18 Facts On Higher Education In Armenia

August 30th, 2019

armenia

Armenia regained its independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and set out to reclaim autonomy of its higher education system. State universities redesigned the system from one-cycle programs to two-cycle bachelor and master level programs to be in line with other major systems in the world.

The Republic of Armenia is one of the 48 countries that joined the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the Bologna Process by signing the Bergen Communiqué in 2005. Armenia has since implemented most of the initiatives agreed on by the ministers of education of the member states.

Armenia hosted the Secretariat of the Bologna Follow-up Group from 2012 to 2015 followed by the Ministerial Conference and the Fourth Bologna Policy Forum in 2015.

1. Higher education in Armenia is provided by public and private institutions of higher education.

2. State higher education institutions function under the purview of several ministries but most are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science (MES).

3. Higher education is provided by:

  • Institutes
  • Universities
  • Academies
  • Conservatories

4. The following institutions function in Armenia:

  • 26 State Universities (are autonomous, not-for-profit state entities)
  • 40 Private Universities, among them
  • 31 Accredited Universities
  • 83% of state universities and
  • 76% of non-state universities are located in Yerevan,
  • others in 8 provinces (Marzes) of Armenia

5. Other Ministries and Bodies:

  • Ministry of Defense (oversees 2 HEIs)
  • Ministry of Policy (oversees 1 HEI)
  • Ministry of Emergency Situations (oversees 1 HEI)
  • Mother See of Holy Etchimiadzin (oversees 1 HEI)

6. Universities provide undergraduate, postgraduate and supplementary education in various branches of humanities, natural sciences, science and technology, as well as scientific research.

10. Institutes provide specialized and postgraduate academic programs and scientific research in a number of scientific, economic and cultural branches.

7. Academies are responsible for the development of education, science, technology and culture in an individual sphere and offer programs preparing and re-training highly qualified specialists in an individual field, as well as postgraduate academic programs.

8. Conservatories prepare specialists in the field of music, providing qualification development and postgraduate academic programs.

9. Unified Secondary School Final Examination: In accordance with the Law on Education and the Law on Higher and Postgraduate Education, the centralized admission examinations to HEI has been replaced by the unified secondary school final examinations which are held at “knowledge assessment centers” and the basis for admission and selection.

10. Academic Year: The academic year is typically comprised of two semesters, beginning in September which is comprised of 2 semesters and ending in May with 20 and 22 weeks of duration respectively. Mid-term exams are held in October and March of the respective semesters and final exams are held at the end of each semester.

11. Contact hours: Though the formal weekly workload that students are expected to cover differ by the type of program and institutions, Bachelor degree programs require between 28 to 32 hours per week (sometimes up to 36), Master degree programs require between 16 to 18 hours and postgraduate (Doctorate) programs between 4 to 8 hours per week.

12. Credit System: Armenia adopted the European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS) in 2011.

13. Assessment: Examinations and tests are used to assess students’ learning outcomes. Grading systems vary among institutions with some using the 5, 10 or 20 -point marking scales, or 4 scale A-F letter grading.

14. Assessment in State HEIs: Final evaluation of graduates is conducted by state examination committees which includes the comprehensive examination on specialty as well as defense of graduation work (diploma project, thesis or dissertation) or schemes.

15. Bachelor’s degree programs in preparing specialists requires 4 years, while for medical specializations it is 5 years. The 4-year Bachelor’s degree program ends with a final overall assessment and defense of final paper. The Bachelor’s qualification allows the graduate the right to practice the specialization (except medicine) and access to the next cycle-the Master’s degree.

16. Specialist Diploma programs are in the general humanities and social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and special professional disciplines, and provide graduates with the professional skills for employment purposes. The Specialist Diploma programs are 5 years in duration, while in the arts and physical education they are 4 years in length. The Specialist Diploma is awarded on successful completion of the coursework with a final overall assessment, including the defense of a diploma thesis. (The 5-year Specialist Diploma programs are being phased out.)

