Tag Archives: college

A New Internationalization Strategy

December 8th, 2016

global

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.

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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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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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L-R: Robert Watkins, UT Austin, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, ACEI, William Paver, FCES, Zepur Solakian, CGACC, Kirstin Baker, GPS.
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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.

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Ich Bin Ein Berliner!

September 25th, 2015

Berlin

In the words of JFK, soon I too will be commiserating alongside other acquainted European peers as I venture forth into the red taped lined world of international student admission in Deutschland.

It wasn’t long ago, that after dropping out of one of the world’s and certainly the United States’ most prestigious art school, that my 23 year old self decided to continue my education elsewhere; however, “Wo konnte ich gehen?” (where could I go ?)

As a privileged child, I’ve visited Europe with my family, more than once. Germany was the home country of my step father, so it was naturally the country we most frequented. As I grew older I began to take interest in modern German culture specifically in how they approached education. German men and women my age that I came across or got to know,  all seemed to display such remarkable intelligence and demonstrated  a natural sociable aptitude when it came to having a discussion (regardless of personal opinions). These interactions shocked me, for back home many of my peers, even those who were private schooled or cum-laude grads showed the complete opposite; or were completely inept to the art of discussion. Perhaps this could be blamed on the lack of interest on the subject that most of my peers in US seem to have when it comes to any subject not directly related to media supplied entertainment. Maybe this is not a disinterest but, just really an inability to combine or blend different ideas together during conversation. Usually when this problem arises, it prompts one word retorts, shrugging off a particular question or worse, the immediate loss of attention followed by a blank stare into the netherworld. This incapacity and lack of conversational skill may be due to another reason all together; being that the ability to converse is not one reinforced or mandated to any level or degree of significance throughout one’s education in the U.S, beyond basic collegiate graduate requirements per the major or avenue of study.  



It seems as though our German counter parts have been ingrained with this art of discussion. In Germany, the art of exchanging of ideas if you will has been preserved, supported and nurtured throughout the years of early childhood — university education. I became intrigued and concluded should I continue my schooling, that it take place in an environment founded on the basis of exchanging ideas, in all its forms. I mean, that is the basis of learning is it not?

After years of debating on which road to take and which study paths I should venture down, I settled on applying to a small university of fine arts in northern Germany. Now as many of you may know, that getting an education in Europe or acquiring healthcare is free right? Wrong. Educational institutions operated and overseen by the state or federal government in Germany, for the most part cost German nationals $0.00. However private schools, just as in the USA, have the right to charge students how they want to, so long as those prices fall under the strict regulations set in place by the German Federal Government. Luckily for me this fine art university, however miniscule its fame or how peacefully quiet the campus may be at any given time, is not a private but a public university (funded by the state). Check out this link for more information International Students in Germany (scroll down to #4).

During my initial research into the institution I was startled to discover that the price per semester for international students was under $200. I was astonished. Previously, here in the U.S. I started to pursue my education in the arts and not even 2 years into the university’s program I was already over $30,000 in debt. Seeing the cost of this tiny fine-arts school in Germany, you can imagine that I was quite cynical and I must have overlooked the fine print. To my amazement, there was no fine print! I was now entirely motivated to get the ball rolling and get a head start in the application process.

October 2014, I contacted the university and followed their online instructions for the application process. After a month and some weeks, post application submission and not hearing back from the school I sent an email to the head of international admissions office regarding confirmation of my application. Within a week I got a response and it was brought to my attention that the university did not offer application process so far in advanced. “What?” I exclaimed. I was amazed. For have you know, the higher-education system’s admission process in the United States is an arduous, pre-planned, year in advanced procedure filled with back and forth emails, letters and phone calls (often started during high school). I then entered into a more detailed dialogue with the international office and they further explained that they only accept applications and transcripts for admission two months prior to the beginning of the scheduled semester date. TWO MONTHS PRIOR! Are you joking!? When asked about my recent application submission, the university said that their online system did not have the 2015 school year application available as the Spring semester was too far off in the future.

Well now it’s September 2015, I sit here before you readers finishing this entry. I have my flight ticket to Germany, all of my educational documentation in order and quite the portfolio to boot, I can sincerely say I’m looking forward to applying this spring.

I will keep you posted as the process continues!

