Category Archives: Credentials

What is Transnational Education?

November 1st, 2019

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We have been hearing the term “transnational education” used when referring to distance learning programs, teaching partnerships, off-shore campuses, and MOOCs. And we can be sure that with the global demand for higher education overpowering supply, transnational education will continue to grow and assume permanency in our lexicon.

Although there are many definitions and interpretations, the definition provided by the UNESCO/Council of Europe Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education (Riga, 6 June 2001), states “all types of higher education study programmes, or sets of courses of study, or educational services (including those of distance education) in which the learners are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based”.

Transnational Education may include any one of these arrangements:

  • Articulation
  • Course-to-Course Credit Transfer
  • Branch Campus
  • Franchising
  • Joint Degree
  • Dual Degree
  • Distance Delivery
  • Progression Agreement or Sequential Degrees
  • Degree Validation

If your institution is exploring engaging in any one of the above-mentioned arrangements, there are a number of informative papers and articles on the subject. Rather, than repeat the same information and guidelines, below is a list of a few reports with links you may find useful to visit.

CIMEA: http://www.cimea.it/files/fileusers/5592_2004-What%20is%20transnational%20education.pdf
EAIE: https://www.eaie.org/blog/key-elements-transnational-education-tne.html
NAVITAS: https://medium.com/navitas-ventures/transnational-education-partnerships-and-internationalisation-gei-75-6fc581aa5122
INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/transnational-education-what-impact-local-institutions


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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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U.S.A. – China: Sharing Expertise on International Credential Evaluations

October 25th, 2019

On October 18, 2019, the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI) had the pleasure of hosting representatives from the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) and China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC) and colleagues from the American Education Research Corporation (AERC).

The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about our respective organizations and discuss the role of the US Department of Education and the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE).

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From L-R – Mr. Wenjun (Edward) Chen (CHESICC), Mr. Alan Saidi (ACEI), Ms. Martha Alvarez (AERC), Ms. Weiping (Heather) Yuan (CHESICC), Ms. Xiaoshu (Susan) Li (CHESICC), Ms. Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert (ACEI), Mr. Weixing Cheng (CHESICC), Mr. Bo (Simon) Zhou (CSCSE), Ms. Lei Zhu (CSCSE), Ms. Xiao Huo (CSCSE)

Association of International Credential Evaluators

Founded in 1998, AICE is a professional membership association recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for those involved in international credential evaluation and comparative education research. The mission of AICE is to provide guidelines and standards to be used by Endorsed Member credential evaluation services regarding the best practices in international credential evaluation. It also provides a forum regarding the development of standards for its member organizations. These member organizations are endorsed by AICE for having demonstrated excellence in credential evaluation and adherence to professional standards through a rigorous membership process. ACEI and AERC are both Endorsed Members of the AICE. For more information on AICE, please click here

Endorsed Members Representatives from AICE:

  • Martha Alvarez, Director, American Education Research Corporation (AERC)
  • May Li, Senior Credential Evaluation, AERC
  • Alan Saidi, Senior Vice-President & COO, Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI)
  • Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO, ACEI and President AICE (Association of International Credential Evaluators)

Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE)

The Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange was founded in 1989. It is a public organization under the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the People’s Republic of China.  CSCSE was initially founded due to the increasing number of Chinese scholars studying abroad and returning to China which necessitated the establishment of a specialized department to provide comprehensive services for this group of people. CSCSE mainly engages in international education services by supporting students who are pursuing international student experience and fostering dialogues between higher education institutions and organizations in international exchange and cooperation. CSCSE specializes in offering professional services for international scholarly exchanges, including Chinese students and scholars studying abroad, returnees from abroad, and international students and scholars coming to study in China. One of the services CSCSE provides its students, whether returnees or international students and scholars intending to study in China, is help with the evaluation of their educational credentials for comparability to the Chinese education system. For more information on CSCSE, please click here

Representatives from CHESICC:

  • Lei Zhu, Head of Evaluation Team (US & Canada), Overseas Academic Credential Evaluation Office
  • Bo (Simon) Zhou, Evaluation office, Overseas Academic Credential Evaluation Service
  • Xiao Huo, Evaluation Officers, Overseas Academic Credential Evaluation Service

China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC)

