Category Archives: Education

Detecting Fake University Degrees in a Digital World

In 2019, the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) hosted its annual symposium discussing the digital retention and transmission of academic documents.  An issue that was of great concern then and continues to be today is how do we maintain credential evaluation standards in a world that is rapidly digitizing? How do we ensure credential integrity? How do we detect fraudulent documents in an age where digital technology is used by hackers and forgers with tech expertise to falsify and issue counterfeit documents, tap into university databases, create degrees and diplomas that appear flawless and authentic?

The title of the 2019 AICE Los Angeles Symposium was “The future is digital…are you? Effectively using technology while maintaining credential evaluation standards” which is timely today given the rapid adoption of digital platforms to offer online courses and transmitting official transcripts during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The goal of the symposium was to seek digital solutions that promote data security and protection as we move toward a paper-free environment.

This week’s blog is a re-posting of one we had shared in 2019, an informative and insightful piece written by our European colleagues Stig Arne SkjervenDirector of Foreign Education in NOKUT and President of the ENIC Bureau in the European Network of Information Centers, a frequent contributor to ACE-Global.Blog, and Linda J Børresen, Senior Legal Advisor in NOKUT (Norwegian ENIC-NARIC). The authors demonstrate steps being taken in Europe to combat fake diplomas in today’s digital world. This article appeared in the September 2018 issue of University World News and is shared in this blog with permission from Mr. Skjerven and Ms. Børresen.

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), will be hosting a free webinar on June 10, 2020 on fake online courses and diploma mills. To register, please click here.

We invite you to share your thoughts, experience, and questions in the comments section. Thank you.


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

 

By Stig Arne Skjerven and Linda J. Børresen

Using fake diplomas in order to get ahead is not a new phenomenon. As long as there is competition for jobs and admission to higher education, there will be people who are willing to take such shortcuts.

Articles in University World News often report new cases, the most recent on fake Scottish degrees. Over the summer in the United Kingdom, there was an article published in The Guardian in which the UK’s official service for verifying degrees, the Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD), urged new graduates who take selfies with their new degrees not to share the images on social media to avoid fueling the multimillion-pound trade in fake degrees.

 What are fake diplomas?

Generally speaking, there are three categories of fake diplomas. The first category is typically a diploma that seems to be issued by an accredited institution, but the diploma is in fact produced illegally. The person who bought the document has never studied at the institution in question.

The second category comprises diplomas that are issued by accredited institutions, but the holder of the diploma has altered the information in the document, most commonly the grades.

The third and last category includes fake diplomas issued by diploma mills (fake universities). Diploma mills grant ‘degrees’ to people who pay for this service, but do not offer any educational training.

Fake diplomas can finance serious crime

The consequences of using fake diplomas are dire, ranging from wrongful job hires to illicit access to regulated professions. The latter can pose a danger to people and society, most obviously in the health, engineering and financial professions.

Just as worryingly, the income from sales of fake diplomas often finances serious crime. The court case in Norway following the terrorist attack on 22 July 2011 is a clear illustration. During the trial, the defendant admitted that he partly financed his terror operation by selling fake diplomas through the establishment of an internet site called Diplomaservice.com. Its revenue was nearly US$500,000, which was laundered in Antigua and subsequently used to finance his illicit activities.

How can we deal with fake diplomas?

In Norway, NOKUT is the Norwegian ENIC-NARIC center whose task it is to recognize foreign higher education qualifications in accordance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention. In order to combat the problem with fake diplomas, NOKUT has developed several tools, such as rigid documentation requirements and thorough quality assurance.

Verification is crucial and all diplomas are verified from certain countries, either by the issuing higher education institutions or by the ministry of education in that particular country. Equally important, NOKUT’s experienced credential evaluators are fluent in many languages and possess unique knowledge about various educational systems, enabling them to track logical inconsistencies in the applicants’ educational backgrounds.

Since 2003, 120 people have been reported to the police for using fake diplomas. This comes in addition to the number of cases that are reported by Norwegian higher education institutions and other competent authorities. NOKUT, as the ENIC-NARIC center, cooperates well with Norwegian law enforcement. Many of the reported cases have resulted in convictions, normally two to three weeks of unconditional imprisonment.

Most of these convictions are for regular falsified diplomas, but convictions for using documents from diploma mills are increasing.

