Tag Archives: post graduate study

A New Internationalization Strategy

December 8th, 2016


Continuing with our thread on the impact of a Trump Presidency on international education and internationalization as a whole, I found the blog recently posted by EAIE to be spot on. In the words of one of the authors of the blog, “… the task of regularly scanning the external environment to identify both opportunities and threats is now more critical than ever.”  This was most evident at the recent AIRC conference in Miami, FL and I’m certain that the discussion will only escalate in urgency in the months to come.

We can choose to look at the ramification of what a Trump Presidency may have on the future of international education in a negative light or its exact opposite. This new chapter in U.S. history may be just the wakeup call needed to reevaluate the way we have been operating. In fact, by shifting the focus to providing quality education (at the institutional level), and establishing standards (AICE is poised to be at the helm as far as credential evaluations are concerned with AIRC enforcing its certifications of agents/recruiters) we just maybe able to steer the ship into less turbulent waters. We can already see the negative effects of rapid unmonitored internationalization, where rules are broken, subpar or under qualified students are recruited, fraudulent documents are processed without vetting/verification/evaluation, and university reps compete for warm bodies overlooking principles/policies in order to meet the bottom line and generate tuition revenue.  Just look at the recent article in Reuters on how top U.S. colleges hooked up with controversial Chinese companies helped along by a former U.S. school board president and a former administrator from a liberal arts college in Vermont. The U.S. colleges indicate they were unaware of fraud accusations brought against the Chinese companies. According to the Reuters piece the companies “have engaged in college application fraud, including writing application essays and teacher recommendations, and falsifying high school transcripts.” Earlier this year, we read about the scandal facing fraudulent practices surrounding students recruited from China and India to several key U.S. institutions. The fraud covered all facets of the admissions process, from creating bogus financial statements, ghost writers preparing college admissions essays, to falsified academic documents. 

We see ACEI and the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE), the professional association that vets and screens private credential evaluation services and requires adherence to peer approved evaluation standards, to be at the helm of this paradigm shift in thinking. If quality, due diligence, and academic values are an institution’s mission and purpose, then they can only be achieved and fostered when partnered with organizations that share the same vision and adhere to the highest standards in credential evaluations. The benefits of the credential evaluation service we provide at ACEI are many, but the most important is that an unbiased evaluation based on vetted academic documents and peer reviewed placement recommendation guidelines protects the academic institution against risks such as fraud and misrepresentation which affect the institution’s reputation, ranking, and most importantly accreditation.

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

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

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

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International Credential Evaluations: Standards and Best Practices

March 27th, 2014


Throughout the years, several U.S. international education individuals and organizations generously applied themselves in establishing guidelines for applied research and the evaluation of international educational credentials, while at the same time outlining the professional ethics and principles for the profession. Since its inception, the development of Standards and Best Practices has been the mission of the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). We are committed to addressing the needs of the international credential evaluation profession and the first association to publish and enforce consistent standards for its members.

What is AICE?

The only U.S. membership association concerned primarily with:

1. ensuring quality assurance in international credential evaluations.
2. setting standards and offers certification for international credential evaluation professionals.
3. providing best practice guidelines and training for its members.

The Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) was created in 1998 as a non-profit organization in order to address known deficiencies in the international credential evaluation marketplace through the adoption of ethical standards. AICE works to safeguard the interests of both international students and the newly-arrived immigrants in the U.S. as well as schools and institutions of higher learning, professional licensing and regulatory boards and employers, through the promotion of ethical, standards-based international academic credential evaluations.

AICE’s purposes are to:

1. Develop standards of ethical practice pertaining to the evaluation of international academic credentials and conversion of these studies into their U.S. equivalent.
2. Develop best practices and training for its members to serve more proficiently those with international credentials seeking admission to U.S. educational institutions, employment, or professional certification with a regulatory board.
3. Establish a framework through which its members can become certified.

AICE takes pride in being the only U.S. Association to publish and enforce standards for expert qualifications, methodologies and reporting outcomes in international credentials evaluation. The Association’s members provide U.S. equivalents of international educational documents that are utilized by institutions of higher education, USCIS, state/local/national government departments, personnel departments such as teacher credentialing and other employers. AICE members are responsible for developing and implementing the ethics and correct practices required by a profession that touches the individual lives of each of our clients as well as our society as a whole. AICE’s Standards are posted on the website’s home page. www.aice-eval.org.

