Category Archives: Education

The Welcome Project ©

October 19th, 2018

Refugee_initiative_-_ACEI_and_iTEP_International_launch_initiative_to_help_refugees_get_education__jobs

A Partner Program 2018

The Welcome Project© is a joint endeavor by the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI) and iTEP International, offering individuals classified as refugees assistance with the evaluation of their academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence and determine their English language proficiency through an approved language assessment test.

Background
According to the UN Refugee Agency, as of 2017, there are more than 68 million people who have been displaced because of war, violence and persecution. As stipulated in Section VII of the Lisbon recognition convention, we recognize it as our social responsibility to assist displaced persons with their reintegration into the community. We realize that through the recognition of their former education, these individuals can accelerate their integration and assimilation into society.

Meet the Experts

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), founded in 1994 and based in Los Angeles, CA, is dedicated to providing credential evaluations and advocating for the recognition of international education qualifications.

iTEP International, founded in 2002 and based in Los Angeles, CA, offers a widely recognized English language proficiency test that meets the acceptance requirements for international education and immigrant community nationwide.

Call to Action

At ACEI and iTEP International, we see it as our responsibility and moral imperative to do our part to support the he integration of refugees, where possible, by offering our expertise in international credential evaluation and English language proficiency testing.

The Welcome Project combines both the international credential evaluation and English language proficiency testing at the onset of their resettlement in the U.S. These individuals will be able to receive recognition of their educational achievements and language competency. Such recognition will enable them to integrate into their new adopted community much faster as they set out to pursue employment opportunities and further their education.

The fundamental mission of The Welcome Project is aligned with U.S. higher education’s institutional internationalization, diversity and inclusion strategies.

How Can you help?

Join ACEI and iTEP International in adopting The Welcome Project and support displaced persons and refugees in achieving their educational and professional goals.

Together, we can make a difference.

For more information, please contact:

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert
President & CEO
Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
jasmin@acei-global.org
http://www.acei-global.org

Perry Akins
Chairman & Cofounder iTEP International, LLC
perry@perryakins.com
http://www.itepexam.com

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Education

ACEI and iTEP International launch initiative to help refugees get education, jobs

October 17th, 2018

Refugee_initiative_-_ACEI_and_iTEP_International_launch_initiative_to_help_refugees_get_education__jobs

The Welcome Project© is a joint endeavor by the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI) and iTEP International, offering individuals classified as refugees assistance with the verification and evaluation of their international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence and determining their language proficiency through an approved language assessment test.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, as of 2017, there are more than 68 million people who have been displaced because of war, violence and persecution. In an effort to serve this displaced population already in the U.S., The Welcome Project© combines ACEI’s international credential verification and evaluation with iTEP’s English language proficiency test.

“As an international credential evaluation service provider, we see it as our responsibility and moral imperative to do our part to support the integration of refugees, where possible, by offering our expertise in this field, at the onset of their resettlement in the U.S.,” says Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO of ACEI. “By partnering with iTEP International through The Welcome Project©, we are able to combine our evaluation and English language proficiency test capabilities at specially reduced fees to make it affordable and amenable to institutional and organizational clients.”

“We feel that through our combined expertise, individuals displaced by war and persecution will be able to receive recognition of their education achievements and language competency,” says Dan Lesho, Executive Vice-President of iTEP International. “This recognition will enable them to integrate into their new adopted community much faster as they set out to further their studies or qualify for jobs.”

The Welcome Project© is made available to U.S. schools, colleges and universities, and employers who wish to provide these vulnerable and displaced individuals access to education and employment by ensuring they meet academic and English language proficiency requirements.

About ACEI

ACEI_Logo_without_Slogan_-_FINAL

ACEI is dedicated to the advancement of international academic exchange and understanding through the dissemination of information on world educational systems and evaluation of international educational documents.