The Council of Europe’s ETINED Platform

The ETINED Platform is a network of specialists appointed by member states of the Council of Europe and states party to the European Cultural Convention (50 states). The purpose of ETINED is to build a culture of ethics, transparency and integrity in and through education.

One aspect of this is combating fraud and corruption, including fraudulent qualifications. In this part of the project, cooperation between the ENIC and NARIC networks, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education(EQAR) have been established.

Suggestions for changes to the subsidiary text to the Lisbon Recognition Convention are being considered. An example is the establishment of a database with a list of criteria that students should look for when checking qualifications proposed by an institution.

FRAUDOC – An Erasmus+ project

All over Europe, significant efforts have been made to detect fraudulent documents. Recently, an Erasmus+ funded project, FRAUDOC, led by the Italian ENIC-NARIC CIMEA, launched guidelines on diploma mills and documents fraud for credential evaluators. The guidelines give an overview of the phenomenon, but they also provide tools and recommendations on how fraudulent documents can be detected.

The same group has also launched a handbook for credential evaluators with information about verification databases and other suggestions that should help credential evaluators in their daily work.

The future is digital

Routines developed by ENIC-NARIC centers are helpful for combating the use of fake documents. However, even in the world of recognition and credential evaluation it is true that the future is digital – soon, most diplomas will be digitally accessible in secure systems which will guarantee documents’ authenticity.

Norway has digitalized all diplomas that have been issued by Norwegian institutions, with a few exceptions, in an online portal called Vitnemålsportalen. Graduates can provide secure and time-limited access to their data to an employer through an electronic link. This procedure ensures the authenticity of the documents and is a safe and cost-effective way for an employer to verify someone’s credentials.

Other systems, at varying stages of development, are in operation in AustraliaBelgium (Flanders), ChinaEstoniaFranceIndiaMexicothe NetherlandsNew ZealandRomania, the Russian FederationSouth Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The network of EMREX aims to further connect and enhance student data portability and provide student data globally. EMREX empowers individuals to manage their student data and to transfer credentials securely to employers, institutions and more.

Fake diplomas will continue to pose a threat to higher education institutions, employers and recognition authorities in the years to come. However, recent initiatives involving digital diplomas in secure databases may be one of the most promising ways to combat false diplomas in the future.

Stig Arne Skjerven is the Director of Foreign Education in NOKUT and President of the ENIC Bureau in the European Network of Information Centres.

Linda J Børresen is Senior Legal Advisor in NOKUT (Norwegian ENIC-NARIC). 

 

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.  ACEI is a full-service company providing complete and integrated services in the areas of international education research, credential evaluation, and translation. ACEI’s Global Consulting Group®, offers expertise in the following specialties: Media and Branding, Global Pathways, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to interested institutions and organizations around the globe. www.acei-global.org

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A Quick Look at: Online Learning, Virtual Learning, E-Learning, Distance Learning, Blended Learning

Contributed by: ConexEd

As the COVID-19 global pandemic has forced schools, colleges and universities around the world to offer alternative methods to their traditional in-class instruction, we thought it would be helpful to share this informative piece that was created and posted by ConexEd.

 What is Online Learning?

  • Online learning always involves an internet connection and can include virtual face-to-face interactions (webinar, online lecture, virtual meeting)
  • Uses online tools for learning, such as online curriculum or virtual space or conferencing software.
  • Could be considered a mix of virtual learning and blended learning.

What is Virtual Learning?

  • Can be used inside or outside the physical building of the educational organization.
  • Uses the computer and an online program or software to enhance the learning experience.
  • Can be used in a self-pacing format (individualized) or live web conferencing between students and instructors.
  • Students have remote access to content and instructors.
  • Student can connect and interact with other students and their instructors online.

What is E-Learning?

  • E-Learning utilizes digital tools for teaching and learning, and the technology facilitates the learning process.
  • Can be used online or in a classroom setting.
  • Students take a course from a teacher but only interact with the teacher online.
  • Students have unlimited access to the content.
  • The course completion, program, or degree is distributed online.

What is Distance Learning?

  • Same structure as online learning.
  • Specific purpose is to attract students from all locations.
  • Can provide instruction to someone learning in a different time and place than that of the teacher and other students.

What is Blended Learning?

  • Blended learning is the combination of classroom and virtual learning.
  • Ideally integrates virtual learning in a way that individualizes and enhances instruction for students.

