August 31, 2012
Monthly Archives: August 2012
August 23, 2012
There is a war going on; it is against women and it’s on a global scale. From the outrageous remarks on “legitimate rape” made by US Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), to the arrest of the three feminist rockers of the band Pussy Riot in Russia accused of speaking out against Vladimir Putin, to the practice of defacing women with acid in Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia and 15 other countries, to female genital mutilation, child brides, sex trafficking of young girls, and on and on it goes.
And now, Iran, a country not known for its stellar human rights records, has taken its hardline stance against women a step further. In an officially-approved act of sex-discrimination, Iran is barring female students from more than 70 university degree courses. According to Robert Tait of the UK Telegraph, the move “has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi.” The Iranian government’s decision means that 36 universities will no longer allow female students to enroll in 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year. These courses have been labeled as “single gender” and open exclusively to men.
Here’s a partial list of university degree programs from which women are barred: English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, business management, petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, mining engineering. The universities complicit with the Islamic Republic’s agenda claim that they are creating an even field, a balance between the sexes by restricting these fields to single-gender students as a large percentage of female college students were left unemployed after graduation.
Just two months ago I wrote a blog about higher education in Iran, and the rising number of Iranian women holding university degrees. In fact, women account for nearly 60 percent of the total enrollment at Iranian universities. Higher education and global awareness of social issues have freed Iranian women to embark on a life of singlehood to pursue careers, rent apartments, travel, and question their rights. Iran’s recent barring of women from more than 70 university degree courses is telling of the Iranian government’s agenda on suppressing women in the traditionally male-dominated society.
Iran, as noted in Tait’s article “has the highest ratio of female to male undergraduates in the world, according to UNESCO. Female students have become prominent in traditionally male-dominated courses like applied physics and some engineering disciplines. The relative decline in the male student population has been attributed to the desire of young Iranian men to “get rich quick” without going to university.” The radical steps taken by the Islamic regime and followed in lock step by the universities are to turn back the clock, return women to a domestic life and suppress their voice in the public arena. Whether the government bans women from a large portion of university degree programs, it does not mean that young Iranian men are going to flock to the universities and take the place of their female counterparts.
The attacks against women are attempts to silence their demands for equal rights. Like everything in life, we cannot take anything for granted. The struggle is not over.
Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI
August 16, 2012
The other night I read–well, actually just perused—Malinowski’s Kiriwina: Fieldwork Photography 1915-1918–an amazing book about the Polish-born father of modern cultural anthropology’s stay in Papua and the Trobiand Islands. He went to New Guinea and studied the inhabitants there with unprecedented rigor. I also listened to an Argentine pianist named Bruno Leonardo Gelber play Beethoven’s magnificent sonata #14, the Moonlight Sonata. Then I turned to French photographer Robert Doisneau, looking at images he took of Les Halles, the famous French outdoor marketplace that dated back to the 14th century, only to be torn down in 1971 by President Pompidou to build the much-reviled Centre Pompidou / Beaubourg. Some called it an oil refinery posing as a cultural center, and many Parisians lamented the loss of the famous market. It was torn down because some were saying that rats, disease, and vermin were thriving there because of unsanitary conditions. It always seemed to me to be vaguely conspiratorial and reminded me of what happened to Chavez Ravine, once a planned public housing community designed by Richard Neutra, only to be deemed a communist conspiracy by McCarthyites. The housing project’s main proponent, Frank Wilkinson—then Assistant Director of Housing Authority of the City of LA–was put on trial and sent to prison on trumped-up charges. It was the early 1950s. Bad timing. Red Scare. Better Dead than Red. Los Angeles got a new baseball team and the stadium instead of much needed public housing, designed by Richard Neutra at that.
Though I might seem like a dilettante, I’m curious about things and this–to me anyway– just shows what amazing access we have to so many facets of life and history. Why do so many people prefer watching Fox TV and sitcoms? We not only have the world of books, we have the endless stream of information on the internet and youtube. We have more access to information than any generation in history, and my evening the other night just shows how eclectic and varied it can be.
Tom Schnabel, M.A.
Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Host of music program on radio for KCRW Sundays noon-2 p.m.
Blogs for KCRW
Author & Music educator, UCLA, SCIARC, currently doing music salons
August 10, 2012
Whether you represent a school, college, university, professional licensing board, employer, or any other entity engaged in the recruitment, placement, certification or the hiring of internationally-trained candidates, you know that educational systems and academic documents vary greatly by country. No two academic systems are alike and nothing can be taken on face value, even if an academic document “appears” to mirror a US college transcript. Academic institutions and professional groups that don’t have the expertise or knowledge-base to conduct foreign credential evaluations must not avoid this crucial step, no matter how qualified or appealing an international candidate’s portfolio may appear.