ACEI works closely with U.S. colleges and universities, Professional State Licensing Boards, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Immigration Division) and the Human Resource Departments of several U.S. corporations with the evaluation and verification of international educational credentials. Our organization is actively involved in the training and professional development of admissions officers at U.S. institutions and examiners at U.S. State Boards, as well as officials at U.S. government agencies on matters concerning world educational systems, credential evaluation, diploma mills, and detecting document fraud. acei-global.org

About iTEP

Itep-logo

The International Test of English Proficiency was introduced in 2008 to modernize English assessment with on-demand scheduling, fast scoring, and rich, accurate data. iTEP offers a variety of assessment tools for university and secondary school admissions and placement, hiring and employee assessment (including tests for specific industries) and iTEP Conversation, which assesses conversation skills in 30 minutes and is graded by certified and trained native English speakers (as are all iTEP exams). More than 750 colleges, universities, high schools, and boarding schools accept iTEP results for admissions. Applicants can take iTEP at more than 700 test centers in 51 countries. iTEP International is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. itepexam.com

Contact Information:

Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.
9461 Charleville Boulevard, Box 188
Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA
T: 1-310-275-3530
website: www.acei-global.org
email: acei@acei-global.org

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Education

Which approach do you use when evaluating international credentials? Year-counting or Benchmarking?

October 5th, 2018

benchmarking

At the recent TAICEP conference in Philadelphia, PA, ACEI President & CEO, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert and Melanie Gottlieb, Deputy Director at AACRAO presented a session on Understanding the Different Credential Evaluation Philosophies. In this week’s blog, we will provide a recap of the key points addressed in the presentation.

Why are there different credential evaluation philosophies?

Absence of a governmental body that helps shape standards to guide and monitor international credential evaluation
U.S. institutions base their evaluation philosophies on their admissions models (open vs. threshold vs. holistic)
Credential evaluation service providers are autonomous and are trying to produce a universally acceptable product to both university and the client
State/Territorial Licensing Boards have unique academic requirements
US Customs & Immigration Service enforce unique criteria for the purposes of employment-based visas
Economics of higher education shape the way credentials are evaluated

What are the two credential evaluation approaches?

• Benchmarking
• Year-counting (Quantitative)

What is the Benchmarking approach?

Benchmarking is usually more readily accepted at the pre-university level. (11 years, even 10, is not usually rejected by most institutions and credential evaluation services).

What is the Year-Counting (Quantitative) approach?

Year-counting is much more rigidly followed at the post-secondary level where three year degrees/diplomas are not widely accepted for academic or professional purposes

Why Year-Counting?

• Used because an internal qualitative comparison is not always easy to do
• Quality is impossible to measure
• Quantitative comparisons, using the US model, are quick and easy
• It avoids the quality pronouncements that are just too subjective when comparing degrees

Why Benchmarking?

• The benchmarking method is where the significant achievements are compared throughout the education system
• Conclusion of primary, lower secondary, secondary, first post-secondary degree, terminal post-graduate degree

What is the best approach? Combination of Year-counting and Benchmarking?

• The best way to approach international credential evaluation is a judicious application of BOTH methodologies

What are the dilemmas of the dual philosophies?

• General Education courses (unique to US and US-patterned education systems
• Inequity (3-year Bologna-compliant Bachelor’s degrees treated differently than 3-year Indian Bachelor’s degree)
• Inconsistency in credential evaluation outcomes (e.g. evaluation prepared for a graduate admission differs than one for professional board)
• Stunted growth aka “Theory of Retarding Lead” (Has U.S., once leading in international ed, stopped innovating?)
• Global competition (more countries entering the field and vying for the international student market)

What are the practical concerns for credential evaluators?

• Credential Evaluation services prepare multi-purpose evaluations (for admission to HEIs, employment, professional licensing, immigration, each having unique requirements)
• Adopt one or continue with the dual philosophies (benchmarking for high school completion, year-counting for graduate degree comparability, or a combination)
• Remaining consistent
• U.S. HEI: autonomy does not allow for national evaluation standards and the staff at HEI’s who are most engaged with the topic may not have either the influence or the sophistication to make change
• The growing movement of the global recognition convention and its implications for the US

How do we resolve the concerns?