Clayton

Clayton Johans – When Clayton is not at his desk drawing and painting, he assumes his alter ego as a Barbarian Philosopher who enjoys researching historical events, reading comic books, pumping iron and hiking the hills and valleys of southern California. castorodesign@gmail.com

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5 Reasons Why International Credential Evaluation is Necessary

September 17th, 2015

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Whether you represent a school, college, university, professional licensing board, employer, or any other entity engaged in the recruitment, placement, certification or the hiring of internationally-trained candidates, you know that educational systems and academic documents vary greatly by country. No two academic systems are alike and nothing can be taken on face value, even if an academic document “appears” to mirror a US college transcript. Academic institutions and professional groups that don’t have the expertise or knowledge-base to conduct foreign credential evaluations must not avoid this crucial step, no matter how qualified or appealing an international candidate’s portfolio may appear.
Here are 5 reasons why a foreign credential evaluation prepared by an independent credential evaluation service that is approved and endorsed by the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) will benefit you and your institution and the international candidate:

1. Authentication of Documents:


A credential evaluation will verify the authenticity of the academic documents with the issuing institution and compare it against archival documents. Such authentication will provide you with peace of mind that the academic documents are bona-fide and valid for processing.

2. Verification of English Translations:


Many times the academic documents are issued in a language other than English and are accompanied by English translations. A credential evaluation will verify the English translations to ensure for accuracy that dates, course titles, grades, names, and key words match those on the official academic document.

3. Biographical and Academic History Check:


The candidate’s academic history and biographical information will be compared with the academic documents presented. In addition to the applicant’s name, other biographical information like age will be checked to ensure that it corresponds reasonably to the education represented in the documents.

4. Foreign Academic Institution Status:


The credential evaluation determines the official status of the institution where the studies were completed by identifying how the institution is accredited and who recognizes its accreditation. If an institution is determined to not have the appropriate accreditation, the studies will not be evaluated in terms of those completed at regionally accredited U.S. institutions. If the institution is determined to be a Diploma Mill, then this information will be conveyed to the U.S. institutions for which the evaluation is intended.

5. Program Description:


a) Entrance Criteria – The credential evaluation determines the level of the academic or professional program represented by the documents submitted as either lower secondary, senior high school, post-secondary undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate. It will establish the minimum academic criteria for admission to the institution where the studies were completed before the U.S. educational equivalence is recommended. This is an important step in the evaluation process which will assist the U.S. institutions in their decision-making. For example, if it is determined that the international candidate’s academic achievements are comparable to US senior high school graduation, yet he/she has submitted an application for graduate (master’s degree) studies at the U.S. university, the admissions department will be able to properly advise the candidate of his/her eligibility for admission to another degree program at the undergraduate level instead.

b) Length of Study & Conversion of Instruction Hours to Credits – The credential evaluation will determine the required length of full-time study for the academic program evaluated in order to calculate the U.S. semester or quarter credits for post-secondary studies completed and if necessary, determine the level of post-secondary courses in terms of lower, upper division and graduate division.

c) Conversion of Grades into U.S. equivalent Grade – A document evaluation will calculate the grades or final examination results/marks reported on the academic documents into U.S. equivalent grades, and calculate the overall grade point average.

Due diligence in international admissions, professional certification, hiring and job placement of individuals educated and trained outside the U.S. is essential. Understanding international candidates’ capability and qualifications allows you to properly assess and integrate them into your scholastic, professional and work environment. By obtaining the expert assistance of an independent credential evaluation agency, U.S. academic institutions, professional licensing boards and public or private companies can protect themselves against fraud and misrepresentation in the international education arena.

(Note: Please refer to our previous blog “5 Things International Students Should Know About Credentials Evaluation”.)

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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5 Tips for Students Transferring between Colleges

September 11th, 2015

transfer

If you are considering to transfer from one U.S. college to another for reasons that may be due to a change in your academic major or financial situation, or that you prefer an institution that is a better fit for you, here a few tips to help you with your decision

1. Find out which schools have a transfer friendly policy:

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Sometimes, transferring in mid-year can make you feel like an outsider. You need not feel so once you’ve done your research to find which schools have the most transfer students. U.S. News Education has a helpful list at this link: Most Transfer Students. You’ll see that transferring from one college to another is not so unique and many students do it along the course of their studies.

