Why ACEI?

July 8th, 2016

why-acei

Leave a comment

Filed under Credentials, Education

Brexit and its Impact on U.K. Higher Education

July 1st, 2016

brexit

On Thursday, June 23rd, with a margin of 52 to 48 percent, British Citizens voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, spreading uncertainty and confusion among its universities and educators.

For a quick (and I mean quick) primer on the UK, watch this highly informative clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10&feature=youtu.be

Those in higher education opposed a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU. They view a severing of ties with the union as a detriment to collaborations in research, free movement of faculty, scholars and students. UK universities are concerned that the exit will have a severe impact on these international collaborations.  An exit from the union, also means that and end to E.U. funding which U.K. universities were receiving, an issue which they now have to ensure will be addressed by the government guaranteeing the continuation of funds and support.

As far as research collaborations are concerned, many opponents of Brexit argued that an exit from the union would prevent British academics from participating in E.U. research programs, such as the Horizon 2020, a program which is funded at nearly 80 billion pounds (approximately $88 billion) over a span of seven years.

Another issue which has U.K. universities concerned is about student mobility and whether it can still continue to participate in the union’s Eramus+student exchange programs? Will having to pay higher international study tuition fees deter students from the E.U. from attending U.K. universities?

According to a June 24, 2016 post on Inside HigherEducation: “Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, the U.K. has two years after it notifies the European Council of its intent to withdraw to negotiate a new agreement governing its future relations with the union. As the BBC reports, the referendum is not legally binding on Parliament, which must take action in order to initiate the U.K.’s separation from the E.U.”

For a positive spin on how Brexit may impact higher education, click here: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/eu-referendum-result-brexit-leave-remain-higher-education-sector-students-a7100106.html

One thing is certain, and that is we can’t assume with Brexit business will continue as usual. Change is coming, but what that change will be and how it will affect U.K. higher education is for us to wait and find out.

jasmin_2015
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.

1 Comment

Filed under Credentials, Education, Politics

How To Verify Chinese Degrees

June 23rd, 2016

verify-chinese-degrees-1

Leave a comment

Filed under Credentials, Education

Cheating, Credentials Fraud and Misrepresentation in the Academic Space

June 16th, 2016

cheating

In the past couple of weeks, there has been a flurry of news reports on widespread cheating by international students at U.S. institutions. News reports also speak of unethical recruitment practices by agents overseas who for large sums of commissions recruit unqualified international students and even go as far as falsifying their paperwork to ensure admission to a U.S. college.

In this week’s blog, we would like to highlight these latest reports on cheating and misrepresentation with links to actual articles so you can read more.

 USA: Cheating at Public Universities

According to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis, public universities in the U.S. recorded 5.1 reports of alleged cheating for every 100 international students, versus one report per 100 domestic students. http://www.wsj.com/articles/foreign-students-seen-cheating-more-than-domestic-ones-1465140141

 Western Kentucky University: Student Recruitment Problems

An article in Inside Higher Education reported that Western Kentucky University removed a number of its graduate students in computer science who were recruited from institutions in India. The students were determined to have been under qualified and their prior academic learning was brought under question. WKU is blaming the recruitment agency it had contracted and is now requiring its graduate faculty to travel to India and vet the students as part of the recruitment process. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/06/07/international-recruitment-failure-western-kentucky#.V1a55rknc2c.mailto

University of Iowa: Chinese Students and Cheating   

The University of Iowa suspects at least 30 Chinese students of having used ringers to take their exams. The case offers a look inside a thriving underground economy of cheating services aimed at the hundreds of thousands of Chinese kids applying to and attending foreign colleges. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/college-cheating-iowa/

 CHINA: Jail sentences for students who cheat 

Students who cheat during this year’s university entrance exams in China risk for the first time being jailed, state media said on Tuesday, as the government tries to crack down on a pervasive problem for the highly competitive exams. Cheaters will face up to seven years in jail and be banned from taking other national education exams for three years under an amendment to the Criminal Law, the official Xinhua news agency said. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-exam-idUSKCN0YT1CK

Policy: Reporting Fraud in USA

Question: If you are an admissions officer, advisor or faculty at a U.S. college, an evaluator at a credential evaluation company, an examination officer at a state regulatory board, or HR manager, what is your institution/organization policy concerning cheating on examinations and/or counterfeit credentials (transcripts and/or degrees that have been falsified)? Do you have a mechanism in place in reporting fraud to law enforcement, USCIS/DHS, FTC, professional boards/associations?

