Monthly Archives: April 2018

Student Data Mobility, Diversity and Inclusion, and Emerging Trends for 2018

April 27th, 2018

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In April 2017 in Melbourne, Australia, ACEI became a signatory on the Groningen Declaration Network. The Association of International Credential Evaluators, of which AICE is a Charter and Endorsed Member, also became a signatory on the GDN. This year in April, the Groningen Declaration Network held its annual summit in Paris, France. The summit was held at the Marie-Curie campus of the University of Sorbonne. Presentations continued to revolve around the digital mobility of students worldwide, security and trust in platforms serving as hubs for digital documents, and the overall acceptance of receiving and processing academic transcripts and degrees digitally versus the paper form in sealed envelopes which have been the traditional form of issuing and releasing documents.

What is the Groningen Declaration?

According to their website, “The Groningen Declaration seeks common ground in best serving the academic and professional mobility needs of citizens world wide by bringing together key stakeholders in the Digital Student Data Ecosystem – we make Digital Student Data Portability happen. Citizens world wide should be able to consult and share their authentic educational data with whomever they want, whenever they want, wherever they are.”

Students are technically savvy more than ever. International admissions offices should provide positive messages while adapting to the advances of technology.  More than 80% of international students use their mobile devices to conduct their communication. Not only do we have to address the advancements in technology, we need to provide positive messages that international students and immigrants are welcome and safe at our campuses and in our country. Diversity and inclusion helps foster this message.

What is diversity and inclusion?

Diversity is any aspect that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another, but it also means appreciation of and respect for differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. Inclusion is about focusing on the needs of everyone and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve their greatest potential.

There are many factors that increase the need for student data mobility:

  • Rising demand for immediate information. There is a huge increase in the use of apps and the need for immediate communication. (Whatsapp, Viber, Tango, WeChat, Skype, etc.).
  • Key players for international student data mobility and referrals include USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, China, and New Zealand.
  • Rising popularity of transnationalism. The forces of globalization and transnationalism have transformed many countries once known as immigrant countries into both immigrant and emigrant countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore.
  • Rise of web-based technology and learning. This is often called online learning or e-learning because it includes online course content. Discussion forums via email, videoconferencing, and live lectures (videostreaming) are all possible through the web. Web pages may contain hyperlinks to other parts of the web, giving access to a vast amount of web-based information.
  • Targeting and knowing your audience. By matching international students’ needs will increase engagement and improve significantly the relationship with them, as students want to be in control of the communication preferences. Send not only the right message to the right person at the right time, but also through the right channel.

Here are key trends affecting international education in 2018:

  • The price of oil. Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria all rely heavily on the oil industry, where low oil costs will affect their population and their currency. Countries that depend on oil exports and will be affected by low oil prices.
  • English as a Second Language face-lift. The English language market is finding themselves in competition for market share, so providers are overhauling their course offerings and revamping their programming. Agents are also drivers of this trend as they see added value to English language learning.
  • Instant Messaging marketing. Mobile marketing provides international student offices direct and personal contact with potential students. Instant messaging is immediate and these messages are more targeted and have a higher target success rate.
  • Refugee crisis. During this difficult time, international educators are finding solutions to help students and scholars who were among the millions of refugees seen fleeing war and persecution. There will be an increasing need to assist this population and migrant support and credit recognition will be in the forefront as more educators move to provide scholarships, assistance, and language training.
  • Political climate and our current administration affect internationalism, immigration policy – especially for STEM graduates, H1 visa issues, and overall international relationships shapes our future.

By moving forward best practices and common ground for student data mobility, we can provide the best service to our international students. Pairing this with the message, “You are welcome and safe here,” we can provide positive messages to ensure international student admission growth and stability.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Dispatches from Paris, France: AACRAO IESC Tour of the Business Grande Ecoles and Groningen Declaration Network Summit, April 2018

April 19th, 2018

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April in Paris. 80 degrees and sunny. Paris is a city built for walking and my colleagues from AACRAO IESC and I together kept daily log to see who had walked the most. Thanks to the apps on our smartphones or FitBits, we have been comparing notes on our individual steps and miles. Since my arrival last Saturday, I’ve clocked nearly 80,000 steps or about 50 miles. Not bad for a car dependent long-time resident of Los Angeles.

The primary purpose of the IESC’s visit to Paris has been to gather information on the Business Grande Ecoles in order to update the country profile on France and include the credentials offered by these specialized institutions of higher education. Members of IESC here in Paris include William Paver (FCSA), Robert Watkins (UT Austin), Emily Tse (IERF) and yours truly. Melanie Gottlieb, Deputy Director of AACRAO is also here in Paris and it is thanks to her that we had appointments to meet with administrators at the ESSEC, a Grande Ecole in Business, and representatives of the French Ministry of National Higher Education and Research.

