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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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10 Quick Takeaways from the 2019 PISA Survey

December 6th, 2019

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The latest scores from PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, were announced on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. The PISA survey is carried out every three years by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and this time it was among its 37 member states and 42 partner countries and economies. The latest PISA study was based on two-hour tests taken by 600,000 15-year-olds last year.

PISA’s overreliance on standardized test is seen by some as flawed as demonstrated by a call for a moratorium on PISA by more than 100 academics from around the world. On the other hand, the OECD which sponsors PISA and its supporters stand in defense of the test and regard it as a comprehensive and reliable indicator on how students around the world are doing and performing. Nevertheless, the results are worth reviewing.

For this week’s blog, we’ve prepared a quick summary of the latest PISA survey:

  1. U.S. students ranked eighth in reading, 11th in science and 30th in math. (Note: In the United States, a demographically representative sample of 4,800 students from 215 schools took the test.)
  2. China ranked first in science, reading, and math (Note: PISA survey only considered 4 of more than 20 provinces in China that included Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.)
  3. Singapore ranked second in science, reading, and math.
  4. Macau, Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Finland and Ireland outperformed the US.
  5. The United Kingdom, Japan and Australia performed similarly to the United States.
  6. 15-year-olds in Germany and the US perform better in mathematics than students in Peru or Indonesia. (Note: Per capita income in Peru and Indonesia is less than that in Germany and US.)
  7. Colombia, Peru and Portugal were among the countries that demonstrated improvement on the test.
  8. 3% of American children from poor families were top performers in reading, compared with an average of 4% of poor children among O.E.C.D. countries.
  9. The report showed that fewer than one in 10 students surveyed in the OECD countries could distinguish between fact and opinion, based on implicit cues pertaining to the content or source of the information.
  10. The only areas in which more than one in seven students demonstrated the ability to distinguish fact from opinion were the four parts of China (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang), Canada, Estonia, Finland, Singapore and the United States.

Below is the performance ranking for reading (OECD average is 487)

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Source: OECD

Below is the performance ranking for mathematics (OECD average is 489)

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Source: OECD

Below is the performance ranking for science (OECD average is 489)

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Source: OECD

Sources:

https://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/pisa-2018-results.htm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/12/03/expert-how-pisa-created-an-illusion-education-quality-marketed-it-world/https://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-outclasses-west-key-education-survey-111838983.html

https://menafn.com/1099363307/Which-countries-punch-above-their-weight-in-education-rankings

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/404762/nz-teenagers-hit-new-lows-in-reading-maths-and-science-tests

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/us/us-students-international-test-scores.html

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/03/asia/pisa-rankings-2019-intl-hnk/index.html

https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2018/#/


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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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International Students Enrollment Numbers Drop

November 22nd, 2019

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On Monday, November 18, 2019, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released the latest 2019 Open Doors report confirming that international student enrolment in the US is steadily declining. The annual Open Doors report is compiled jointly by the IIE and the US State Department.

In this week’s blog we will offer a quick summary of the outcomes of this report.

  1. For the 2018-2019 school among 19,828,000 total students in institutions of higher education in the U.S.,1,095,299 were international students which is 5.5% of all college and university students in the U.S.
  2. According to VOA new: The numbers showed a slight increase in total international enrolment, 0.05 percent from the previous year, but a decrease in new international student enrolment, -0.9 percent.
  3. The Open Doors Report shows decreases in undergraduate (-2.4%), graduate (-1.3%) and non-degree (-0.5%) enrollments.

Subsequent news reports reacting to the 2019 Open Doors cite the following as reasons for the declining numbers of international student enrollments:

  1. Negative perception of President Donald Trump and the growing negative rhetoric regarding international visitors, immigrants, and non-U.S. citizens.
  2. International students concern about gun violence and their safety on U.S. college campuses and cities at large.
  3. Sharp rise in value of S. dollar in 2015 and 2016.
  4. Saudi Arabia’s decision in 2016 to cut back on its scholarship impacted the number of Saudi students coming to study in the U.S.
  5. According to an OpEd by Justin Fox in Bloomberg, “public universities in the U.S. aren’t quite as desperate for full-tuition-paying international students as they were a few years ago, with state per-student spendingup 15% in real terms since 2012-2013.”
  6. S. higher education faces fierce competition from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom when it comes to attracting international students. Lower tuition and safety make these countries a more attractive option.

According to estimates from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the continued decline in international student enrollment since the fall of 2016 has cost the US economy $11.8 billion and more than 65,000 jobs.

Can the U.S. reverse this tide? Can it reclaim its #1 ranking as the destination for international students and regain its dominance? If so, how?

Helpful links:

https://studyinternational.com/news/trump-blame-decline-international-students-us

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-18/trump-is-scaring-away-some-foreign-students

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/international-students-decline/index.html

https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2019/11/18/international-enrollments-declined-undergraduate-graduate-and


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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 Facts on Hong Kong Protests and their Impact on its Education System

November 15th, 2019

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Photo credit: Nora Tam

The anti-government protests continue for the 24th week in Hong Kong. The protesters–many young high school and university students–have dug in at several university campuses across Hong Kong. The latest epicenter of the protests was the Chinese University of Hong Kong which this past Tuesday evening became the site of violent clashes between police and the protesters. Tensions continue to run high and the confrontations between protesters and police have turned violent.

The unrest in Hong Kong was triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill which would have enabled the transfer of fugitives to mainland China. The movement, as reported by Hong Kong Free Press, “has evolved into wider calls for democratic reform and accountability for the police handling of the crisis.”

Here are a few facts on the impact the protests are having on the schools and universities in Hong Kong:

  1. Hong Kong’s Education Bureau announced that all schools would shut on Thursday, November 14th. This means the suspension of kindergarten, primary and secondary school classes citing safety concerns arising from the city’s three consecutive days of unrest. Source
  2.  Most of the city’s universities and other higher educational institutions also announced there would be no classes on Thursday, November 14th. At least 10 have suspended classes the rest of the week. Source
  3.  The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Baptist University (BU) had cancelled all on-campus lessons. Several universities had announced they would be introducing online learning and other assessment methods for the remaining weeks of the term. Source
  4. Some exchange students are being advised to leave Hong Kong as the protests continue. Norway and Denmark, for example, have advised their students to return home. Source
  5. A group of students from Mainland China were helped by Hong Kong police to leave their campus after it was barricaded by demonstrators. Many are taking advantage of a program that offers them a week of free accommodation in hotels and hostels in the neighboring city of Shenzhen. Source

This is an on-going crisis in Hong Kong and ACEI-Global will include updates as they become available. Please follow us on Facebook for continued updates on Hong Kong and education news from around the world.

Sources:
https://in.reuters.com/article/hongkong-protests/protesters-block-central-hong-kong-streets-as-chaos-grips-city-idINKBN1XN04O?il=0
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/11/13/hong-kong-govt-condemns-violence-cancels-school-classes-u-turn/
https://www.chron.com/news/education/article/The-Latest-Classes-suspended-at-Hong-Kong-schools-14830782.php
https://www.chron.com/news/education/article/The-Latest-Classes-suspended-at-Hong-Kong-schools-14830782.php


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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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