17. Master’s degree programs require the Bachelor’s or Specialist Diploma degree for admission and awarded on completion of a minimum one year of education. The Master’s degree provides access to Doctoral studies.

18. The Doctor of Philosophy degree program requires the Master’s degree or the 5-year Specialist Diploma and entrance examination for admission. The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires a minimum of three years of study and successful defense of a thesis based on original research.

Sources & Helpful Links:

http://studyinarmenia.org/hea

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/armenian-higher-education-european-higher-education-area

http://www.mfa.am/en/study/

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/where-to-study/study-in-armenia

http://www.osf.am/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/OSF_HE_report.pdf

Originally posted on March 9th, 2018


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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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5 Steps Taiwan is Taking to Bolster its Education System

August 23rd, 2019

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The Ministry of Education in Taiwan is the highest administrative body in charge of national educational affairs, and its mission is to promote national educational sports, and youth development affairs, and to raise the overall quality of education and the nation’s competitiveness.

The Ministry of Education is currently implementing the following important policies:

1. The New Southbound Talent Development Program

The Ministry of Education has recently actively encouraged foreign students to come and study in Taiwan, using the “New Southbound Policy” to design the “New Southbound Talent Development Program” in order to offer a quality educational environment, education of professional talent in both directions, and expand bilateral exchanges between young academic and students of both sides, while simultaneously developing a platform for bilateral education cooperation. In the future, the Ministry of Education will also assist the relevant organizations to cooperate, and develop substantial educational exchange channels, further deepening relations with partner countries.

2. Taiwan’s Plans to respond to the Trend of Fewer Children

Planning a “complete care system for the ages 0 to 5,” offer adequate, qualitative, affordable childcare services with the aim of expanding childcare services and reduce the burden on parents. The most important element is to add to the number of public preschools, and the increase the size of the public supply, as well as establishing a semi-public criterium, and sign agreements to cooperate with private preschools which meet the requirements and allow them to become semi-public preschools, and offer childcare services at prices close to public preschools.

3. Youth Education and Employment Savings Account Project

In order to offer students the opportunity of professional exploration and graduates employment, expand the opportunities for youths to experience international studies and raise their international competitiveness, the Ministry of Education set up a savings account, supplying student with funds to study, work, create or experience studies.

4. Support Project for Excellent Athletes

Provide excellent athletes with channels for advancements, life care, study counseling, study subsidies and technical and medical sports assistance, counseling, match and support athletes to find work, offer prized for excellent athletes and trainers in sports competitions.

5. Sustained Progress and rise of Universities in Taiwan

Subsidize plans related to education innovation at universities, establish criteriums for supporting and assistant student development, encourage universities to increase their contributions to local areas or society, assist universities in promoting internationalization, recruiting international teachers and researchers. Implement the innovation of education, increase the public element of higher education, develop the individual characteristics of schools in order to perfect the aim of social responsibility.

In the future, the Ministry of Education will continue to realistically promote each type of education policy, and establish positive partnership relationships with each area, and invest even more resources and effort, developing a new pattern for education together.

Source: Ministry of Education https://english.moe.gov.tw/mp-1.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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8 Reasons Why India Will Be The Next Economic Opportunity for the Education Industry

