Colombia Grants Citizenship and Work Permits to Venezuelan Refugees

February 7th, 2020

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Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Colombia has pledged to be the most educated country in Latin America by 2025. It has laid out several initiatives to achieve this goal which we covered in a blog post last year.

Colombia is also facing an influx of refugees from its neighboring Venezuela. According to UN Refugee Agency, there are more than 1.6 million Venezuelans living in Colombia and approximately 60% lack a regular status. The UN predicts the number of Venezuelans in Colombia to rise to 2.4 million by the end of 2020.

How is Colombia addressing the refugees from Venezuelan?

Work Permit – Colombia is offering migrants work permits in order to bring them into the legal economy. They are offering one kind of permit that renews the visas given to migrants who entered Colombia before November 29, 2019. The second type of visa is given to Venezuelans with formal job offers.

Citizenship – According to an August 5, 2019 report from the New York Times, “Colombia will give citizenship to more than 24,000 undocumented children of Venezuelan refugees born in the country, a rare humanitarian measure amid tightening migration policies elsewhere in the hemisphere.” Colombia will issue passports to babies born to Venezuelan parents on its territory from August 2015 until August 2021.

Access to Healthcare and Education – These permits allow Venezuelan migrants to have access to healthcare and education in Colombia.

Colombia sees this approach as a more effective way of addressing the Venezuelan refugee crisis. It argues that is a more humane and economically sound approach rather than closing its borders and cracking down on undocumented refugees which only perpetuate human trafficking and its illegal revenue stream.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/world/americas/colombia-citizenship-venezuelans.html

https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2020-02-06/Colombia-offers-work-permits-for-Venezuelan-migrants-NQuqQ8fVBu/index.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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ACEI-Global Consulting Group® (ACEI-GCG): A new division of ACEI, Inc.

February 1st, 2020

In this week’s blog post, we would like to shine the spotlight on ACEI-Global Consulting Group® (ACEI-GCG), a new division of ACEI, launched on January 28, 2020. ACEI-GCG has brought together experts in the field with experience and know-how in various specialties such as:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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There is a lot of pressure on universities today to be more diverse and inclusive in their student body – not just in terms of race but also gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, social class, national origin, and more. According to Peterson’s, “Diversity means that the campus is viewed as a welcoming environment for anyone who wants to apply. Having an inclusive mission at an educational institution says something progressive and important about their campus that they value diversity and will allow their students to express themselves as they see fit.”

Typical Clients

Faculty and staff at colleges and universities.

Study abroad and exchange university departments, Third-party providers of study abroad.

What is Involved?

ACEI’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Consultancy team will meet with client to discuss and assess current D&I strategies (if any are in place) and budget. From there we offer consulting on the following areas:

  • Strategy for recruiting non-traditional students to study abroad and exchange programs
  • Creating counseling and support services for non-traditional study abroad and exchange students
  • Locating funding sources and scholarships
  • Strategies for continued involvement of non-traditional students – creating a self-perpetuating program

Program Review & Articulation for Pathway Initiatives

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Providing customized solutions to reach students in key and emerging markets, attract international students, develop an articulation agreement with an international institution, and promote your institution/program.

Typical Clients
Colleges and universities, qualification awarding bodies seeking partnership opportunities through pathway and/or dual degree programs.

What is Involved?

ACEI’s Global Pathway Consulting provides a number of customized solutions to help you overcome enrollment challenges, uncover opportunities, and devise an innovative and holistic approach to international enrollment. Our Global Pathway Consulting provides all the tools you need to achieve a successful articulation agreement with your partner institution:

  • Determines international institution’s accreditation
  • Establishes the entrance criteria
  • Confirms required length of study
  • Reviews curriculum & syllabus
  • Assesses program content
  • Prepares a course-by-course listing of subjects
  • Recommends credit conversion
  • Reports grading scale & recommends a grade conversion scale
  • Suggests subject levels (e.g. undergraduate lower division or upper division)
    Recommends an approximate U.S. equivalency

Media and Branding (Marketing) 

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The Media and Brand Consultants’ expertise covers specialties that support and promote internationalization within higher education organizations and their communities by creating branded videos and campaigns that will increase student awareness and interest in your institution.

