lost their lives and 100,000 need to be urgently rescued near Beira.

Aerial assessments in Sofala province, in the center of the country, show that an area more than 30 miles wide has been completely submerged. They also show that Buzi town, which is estimated to be home to more than 2,500 children*, could be under water within 24 hours.

The scale of this disaster is growing by the minute and Save the Children has grave concerns about children and their families still at risk as flood waters continue to rise, said Machiel Pouw, Save the Children’s response leader in Mozambique.

The assessment emerging from Mozambique today is chilling. Thousands of children lived in areas completely engulfed by water. In many places, no roofs or tree tops are even visible above the floods. In other areas, people are clinging to rooftops desperately waiting to be rescued.

When a crisis like this strikes where government lacks the capacity to deal with the disaster on its own, the United Nations system for rapid humanitarian response snaps into place. UN humanitarian agencies like the World Food Program and UNICEF, and international NGOs like Save the Children and Oxfam coordinate their responses through the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA.

This system has become incredibly efficient in recent years, with specific agencies and NGOs in charge of discrete aspects of the response. This is known around the UN as the cluster system and was developed by OCHA following uncoordinated and duplicated responses to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This modern form of international disaster relief is able to relatively swiftly get food, medicines and personnel to places affected by a sudden disaster, saving countless lives over the years.

Cyclone Idai has triggered that response mechanism.

From the WFP

Food stocks are being identified in all three countries, as well as in South Africa and Zambia. Twenty tons of high-energy biscuits are being airlifted to Beira from a WFP-run emergency response depot in Dubai. The organization has contracted a transport helicopter to fly into cut-off regions, and is funding drones to support Mozambique’s disaster management agency, the INGC, with emergency mapping. Field personnel, including logistics and telecoms experts, are being deployed.

From UNICEF

UNICEF is working with partners to support the Governments of the affected countries to provide life-saving interventions to meet the needs of children and women impacted by the cyclone and floods. The response will include Health, with a focus on cholera response and prevention; Education, to minimize service disruption and enhancing safe access to schools; Protection, catering particularly to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs); WASH, to ensure access to clean and safe water, increased use of sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion and; Nutrition, focusing on preventing under-five mortality attributable to malnutrition.

One complicating factor in every response to a crisis like this is funding. UN agencies like UNICEF and WFP are funded like charities. They require constant fundraising, mostly from donor countries, to maintain their emergency relief operations. (And, recently, the Trump administration has sought to eliminate American funding for UNICEF). This means that when a disaster like this strikes, these agencies must go to donors, hat in hand, to fund their response. All to often, donors do not rise to the occasion. In 2018, every disaster in the world manmade and natural required $24.9 billion for relief agencies but only about half was actually raised.

So, even as UN agencies are getting more and more efficient at saving lives in disaster, their ability to do so is constrained by constant funding shortages. To the extent that Cyclone Idai can capture the attention of key donors, these agencies will be able to reach more of the hundreds of thousands of people of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe who are effected by this crisis.

Source: UN Dispatch