August 16th, 2019

india_082019

India is posed to be the next source for economic opportunity for the education industry.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. With a population of over 1.3 billion, about half are less than 20 years old.
  2. In 2018, India’s education sector generated US$ 91.7 billion in revenues (source: India Brand Equity Foundation)
  3. Projected revenues for 2019: US$ 101.1 billion (source: India Brand Equity Foundation)
  4. Percentage of India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in 2016-17: 25.2% (source: All India Higher Education Survey, Union Human Resource Development)
  5. Technology, such as the rise of affordable internet access, smartphone penetration, the use of digital solutions for education, recorded classroom videos, live-streamed instructions, e-books, online tests, and distance learning providing access to millions, the entry of Internet of Things (IoT) are among the many technological solutions empowering the education space.
  6. Rising disposable income helping parents to invest in edtech solutions to enhance their children’s learning experience.
  7. The Indian government has been supporting start-ups and education sector in the past 5-6 years. Campaigns like UDAAN (by CBSE), PRAGATI (by AICTE) and Skill India (by the Ministry of Human Resource Development) are all addressing aspects of education, from the gender gap, promotion of vocational education, and expanding access to schools and college for millions of students.
  8. The government’s policies are helping industry-academic partnerships to make education more relevant to the employment market and economy.

For more information, click here


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

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

August 8th, 2019

uk_aug19

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

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

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

For additional information, click here


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

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Dispatches from 2019 EducationUSA Forum, Washington, DC

August 2nd, 2018

educationusa

For the uninitiated, EducationUSA is a “U.S. Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centers in 178 countries. The network promotes U.S. higher education to students around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study at accredited postsecondary institutions in the United States. EducationUSA also provides services to the U.S. higher education community to help institutional leaders meet their recruitment and campus internationalization goals. EducationUSA is your official source on U.S. higher education.”

Each year, EducationUSA hosts its Forum in Washington, DC bringing together representatives from U.S. higher education institutions and EducationUSA REAC (Regional Educational Advising Coordinators) and Advisors. For the first time this year, EducationUSA opened its registration to non-U.S. HEIs such as NGOs, agents, and third party service providers such as credential evaluation organizations. On the first day of the forum, as a first time attendee, I decided to attend the sessions offering the regional overviews where REACs and Advisors offered first hand information on the regions and countries they represent.

The overviews in most cases are general snapshots of the current state of a country’s economy, student population and trends concerning study abroad. Here’s a brief summary of some the key takeaways from the sessions I attended:

South American Overview

  • 10% of international students coming to the U.S. are from this region
  • There is a rise in the number of students coming to the U.S. from the Caribbean
  • Uruguay is showing a 25.8% increase in number of students it sends to the U.S.
  • Colombia receives a large number of students from the U.S. for study abroad
  • Colombia and Ecuador favor the U.S. as a study abroad destination

Bolivia

  • Impacted by the 2019-2010 local political changes
  • Growing middle class
  • English is a barrier
  • Has strong economy but not sustainable
  • Central and regional governments have put in place a scholarship initiative
  • Visits to Bolivia by U.S. HEIs yield immediate results

Colombia

  • Students and their parents seek affordable options for their international education
  • Government offers scholarships mostly at the graduate level
  • Has strong local universities which are well-positioned for partnerships with U.S.
  • HEIs
  • COLFUTURO is an NGO set up to help with partnerships between institutions

Ecuador

  • Experiencing an economic recession
  • Changes in local education policies might make parents sent their children overseas
  • Other countries have a strong presence in Ecuador to recruit students
  • Coastal and highland regions are very different and require different recruitment strategies
    Enjoys a strong network of local institutions

Peru

  • Government invests in higher education
  • Quality of education at the high school level has improved
  • Increase interest from Peruvians to study abroad
  • Local economic environment has students concerned about their education and future employment opportunities

Venezuela

  • U.S. Embassy in Caracas is temporarily closed
  • Visas are issued at U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia
  • Venezuelans are applying for admission to U.S. HEIs while based in other countries

Southern Cone Region: Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay

  • Safety and security is not as much of a concern since their own regions have security issues
  • China is a big competitor, e.g. Confucius Institute
  • Canada, Australia, France, German and Portugal (focus on Brazil) are the other big players in the region
  • Foreign governments offer scholarships and affordable higher education
  • Student mobility from the southern cone regions of S. America is on the rise
  • Big trend is Brazil’s partnership programs at the Grade 10-12 levels.