Typical Clients

Schools, colleges and universities, education-service organization.

What is Involved?

Whether you are a school, college or university or an education-service organization, you are concerned with creating dynamic strategies that communicate the right messages to the right people at the right time. ACEI’s Media and Brand Consultants have a wealth of knowledge and relevant experience in national and international education to help promote and market your programs, products and or services. We understand the consumer behavior of your student population which is essential for assisting you to adapt your communications to influence your target market’s perceptions.

  • Expand your brand by creating a video, or a video campaign, that can bring new energy into your recruiting efforts.
  • Create compelling marketing messages.
  • Develop or enhance an existing online and digital marketing strategy.
  • Branding with a cause. What kind of impact are your graduates going to make? What cause should you align with? How do you demonstrate your alignment?  We create and implement impact campaigns for schools that will draw new interest from international students.  Topics include: Analyzing The Environment, Making Change, Developing the Vision & Strategy, Drafting Your Strategic Plan, Impact Budgets, Partnerships, Implementation, Evaluation and Reporting.

ACEI-Global Consulting Group® create awareness, trust, loyalty, and advocacy for your brand and institution.
As a leader in international applied comparative education, ACEI excels in blending the needs of international professionals with business expertise with decades of industry know-how.
Through ACEI expert services, webinars, and careful examination, our Global Consulting Group works with you to address today’s challenges and tomorrow’s – whether it’s to grow your diversity programs, quality branding and marketing, or program reviews to minimize risk and to streamline your admission processes.

Contact:
ACEI-Global Consulting Group
W: https://www.acei-global-consulting.org


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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

January 24th, 2020

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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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Morocco: Switching from Francophone to Anglophone Education System

January 17th, 2020

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On January 7, 2020, Morocco’s Ministry of National Education, Vocation, Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research announced that it will adopt a Bachelor system for high education as of September 2020. This means that it is switching from the Licence, Master, Doctorat (LMD) system which is mainly used in Francophone countries, to the bachelor degree system used in the Anglophone world. Moroccan universities will adopt a transition period before completely implementing the new system.

The LMD system, especially, the three-year Licence was seen by the Ministry as lacking in critical thinking skills and not sufficient enough for students to acquire a strong educational background. Morocco’s switch to the Anglophone degree model is to help broaden access and prepare its young people for a competitive global market where English is the lingua franca.

Here are 5 quick facts you need to know about Morocco’s transition to the Bachelor degree system:

  1. Students in their first academic year in September 2020 will be the only ones affected by the change, while those who are in the second year or higher will continue their studies according to the current LMD system.
  2. The new Bachelor degree will be a four-year program and expected to provide students with soft skills and strengthen their learning of foreign languages and information technology.
  3. French remains the language used in the teaching of all scientific and technical university courses. In secondary schools, French is also starting to replace Arabic in the teaching of scientific and technical subjects.
  4. Discussion are underway on how to train Moroccan teachers in the English language, especially teachers of scientific disciplines such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry.
  5. The Minister of Education announced the following three projects: 1) a cooperation between Morocco and the UK to establish an English language training program for 20,000 teachers of non-linguistic subjects; 2) a project to increase the teaching of English in Morocco with the opening of British schools; 3) and the signing of agreements between Moroccan and British universities.

Sources:

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/01/290637/moroccan-universities-bachelor-system-september-2020/

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200113100149303&fbclid=IwAR3n9_EdtIuPkJXLJmhFp006GazE9Hf4YaLrEAa7-hH8J3RvE6Zq9O5VXmU


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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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Violent Attacks on Higher Education Globally

January 10th, 2020

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The protesters inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday, photographer: Lam Yik Fei (NYT)

 

According to a 2019 report from Scholars at Risk (SAR), there have been “97 violent incidents involving attacks on higher education communities across 40 countries. At least 32 students, scholars, staff, campus security personnel and others died as a result of these attacks, with many more injured.”