• Need for transparency from HEI’s on performance of those admitted to graduate studies based on 3-year degrees
• What are US HEIs doing to remain competitive globally?
• Some credential evaluation services have a mutual understanding of fundamental standards (e.g. AICE and its Endorsed Members adhere to the AICE Standards)
• Increased focus on training for HEIs to understand their role and increase their sophistication in the evaluation process
• Increased engagement with professional accreditors and state licensing boards

At ACEI, we apply both year-counting and benchmarking approaches when evaluating international credentials. Let us know which approach you use or prefer using and why. We look forward to hearing from you.

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Credentials, Education, Uncategorized

33 Facts on Chile and its Education System

September 28th, 2018

chile

General Country Facts:

1. Located in Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru

2chile

2. slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana

3. It has a population of 17,789,267 (July 2017 est.)

4. It’s capital is Santiago while Valparaiso is the seat of the national legislature

5. It commits 4.9% of GDP to education (2015), 90th in world ranking

6. 97.5% literacy amongst the ages of 15 and above

7. The government is a Presidential Republic

Overview of the Education System:

8. 12-year guaranteed free mandatory education (based on May 2003 reform to the Chilean Constitution)

9. The following undergraduate degree programs are offered: Técnico (Technician); Títulos Profesionales (Professional Titles) ; Bacherillato/Bachiller (Bachelor); and Licenciatura/Licenciado (Licentiate).

10. The Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación) regulates all levels of education and its Consejo Nacional de Educación approves and monitors institutions of higher education.

11. The Consejo Nacional de Educación monitors a new institution and its programs for a period of six years. If the institution’s performance is satisfactory it is granted autonomy (institución autónoma). If not, the institution may be placed on a five-year probationary period or be forced to close.

12. Under the umbrella of the Consejo Nacional de Educación, there are two national accreditation commissions: the Comisión Nacional de Acreditación (CNA) which accredits institutions and programs at the undergraduate level and the Comisión Nacional de Acreditación de la Calidad de Programas de Postgrado (CONAP) which accredits institutions and their programs at the graduate level.

13. Institutional accreditation began in 2003 and is voluntary.

14. The Ministry of Education oversees and monitors vocational education.

15. Spanish is the official language of instruction.

Elementary and Secondary Education:

16. Elementary Cycle (Educación Básica) – 8-year elementary cycle (aged 6-13) leads to Licencia de Educación Básica, and consists of 2 phases:

i) primer ciclo básico (initial phase) [grades 1-4], 4 years in duration for ages 6-9;

ii) Segundo ciclo básico [grades 5-8], 4 years in duration for ages 10-13.

3chile

17. Secondary Cycle (Educación Média) – 4 years and divided into two 2-year cycles:

i) first 2 years consist of a common core curriculum

ii) last 2 years depend on the track selected (enseñanza média humanistico- cientifica/general secondary education, enseñanza média técnico-profesional/ technical vocational education, enseñanza artistica/art education).

18. Secondary education (educación secundaria or educación/enseñanza média) is offered at either a liceo, colegio or institution. Completion of secondary cycle lead to a Licencia de Educación Media or Licencia de Enseñanza Media which provide access to university education.

4chile

Higher Education (Educación Superior):

19. Admission to first year of university studies requires the Licencia de Educación Media or Licencia de Enseñanza Media (secondary school diploma).

20. Since late 2003, a new entrance examination known as Prueba de Selección Universitaria (PSU) has been instated and applied by all universities affiliated with the Consejo de Recotres de las Universidades Chilenas (CRUCH)

21. There are 3 types of institutions at the higher education level: Universidades (universities); Institutos Profesionales (professional institutes); Centros de Formación Técnica (technical training centers)

22. Universities have the right to award academic degrees such as Licenciado (Licentiate/ Undergraduate degree), Magister (Master/Graduate Degree), and Doctor (Doctorate) as well as the right to award qualifications intended for professional licenses.

23. Centros de Formación Técnica (technical training centers) and Institutos Profesionales (professional institutes) provide 2-3-year vocational education programs known as carerras técnicas de nivel superior, leading to the Técnico de Nivel Superior (Advanced Level Technician) certificate or Titulo Profesional, respectively.