When planning online resources and incorporating learning online in the classroom, the objectives for content learning, the intended student outcomes, student needs, and student access to technology and their current digital literacy should be taken into consideration, at which point instructors can determine which approach fits their goals best.

Links:

ConexEd: https://www.conexed.com/are-online-learning-virtual-learning-e-learning-distance-learning-and-blended-learning-the-same/

Applied Educational Systems: Online Learning vs Distance Learning https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/online-learning-vs-distance-learning

 

Kickboard: What is Distance or Remote Learning:  https://www.kickboardforschools.com/blog/post/distance-remote-learning/what-is-distance-or-remote-learning/

 

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.  ACEI is a full-service company providing complete and integrated services in the areas of international education research, credential evaluation, and translation. ACEI’s Global Consulting Group®, offers expertise in the following specialties: Media and Branding, Global Pathways, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to interested institutions and organizations around the globe. www.acei-global.org

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Dispatches from Mar Vista, Los Angeles, CA during COVID-19 Lockdown

Witten by: Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert

By the time this blog is posted, it will be day 44 since Los Angeles county issued its shelter in place order. The skies have never been clearer and traffic on the infamous 405 Freeway is almost nonexistent. The air is sweet, yes, I never expected to use the word “sweet” in connection with Los Angeles air quality. The city seems calm, and like the rest of the world our planet is taking a deep breath as we shelter in place.

On March 19th, as soon as our city’s mayor made the shelter in place announcement, I instructed my team at the ACEI headquarters to pack up their essentials as we would be working remotely from home.  We weren’t caught off guard or surprised by this news.  A month prior to the lock-down order, our COO had ordered laptops for all our in-house team in preparation and anticipation of just this scenario. The next day, like clockwork, we were all online and in communication with our international applicants and institutional clients. Applications for evaluation were being processed via our online portal and academic documents were being received digitally from institutions and recognized platforms. Twice a week, I visit the office with one other member of our team, mindful of keeping our socially recommended distance of 6 feet, which is easy to do in our spacious loft workspace.

The ACEI team is working harder than ever, responding to queries from our applicants from around the world via our online chat, emails and phone. We hold daily video chats as our end of day wrap-up. We try to keep the humor in our uncertain world by playing around with the background imagery of our video chat platform.  Our COO prefers a lush landscape of rolling hills, while the rest of our crew including myself, seem to be partial to space inspired motifs, which is something new for me as I’m not a SciFi fan. But it seems that images of futuristic cities and galaxies far far away are befitting of the current surreal state of our world.

As soon as the world and us went into collective lockdown, we knew that we were going to experience all levels of emotions, from anxiety, to panic, fear, anger, frustration, euphoria, exhaustion, malaise, serenity, denial, and back to panic and uncertainty. Immediately, we decided to start hosting a free weekly webcast we named “Mindful Minutes with ACEI.” We set these webcasts as a safe virtual place for our coworkers, colleagues, friends and family to join to share their stories, how they were coping and what they were feeling. We invited guest speakers who offered insights and techniques we could practice in our daily lives to return to a place of inner peace, no matter how fleeting.

My first week of working at home, something I hadn’t done since I founded ACEI in 1994 from my one-bedroom apartment, was challenging as I was having a difficult time situating myself in a place I could call my home office.  Finally, I joined my husband, also working from home, and equally divided the dining table as his and hers offices. We have been very mindful of our invisible boundaries and have had zero border skirmishes.  It is strange though how life can do a 360 and I find myself in a similar situation as the day I started ACEI, that is; working from home, though now I have a team of loyal and dedicated employees whom I’m responsible for and who look to me for guidance, moral support and hope.

I do keep my daily routine. I wake up early as before, shower, get dressed, meditate, have breakfast and step into my “office” formerly the dining room, and start the “work” day. I go for long walks in the afternoons after I step away from my “office,” and take a 20-minute nap. The daily mini naps have been a godsend.

I mentioned this earlier, and it needs to be said again, that exhaustion seems to be the common denominator amongst everyone I speak with and those who attend our webcasts and the comments I see on social media. We are being pushed to self-reflect and one thing that is becoming clear is that the uncertainty we feel today has always been with us, except now we have the time to truly understand its full meaning. Call it an existential crisis, which it is. We are each experiencing an existential crisis and we are experiencing it together and at different intervals and levels. We are grasping for answers and looking hard into the future attempting to make predictions, if not guesses as to what to expect once we emerge from our extended lockdowns. A friend likened this to the cocoon from which a butterfly will finally emerge.