AICE Members:

Each member of AICE must submit to a rigorous application process to indicate that it fulfills the Association’s standards for expertise, methodology and documentation. Evaluations completed by organizations and individuals that meet AICE standards are accepted as reliable and complete within the field of applied comparative education.

AICE members assist those with education from abroad who are seeking residency and employment, professional licensure or further education in the United States. Individuals with foreign education are referred to AICE members by immigration attorneys, managers and educators who need information. AICE member evaluators provide practical and up-to-date knowledge on foreign ministries of education, institutions of education, educational areas of study, diplomas and transcripts.

AICE-certified member organizations are: Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute. (ACEI); American Education Research Corporation (AERC); Foreign Credential Evaluations, Inc.; Globe Language Services, Inc. International Evaluation Services; Lisano International; SDR Educational Consultants.

A major part of AICE’s mission is to provide the general public with access to trustworthy credential evaluation research and experts. AICE members satisfy this mission by meeting the Association’s requirements for expertise, evaluation methodology and thorough evaluation report by following stringent guidelines in the preparation of credential evaluations.  We will continue our collaborative efforts with our members as well as those organizations who share the same mission.

David A. Robinson, Ph.D.

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Iran: Elections and Academic Credentials Under Scrutiny

June 20, 2013

Iran Grunge Flag

As you must have heard by now, Iranians had an election last week and cast their votes in favor of Hassan Rouhani (or Rowhani), ending the eight- year term of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What has caught my attention is not the President-elect’s victory but the news surrounding his academic qualifications, which only a week ago had been brought under scrutiny.

It appears that in a campaign ad promoting Mr. Rouhani’s experience and credentials, the advert reported him as having earned a PhD in Law from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. When news of this said degree reached Scotland, the University checked its archives and found no record of his enrollment or having granted him the Doctorate. A spokesperson for Mr. Rouhani has since said that he had enrolled under a different last name, but the University of Glasgow was unable to verify its accuracy. His representatives submitted another amendment correcting the University’s name to Glasgow Caledonian University (formed after a merger in 1993 between Queen’s College and Glasgow Polytechnic) and also indicating that the newly-elected President had enrolled at the University under the name of Hassan Feridon.

On June 16, 2013, Glasgow Caledonian University confirmed that in 1995 it conferred upon a Hassan Feridon the degree of MPhil and the Doctor of Philosophy in 1999. Mr. Rouhani’s website indicates that he received the Master’s in Law and Ph.D. in Constitutional Law, however, dates of their awards were not listed at the time of investigation by Iran’s Election Watch. But the student Feridon’s dates of attendance appear to coincide with Mr. Rouhani’s tenure as President of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) in Tehran a position with responsibilities that would have made post-graduate study very difficult. In a recent article in The Telegraph, Meir Javendanfar an analyst with the Inter-Disciplinary Centre in Hezliya in Israel says the following about Mr. Rouhani’s university credentials: “He would need to have herculean multi-tasking skills to write a PhD thesis while heading the national security council.”

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013, The Herald reported that Glasgow Caledonian University confirmed Hassan Feridon aka Hassan Rouhani as a graduate of the institution and holder of the Doctorate in Law (Thesis: The Flexibility of Shariah [Islamic Law]) with reference to the Iranian experience).

Verification of the validity of academic degrees is not unique to Mr. Rouhani. The out-going President, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s academic degrees too were scrutinized in newspaper reports and even on the PBS newsmagazine Frontline. It seems that his attendance and graduation dates of when he received his engineering degree and Doctorate in Traffic Management or Transport Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology don’t quite corroborate with historic timelines.

Given that I’m an international credential evaluator by profession, scrutinizing a person’s academic credentials is what I do by nature. I can’t help it. I see a diploma on the wall, and my brain quickly assesses the typeface, the name of the institution, the logo, dates, degree title, etc.

I don’t know about you, but an authoritative credential evaluation at the onset of presidential campaigns, or for that matter qualifying for any job, would have settled the confusion and alleviated doubts. But it is not too late; the two gentlemen need only submit their official transcripts for a comprehensive verification and evaluation.

Respectfully submitted,

The Frustrated Evaluator

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