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know of your experiences with credential fraud and how you address this problem.

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Credentials, Education

Impact of a Trump Presidency on International Education

June 9th, 2016

international_trump

Having just returned from the NAFSA Conference in Denver, Colorado, the world’s largest convergence of international educators one had the sense of a shared mission toward global understanding and appreciation of student exchange, building bridges and partnerships that support study abroad and mobility of students. It was difficult to imagine that outside the convention center, somewhere on the presidential campaign trail, the sentiment expressed by the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, as shared by his supporters was anything but similar or likeminded. In fact, Mr. Trump’s position on international students is quite the opposite; it’s more about burning bridges and giving everyone outside our borders the middle finger.

Things weren’t so anti-international student with Mr. Trump a year ago. In fact, back in August 2015, according to an article in Inside Higher Education, Mr. Trump had expressed his support for international students, who are here in the U.S. legally on student visas. He supported the program which allows the international students to remain in the country after graduation for an extended period in order to work. Here is what he tweeted about his feelings on this subject last year:

“When foreigners attend our great colleges and want to stay in the U.S., they should not be thrown out of our country.”

“I want talented people to come into this country — to work hard and to become citizens. Silicon Valley needs engineers, etc.”

Though his tweets of 2015 may be heartening and in line with my fellow NAFSAns, Mr. Trump’s support for international students has waivered and completely changed as evidenced by his new position on the subject. According to a March 2016 report by the Chicago Tribune: “If elected president, Donald Trump has pledged to scrap a work visa program that brings 300,000 student workers each year to the U.S. Among the businesses that would be forced to stop hiring foreign labor: Trump’s own.”  This pretty much goes against his 2015 tweet of “I want talented people to come into this country–to work hard and to become citizens.”

Obviously the anti-immigrant and international student rhetoric has been heard loud and clear around the world. The U.S., once the beacon of higher education, is being looked at with ambivalence by those seeking to study here if Mr. Trump is the next President. According to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Sixty percent of prospective international students say they would be less likely to study at an American college if Donald J. Trump was elected president.”

Since we are living in a capitalist market economy, and Mr. Trump is all about helping the average American have a slice of the proverbial pie, it’s worth noting that before we toss the international students out with the baby and the bathwater, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce as reported by the Institute of International Education (IIE): “International students contributed more than $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy.” Let me repeat this number: $30.5 BILLION! That’s not some small chunk of change my friends, but a hefty sum of economic windfall which means that not only do our schools and colleges benefit, but so do all the services in the periphery. Think about the students who need to rent apartments and furniture, buy cars, purchase insurance, shop for clothes and school supplies, eat at restaurants, buy tickets to shows, concerts, movies, train/airplane/bus/metro, buy groceries, and the list goes on. Think about all the Americans this economic windfall helps by keeping them off the unemployment line and the government subsidies since they’ll have jobs. Why would a Presidential candidate want to put already employed people out of work? That’s what will happen if we turn away people from our land who want to come here to study. It doesn’t make sense, does it?  And guess what friends, while we wallow in self pity and blame the “other” for whatever economic straits we find ourselves in and close borders and build walls, our counterparts in the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and even China and a slew of other countries which are offering degree programs in English and tempt internationals with free tuition are salivating at the bits to grab hold of the international student market which until now has favored the U.S. as its number one destination.

It is so painfully shortsighted to think the way Mr. Trump and his supporters are thinking. If I nod my head in bewilderment at the sheer idiocy of this mindset, I’ll soon have to resort to using a neck brace. Best way to end this rant is with an old saying ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you,’ or, how about another old favorite: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’

Sources:

http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/Economic-Impact-of-International-Students#.V1jZqVclcdU

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/08/21/republican-presidential-candidate-and-immigration-hardliner-donald-trump-sends

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-donald-trump-student-visa-20160314-story.html

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Trump-Presidency-Could-Keep/236662

Frustrated
Frustrated Evaluator
Guest Blogger

2 Comments

Filed under Credentials, Education, Politics

Dispatches from NAFSA 2016 Denver, Colorado

June 2nd, 2016

NAFSA16

The 2016 NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ annual conference was held in Denver, CO from May 29 – June 3. I was told that this year the conference had about 9,300 attendees which is a lower than last year’s 10,000 plus that was held in Boston, MA.  But, this still is a healthy turnout considering it is next to impossible to run into the same person twice given the scale and scope of the venue.