24. Undergraduate University Education (Pregrado) – requires the secondary school diploma and entrance examinations for admission, offering programs of 4-5 years in length leading to the Licenciado degree in a field of specialization, or a Titulo Profesional (professional qualification), such as Ingeniero (Engineer) or Enfermero (Nurse). Some universities may offer a two-year program leading to the Bachiller which is an intermediate certificate and gives access to the Licenciado degree once an additional two year have been completed.

25. Graduate (Posgrado) – Requires the Licenciado or Titulo Profesional for admission. Direct entry to Doctorado program from Licenciado is possible, but the duration of studies will be longer.

26. Posgrado programs are as follow:

i) Postitulo (Post Degree), 1 year minimum in duration, focused on further specialization in a specific field/discipline but may not require a thesis;

ii) Magister, 1-2 years, and may require either a thesis (tesis de grado)or graduation assignment (trabajo final);

iii) Doctorado (Doctorate), highest academic qualification and requires a Licenciado or Magister degree for admission, and awarded after 3-5 years of study that includes research and successful defense of the doctoral thesis.

More facts:

27. Over last 20 years Chilean higher education has changed drastically, experiencing a boom in enrollments. In 2011, seven out of ten students were the first generation from their family accessing university. From 1990 to 2011 the gross higher education enrollment ratio increased from 14 percent to over 50 percent. Total enrollments have increased from about 660,000 in 2005 to almost 1.2 million today. (Click here for source)

28. There are 43 accredited universities, 19 accredited  professional institutes, and 18 accredited technical institutions (by December 2015, according to the information from www.cnachile.cl), all of which contribute to a total of approximately 1,160,000 students in the Chilean educational system (44% in universities).  (Source: EducationUSA)

29. The major institution is the University of Chile (originally founded in 1738), with campuses in SantiagoAricaTalca, and Temuco.

5chile

30. The University of Santiago of Chile and the Federico Santa María Technical University, in Valparaíso, are technical universities patterned after the German model.

31. Private universities are the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, the Catholic University of Valparaíso, the University of the North in Antofagasta, the University of Concepción, and the Southern University of Chile in Valdivia.

Bonus Fun facts:

32. Literature, poetry in particular, is the most significant of the creative arts in Chile. Two Chilean poets, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1945 and 1971, respectively), and the poetry of Vicente Huidobro and Nicanor Parra, also of the 20th century, is recognized in the world of Hispanic literature. In the late 20th century the novels of Isabel Allende became highly acclaimed not only in Latin America but also, in translation, in Europe and North America. (Source: Britannica)

33. Chile is one of the few countries on earth that has a government-supported UFO research organization. (Source: International Business Times)

Key Contacts 
Chilean Ministry of Education
EducationUSA
Fulbright Commission Chile
National Accreditation Commission Chile
National Council on Education

Sources:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/
https://wws.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/content/Chile%20Workshop%20Report_HigherEd%203.15.pdf
https://www.britannica.com/place/Chile/Education
https://www.educationusa.cl/educational-system-in-chile/
https://www.factretriever.com/chile-facts

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, History, Travel

Who Needs an English Language Proficiency Test?

September 21st, 2018

Teenagers Young Team Together Cheerful Concept

English proficiency tests are typically associated with international students, but there are a wide variety of reasons that organizations of all types would need an accurate English language proficiency test. Companies, governments, as well as educational institutions at all levels have a need to precisely determine the English language skill of large or small groups of people in order to compare individuals to one another, monitor language acquisition progress, or develop curriculum.

This article explores the ever-expanding uses of English proficiency tests in order to give an overview of how these tools are used across industries and sectors in our increasingly data-driven world. Most importantly, we’ll also explore why English assessment tools are used and the opportunities they create for those who use them.