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AACRAO’s IESC Delegation in Paris(L-R): William Paver, Robert Watkins, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, Melanie Gottlieb, Emily Tse

Since IESC will be preparing a report on its recent visit and findings on the Business Grande Ecoles, I will not share details of our meetings as we are still waiting to receive additional information. However, I can say that our meetings with both ESSEC and the MOE were successful and offered us very helpful insight on the various access pipelines to the degree programs at the Grande Ecoles of Business. One thing that we were able to confirm is that the Diploma from a Grande Ecole and the title of Grade de Master represent completion five years of full-time study beyond the Baccalaureat. The first two years comprise of studies known as prepas or classe preparatoire which are completed at authorized schools in France. On completion of the two-year prepas, students intending to study at the Grande Ecoles of Business must sit for concours, entrance examination. Their performance on the concours will determine their eligibility for admission into the Grande Ecoles of Business where they continue their studies for an additional three years.

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Ministry of National Education, France

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AACRAO IESC delegation at Ministry of National Education – French officials, right to left: Dr. Jean-Luc Nahel, Dr. Nadine Van Der Tol, Prof. Jean-Luc Clemente. IESC delegation: Melanie Gottlieb, William Paver, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, Robert Watkins, Emily Tse.

Immediately after the conclusion of our meetings, it was time to attend the Groningen Declaration Network annual summit, held at the University of Sorbonne, Marie-Curie campus. Discussion continues on what progress has been made in promoting digital mobility of student records worldwide. Of concern to many was the Melanie Gottlieb’s presentation on the GDPR, (General Data Protection Regulation) and how it may impact education and access to academic documents. Here’s a quick explanation of the GDPR: In April 2016, the European Parliament, The Council of the European Union, the European Commission drafted a Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Protection of national persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. For more on the GDPR, click here.

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Venue for the GDN Summit, Paris 2018

We are in the heart of the college and university center of Paris. We’re staying at a hotel near the University of Sorbonne where the GDN meetings are held, which is aptly name Rue des Écoles (Street of Schools). It is, therefore, impossible not to stumble or walk by a collège, institute, faculté, or université. As an international credential evaluator who has been in the field for 30 years, seeing the very institutions from which we receive academic transcripts to evaluate never gets old; in fact it’s downright invigorating and makes our work so much more tangible.

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Since there is still one more day of presentations left at the GDN, I may have more to report in another dispatch from Paris. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on the Business Grande Ecoles from the IESC in the upcoming weeks.

A bientôt!

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Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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At ACEI, we see the importance of international education in our global economy and strive to maintain the exchange and dissemination of information by assisting colleges and universities, professional organizations, and employers around the world with our research and credential evaluation services that help enhance their reputation and competitive recruiting effectiveness. To learn more about ACEI and its services such as Credential Evaluation, Translation, Webinars and Training, and how we can assist you with your credential evaluation and recruitment needs, please visit www.acei-global.org or call us at 310.275.3530.

 

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15 Facts on The West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

April 12th, 2018

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If you are an admissions officers at a school or college or an international credential evaluator, an officer at a professional licensing board, or an employer reviewing credentials from West Africa, you have come across certificates issued by the West African Examinations Council. For some, these certificates and their authenticity pose confusion and may be challenging if unfamiliar with the nature and purpose of the Examinations Council.

In this blog, we will share some facts to help you with the review and evaluation of WAEC certificates.

1. The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) is an examination board that conducts the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for universities in five West African countries and the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) which is an entrance examination board for tertiary-level institutions in Nigeria.

2. WAEC was established in 1952 and serves the following Anglophonic countries of West Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia.

3. The council conducts the following four different categories of examinations:

  • International Examinations
  • National Examinations
  • Examinations conducted in collaboration with other examining bodies
  • Examinations conducted on behalf of other examining bodies

4. The International exams are exams taken in the five countries with the WAEC ordinance intended for WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination).