I’m also hearing from many who are being hard on themselves for not maximizing their time in quarantine by being more productive, like cleaning out the garage, their closets, painting and doing home renovations (something my husband, bless his heart, has volunteered himself to do each weekend), learning a language or musical instrument or starting a new side job. I was reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by a friend’s comment on Facebook recently which is worth revisiting, especially now during a global pandemic. Humans, as we know, have basic needs which appear on the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid and these are food, water, shelter, sleep, etc. If these needs are met, then the next level on the pyramid is safety and security. If we feel safe and secure in our current environment, then we can move up the pyramid and embrace love and a sense of belonging which then takes us to the next level on the pyramid at the very top, which is is self-actualization.

In the midst of a pandemic, we cannot expect to ascend the pyramid and self-actualize when we are mainly dwelling in the basement of Maslow’s pyramid. People are still searching for toilet paper, for goodness sake! At this moment in time we need to take a deep breath and know that every day we are here counts. Every breath we take counts. Are we eating, drinking water, getting a few hours of sleep? These are major triumphs. An exercise my husband and I practice at the end of the day is we ask each other: “So what where your wins today?” I always start by saying that I woke up feeling healthy. I consider this a big win. We need to ease up on ourselves and be extra gentle and abundantly gracious with ourselves. We will get through this, somehow or another. And right now, getting through is absolutely okay.

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

 

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.  ACEI is a full-service company providing complete and integrated services in-house in the areas of international education research, credential evaluation, and translation. ACEI’s Global Consulting Group®, offers expertise in the following specialties: Media and Branding, Global Pathways, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to interested institutions and organizations around the globe. www.acei-global.org

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International Students and COVID-19

Written by: Fazela Haniff

In August 2006, I was elected the first woman president of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). It was the beginning of a love affair with the internationalization of higher education that would never leave me. Even today, I am not even working in the sector; I am always drawn to the work that is done to keep minds open with a diversity and inclusion lens.

I recently reconnected with a colleague who I met during my presidency at a NAFSA conference, Laura Sippel, amid the COVID-19 posts on LinkedIn. It took only a few chat exchanges to spark all the things on my mind, especially about international students at risk, as I had been posting several issues under the hashtag #HumanityAtRisk. Humanity at risk is what I am concerned about, and for international students, those from financially and politically challenging environments are at higher risks.

Concurrent to my presidency at IEASA, I was also the director of the Wits International Office at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The international student population at Wits was around 3,000 students. A small percentage was from North America and Europe, but it was significant to foster deep collaboration and partnerships. One, in particular, was the development of a multidisciplinary, international human rights undergraduate credit-bearing program. The more substantial percentage was from other African countries, only a small portion are supported by their governments or sponsorships, which were often the bare essentials. The remainder were students who had gotten there on their dime or by family support.

Most of these students survived by pooling their resources to live together, sometimes up to 4-6 people are sharing a small living space. These are the students I am thinking about in this COVID-19 environment. I am sure that the situation at Wits (2006-2011) is no different from campuses around the world. Also, in the North American and European institutions, these students are people of colour. Not too long ago, the targets were Arab Americans, and Arab/Muslim students were on the attack. Now it is Chinese/Asian students. There is a cocktail of brewing discriminatory issues that go along with them, international students and us, local students, politics and the financial situation. Putting this all together in the COVID-19 position is more frightening for the international student population. How can they get the right help for any particular problem, financial, discrimination, health, abuse and stress? Most offices are working off-site remotely. While all institutions are trying to respond to the service needs of their general student population, COVID-19 is adding more barriers to international students.

In South Africa, international students face significant challenges. The housing situation in 2020 is unlikely any different from that that McGregor mentioned in 2014, “Many landlords require them to pay the entire year’s worth of rent in advance. There are medical insurance costs. This is an enormous burden for international students financially, particularly those from less developed countries. International students in universities are still fairly new, and the demand is outpacing the resources that are being allocated. Lack of accommodation is by far the greatest challenge.” It is however a common issue for all students in Sub-Sahara Africa. While data is scarce, according to Samia Chasi of IEASA, “Three days earlier, a local newspaper reported that an estimated 5,382 international students were stranded in university accommodation across the country. Regardless of where they are stranded, these students have required dedicated assistance from often overworked and under-resourced internationalisation professionals at host and home institutions, in collaboration with relevant ministries and diplomatic missions.” She further indicated that COVID-19 is not an equalizing force, as, “Its impact is felt differently in different contexts, with underprivileged individuals and institutions finding themselves on the receiving end of the digital divide.