University campuses have been turned into battlegrounds where demonstrations have turned violent and at times deadly. An article in World University News provides a disturbing look at the level of violence against students and faculty that seems to have escalated on university campuses across the globe. Click here to read more.

Here is a glimpse into four countries where recent protests have impacted universities and the lives of students:

Chile

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In November 2019, anger against metro fare hikes sparked mass demonstrations across the country with students protesting against the high cost of higher education. Demonstrations turned violent forcing several universities in Chile to close their campuses in response to safety concerns.  Source: Scientific American

Ethiopia

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Ethnic tensions have claimed the lives of seven students at universities across the country in the past three months. This has prompted Ethiopian government to deploy its federal police to universities across the country to help calm the tense situation. Source: Reuters

Hong Kong

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The pro-democracy student protests in Hong Kong which started more than six months ago have continued into this new year. Hong Kong’s universities have been sanctuaries for the young protesters who wish to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. Several university campuses have become the battleground of the student protests resulting in the temporary closure of some universities and suspension of classes. Source: The New York Times

India

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On Sunday, January 5, 2019, dozens of masked men and women armed with sticks and iron rods shouting slogans used by India’s ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist party attacked students and professors at India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, injuring more than 30 people. Eyewitnesses alleged that police did not stop the violence but had joined the attackers in beating up students. Source: University World News


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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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Countries Offering Virtually Free Higher Education

January 3rd, 2020

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Source: german-u15.de

It is a known fact that higher education in the U.S. is a costly endeavor. When one factors in the cost of tuition, housing, text books and living expenses, a student can look into tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars debt on graduation. Some are able to offset the cost by qualifying for grants and scholarship but many will have to take student loans and carry the burden of paying them off over a long period of time. According to a 2011 report from OECD, the average annual tuition for US public colleges cost more than $6,000. And, according to Value Penguin, the average cost of US in-state public university can total $25,290 a year, when you take into consideration the cost of living, books and other expenses.

There are countries where the cost of attending university is not only affordable but in most cases free. These countries manage to subsidize higher education for their citizens through higher taxes in order to guarantee access to affordable education. Some Americans are looking abroad to pursue their higher education in countries that offer international students free education.

Here are seven countries where higher education is virtually free:

Norway
Sweden
Finland
Germany
Slovenia
France
Ireland

Here are the countries which offer virtually free education to their citizens and international students:

  • Brazil: For international students, university education is free when taking classes taught in Portuguese
  • Czech Republic: For international students, university education is free when taking classes taught in the Czech language
  • Finland
  • France: Free classes available to  European Union citizens
  • Germany
  • Greece: For international students, university education is free when taking classes taught in Greek
  • Classes are taught in Greek
  • Iceland
  • Kenya: Free tuition available to high-scoring secondary school students
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway: Tuition is fee but living expenses come at a very high cost
  • Panama
  • Slovenia: Free education for EU citizens
  • Sweden: Free education for EU citizens

Sources:
http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-with-free-college/
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/080616/6-countries-virtually-free-college-tuition.asp
https://www.businessinsider.com/countries-with-free-higher-education-no-tuition-college#ireland-has-paid-tuition-fees-for-most-full-time-undergraduate-students-since-1995-4


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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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So you think you’re diverse? Examining your institution’s diversity and inclusion practice

December 20th, 2019.

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On December 11th we had a very successful Webinar on Diversity and Inclusion entitled, “So you think you’re diverse? Examining your institution’s diversity and inclusion practice.”

What surprised me most was the lively dialogue at the end of the presentation, which was supposed to have been a time for Q&A. Everyone was so excited and sharing so much that we could easily have gone on another hour. I want to use this space to share what issues were raised and what people felt passionate about regarding D&I because it demonstrated the need for continued open and honest dialogue and information sharing.