Better Than Guessing or Praying

Before we look at how English proficiency assessments are used today, it may help to understand why they came into existence in the first place. My career in international education actually predates the introduction of TOEFL, the first English proficiency test, in 1964. Before then, there was not an English proficiency requirement for admission of international students to US colleges and universities. Administrators simply hoped the students they admitted had strong enough English skills to thrive at the institution.

Similarly, employers had no choice but to do their best to size up the English skills of their applicants and employees based on interviews and conversations. It was all based on gut feeling.

Finally, governments that might have been curious about the English level of their population were left to wonder about it. There was no feasible way to test English language skills on a wide scale.

Thankfully, English testing has come a long way. There are now so many applications for English assessment tools, that there are products designed for specific uses and situations. Let’s explore some of the most common.

Higher Education

One of the most important parts of higher education is the cultural exchange that comes from studying with people who come from different places and backgrounds. International students are a vital part of any vibrant campus. However, when their English proficiency skills are too poor to participate effectively in class discussion or to complete the assignments, it’s harmful to both the international students and their classmates.

As a result, essentially all U.S. colleges and universities now have an English language proficiency requirement for admission of non-native English speakers. Typically, the test is taken at a test center in the applicant’s home country and the score is submitted with their application.

Over time, institutions of higher learning have realized that there is so much more they can do with an English language proficiency test. For instance, by testing students upon arrival and graduation, they can measure how their English language skills improved over the course of their study. If they’re using a test like iTEP that scores specific language skills and sub-skills, the institution can come to understand which language skills their international students are acquiring most quickly, and which may require greater focus in the curriculum.

Intensive English Programs

All over the world, there are thousands of programs designed specifically to help non-native English speakers improve their English language skills. (This site lists over 600 in the US alone).

Since these intensive English programs, or IEPs, exist to improve English language skills, providing proof of English proficiency for admissions isn’t necessary. However, it’s crucial that the students in these programs are placed into the proper level where they are most likely to succeed. An accurate and easy-to-administer test is key this process. iTEP has been working with IEPs for over a decade to refine how proficiency tests are used in placement, and we now enable IEPs to comprehensively assess the English language skills of their students within a few hours of their arrival on campus.

In addition, the potential to calibrate how an IEP functions, using an English language assessment test like iTEP that provides rich data, is tremendous. IEPs can make sure that different instructors teaching the same level are producing the same results and evaluating their students in the same way, for instance.

Secondary Schools

The fastest growing segment of international students are not college students, but rather high school and even middle school students. The English language proficiency skills of these applicants are most accurately measured by an English test designed specifically for them. The word choices and scenarios presented in an English test meant for adults could be confusing or unfamiliar to young learners and skew the results.

Historically, this need has been neglected by the marketplace. ETS’s SLEP exam was a paper-based test that was widely used by private high schools and boarding schools favored by international high school students coming to the US. When it was retired in 2013, iTEP SLATE (Secondary Level Assessment Test of English) stepped in to become the industry standard.

Private Companies

The job interview process is so subjective. With the help of an English language proficiency assessment, comparing the English language skills of applicants is no longer guesswork. This is particularly helpful when a company grows and is rapidly hiring. Particularly if there is more than one person interviewing candidates, it helps to have concrete numbers to compare.

However, not all jobs use all language skills. Waiters, for instance, don’t need particularly good writing skills as long as they are able to speak and understand English quite well. They also don’t need to be able to discuss business or academic topics—their job is mostly focused on food and pleasant conversation. In recent years, iTEP has created English assessment tools for specific industries such as au pairs, real estate, and hospitality. In fact, we even create customized English tests for specific companies when they can identify unique language skills or scenarios they want to assess.

Governments

For governments, data is power. Knowing how well their population communicates in English can be a major help to employment initiatives, attracting international companies, or becoming a popular tourist destination.

Part of our goal at iTEP has been to make English assessment efficient enough to be implemented on a large scale. As a result, our tests have been used in massive initiatives in Colombia, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and more. In addition to national governments, state, county and municipal governments also rely on English proficiency testing, both to get a sense of the skills of their citizens, and to ensure that government workers have the necessary English language skills for their job.

What’s next for English language assessment?