2. Have a plan and plan ahead

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If you’re planning to transfer between colleges, especially if you’re transferring from a community college to a university, prepare yourself from the start. Meet with your academic advisers and professors and make sure that you are enrolling in courses that are transferrable to target four-year universities. You want to enroll in courses that are transferrable so you are not going to waste time and money.

3. Understanding Articulation Agreements

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If for example you’re currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a community college, knowing what courses to take so they can be transferred to a four-year university is predicated on understanding articulation agreements between these institutions. In the U.S. some community college systems have articulation or prearranged admissions agreements with local four-year universities and identify which courses fall under this arrangement. It is important that you are aware of these articulation agreements and make sure that you have the approval of your community college advisors when selecting and enrolling in a course. You want your transition into the new college and the transfer of your hard-earned course credits to be as seamless as possible.

4. Living on Campus

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Image: Brittany Hall, New York University

Once you’ve made the successful transfer and transitioned into the new college, it is a good idea to live on campus so you can become a part of the student community. It is best, if you can, to avoid being a commuter student and at least spend a semester or two living in a dorm on campus. This is one great way to avoid feeling like the outsider.

5. Become part of the new college campus community

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If your new college to which you’ve transferred offers an orientation day or week, don’t miss it. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other new students and get to know the lay of the land. And, once you’ve settled into your new college campus life, get engaged and involved by selecting a few extra-curricular activities or joining student clubs. The benefits of this level of involvement not only enhance your experiences at the new college and look good on your resume when you graduate and looking to start a career.

By being prepared, you’ll prevent time consuming and costly surprises, and instead help make your transition as a transfer student less chaotic and more seamless.

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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9 Recent Episodes of Cheating, Fraud, and Scams in Education from Around the Globe

June 25th, 2015

cheating

We probably all share a common misconception that except for a few bad apples in school who are caught cheating on a test, the education system is functioning and has safeguards in place against mass cheating, credential fraud and financial scams. Alas, our schools and universities–the bastions of higher education and research-are not the safe havens we think but the learning grounds for cheaters and scam artists. We can place the blame solely on the students, especially, where cheating has become part of the norm. As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango, and in education, whether at the secondary or tertiary level, those responsible for setting the curriculum and benchmarks for progress and access to higher tiers in the education system must also take responsibility.

Following the thread from last week’s blog post on detecting fraudulent credentials, we’d like to share a few recent examples of blatant acts of fraud and cheating that share a common theme on a global scale. In countries with few seats available at their institutions of higher education and where admission to a university is solely based on performance on a final exit examination, we can see the extreme measures students and sometimes students aided and abetted by their families are taking in order to pass. We see this happening in countries like China, India, and Egypt, for example. Then there are those countries that embrace an open market economy with little regulation on the emergence of private, for-profit institutions that mislead their recruited students by admitting them into programs with little hope of completion or future employment opportunities while saddling them with huge student loan debts. We see this happening here in the U.S. and in Russia where after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a rapid rise of private universities offering degrees with dubious curriculum and instruction.

Let’s look at the latest news on the cheating that is now rampant in three countries that captured the headlines in international education news media. This is cheating on a large scale, not isolated to one school, or town, or a group of rebel students, but has become a part of the cultural mindset.

1. China: Using Drones to Catch Cheaters on Exams

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Yes, you read this correctly. China is now using drones to hover over test takers to catch anyone in the act of cheating on the National College Entrance Exams. Where you have exams that determine a person’s future, from access to higher education or not, and if accepted, to the long-term impact on their future job, one can understand the serious pressure placed on the young people and their families which may push them to resort to unethical tactics such as cheating and fraud. Those caught by the drones cheating have been arrested. http://time.com/3914087/china-drones-cheating-exams/

2. Egypt: Students cheating on Final Exams

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Image: How to prevent cheating on exams?

Students in Egypt are so brazen in their cheating that they have no qualms in beating the proctors and using social media for answers to the questions. The Ministry of Education has taken great measures to secure the annual exams but so far it appears the students are winning. Maybe Egypt needs to take cues from China and get a few drones?
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/06/19/helicopters-scanners-no-match-for-egypts-exam-cheats?src=usn_Fb

3. India: Mass Cheating on Exams

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Image of families scaling walls of exam center in Bihar, India.