One comment really hit at the core to many and unfortunately, I don’t think it’s an uncommon situation. One of the attendees mentioned that at her university, the international students are separated from the campus in various ways. Many departments refer to these students as “your students” (meaning the international office’s students).

When we label a group of students as one department’s group then we are not including these very valuable students and we are not making them feel a part of the institution as a whole (Inclusion). Often, we lose the chance to reap the benefits of what these students bring to our institution when we do this (Diversity). I implore you, in whatever role you play at your institution, to find ways to include these students to ensure that you and your domestic students learn as much as you can from them, and not to only think that they learn from you.

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, ACEI’s President & CEO, talked about how she felt when people asked about her accent and where she’d come from. She felt as though those passersby just wanted to place her somewhere because when she answered, they appeared to not really care. Several participants said they’d felt the same – as if they were being judged or just placed in a box. What I liked about this conversation was that a few others stepped in to ask how she would want to be approached if people were genuinely interested. It demonstrated the kind of discussions we need to be having with each other, because diversity and inclusion must be approached holistically and include the very personal and individual.

The same lively discussion happened when I recounted a story of what my niece had witnessed in Missouri when a clerk refused to sell beer to two black men. She got around selling them the beer by using methods that weren’t legally required (such as asking for ID from the second person not just the buyer). People responded in the chat box as to what they would have done and many were quite assertive. Someone responded asking “but what if you’re shy”? This makes me think we need to have ways for people with all kinds of personalities to address racist situations because when my niece told them she was sorry that they’d gone through that they replied, “It’s OK, we’re used to it.” It’s not OK and we need to find ways to help each other; to be allies.

I could go on and on as there were so many great issues brought up, but I’d like to give those of you who weren’t able to attend some of the takeaways:

  • There are many forms of diversity – visible and invisible
  • Support systems for students are crucial
  • Have your faculty match your intended student body, e.g. faculty and students go hand in hand
  • Have systems in place for inclusion – if able to accomplish in advance that’s even better (wheelchair accessible bathrooms, gender neutral bathrooms, counseling centers, etc.)
  • Most important is to check yourself for your biases. Often. Watch yourself in your own conversations with people because, as I said in the presentation, “we will make mistakes but we will apologize and learn and move on.”

Finally, I’d like to share some of the valuable feedback we received, which confirmed how important and relevant this topic still is. And because it comes directly from the field we know it to be real.

From Marie: Since I also am in the International Education field, my service-learning organization could really benefit from some of the pointers that Kathleen mentioned, like having a staff training focusing on inclusivity and dialogue and also making sure that your mission statement is truly matching the representation of student demographics both on and off the organizations social media pages. It made me realize how we need to be more sensitive when using incorrect or inappropriate language like ‘white trash’, a term I use so freely. I will most definitely be sharing what I learned for the webinar to the rest of my team. Thank you for opening it up to the public, I think there should be more webinars on D&I these days!

From Yuriko: The discussion on webinar was amazing. We are not aware how others might feel or think until we are in the middle of that mess. That is the kind of discussion we have to have around the universities and workplaces. Thank you for providing the webinar.

From Laura: I saw the Diversity Consultant title at yesterday’s webinar (which was excellent and timely) and was very impressed. You’re giving ACEI credibility and showcasing your attention to the entire applied comparative education field, you’re not just limited to credential evaluation. This is extremely important showing ACEI’s dedication to the profession.

For a recording of the webinar, click here. To learn more about ACEI’s Global Consulting Group, click here.

Let’s keep the conversation going in order to truly be a more diverse and inclusive society. Thank you all who attended. We appreciate your time and feedback.

k_hylen
Kathleen Hylen, M.A. International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Graduated with honors from UC, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Community Studies, focus on anti-bias. Kathleen is also a member of ACEI’s Professional Consultancy Team. Her focus is on helping institutions and organizations develop and/or bolster their diversity and inclusion strategies. info@acei-global-consulting.org www.acei-global-consulting.org

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