When organizations started to come to us with ideas for how to use our tests that we had never thought of, we began to understand that we had succeeded at creating English assessment tools that were flexible, affordable, and convenient enough that they had taken on a life of their own. With the continued proliferation of English as the global language, I believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of how English language proficiency tests can help organizations of all types do what they do better.

perry_akins

Perry Akins
iTEP International Chairman and Co-Founder

Leave a comment

Filed under Education

33 Facts on Colombia and its Education System

September 14th, 2018

1_columbia

General Country Facts:

1. Located in northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama

2_columbia

2. Slightly less than twice the size of Texas

3. It has a population of 47,698,524 (July 2017 est.)

4. It’s capital is Bogota

5. It commits 4.5% of its GDP to education (2016), 95th in world ranking

6. 94.2% literacy amongst the ages of 15 and above

7. The government is a Presidential Republic

Overview of the Education System:

8. 11-year system of elementary (5 years), lower secondary (4 years) education, upper secondary (2 years)

9. At the university level, there are 3 levels of studies that include: profesional (professional/undergraduate), maestría/magister (master’s degree), and doctor (doctoral/PhD).

10. There are also non-university higher education degrees, técnico (technician) and tecnólogo (technologist), offered at technical institutions as well as university level institutions.

11. The Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación Nacional) regulates all levels of education ad outlines the learning objectives and subject areas for each grade levels. Schools are allowed to organize their own study plans according to the needs of their community.

12. The state authority of education is the Secretariat of Education (Secretaría de Educación).

13. Basic education is free and compulsory (ages 5 to 15).

14. At the university level, fees are set according each student’s socioeconomic background At public universities, tuition fees per semester can be about $1000 (US).

15. Spanish is the official language of instruction.

16. English was added as a foreign language to the overall education plan after the launch of the 2004 National Bilingual Program by the Ministry of Education.

17. English is not only now part of the state curriculum but bilingualism is also a criteria for accreditation of higher education program.

18. Accreditation of all higher education institutions and programs rests with the Ministry of Education. Accreditation is voluntary and helps enhance an institutions status and reputation.

19. Institutions that have been registered with the Ministry have permission to offer degree programs that are officially recognized and carry the status “Registro Calificado” that confirms they have met minimum requirements.

Elementary and Secondary Education:

20. Elementary Cycle (Educación Primaria) – Certificado de Educación Primaria (Certificate of Primary Education), awarded on completion of 5-year elementary cycle (Grades 1-5).

3_columbia

21. Lower Secondary Cycle (Educación Básica Secundaria) – Certificado de Estudios de Bachillerato Básico (Certificate of Basic Baccalaureate Studies) or Certificado de Conclusión del Ciclo Básico ) (Certificate of Completion of Basic Cycle), awarded on completion of 4 years of lower secondary cycle (Grades 6-9).

4_columbia

22. Upper Secondary Cycle (Educación Media) – Título de Bachiller (Title of Baccalaureate), awarded on completion of 2-year upper secondary cycle (academic and vocational tracks), Grades 10 and 11. provides access to higher education.  U.S. educational equivalence: High School Diploma.

Higher Education (Educación Superior):

23. Undergraduate (Pregrado) – requires the Titulo de Bachiller and passing the Examen del Estado (national entrance examination) for admission.

24. Degree programs: Técnino Profesional (Professional Technician), 2-4 years; Tecnólogo (Technologist), 3-4 years; Titulo Profesional/Licenciado (Professional Title/Licentiate), 4-6 years [provides access to graduate admission]

25. Graduate (Posgrado) – Degree programs: Especialista (Specialist), 1 semester to 4 years [specialization following a medical degree will last up to 4 years, and an academic specialization is typically at minimum one semester or as much as 2 semesters; Magister (Master’s Degree), 1-2 years; Doctor (Doctoral Degree/PhD), 2-5 years

More facts:

26. Colombia’s largest educational community, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, has more than 46,000 students enrolled, mostly at undergraduate level.