India has been in the news recently with mass cheating that took place in Bihar where thousands of family members scaled the walls of an examination hall to help the students cheat on their finals. This resulted in the expulsion of 500 students and arrest of 300 people which included parents and even policemen who were complicit in the cheating extravaganza.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150326203322304

4. Morocco: Jail Sentences for Students Caught Cheating

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Photo Credit: Morocco World News

Morocco is made it a law that any student caught cheating will receive a two-year prison sentence.
The Ministry of National Education is taking these tougher measures to fight cheating at the national baccalaureate examination (taken at the end of high school and required for admission to universities). Law enforcement specialized in detecting cheaters will be patrolling examination centers http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015/06/160558/morocco-students-who-cheat-in-exams-will-face-up-to-2-years-in-prison/

5. USA: Cheating in Atlanta Schools

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Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter presides over the sentencing of former
Atlanta public school educators convicted of inflating students’ scores on state tests. (Pool/Reuters)

In April 2015, a judge in Atlanta, GA, found 10 public school teachers, principals and administrators guilty of conspiring to inflate student’s final exam grades. For more on this story, click on these three links:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/eight-atlanta-educators-in-test-cheating-case-sentenced-to-prison/2015/04/14/08a9d26e-e2bc-11e4-b510-962fcfabc310_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/eight-atlanta-educators-in-test-cheating-case-sentenced-to-prison/2015/04/14/08a9d26e-e2bc-11e4-b510-962fcfabc310_story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/14/us/georgia-atlanta-public-schools-cheating-scandal-verdicts/

Now, let’s take a look at other varieties of cheating that are not directly related to exams but to misrepresentation and committing fraud at various levels of academia.

6. Nigeria: Skewed Understanding of Plagiarism

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Though plagiarism is not exactly similar to cheating on exams, using another’s published work and claiming it one’s own without crediting the original source is an ethical concern. The result of a doctoral research study on this topic concludes that plagiarism exists at Nigerian institutions of higher education and that those engaged in the act did not fully comprehend what plagiarism is. The same was true of the lecturers at the universities who too like their students weren’t completely unclear on what plagiarism is and were not aware of the serious ethical implications.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150609151735677

7. India: Distance Learning Programs Scrutinized

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There is also the case of open and distance learning programs offered by institutions of higher education deemed universities which have been found by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to be in serious violation of existing rules and regulations. The UGC is warning students and parents to be cautious when selecting such programs as several of these universities had not been granted recognition to offer “online” programs and have been doing so without the approval of the UGC.
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/tp-others/distance-learning-keep-your-eyes-open/article7340864.ece

8. Russia: University Closures

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Image: Red Square, Moscow, Russia

In a move to regain control of higher education institutions, especially newly established private universities, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia will cut the number of universities by 40% and university branches by 80% by the end of 2016. This is in accordance with a federal plan that is designed to improve and develop education during 2015 to 2010. There are currently about 593 state and 486 private universities which have 1,376 and 682 branches respectively. The Ministry sees this rapid rise in number of institutions, especially private universities, as one that is out of control and a close review has shown that the quality of education by some is subpar and unsatisfactory with some rubber stamping diplomas without requiring much instruction and classroom attendance.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150417043945585

9. U.S.A.: Corinthian Colleges

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The story of Corinthian Colleges is that of the quintessential private for-profits that through unethical practices secured financial aid and defrauded the federal government from millions of dollars in student loans for students who never completed their education but are saddled with debt. Corinthian Colleges has since filed for bankruptcy and is under investigation. You can read more here:

http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-fines-corinthian-colleges-30-million-misrepresentation

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/education/questions-of-cost-in-plan-to-aid-defrauded-corinthian-colleges-students.html?ref=topics&_r=0

The problems cited are not unique to one or two countries. We are facing an epidemic on a global scale and if we don’t take action and seriously evaluate our systems, we’re going to be trapped in the vicious cycle of more mass cheatings by tech and social media savvy students and continuous fraud in falsifying documents (let’s not forget the ever present booming industry of Diploma Mills) and misappropriating funds by private for-profit institutions lacking stricter oversight and regulation. As for the for-profit institutions, many may be closing shop here in the U.S., but they are turning their gaze overseas, a market ripe for the kind of wares they are selling, promising a U.S. degree at a high cost with little or no guarantees for future employment or access to other institutions of higher education.

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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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Filed under Credentials, Education, Human Interest