Tag Archives: education

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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What is Transnational Education?

November 1st, 2019

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We have been hearing the term “transnational education” used when referring to distance learning programs, teaching partnerships, off-shore campuses, and MOOCs. And we can be sure that with the global demand for higher education overpowering supply, transnational education will continue to grow and assume permanency in our lexicon.

Although there are many definitions and interpretations, the definition provided by the UNESCO/Council of Europe Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education (Riga, 6 June 2001), states “all types of higher education study programmes, or sets of courses of study, or educational services (including those of distance education) in which the learners are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based”.

Transnational Education may include any one of these arrangements:

  • Articulation
  • Course-to-Course Credit Transfer
  • Branch Campus
  • Franchising
  • Joint Degree
  • Dual Degree
  • Distance Delivery
  • Progression Agreement or Sequential Degrees
  • Degree Validation

If your institution is exploring engaging in any one of the above-mentioned arrangements, there are a number of informative papers and articles on the subject. Rather, than repeat the same information and guidelines, below is a list of a few reports with links you may find useful to visit.

CIMEA: http://www.cimea.it/files/fileusers/5592_2004-What%20is%20transnational%20education.pdf
EAIE: https://www.eaie.org/blog/key-elements-transnational-education-tne.html
NAVITAS: https://medium.com/navitas-ventures/transnational-education-partnerships-and-internationalisation-gei-75-6fc581aa5122
INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/transnational-education-what-impact-local-institutions


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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 on the Study of Law in the U.S. for Professional Practice

October 18th, 2019

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If you are thinking about studying law in the United States and want to practice as a lawyer in this country, it is important to know that requirements for the study of law are different compared to other countries. Here are five quick facts about the study of law in the U.S.:

Professional Field
In the U.S., law is a professional field and admission to the degree of Juris Doctor (JD) which is the credential needed to practice law, requires completion of an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. In most countries, students can enter a law program at a university immediately after graduating high school. In the U.S., it is offered at the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Some exceptions may exist, depending on the State.

Law School Admissions Test
The  Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is another requirement for students planning to be admitted to law school. Most students will sit for the LSAT exam immediately after finishing their undergraduate studies and earning their Bachelor’s degree. The LSAT exam is a standardized test administered four times a year testing student’s analytical and logical reasoning skills.

Law Schools
The American Bar Association recognizes over 200 accredited institutions in the U.S. Admission to a law school is highly competitive and will take into consideration the students overall grade point average and scores on the LSAT.

Juris Doctor Degree
Once admitted to law school, students study for three years (full-time) to earn the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. The first year of law school is known to be the most rigorous, includes a set curriculum developed by the institution and provides the foundation of the skills students need to continue their legal education.

Bar Examination
To practice law in the U.S., students have to pass the Bar Examination. Each state board of bar examiners in the U.S. has its own licensing requirements. Students need to contact the board of bar examiners in the state they are interested to practice to learn about their requirements, register and sit for the test. Once they pass the exam, they can enter professional practice as a lawyer.

Helpful links:
https://www.internationalstudent.com/study-law/


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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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12 Quick Facts on Kenya’s Temporary Operating Licenses for Universities

September 27th, 2019

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Here’s what you need to know about the proposal recommended by Kenya’s Ministry of Education eight-year limit for new universities to operate on a temporary license:

1. The proposed plan amends the University Act 2012, whereby the Ministry is suggesting that newly established universities will receive a letter of interim authority (temporary license) for four renewable (once) years.

2. The proposal was presented to the parliamentary Education Committee at the end of August 2019 that will allow universities to operate on temporary/interim licenses for only 8 years without the option for renewal.

3. Only institutions that meet the Ministry’s requirements will receive the temporary license.

4. The intention is to ensure that institutions meet standards and requirements within the established timelines.

5. The Commission of University Education (CUE), which is the regulator of higher education in Kenya, confirms that 14 universities operate on letter of interim authority.

6. In 2017, the CUE conducted a review of universities operating on a letter of interim authority which concluded in the denial of licenses that were issued to three of the universities previously assessed.

7. Currently, according to the CUE, there are 14 universities operating on temporary licenses

8. The following institutions had received temporary licenses more than eight years ago and could have their licenses revoked if the proposal is passed into law:

  • East Africa University
  • Gretsa University
  • Kiriri Women’s University
  • Management University of Africa
  • Pioneer International University
  • Presbyterian University
  • Riara University.
  • Aga Khan University (the oldest in the list as it received it temporary license in 2002)

9. The following institutions received their temporary licenses later than 2012 which will remain valid should the regulation be approved and enforced:

  • International Leadership University
  • Lukenya University
  • UMMA University
  • Zetech University
  • RAF University
  • Amref University.

10. The following institutions had their licenses revoked in 2017, after a review conducted by the CUE, but later were granted an extension to operate provisionally on the condition they confirm to the CUE standards:

  • East Africa University
  • Kiriri Women’s University
  • Gretsa University.

(Note: Despite a directive from the CUE to the above 3 institutions to not accept any new incoming students, it was overlooked.)

11. The following institutions have been allowed to continue teaching based on their temporary licenses:

  • Aga Khan University
  • Management University of Africa
  • Pioneer International University
  • Presbyterian University of East Africa
  • Riara University.

12. If the Ministry’s proposal is approved into law, it will reopen the debate as to whether universities that have been operating with temporary licenses for more than the proposed eight years will be allowed to continue as such or face closure.

Sources:

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-09-05-eight-varsities-risk-closure-in-ministrys-new-proposal/

http://cue.or.ke/index.php/status-of-universities

http://www.education.go.ke

https://sokodirectory.com/2019/09/list-of-universities-risking-shutdown-in-ministry-of-educations-proposal/


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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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3 Quick Facts on Why the Demand for Military Education is on the Rise in Russia

September 13th, 2018

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In a recent post on University World News, Eugene Vorotnikov writes: “The demand for studying in military higher education institutions in Russia has doubled over the past six years and is continuing to grow while many traditional universities are being closed.”

During the USSR era, Military universities in Russia were very popular and deemed as prestigious institutions but dropped in popularity after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But, the situation is changing and the Military universities are enjoying a comeback. According to the Ministry of Education and Science (MOE), the number of applicants seeking admission to military universities has almost doubled since 2013.  Currently, the total number of students and cadets studying at such higher education institutions is estimated to exceed 70,000.

Here’s a quick recap of why Military universities are enjoying a resurgence and why Russians are choosing a military education over universities:

  1. Cost

A key factor is cost. The big difference between traditional universities and military universities is free tuition. Students enrolled at military universities have the cost of their tuition covered by the state.

  1. Employment

Securing a job after graduation is another key factor. University graduates are facing limited employment opportunities which according to recent statistics from the Ministry of Education shows 40% have difficulties with finding employment on graduation. Almost half of university graduates are unable to find jobs relevant to their specialty and end up in low-skilled jobs. On the other hand, according to Russia’s MOE and the Ministry of Defense, military universities graduates are seen as more employable,

  1. Guaranteed Income

On graduation from the military universities, graduates receive an officer position in the Russian army that offers them an entrance salary of RUB50,000 to RUB60,000 (US$760-$910) per month that is much higher than the average salary offered to a university graduate.

As the education reforms continue to be underway in Russia with underperforming traditional universities placed on list of closures, military universities are enjoying a renaissance and growing both in popularity and prestige.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=201909051551435


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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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