In Canada, there are different support in different provinces and universities; however, there is a sense of no coordinated effort from a federal level. According to Wesam AbdElhamid Mohamed, international students commissioner at the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), “There is no clear direction of health institutions that are protecting international students.” The organization (Students International) is also asking for post-secondary students, including international students, to be included in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which allows people economically impacted by the pandemic to claim $2,000 for four months for emergency support. International students contributed an estimated $21.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2018, according to the federal government. “So that’s why we feel that it’s truly essential to include them in the emergency program,” Mohamed said.”

[1] Karen MacGregor, 06 September 2014,https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20140905134914811

[2] Samia Chasi, https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200408093750683

[3] Sherina Harris, https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/author/sharris01

In the current situation, some good practices and solutions can come from different parts of society. In Australia, last Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said international students and other visa holders were “not held here compulsorily. If they’re not in a position to be able to support themselves, then there is the alternative for them to return to their home countries,”. The Melbourne City Council has become the first government at any level in Australia to pledge financial support for international students amid fears they are falling through the cracks because they are not eligible for government welfare. Later, the government of Australia make a shift, in the same light, to now offer financial support to international students.

According to Viggo Stacey, New Zealand has introduced a wage subsidy for international students; however, it is for students who cannot do their jobs during the lockdown period.

Callan Quinn stated that last week, Canada announced that international students will be included in measures to help those who lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Like citizens of the country, they will be able to apply for temporary income support of up to CAN$500 a week for up to sixteen weeks provided they meet certain criteria. This is the most comprehensive support, so far, by a federal government.

According to a report by Dr Rahul Choudaha, International Students contribute over US$300 Billion to economies across the globe. “Together, the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, and the Netherlands enrolled half the world’s international post-secondary students in 2016. That year, considering direct, indirect, and induced impacts, international students contributed:
US$57.3 billion to the US;
US$25.5 billion to the UK;
US$19.8 billion to Australia;
US$14.5 billion to France, and France charges no to low tuition fees for international students;
US$14.4 billion to Germany, and international students do not pay tuition fees in Germany;
US$11.1 billion to Canada;
US$5.3 billion to the Netherlands, a country that charges differential tuition fee for EU and non-EU international students.”

From a diversity and inclusion lens, let us see how universities and countries, that benefit from this injection of wealth from international students, will treat them during this pandemic. I am sure their respective reactions will impact what happens to their institutions, cities and country and the flow of international student’s income after COVID-19.

[4] https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/melbourne-city-council-pledges-financial-support-for-foreign-students-20200408-p54i63.html

[5] https://studytravel.network/magazine/news/0/27376

[6] Viggo Stacey,  https://thepienews.com/news/nz-wage-subsidy-scheme-open-for-intl-students/

[7] https://thepienews.com/analysis/top-study-coronavirus-intl-students/

[8] https://monitor.icef.com/2019/08/international-students-generate-global-economic-impact-of-us300-billion/

Fazela HANIFF immigrated to Canada in 1974 from Guyana, lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for plus 2 years, then to South Africa from 1994 to 2012 and returned to Canada in 2012. Through a Diversity and Inclusion Lens, Ms. Haniff is an HR, OD and HE internationalisation specialist. Ms Haniff completed her Human Resources Management studies at Ryerson University, Higher Education Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and Bachelor of Business Administration from Yorkville University. She is the Past President of the International Education Association of South Africa and first woman president. In 2010 she received an award in recognition of “Exemplary Leadership as IEASA President”. She has contributed widely to the internationalization dialogue via presentations and workshops to IIE, NIEA, NAFSA, EAIE, EAIE, IEASA, APAIE, and contributed to numerous publications related to international higher education. Fazela currently lives in Toronto, Canada.


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.

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India: Population Growth and Access to Higher Education

February 28th, 2020

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It is estimated that over the next 5 years, India’s youth population will continue to increase. This means that the current education system will prove inadequate in accommodating the age group of 18-22. For this reason and those shown below, India will continue to play a dominant role as a source for higher education institutions seeking to increase their international student numbers.