In a recent blog on INSIDE Higher Education by Elizabeth Redden, the importance of international credential evaluation and how it may be getting a short shrift shows the pitfalls of what can happen when this very vital step in the admission and acceptance of international candidates is ignored. Ms. Redden cites one U.S. state university, which relied solely on the advice of international recruiters and agents and bypassed the credential evaluation process entirely, only to find itself in hot water with the regional accreditation body. In another blog posted by Jasmin S. Kuehnert, President of ACEI, we are reminded again of the very pitfalls Ms. Redden cites in her piece.
Here are 10 reasons why a foreign credential evaluation prepared by an independent credential evaluation service will benefit you and your institution and the international candidate:
1. Authentication of Documents:
A credential evaluation will verify the authenticity of the academic documents with the issuing institution and compare it against archival documents. Such authentication will provide you with peace of mind that the academic documents are bona-fide and valid for processing.
2. Verification of English Translations:
Many times the academic documents are issued in a language other than English and are accompanied by English translations. A credential evaluation will verify the English translations to ensure for accuracy that dates, course titles, grades, names, and key words match those on the official academic document.
3. Biographical and Academic History Check:
The candidate’s academic history and biographical information will be compared with the academic documents presented. In addition to the applicant’s name, other biographical information like age will be checked to ensure that it corresponds reasonably to the education represented in the documents.
4. Foreign Academic Institution Status:
The credential evaluation determines the official status of the institution where the studies were completed by identifying how the institution is accredited and who recognizes its accreditation. If an institution is determined to not have the appropriate accreditation, the studies will not be evaluated in terms of those completed at regionally accredited U.S. institutions. If the institution is determined to be a Diploma Mill, then this information will be conveyed to the U.S. institutions for which the evaluation is intended.
5. Program Description:
a)Entrance Criteria -The credential evaluation determines the level of the academic or professional program represented by the documents submitted as either lower secondary, senior high school, post-secondary undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate. It will establish the minimum academic criteria for admission to the institution where the studies were completed before the U.S. educational equivalence is recommended. This is an important step in the evaluation process which will assist the U.S. institutions in their decision-making. For example, if it is determined that the international candidate’s academic achievements are comparable to US senior high school graduation, yet he/she has submitted an application for graduate (master’s degree) studies at the U.S. university, the admissions department will be able to properly advise the candidate of his/her eligibility for admission to another degree program at the undergraduate level instead.
b)Length of Study & Conversion of Instruction Hours to Credits – The credential evaluation will determine the required length of full-time study for the academic program evaluated in order to calculate the U.S. semester or quarter credits for post-secondary studies completed and if necessary, determine the level of post-secondary courses in terms of lower, upper division and graduate division.
c)Conversion of Grades into U.S. equivalent Grade – A document evaluation will calculate the grades or final examination results/marks reported on the academic documents into U.S. equivalent grades, and calculate the overall grade point average.
Due diligence in international admissions, professional certification, hiring and job placement of individuals educated and trained outside the U.S. is essential. Understanding international candidates’ capability and qualifications allows you to properly assess and integrate them into your scholastic, professional and work environment. By obtaining the expert assistance of an independent credential evaluation agency, U.S. academic institutions, professional licensing boards and public or private companies can protect themselves against fraud and misrepresentation in the international education arena.
(Note: Please refer to our previous blog “5 Things International Students Should Know About Credentials Evaluation”.)
A non-for-profit professional association of international credential evaluators.
August 2, 2012
In the United States, the function of evaluating academic credentials from other parts of the world may be carried out by either the international admissions office at a college/university, the credentialing department at a State licensing board or by a private credential evaluation company. Here are five things to know about international academic credentials evaluations:
1. An Evaluation (of non-U.S. academic documents) is different than a Translation. A Translation is a literal interpretation and replacement of the text from one language into another language while maintaining a maximum equivalence of meaning. An Evaluation of international educational credentials compares the program of study with the U.S. system, and recommends the approximate equivalence in terms of a specific level of academic achievement. (Sometimes U.S. institutions need both Translation and Evaluation.)
2. Credentials evaluation in the United States is not standardized and each institution in the U.S. decides separately which evaluation services they will accept;
3. Check with the institutions you plan to deal with in the U.S. and ask which private evaluation services they accept and what type of evaluation report is needed;
4. Before applying for credential evaluation verify with your institution(s) of any requirements or pre-registration you must complete prior to evaluation. The requirements of your institution(s) are separate of those of your Evaluation Service.
5. A good Evaluation Service should have one or more expert evaluators on staff, which review and sign off on completed evaluations. A recognized expert should have many years of experience in international education and participated in published research in the credentials evaluation field.
For more information, please refer to “A Guide for Selecting a Foreign Credential Evaluation Service.”
A non-for-profit professional association of international credential evaluators.