27. U.S. colleges and universities remain the preferred overseas destination for Colombian students, despite significant competition from other countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, France, and Argentina.

28. There are several factors that make the United States a leading destination, chief among them higher employment opportunities after graduation, the high quality of education, the chance to improve English skills, and a renewed push by the Government of Colombia to encourage English bilingualism.

29. According to the Institute of International Education, Colombia is ranked 22nd in the world and third among South American Countries (after Brazil and Venezuela) in sending students to the United States.

30. There were 7,982 Colombians who traveled to the United States to study in academic year 2016/17, a 2.1 percent increase over the previous year. Based on data from the Institute of International Education, Colombian students in U.S. colleges and universities contributed USD 273 million to the U.S. economy in 2017 academic year.

31. Colombian universities are interested in having agreements with U.S. universities that offer dual degree programs for their students. This can be accomplished through a combination of two or three years at the local university and one or two years at the U.S. university.

32. In Colombia, there is a strong network of 11 Education USA centers administering language programs and doing extensive outreach around the country. Education USA centers are located at nine binational centers, the Fulbright commission, and COLFUTURO.

Fun fact:

33. Aracataca, the birthplace of author Gabriel García Márquez, once held a referendum to rename the town ‘Aracataca-Macondo’ after the fictional town of Macondo from his famous book One Hundred Years of Solitude. Unfortunately, the referendum failed due to low turnout.
(Source: BBC, 2006)

Key Contacts 


Institute of International Education


Colombia Ministry of Education


Colombian Institute for Educational Loans and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX)


COLFUTURO


Education USA

Sources:

https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/latin-america/colombia/guide

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Colombia-Education

http://www.oecd.org/education/school/Education-in-Colombia-Highlights.pdf

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

https://www.britannica.com/place/Colombia

https://www.alberta.ca/documents/IQAS/colombia-international-education-guide.pdf

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, History

China and Africa…Building Bridges, Not Walls

September 7th, 2018

flag1

Hello friends,

It’s been a while since I posted a blog and it hasn’t been because of a lack of material. Au contraire. Blame it on ennui, lethargy, world-weariness. I’ve been feeling disenchanted with the state of the world, especially, how overnight the U.S. went from welcoming and embracing international students and scholars, to one that is imposing even stricter visa requirements, blacklisting some countries by placing them on a travel list, and spewing rhetoric that is seen as unfriendly and inhospitable by potential students around the globe who have looked at the U.S. as the beacon of higher education. Yes, long sentence, my apologies, but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve a lot on my chest and all I can think is that while we see the numbers of international students dropping at our institutions, one country is forging right ahead with its agenda of winning the hearts and minds of students in African countries. You may already know the savvy country that is ahead of the economic and diplomatic game, but in case you don’t, here is it, drum roll please….it’s CHINA!

Just this week, China pledged 60 billions US dollars to Africa with no political strings attached. Yes, you read correctly. No strings attached. You don’t believe me? Click here.
While we were celebrating our three-day Labor Day weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Monday, September 3rd, that his country would “give $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa over the next three years without asking for any political concessions in return.” Wow!

China’s pledge involves a combination of grants, low-interest loans, financial investment and trade finance. China’s state media added on Tuesday that these types of overseas commitments were presented as “aid” or “support”, which is their way of implying that the country would make no profit.

The bottom line is that this is part of China’s “soft power” drive to anchor its geo-political and economic influence throughout Africa. According to Chinese state media, in just the first half of 2018, China has spent more than Rmb270m ($40m) on “Silk Road scholarships” for students from developing countries, according to state media.

Here is a sample of some of the countries (there are plenty more, but need to keep this blog brief) that are enjoying the financial aid offered by China supplemented by opportunities in education:

Angola

flag2

China is thinking of projects that could contribute to the development of Angola in the areas of industry, agriculture, health and education. China and Angola established diplomatic relations in 1983 and since 2002, China has become more proactive when it comes to helping Angola by financing projects to recover and build roads, railways, airports, strengthen health and education and other infrastructure that is a priority for the country’s development. In the first quarter of this year, trade between the two countries grew 22.4% to US$6.8 billion. To read more, click here.