5. The National examinations are taken in individual countries and include the following:

  • Junior Secondary School Certificate for Nigeria and the Gambia
  • Junior and Senior High School Certificate Examinations for Liberia
  • National Primary School and Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Sierra Leone
  • Basic Education Certificate Examinations for Ghana
  • Senior School Certificate Examinations for Ghana

6. WAEC also coordinates examinations in collaboration with the following examination bodies:

7. WAEC conducts examination in West Africa on behalf of the following international examination bodies.

  • University of London GCE
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test for Educational Testing Service, Princeton, USA
  • Graduate Record Examinations for Education Testin Service, Princeton, US
  • JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board) examination in countries outside Nigeria

8. Candidates are required to enter and sit for a minimum of 6 core subjects which include the following:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • At least one Nigerian Language (a waiver has been given in by the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigerian since 2003)
  • At least one science subject (Physics, Chemistry or Biology)
  • Literature in English, History or Geography
  • Agricultural Science or at least one vocational subject

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9. In addition to the above, every student must take and sit for two or three of the subjects listed below that are not already offered as core subjects

  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Book Keeping
  • Chemistry
  • Typewriting
  • Further Mathematics
  • Shorthand
  • Commerce
  • History
  • Geography
  • Literature-in-English
  • Agricultural Science
  • Woodwork
  • Health Science
  • Auto-Mechanics
  • Building Construction
  • Music
  • Clothing & Textiles
  • Art
  • Christian Religious Knowledge
  • French
  • Islamic Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Arabic Studies
  • Government
  • Metal Work
  • Applied Electricity
  • Electronics
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Technical Drawing
  • Home Management

10. The West African Senior School Certificate (WASSC) is conducted twice a year, May-June and November-December.

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11. The WASSC is open to students in the third year of senior secondary school, or those who have taken the examinations previously, or those with three GCE O Level passes, or any other qualification deemed equivalent.

12. WAEC Grading Scale is as follows:

Grade  Description

A1        Excellent

B2        Very good

B3        Good

C4        Credit

C5        Credit

C6        Credit

D7        Pass

E8        Pass

F9         fail

13. Students that complete the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exam must submit a WAEC scratch card. The scratch card is needed in order to verify that the student has completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma.

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14. Admissions officers, evaluators, employers, licensing boards in receipt of the WAEC WASSC must request the WAEC scratch card from the candidate in order to verify the exam results which can be done online through this link https://www.waecdirect.org/

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15. Students can purchase the WAEC scratch card at the national Office of WAEC and any of its zonal and branch offices in the respective 5 countries.

For individuals who have sat for the WAEC West African Senior School Certificate and need their credentials evaluated by ACEI, the following must be submitted: completed ACEI Application, original WAEC WSSC, WAEC scratch card.

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At ACEI, we see the importance of international education in our global economy and strive to maintain the exchange and dissemination of information by assisting colleges and universities, professional organizations, and employers around the world with our research and credential evaluation services that help enhance their reputation and competitive recruiting effectiveness. To learn more about ACEI and its services such as Credential Evaluation, Translation, Webinars and Training, and how we can assist you with your credential evaluation and recruitment needs, please visit www.acei-global.org or call us at 310.275.3530.

 

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40 Facts on Peru: The Country & its Education System

April 6th, 2018

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The Country

As a country, Peru has a deep rich history, dramatic and diverse landscapes, breathtaking architectural feats, incredible wildlife, and fascinating ancient culture. Peru is the third-largest country in South America. almost twice the size of Texas; slightly smaller than Alaska. Lima is the capital and largest city. Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peru declared its independence in 1821 and it’s government is a Presidential Republic.

Here are a few fun facts about the country:

1. There are 3 official languages in Peru: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, but east of the Andes in Amazon jungle regions it is thought that natives speak 13 different indigenous languages.

2. The sacred city of Caral-Supe is said to the oldest residence of our ancestors as human beings in the Americas, and it is over 5,000 years old.

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Interesting Facts About Peru: Sacred City of Caral-Supe. Photo by Christopher Kleihege

3. Peru’s Macchu Pichu was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, along with the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.

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4. The world has a population of 10 million Alpacas, but more than 3.5 million of them are found in Peru.

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An Alpaca. It is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance. Image credit – Wikipedia.org

5. There are over 3,000 different varieties of Potato grown in Peru. The potato is originally from Peru, and there are over 3,000 different varieties.

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The Education System

In 1996, the government of Peru passed education reforms that extended free and compulsory school education to all students aged between 5 and 16, known as educación básica (general stream) y técnico productiva (technical).

6. Literacy rate is 94.2%

7. Education is offered at four main levels: Primary; Secondary; Vocational and Technical; and

University.

8. Public education is free

9. Private schools operate at all levels of the education system.

10. As mandated in a 2008 ministerial decree, schools in both the public and private sectors follow the national curriculum which is set at the federal level and overseen by local education authorities.

11. The academic school year starts at the beginning of March and runs through to November/ December.

12. The language of instruction is Spanish. In some regional primary schools, Aymara or Quechua is the language of instruction with Spanish offered as a second language.

13. The Ministry of Education is the authority overseeing all levels of education from preschool through higher education and sets all education policy, legislation and curriculum guidelines.

