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Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

Issue 4.12 March 31, 2004

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE

Foreign Universities in UAE, pt. 2

OVER THE COUNTER

Grading Changes in Bangladesh

GLOBE TIPPING

Visa On Arrival in Indonesia

CONFERENCE WATCH

AACRAO, Las Vegas, April 19-22

ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Foreign Universities in UAE, pt. 2

Operating a foreign university in the United Arab Emirates can be a tricky proposition, as mentioned in last week’s Overseas, Overwhelmed. The Ministry of Education’s regulating arm, the Commission of Academic Accreditation (CAA) regulates and polices the growth and commercialisation of education and sets standards for accountability and quality. In the last two years the CAA has shut down over two-dozen post-secondary institutions and forced several others to drop their degree granting programs.

For foreign universities, the CAA imposed a rigorous accreditation process taking two to three years to complete and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the detailed documentation, policies and plans for approval. Institutions must be new ventures and not branch campuses of foreign institutions and have professors all holding PhD qualifications. Dr. Samrendra Singh, a CAA Commissioner, says, “only those institutions with the required resources and commitment can come. Others cannot.”

BITS, Pilani, a renowned Indian engineering institute operating in Knowledge Village (KV), has not pursued accreditation. Dr. Ramchandran, the school’s director, explains that his own institution’s long-standing accreditation in India and solid international reputation is a brand guarantee to stand behind. Furthermore, he adds that CAA’s regulations do not permit BITS, Pilani to give the same degree given in India, but must confer a separate UAE- only degree (something the school refuses to do). Regardless, according to Ministry, the institution is operating outside its regulations, and is something of an education outlaw.

So far no North American institution operates a degree program in KV. Recently an American state university with plans to open in KV had its initiative stalled, as the CAA wrote to the responsible US accreditation body to warn there have been no overtures to proceed within UAE regulations for higher education.

OVER THE COUNTER – Grading Changes in Bangladesh

There is a new system of assessment for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) in Bangladesh. According to Higher-Edge’s Shohana Rouf in Dhaka, the SSC/HSC marking system changed from a percentile system to a Cumulative Grade Point Average system last year. This change will be in effect across all examination boards.

Letter Grade………Class Interval (%)……..CGPA

A+…………………………….80-100……………………….5.0
A……………………………….70-79………………………..4.0
A-………………………………60-69………………………..3.5
B……………………………….50-59………………………..3.0
C……………………………….40-49………………………..2.0
D……………………………….33-39………………………..1.0
F……………………………….00-32………………………..0.0

GLOBE TIPPING – Visa On Arrival in Indonesia

Indonesia grants short visit tourist visas on arrival to citizens of 21 countries; a three-day visa costs $10 USD, while a 30-day visa is $25 USD. This policy took effect on February 1st, 2004. There are two conditions for this type of visa: a valid passport (at least six months) and a ticket for departing the country.

CONFERENCE WATCH – AACRAO, Las Vegas, April 19-22

Higher-Edge will be exhibiting at the AACRAO Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Our booth number is #530. Visit our booth for information on our http://higher-edge.com/gsss.htm services.

Save 25% when you subscribe to our Insight, On-site series, or when you purchase our publications. For more information on our AACRAO Special Offers, please contact Nick Yeo at: nick@higher-edge.com

AACRAO Conference:
http://www.aacrao.org/lasvegas/index.htm

Please direct all questions and comments to editor@higher-edge.com
www.higher-edge.com/oov.htm

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