Here Youth Time Magazine publishes three of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains just some of the most important developments in the world of global youth. Follow, like and submit comments on Facebook and other Youth Time media.
Students arrested at fake university
A diplomatic spat has disturbed relations between India and the United States after undercover American agents arrested 129 Indian students for enrolling in an illegal university. The sting operation was launched by the Department of Homeland Security which is targeting foreigners who arrive in the US on student visas then stay in the country after they expire. Known as ‘pay to stay’ fraud, the alleged scam sees young ‘student’s pay criminals to enrol them in fake universities and secure a student visa to the country.
In the latest incident, the 129 Indian students had enrolled at the University of Farmington. It doesn’t exist but was advertised online as being in Michigan.
The Indian government has condemned the arrests and said the students were tricked into enrolling there by the undercover agents. A telephone hotline for concerned family members of the students has been set up. They face deportation if convicted of immigration fraud.
Farmington University was established in 2015 especially to catch foreign migrants looking to get around tough US immigration controls. Its website has pictures of ‘students’ on the campus and said tuition fees were $11,000 a year for graduates. All of its employees, however, were undercover immigration officers.
Students competing with millennials for housing
Competition between students and young professionals is increasing the cost of living in many of Europe’s most popular cities, a new report from HousingAnywhere suggests. Its European Rent Index found that prices for rooms, studios and one-bed apartments had shot up in key student cities, including Brussels, Madrid and Rotterdam.
The increase was greatest in Madrid, where the price for a single room rose by 7.7% to just over €500 by the end of 2018. Yet this still makes the city one of the cheapest in Europe for international students.
A studio in nearby Barcelona is one of the most expensive on the continent at €830, compared to €640 in Brussels. Only in Vienna did rents not go up substantially in the last quarter of 2018.
The report attributes some of the rent increases to the phenomenon of young professionals and millennials seeking the same kind of housing as international students. Both demographics are higher in number and more mobile than ever before, with some professionals moving to a new city for just one or two years.
Djordy Seelmann, CEO at HousingAnywhere, said: “Another thing these two groups have in common,” said Djordy Seelmann, CEO at HousingAnywhere, “is that they book in advance when moving abroad. If the right kind of property doesn’t come along, sticking around for a better one isn’t always an option.
“This can put even more pressure on them, often leading to people renting accommodation that is more expensive than they had planned and sometimes can afford.”
Mediterranean youth demands a voice
There was a mix of anger and insight as young leaders from the Mediterranean gathered in Malta to discuss dialogue between countries and the future of youth participation in policy making.
The week-long Young Mediterranean Voices seminar saw 20 young people, selected from more than 500 applicants, engage with one another during interactive exercises and leadership skills training.
The key themes discussed at the Malta meeting, co-organised by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (Medac) and the Anna Lindh Foundation in collaboration with the World Leadership Alliance, were: education, clean energy, youth participation, migration & mobility, and sustainable development.
They presented their views on each topic to a panel of senior policy officials from across Europe, including Elena Grech, head of the European Commission Representation in Malta. Speakers and trainers included journalists and NGO activists.
Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was also in attendance. She said: “The young people involved in the Young Med Voices initiative are a source of inspiration. We are already transforming their ideas into practice. We are determined to continue to work together, to make their aspirations and their proposals reality”.