Barely twenty minutes into my arrival in Denver four nights earlier, and I learn my uber driver is from Eritrea. He’d first told me he was from Africa but I asked him which country. He then told me he is helping his sister, a high school graduate in Eritrea, to come and study in the U.S.  This of course prompted me to tell him about ACEI and our international credential evaluation service. I gave him my card to pass onto her. He was so happy that I knew of his country and could be of help. Made me equally happy.

I spent my first official day at NAFSA with a visit to the exhibit hall known as the International Education Expo. The large hall was a vibrant hub of more than 400 institutions, service and technology providers, and suppliers from around the globe. It felt like being at a World Fair, and in a way it was; a world fair focused on education. Clearly the message that this conference invokes is that by providing and encouraging study abroad opportunities and supporting services we are not only helping open the minds and hearts, but building bridges and breaking down prejudices.

NAFSA162.png
The International Education Expo, NAFSA 2016, Denver, CO

The conference’s opening plenary address was given by David Brooks, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times. As a senior fellow at the Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Brooks often focuses on topics connected with higher education and international affairs. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend his address but heart it was inspiring.

The Wednesday, June 1st Plenary address was given by Bryan Stevenson who is recognized as a visionary legal scholar, advocate, and champion for social justice. He is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to fair and just treatment for all people in the U.S. legal system. A quote from Stevenson’s address that I jotted down was that “we must do uncomfortable things to change the world through education.” If we want to see change, we need to get out of our comfort zone.

The Thursday, June 2nd Plenary address was given by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a journalist and author who focuses on the evolving roles of women throughout the world. She is a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and writes frequently about empowering women in developing countries through economic investment.  A couple of quotes that are worth noting and remembering from her address include: “What binds us is more important than what divides us” and “education is the great leader…all of a sudden you’re in a world where there is no difference between you and them.” Couldn’t agree more.

One way to participate in NAFSA, besides an attendee, or as an exhibitor, is to be a presenter. I was fortunate to have been part of two presentations: 1) Credentials Fraud and Diploma Mills – A Global and Growing Problem, which I co-presented with Drew Feder from Credentials Consultants, in Houston, TX and 2) Fighting Back Against Misconduct in the Academic Space which I co-presented with Teresa Axe and Michelle Hampton of Education Testing Services (ETS), Princeton, NJ, and Jonathan Burdick from the University of Rochester, NY. Both sessions were well received with great questions from the audience. The session I presented on Credentials Fraud and Diploma Mills had more than 100 attendees and the room was filled to capacity, so much so that people were being turned away. Clearly, Credential Fraud and Diploma Mills are a hot and timely topic, as more and more bogus institutions continue to pop up offering fake degrees for a price duping the public. For those who may have missed the presentation and those who attended and interested to have a free copy of our PowerPoint, please go this link on our website.

Besides the wonderful and inspiring plenary speakers, NAFSA conference program offered a plethora of sessions making it next to impossible to see and hear everything. If only we could clone ourselves and be at more than one session at the same time!

All and all, the NAFSA annual national conference is a great way to establish new partnerships, participate in networking opportunities, learn something new (even for us old-timers) and most importantly reconnect with friends/colleagues you’ve known for many years. The opportunity of seeing colleagues face-to-face whom throughout the year you engage with by Skype/phone/ email, text and social media is priceless and what makes the conference worthwhile and memorable.

NAFSA163
L-R: Robert Watkins, UT Austin, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, ACEI, William Paver, FCES, Zepur Solakian, CGACC, Kirstin Baker, GPS.
NAFSA164
L-R: Jackie Chu, University of New Haven, Solakian, CGACC, Madjid Niroumand, OCC

It’s time to say goodbye to NAFSA and Denver and head back to Los Angeles. The good news is, next year, the conference will be in Los Angeles, our very own backyard!

jasmin_2015
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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Credentials, Education

What’s Your Type? Making Online Education Work

May 26th, 2016

OnlineEducation

Originally posted at http://www.affordable-online-colleges.net/online-education/

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Uncategorized