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Ministry of Education, Peru

14.  In January 2015, under the direction of the Minsitry of Education,  January 2015, a new higher education authority, known as the Superintendencia Nacional de Educación Superior Universitaria (SUNEDU, National Superintendency of University Higher Education) was formed replacing the Asamblea Nacional de los Rectores (ANR, National Assembly of Rectors) with the goal to improve quality standards and approving university operating licenses.

Elementary and Secondary School education

15. The school system is 12 years in duration.

16. Pre-school education (educación inicial) begins age 5 is 1 year and is compulsory.

17. Primary school (educación primaria) is for ages 6-11 and is 6 years in duration.

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18. Secondary school (educación secundaria) is for ages 12-16 and is 5 years in duration.

19. General secondary education is 2 years in duration.

20. Academic secondary covering arts or science tracks is 3 years in duration and follows after general secondary.

21. Technical secondary education (Educación Secundaria Diversificada) is offered at colegios secundarios con variante técnica and is 3 years in duration and follows after general secondary.

22. Students who graduate from secondary school receive the Certificado Oficial de Estudios de Educación Secundaria which qualifies them to sit for university entrance examinations.

Post-Secondary Technical Education

23. Most technical and vocational training at the postsecondary level is offered at the following: Institutos y Escuelas de Educación Superior Technológicos – IEST (higher institutes of technology); Institutos de Educación Superior Pedagógicos – IESP (higher institutes of teaching); Institutos y Escuelas Superiores de Educación de Formación Artística – IESFA (higher institutes of arts).

24. The Título de Experto – or – Título de Segunda y Ulterior Especialización Profesional are available options for further graduate-level training in a field of specialty in which the candidate has obtained prior qualifications.

25. Credits, courses or programs completed in the technical and vocational higher education sector cannot be transferred to university study.

Teacher Training

26. Teacher training programs of 5 years in duration are offer at higher institutes of pedagogy (IESP) leading to the title of Profesor and mention of the educational level and specialization completed.

27. Teacher-training programs are also offered at universities.

28. Training of teachers in technical education are provided by the institutos superiors tecnológicos which are three years in duration and lead to the award of the Título de Profesional Técnico.

Higher education

29. Higher education is offered mainly through the nation’s university system.

30. Peru’s National University of San Marcos, which was founded in the year 1551, is the oldest university in the Americas.

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National University of San Marcos

31. Currently, there are currently 51 public (nacional) universities and 89 private (particulare) universities – both for-profit and non-profit – operating in Peru. 

32. University-level institutions also include many specialized art, music and religious institutions that are called conservatorioinstituto, and escuela superior.

33. The academic year typically lasts 34-36 weeks and is divided into two semesters.

34. Courses are credit (créditos) weighted and start in late March or early April. A credit hour is equivalent to one hour (45-50 minutes) of instruction per week, or two hours of practical work per semester.

Undergraduate

35. The first two years of the academic degree of Bachiller requires general studies (estudios generals of at least 35 credits), followed by a period of specialization of three to five years (five to seven years total, minimum 200 credits). 

36. Students who hold the Bachiller and are pursuing the professional title (Licenciado / Titulo Profesional) must complete an additional requirement which can either be a thesis,  Six-month internship with a report or, in some cases, comprehensive examinations. The professional title is required in order to practice a profession in Peru.

Graduate

37. Admission to the graduate studies is based on a Bachiller or equivalent.

38. Graduate programs are typically two years in duration, require the defense of original research work and lead to the title of Grado deMaestro/Magister are typically two years in duration and require the defense of original research work.

39. The Titulo de Diplomado is a shorter one-year (24 credits) graduate certificate program.

40. Admission to a doctoral program requires a master’s degree which lasts a minimum of three years and requires the completion and defense of a dissertation.  Successful candidates are awarded the Grado de Doctor.

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At ACEI, we see the importance of international education in our global economy and strive to maintain the exchange and dissemination of information by assisting colleges and universities, professional organizations, and employers around the world with our research and credential evaluation services that help enhance their reputation and competitive recruiting effectiveness. To learn more about ACEI and its services such as Credential Evaluation, Translation, Webinars and Training, and how we can assist you with your credential evaluation and recruitment needs, please visit www.acei-global.org or call us at 310.275.3530.

Sources:

http://thefactfile.org/peru-facts/

https://alibi.com/blog/s/travel/31337/Fun-And-Not-So-Fun-Facts-About-Peru.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/50-fun-facts-you-probably-never-knew-about-peru_us_58507beee4b0a464fad3e4b5

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pe.html

Education system: Peru, NUFFIC, The Netherlands

Electronic Database on Global Education, Peru, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Washington, DC  www.aacrao.org

Online Guide to Educational Systems Around the World, Peru, NAFSAL Association of International Educators, Washington, DC   www.nafsa.org

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