The China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center was founded in 1991 and is the MOE-authorized qualification verification institution in China. It is also the only MOE-authorized body for the verification of higher education qualification certificates. CHESICC maintains the China Higher Education Student Information (CHSI), an official higher education student data depository entrusted by the MOE, which manages a nationwide database that covers all MOE-recognized academic institutions and all post-secondary level students. CHESICC offers digital administration and services for student enrollment, student record and qualification management, employment information, ad military conscription. CHESICC verification service includes postsecondary student record, qualification certificate, college transcript, high school diploma, and Gaokao (National College Entrance Exam) scores. Student record and qualification verification are provided in different forms, including online verification, online verification report, and verification report. In China, the verification service is widely used for employment, graduate admission, and judicial examinations. For more information on CHESICC, please click here

Representatives from CHESICC:

  • Mr. Weixing Cheng, Director of Information Division
  • Mr. Wnjun (Edward) Chen, Project Manager of International Promotion Department
  • Ms. Lan Gao, Director of Verification Service Division
  • Ms. Xiaoshu Li, Project Supervisor of International Promotion Department
  • Ms. Weiping Yuan, Manager of International Promotion Department

At the meeting, we quickly realized how issues such as fraudulent documents, diploma mills, determining legitimacy of institutions and their accreditation/recognition are global problems and not unique to one country. When our CSCSE colleagues shared their questions about professional degrees in law and medicine from the U.S., we concurred that here in the U.S. we face the same conundrum when evaluating international professional qualifications in these fields as we try to determine their U.S. equivalent. From the U.S. side of the table, we shared our concerns about the inability to verify Chinese high school transcripts. Our CHESICC colleagues expressed that since high school education is under provincial control and records are not housed in a central depository, their verification is very difficult. They recommended that the provincial department where the school is located be contacted for help with verification. CSCSE indicated that the number of Chinese students returning to China after completion of their study abroad has been rising as is the number of international students coming to study in China. For this reason, evaluation of these students’ credentials is very important as the CSCSE reports on degree comparability intended for employers, higher education institutions, and other interested parties. It is heartening to learn that although we may be in opposite sides of the planet, we face the same dilemmas and employ similar standards when evaluating international credentials. We look forward to continued collaboration and mutual exchange of information amongst our respective organizations.


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

President, Board of Directors AICE

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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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12 Quick Facts on Kenya’s Temporary Operating Licenses for Universities

September 27th, 2019

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Here’s what you need to know about the proposal recommended by Kenya’s Ministry of Education eight-year limit for new universities to operate on a temporary license:

1. The proposed plan amends the University Act 2012, whereby the Ministry is suggesting that newly established universities will receive a letter of interim authority (temporary license) for four renewable (once) years.

2. The proposal was presented to the parliamentary Education Committee at the end of August 2019 that will allow universities to operate on temporary/interim licenses for only 8 years without the option for renewal.

3. Only institutions that meet the Ministry’s requirements will receive the temporary license.

4. The intention is to ensure that institutions meet standards and requirements within the established timelines.

5. The Commission of University Education (CUE), which is the regulator of higher education in Kenya, confirms that 14 universities operate on letter of interim authority.

6. In 2017, the CUE conducted a review of universities operating on a letter of interim authority which concluded in the denial of licenses that were issued to three of the universities previously assessed.

7. Currently, according to the CUE, there are 14 universities operating on temporary licenses

8. The following institutions had received temporary licenses more than eight years ago and could have their licenses revoked if the proposal is passed into law:

  • East Africa University
  • Gretsa University
  • Kiriri Women’s University
  • Management University of Africa
  • Pioneer International University
  • Presbyterian University
  • Riara University.
  • Aga Khan University (the oldest in the list as it received it temporary license in 2002)

9. The following institutions received their temporary licenses later than 2012 which will remain valid should the regulation be approved and enforced:

  • International Leadership University
  • Lukenya University
  • UMMA University
  • Zetech University
  • RAF University
  • Amref University.

10. The following institutions had their licenses revoked in 2017, after a review conducted by the CUE, but later were granted an extension to operate provisionally on the condition they confirm to the CUE standards:

  • East Africa University
  • Kiriri Women’s University
  • Gretsa University.

(Note: Despite a directive from the CUE to the above 3 institutions to not accept any new incoming students, it was overlooked.)

11. The following institutions have been allowed to continue teaching based on their temporary licenses:

  • Aga Khan University
  • Management University of Africa
  • Pioneer International University
  • Presbyterian University of East Africa
  • Riara University.

12. If the Ministry’s proposal is approved into law, it will reopen the debate as to whether universities that have been operating with temporary licenses for more than the proposed eight years will be allowed to continue as such or face closure.

Sources:

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-09-05-eight-varsities-risk-closure-in-ministrys-new-proposal/

http://cue.or.ke/index.php/status-of-universities

http://www.education.go.ke

https://sokodirectory.com/2019/09/list-of-universities-risking-shutdown-in-ministry-of-educations-proposal/


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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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14 Quick Facts on UK as a Higher Education Destination for International Students

August 8th, 2019

uk_aug19

The UK continues to be a popular destination for international students pursuing their higher education.