Chile

  • Creation of the Math, Science, Technology, Innovation and Knowledge initiative in 2019
  • Chilean universities looking to internationalizing their campuses

Paraguay

  • Showing interest in internationalization and partnerships

Uruguay

  • Popular fields of study for its students studying abroad: Law (LLM), Social Sciences,
  • Business/Economics, Engineering, Computer Science and Design

Europe and Eurasia Overview
U.S. HEIs would need to highlight the following features of U.S. education to attract students from this region:

  • Liberal Arts education
  • Internships, Co-ops and OPTs after graduation
  • Financial incentives (e.g. merit-based or athletic scholarships)
  • The multicultural aspects of U.S. college campuses
  • Research takes place at the smallest and largest HEIs
  • Vibrancy of campus communities that provide a fully immersive experience
  • English language skill development

Additional takeaways:

  • Top majors favored by Ukrainian students include Business, STEM, and Law (LLM)
  • Germany, France, UK, and The Netherlands are the key competitors of U.S. as they offer more affordable higher education and have 3-year degrees
  • U.S. HEIs would need to attend more education fairs in Europe and show their presence
  • Hold webinars
  • Use alumni to help promote
  • There has been an increase of 40% in the number of Albanian students studying in the U.S. in the past 5 years and majority are enrolled at U.S. community colleges
  • Serbia is showing interest for study abroad
  • Russian students are supported by families who have funds to support their study abroad
  • 50% of Belgian students in the U.S. are enrolled in undergraduate programs, some are enrolled in short-term program and some are part of student-exchange and language programs. Why? Less time spent time from home.
  • Most popular short-term programs: England language
  • Countries with large number of ESL students: Switzerland, France, Germany, and Russia

I also attended the following sessions: East Asia & Pacific Region Overview; Advancing Institutional Partnerships in Europe and Eurasia; Recruiting in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh; Recruiting in Francophone Africa. There is still one more day left before the EdUSA Forum ends, but for the purpose of this blog, I’ll stop here and hope to have more to share in a follow-up post.

Before I forget, Assistant Secretary of State, Mary Royce spoke at the luncheon yesterday. I best leave you with a link to the article written about her speech issued by InsideHigherEducation as I will not be able to do it justice. In a nut shell, Ms. Royce painted a disturbing picture of Chinese students studying at U.S. institutions. As the article asks: was hers a “welcome message or a warning?” Unfortunately, the attendees saw nothing welcoming about the message.


jasmin_2015
Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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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: Taking Steps to Improve Foreign-Language Instruction

July 26th, 2019

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The Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has made great efforts to improve the quality of foreign-language instruction. The understanding is that foreign-language instruction could greatly improve the overall quality of the country’s education system. According to Vietnam’s Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha, the government’s expected goals have not been met. The Minister has proclaimed that the standards of teaching need to be improved starting at the primary level and continuing onto to high school. This will accelerate foreign language learning so that less time would be needed to study it at the tertiary level.

The Minister has also stressed the importance of having teachers with extensive training in teaching methodology and access to materials to help realize this goal. At this time, many teachers of English at Vietnamese schools are not adequately trained or qualified.

Here are a few suggestions made by the Minister to help improve teacher training:

  • Digitize teaching materials so that it is available for all teachers across the country;
  • Develop a system of standardized testing to limit variations in scoring and assessment;
  • Improve teacher training programs so that teachers’ qualifications do not vary from region to region and promote more equity between teachers from disadvantaged areas with those in the cities. Currently, in the provinces and cities that are economically more developed, the teacher training programs cover instruction methods for 3rd to 12th grades while in the less developed areas, the teacher training programs are for 6th to 12th grades. The Ministry is proposing to have the training cover 3rd to 12th grades regardless of socio-economic differences between regions.

For more information on the reforms proposed by the Ministry, click here.