Kenya

flag3

China and Kenya have established many education schemes, and one is the China-Kenya Vocational Education program designed to help train students and teachers for mechanical engineering. To read more, click here.

Rwanda

flag4

In Rwanda, Integrated Polytechnic Regional College Musanze (IPRC Musanze) is playing an important role in training technical persons in Rwanda. The college which was constructed by China Geo-Engineering Corporation based on funds received from the Chinese government, is the largest polytechnic in northern Rwanda and it is contributing to technical training in the country. To read more, click here.

Sierra Leone

flag5

If you speak to Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio, he will tell you that China has always been “a reliable friend and brother” that has stood by the country at all times. This says it all, but if you want to learn more, click here.

Tanzania

flag6

The Ministry of Energy recently announced that it was inviting applications from candidates to qualify for Chinese scholarship opportunities for postgraduate studies in “one of China’s best Oil and Gas Universities – the China University of Geo-sciences (Wuhan).”

Uganda

flag7

On the recent launching of a project sponsored by China that provides digital learning to rural regions in Uganda, the country’s Minster of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, said: “This is a project that has several benefits, it will support education and encourage digital learning in rural schools by providing learning aids in form of projectors and televisions. These will be utilized to implement lessons plans and demonstrative education through videos and pictures.” To read more, click here.

Zambia

flag8

The appreciation for China’s supports is also shared by Zambia where the country’s Higher Education Minister, Nkandu Luo, has praised the Chinese Government for supplementing government’s efforts in the education sector. For more, click here.

Zimbabwe

flag9

Zimbabwe has been sending students to study in China because it is affordable and gives the graduating students the chance to develop business connections. It makes sense, since China is Zimbabwe’s largest overseas trading company. And, as China’s visa rules don’t allow international students to remain in the country after graduating from university, the students return to Zimbabwe which prevent brain-drain. To read more, click here.

China-Africa: Soft Power Diplomacy

These are just a handful of the countries in Africa, where China has established bi-lateral relations through its “soft power” approach. China continues to award education scholarships to various African countries allowing students to study at its institutions of higher education and to return to their native lands on graduation. It’s a win win situation for all sides.

flag10

I recently saw the big box office hit “Crazy Rich Asians”, a film about a super wealthy Chinese family in Singapore whose son is returning home to attend a friend’s wedding. He brings with him his Chinese-American girlfriend, a college professor who has absolutely no idea of his extreme wealthy origins. The film is billed a rom-com, but for me, it was a reflection of where we are today and what the future holds. Today, the number of Chinese billionaires exceed those in the United States. This is a major turning point for China which now boasts 596 billionaires – 60 more than the U.S.-  after a staggering 242 Chinese people became billionaires for the first time in just one year, according to a new survey.  There may be more Chinese billionaires, but according to the survey, those in America are richer and dominate the list of wealthiest people on the planet with Americans making up seven of the top ten. Regardless of who is the richer billionaire, at the rate China is expanding its reach into Africa, through education, manufacturing and trade agreements, it will not be for long that it will truly be a super power with Africa by its side.

Frustrated
Frustrated Evaluator

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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.

Related Links:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnXLOm0Bdd8/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=e883epcfuvxk

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/may/13/china-educating-africa-what-means-west

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/what-chinese-investment-means-for-african-higher-education

https://www.news4jax.com/news/international/chinas-president-xi-pledges-another-60-billion-for-afri

https://www.newsweek.com/why-china-giving-africa-60-billion-no-political-strings-attached-investment-1104360

https://macauhub.com.mo/2018/08/24/pt-china-estuda-novas-formas-de-investimentos-e-financiamentos-a-angola/

https://www.newsghana.com.gh/china-africa-education-scheme-helps-train-students-teachers-for-mechanical-engineering/

https://www.lusakatimes.com/2018/08/21/nkandu-luo-commends-china-for-support-in-education/

http://nilepost.co.ug/2018/08/31/more-zimbabwean-students-seek-education-in-china/

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Politics