The free e-book, Researching International Education Systems and Institutions, that we attempt to update every year has just undergone a major revision. Tons of broken links and outdated web-pages have been removed while literally hundreds of new publications, (free!) e-books, websites, ministry or other government links, conference handouts, and presentations have been included.
Expect another minor revision in the next few weeks, but we wanted to get this out as soon as possible. Please let us know if you find broken links (they’ve all worked within the last 2 weeks while we furiously updated) or think other things should be added.
In advance of a new curriculum guideline from the Ministry of Education, many primary and middle schools in Japan are already switching from a trimester system to a semester system. The major goal of this switch is to increase class time by 10-15 hours while also giving teachers more time with students. According to a survey by the Ministry, roughly 20% of public primary and middle schools had already made the transition. In another effort to increase class instruction time, many schools have also reduced the vacation days over the summer and at other holiday breaks.
For more information, check out the full article here.
The earthquakes earlier this year in Chile and Haiti have brought about major problems for their economies, infrastructures, health care systems, and education. The two articles linked today include information on the challenges they still face as they attempt to recover along with some updates on the current status of education in the two countries.
In Chile, the highest priority with respect to rebuilding damaged schools is to give the nearly 600,000 displaced school children a place to go during the day while their parents work. The rest of the article on Chile talks about the disparities of the educational system and the needs of the country.
In Haiti, the hope is that formal higher education will return next year since roughly 90% of university buildings were destroyed in the earthquake. Some schools are trying to create partnerships with foreign universities or set up tents and portable buildings near campus to extend educational offerings as soon as possible, but the state of the education system was already so strained that it seems unlikely that widespread formal education will continue this year. However, many have said that the physical devastation in the country will allow the government to rebuild the already corrupt and poorly working system from scratch. The article ends on a positive note with an example of a private university that is attempting to hold classes already.
Indian students will now be issued “smart cards” when getting their degrees in an effort to tamp down on rampant forgery. This will presumably work in conjunction with the online database of degrees that we discussed previously. Employers and universities in India will be able (and in the universities’ case, required) to check that an applicant’s credentials are what they say they are. There’s no information in this article if the smart cards will be accessible to universities and business outside of India, but since the database is expected to have worldwide applications, presumably the smart cards will as well.
For more information, check out this link.
Today is the deadline for presenters at the 2010 AACRAO Annual Conference to submit their handouts to be posted online, so I can only imagine that we’ll all find wonderful gems for building our resource libraries.
Speaking of conferences, we should take a moment to let you know that we’re working with the fabulous Emily Tse of International Educational Research Foundation (IERF) to present a workshop on practical applications for dealing with secondary education credentials around the world.
Called “Focus on Secondary Education: Evaluating Credentials from Around the World,” it will be offered at NAFSA on Tuesday, June 1, from 8 am until 12 pm. It will be a VERY robust four hours since we’re going to cover a lot of really exciting things:
- a world roundup of the four main educational patterns including an overview of the US educational system
- resources for secondary credentials
- identifying appropriate academic records for determining assessment, especially what’s considered an official document and who the authority is
- how to deal with it when the applicant hasn’t yet reached the official document phase
- confusion between such terms as college, bachiller, baccalaureate, etc.
- academic vs. vocational track and what they can do with the respective documents at home
- lower vs. upper secondary and where they can go afterward
- advanced credit and things that seem like advanced credit
- Carnegie units
- forgeries and verification
For each of these exciting topics, we’ll have samples and exercises for participants to review and process during the workshop to ensure a thorough understanding. We’re also going to provide a manual of all of the documents including samples of resource material, resources to use in the workshop, a copy of the new & exciting IERF “Index of Secondary Credentials” which also has sample documents, and an appendix of the major secondary credentials. The workshop won’t be your standard lecture and note-taking; it will include discussion, case studies, debate, group exercises, and more!
Check out http://acsearch.nafsa.org/Default.aspx for more information, and be sure to register before the Early Bird deadline on April 23.
We’ve got a new look for our website. Please note that we are no longer using http://transcriptresearch.wordpress.com/, so be sure to update your information to htttp://www.transcriptresearch.com
Thanks for your patience, and we look forward to your continued support and interest. Expect other new things in 2010!