Let’s take a look at some facts:

  • Current population of India: 1.3 billion (July 2018 est.)
  • Estimated population of India by 2030: 1.5 billion
  • Number of Indians who will be in the age group of 18-22 in the 5 years: 3 out of 10
  • Number of colleges and universities in India in 2017-19: 39,050 and 903, respectively
  • Number of students enrolled in higher education 2017-18: 36.64 million
  • Value of India’s education sector in 2018: US $91.7 billion
  • Value of India’s education sector in 2019: US $101.1 billion
  • Percentage of universities mandated by the government in January 2019 to deliver online degree courses: 15%
  • Expected growth of India’s on-line education over the next two years: US $1.96 billion
  • Rural internet growth and usage: 566 million people

A few observations:

  • Degrees still matter to Indian students more than skills which lead to high number of graduates with low employability.
  • Rote learning continues to be a focus of the education policy with emphasis on memorizing facts.
  • The country lacks availability of quality vocational training.
  • Academic-industry engagement is inadequate and limited to select few institutions.
  • Quality education with global exposure is limited and expensive.
  • Institutions are having a difficult time keeping up with the growing population and their needs which will result in a largely unemployable youth population holding qualifications that don’t match the needs of the industry.
  • Universities don’t provide their students with any career counselling services .

Solutions:

  • Make higher education accessible via e-learning opportunities. In India, even the University Grants Commission (UGC) is now recognizing open online courses.
  • Vocational education needs the government’s support so that it is at par with conventional courses to help close the gap with mainstream university education.
  • Indian universities need to invest more in research and development to have a global standing and recognition which is currently absent.

Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/attachments/summaries/IN-summary.pdf

https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/the-road-map-for-higher-education-in-india/story-YCKdHdTzSrFBISlnc2ca4M.html


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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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33 Facts on Chile and its Education System

February 21st, 2020

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.

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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 Santiago, Arica, Talca, and Temuco.

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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


 

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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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Vietnam: An opportunity for U.S. educational institutions

February 14th, 2020

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Educational exchange is an important feature of the U.S. bilateral relationship with Vietnam and seen as an opportunity for U.S. educational institutions. Vietnam remains the sixth leading country of origin for all international students in the United States. There is a strong desire by Vietnamese parents to send their children to attend junior and senior high school in the U.S. Vietnam is also becoming a more popular destination for American students.

Let’s take a look:

  • Percentage of population under 24 years old: 39.08%
  • Number of mobile students abroad: 82,160
  • The number of Vietnamese students in the United States: 24,392
  • Percentage increase from AY 2017-2018 and AY 2018-2019: 0.3%
  • Contribution of Vietnamese students to U.S. economy: nearly 1 billion
  • Percentage of Vietnamese students who were undergraduate at U.S. institutions: 69.0%
  • Percentage of Vietnamese students who were at the graduate level: 15.2%
  • Percentage of Vietnamese students enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT): 10.2%
  • Percentage of Vietnamese students enrolled in non-degree programs: 4.6%
  • Number of American students studying abroad in Vietnam in 2016-2017: 1,147
  • Number of American students studying abroad in Vietnam in 2017-2018: 1,228
  • Percentage increase from 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 of American students studying abroad in Vietnam: 7.1%
  • Second largest county of original for students at U.S. community colleges: Vietnam
  • Preferred 4-year degree programs at universities by Vietnamese students: Business management, banking and finance, engineering, science and technology, and IT programs.

Events

There are several education fairs in Vietnam annually, including events organized by Education USA. The Education USA fairs seem to be the largest and most-attended events of their kind in Vietnam.

Resources

EducationUSA: http://educationusa.state.gov/  


Higher Engineering Education Alliances: www.heeap.org

Institute of International Education: http://iie.org

Vietnam Education Foundation: www.vef.gov

U.S. Commercial Service Contacts

Ms. Tran Lan
Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service Hanoi
tran.lan@trade.gov

Ms. Nguyen Huong
Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service Ho Chi Minh City
Huong.Nguyen@trade.gov

Sources:
https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Fact-Sheets-and-Infographics/Leading-Places-of-Origin-Fact-Sheets

https://vn.usembassy.gov/number-of-vietnamese-higher-education-students-in-the-united-states-increases-for-18th-straight-year/

https://blog.thepienews.com/2019/05/number-of-vietnamese-students-in-the-us-rebounds/


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.

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