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

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Our Planet: 911 Emergency

July 19th, 2019

On July 10, 2019, a network representing more than “7,000 higher and further education institutions from six continents have announced that they are declaring a ‘climate emergency’, and agreed to undertake a three-point plan to address the crisis through their work with students.”  As the letter from the representatives of the 7,000 plus institutions states: “The young minds that are shaped by our institutions must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and capability to respond to the ever-growing challenges of climate change. We all need to work together to nurture a habitable planet for future generations and to play our part in building a greener and cleaner future for all.”

In this week’s blog, we share this insightful piece by our guest blogger, Tom Schnabel who writes about the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the music it inspired about our blue planet called Earth.  For, as Tom mentions in his piece, it was the “magnificent sight of our planet earth seen from the moon as a small blue ball (that) provided a spark in the environmental movement.” As those involved in international education, let’s work together to bring awareness to the plight of our planet, the well being of its inhabitants, and the future we would like to leave behind for generations to come.

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The Apollo 11 lunar lander Eagle returning to the Columbia command module for the journey back to Earth. Photo: NASA


The Apollo 11 moon landing that took place on July 20, 1969, represented a staggering achievement for the human race. The desire to explore outside the earth’s boundaries reached back to Mesopotamia, ancient Babylon and Persia, also with Aristotle and the ancient Greeks, and later with cosmologists Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, and Galileo’s observations. While Einsteinian physics had unlocked more information about the universe, nobody ever viewed the earth from the moon until 1969.

President Kennedy promised in 1961 to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and he put forward the resources to make it happen. The Apollo space capsule and the computer systems of Mission Control in Houston are primitive by today’s standards, but the astronauts made the voyage there and back in eight days. Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun said of the moon landing, “What we will have attained when Neil Armstrong steps down on the moon is a completely new step in the evolution of man. For the first time, life will leave its planetary cradle, and the ultimate destiny of man will no longer be confined to these familiar continents that we have known so long.”

Over the past fifty years since the landing, many musicians have found inspiration in the historic moment and responded in song. Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso was in a sweltering Brazilian jail when his wife handed him a newspaper with a picture of a little blue planet as seen from the moon. He was so moved by it that he later wrote the song “Terra” (“Earth”). Read the English translation of the lyrics here.

Brian Eno composed an ethereal, floating suite called Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks for the documentary film For All Mankind, which celebrates the earth’s beauty and the Apollo space program. An expanded edition of the soundtrack with 11 new tracks will be released on July 19 in celebration of the 50thanniversary of the landing. You can listen to the original remarkable sonic journey in its entirety below:

The electronic artist Michael Adam Kandel, aka Tranquility Bass, took his stage name from the Tranquility Base landing site in the Sea of Tranquility, the area of the moon where the Apollo 11 crew touched down. I’ve always liked his catchy tune called “Cantamilla.”

I learned from this past Sunday’s New York Times Apollo 11 special section that Duke Ellington composed and performed the song “Moon Maiden” for the event.

There have been countless tributes to this historic achievement over the years, some listed here in this New York Times article. I highly recommend the 2019 documentary Apollo 11, which tells the story with previously unseen footage from the development to the actual landing. You might also check out an interesting show called Apollo 11: the Immersive Live Show, playing at the Rose Bowl through August 11.

Fifty years ago, the magnificent sight of our planet earth seen from the moon as a small blue ball provided a spark in the environmental movement. This anniversary seems all the more poignant today as governments and climate-change deniers roll back environmental protections and cut down huge swaths of rain forests to plant soybean and palm oil trees. It is a dire situation–global warming will increase to the point where life as we know could be seriously threatened by 2050. One can only hope that this anniversary will serve as a reminder of what’s at stake back home on earth, even as we seek to return to the moon and continue to explore beyond our solar system.

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toms

Tom Schnabel, M.A.

Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Blogs for Rhythm Planet
Author & Music educator, UCLA, SCIARC, currently doing music salons
www.tomschnabel.com

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