Here are a few facts on the UK and its role in international education:

  1. Number of international students studying in the UK higher education in 2017-2018: 458,490
  2. Percentage of international students that account for the UKs total student population: 19.6%
  3. Percentage of international undergraduate students: 14%
  4. Percentage international graduate students: 35.8%
  5. The top 5 sending countries for international students to the UK in 2017-2018: China, India, USA, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
  6. Percentage of Chinese students at UK higher education institution that make up all international students: 23.2%
  7. Top sending countries within the EU to the UK for higher education: Italy, France and German.
  8. UK’s growth rate dropped from 0.5% in 2015 to 0.3% in 2016.
  9. Destination countries posing as competitors to UK for international students: Australia, Canada, USA, and Germany.
  10. Percentage of international students satisfied with their experience studying at UK universities: 90% (per UUKi research)
  11. Percentage of international students satisfied or very satisfied with the support they received while studying in the UK: 80%
  12. Percentage of international student who considered their UK degree a valuable investment: 82%
  13. Popular fields of study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in 2017-2018: Biological Sciences, Business and Administrative Studies, Creative Arts and Design, Engineering and Technology, Social Studies.
  14. Percentage of international staff from the EU at UK institutions of higher education: 60%

For additional information, click here


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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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The Importance of Institutional Accreditation

July 12th, 2019

check

The first step in evaluating non-U.S. academic documents is to determine whether the institution where the studies were completed is recognized and approved by the education authorities in the country, which in most instances is the Ministry of Education.

In the U.S. there is no central government body that establishes, maintains and sets standards to oversee academic institutions. Instead, there are accrediting groups which themselves have met or exceed recognition standards in order to review and accredit academic institutions. Accreditation as defined by the United States Department of Education is “the process whereby an agency or association grants public recognition to a school, institute, college, university, or specialized program of study which meets certain established qualifications and educational standards, as determined through initial period evaluation. The essential purpose of the accreditation process is to provide a professional judgment as to the quality of the educational institution or programs (s) offered, and to encourage continual improvement thereof.”

There are some institutions that are “unaccredited” but have formal legal authorization to operate and enroll students or issue degrees. But being incorporated as a For-Profit entity or have a business license to operate does not mean that the institution is also accredited by the nationally recognized accreditation bodies. If you’re planning to study at a college or university in the United States, it is important that you first check on the “accreditation” status of the institution.

Why is institutional accreditation important?

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3 reasons why institutional accreditation is important:

  1. helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality
  2. helps students determine is an institutional is acceptable for enrollment
  3. assists institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits.

A student who attends an accredited institution in the U.S. is able to move freely from one accredited institution to another and receive recognition of his/her studies. Before you enroll in a school, institute, college or universities, check on its accreditation status first. One thing you don’t want to happen is graduating from at an unaccredited institution in the U.S. that will not be recognized by employers, the government or other schools, colleges or universities.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides a list of recognized accreditation boards which is available on its website www.chea.org. You’ll be able to check on the accreditation status of a particular school, college or university or access a complete list of accredited institutions of postsecondary education in the United States.

For further information on the world education systems and credential evaluations, visit our website at www.acei-global.org or contact ACEI at acei@acei-global.org

This was originally posted on October 12th, 2017.


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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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QS World University Rankings 2020

June 28th, 2019

QSWUR2020

According to the recently released 16th edition of the QS World University Rankings, the United States’ higher education system has recorded its worst performance in 16 years and is accelerating in its rate of decline. This is n unprecedented level of decline experiences by the U.S. higher education sector.

1000 universities from 82 different locations were ranked by QS. 94,000 academics and 44,000 hiring managers were surveyed. 11.8 million research papers and 100 million citations were analyzed.  QS measures universities on the basis of their academic standing, graduate employability, student/faculty ration, research impact, and internationalization.

Below is a summary of the QS World University Rankings 2020:

  • US holds 10 spots in the top 20.
  • In the U.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the world’s best university for the eighth consecutive year followed by Stanford and Harvard.

2QSWUR2020
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • 6% of the US’s 157 ranked universities deteriorate in rank. The US has also recorded its lowest number of top-100 universities (29) since 2016, and four fewer than last year (33).
  • 24 of Australia’s 35 universities have risen in rankings demonstrating improvement in their performance.
  • China shows a rise from 12 to 19 in 2016 with its top-200 research universities.
  • For the first time, the Middle East has entered the top-200 with 2 universities.
  • King Abdul Aziz University of Saudi Arabia is now in 186th

3QSWUR2020
King Abdul Aziz University

  • Out of 302 universities from destination countries such as Australia, Canada, UK, and US, 216 have recorded worse faculty/student Ratio.
  • The US showed losses in the criteria concerning academic reputation and international students and faculty ratio.
  • What is the cause of the decline? Government support of higher education. China’s growth is a result of national funding strategy, while in the US the Trump Administration has sought to reduce deferral funding and this year has proposed $7.1 billion in cuts.
  • UK is ranked as the “third worst” and 66% of its institutions have slipped in rankings.
  • Europe’s second-best university is ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, achieving its highest position ever, overtaking the University of Cambridge

4QSWUR2020
ETH Zurich, Switzerland

  • University of Cambridge has dropped to 7th position.
  • University of Oxford took fourth place from Caltech, US.
  • University of Edinburgh gained two places from 20th to 18th.
  • Australia’s rise in the rankings is attributed to: improvements in academic reputation, citations per faculty, and international student ratio.
  • Falling rates in faculty/student ratio indicator were the primary driver for Canada’s declining performance.
  • Latin America showed twice as many improvements than drops in ranking a sign of increasing competitiveness.
  • In Latin America, Brazil has the most number of universities represented but Argentina’s Universidad de Buenas Aires ranks the highest.
  • Another country climbing the rankings is Russia with 60% of its universities improving their position and 70% Russia is also climbing the rankings with 60% of its universities showing improvement in their rankings and performance on the international student ratio indicator.
  • Asia’s top two universities are the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University also in Singapore (both ranked 11th).

Watch this video for a report on the latest QS rankings of the Top 10 universities:

Sources:

QS World University Rankings https://www.topuniversities.com/

PIENews https://thepienews.com/news/qs-world-rankings-unis-2020/


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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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A 1st Timer’s Reflections on the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference

June 7th, 2019

nafsa

My excitement and expectations as a first-time participant to the NAFSA Annual Meeting were exceeded. It was a great experience to see how united and collaborative the community of international higher education is. I think this was the first time when I truly understood what networking really means. I was waiting by the information desk to meet with my IEM mentor (via the IEM Connector Program) and I happened to glance over the long hallway of the Convention Center. Everywhere I could see, there were people with a big smile on their face and arms open wide, recognizing and old friend or collaborator. My experience with the conference was one of belonging to a community wholeheartedly dedicated to excellence in higher education.

Two prominent plenary speakers at the conference were former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Collin Powell. Both talked about the importance of international education and the role of the government in creating supporting policies for attracting international students. They shared their own experiences in the White House and expressed intense criticism for the current government’s actions against internationalization. They were so funny and witty!

The recurrent theme of this year’s NAFSA Annual Conference was the anticipated diminishing numbers of international students. The main reasons for predicted lower numbers are the following: difficulties in obtaining student visas, higher visa processing fees, perceived racism and discrimination, higher tuition costs, unstable political discourse, future USCIS plans for restructuring the OPT and CPT, rise in H1-B visa denials.

Where do international students go and why? International students mostly go to Canada and Australia, with the US and UK seeing lower numbers than ever. Canada is seen as more welcoming, with less visa restrictions and more opportunities for securing work after study completion.

At the conference, I attended sessions on how to develop recruitment, admissions and retentions strategies in response to the current unsteady global enrollment climate. I basically tried to learn from what other institutions are doing to develop and implement systemic change to deal with future enrollment. What I found was not a surprise: apply cross-cultural competencies to understand the incoming international student population, make data-driven policies and procedures, and create informative communication plans to teach students/applicants how to navigate the US academic system.

One of the most informative session I attended was Canada’s International Students: A Study in Diversity. This was an exceptionally interesting presentation with a tremendous amount of government data. Contrary to the perception that increased numbers or international students are due to the US and UK’s detrimental policies, the Canadian Government had created a plan to enhance the international student population back in 2013. US and UK’s discriminatory environment has indeed helped their numbers but only because they already had a very structured plan in place to absorb the high number of international students. It was not just luck, it was tremendous work and strong support from the government.

polixenia

POLIXENIA TOHANEANU, has been working as an International Admissions Specialist and Credential Evaluator in the Graduate Admissions Office at University of Idaho since 2016. She holds an M.A. in Francophone Studies from University of Cincinnati. As a previous international graduate student herself, she is passionate for researching new ways to make the process of evaluating international credentials more efficient. Email: polixeniat@uidaho.edu

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