International Comparisons database updates – May 2019


Every month, the UK NARIC’s Research and Data Group update a number of the country files on the International Comparisons database. These include comprehensive updates, in which all of the information on a particular country is updated in full and targeted updates to specific sections within a country file to reflect recent developments or a need for more information.

Here’s a summary of the updates from last month (May 2019):

Updates to IC country files

Comprehensive updates to the following country files were published:

In the last ten years, Hong Kong [pictured above] has consistently ranked in the top five sending countries for students coming to study in higher education in the UK. The newly revised Hong Kong country file contains more information to help universities make recruiting decisions. The file has also been updated to reflect recent changes in Hong Kong’s rapidly developing vocational education sector.

In particular, the file contains more detailed grading system information for Hong Kong’s flagship upper secondary award, the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE). The Higher Education section has been updated to include information on a wider range of university awards, including medical and law degrees. Typical credit requirements for academic degrees are also outlined.

The Technical and Vocational Education section includes information on new technical training pathways and qualifications, including the Diploma of Vocational Baccalaureate (DVB) and vocationally-oriented Bachelor degrees offered by the Vocational Training Council’s Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi). Details of apprenticeship training and trade tests have also been included.

Finally, there is a new country chart showing the main educational pathways and including both new and legacy qualifications.

UK NARIC’s Syria country file has been fully revised and updated.

The file, which was last comprehensively reviewed in 2011, has been reviewed to reflect the impact of the ongoing conflict on Syria’s education system.

An updated list of the subjects studied in the technical and vocational stream of upper secondary level and the qualifications awarded on completion of each branch of study is now reflected in the School section.

Further, the Technical and Vocational Education section has been expanded to provide more in-depth information about Intermediate Institutes, their entry requirements and the fields of study on offer.

The ongoing conflict has had a noticeable effect on Higher Education, and this section has been expanded to reflect the impact on university infrastructure. More information about tertiary-level qualifications is now provided, as well as a description of historical awards.

A new section on Transnational Education has been added: this provides information on regulation of TNE provision and on education provided by international schools until recent years;

The Institution Listing has been updated to reflect a number of changes to recognised institutions in Syria, including several that are newly established and others that have undergone name changes.

In addition, targeted updates were made to the following:

We now have TNE sections for 48 countries and are continuing to increase the number of countries covered.

The new section for Saudi Arabia provides information about the main areas of focus for transnational education (TNE) activity in the country and the range of provision available. Legislation allowing the establishment of international branch campuses in the country was proposed four years ago but ultimately rejected. The new information also expands on the provision of international schools, a significant area of TNE activity which aims to meet the needs of the country’s large expat communities.

Transnational education programmes are offered in Israel mainly through partnerships between Israeli institutions and institutions from European countries and further afield. The new information in the Israel country file gives an overview of the regulation of such programmes and the quality assurance procedures that universities must follow.

The new TNE section for Kyrgyzstan highlights the increasingly significant role of the country as a market for transnational education (TNE). The country is host to a number of overseas institutions, primarily those from Russia and Turkey, and there are also a number of joint and double-degree programmes offered through partnerships with institutions from other countries. It also describes the accreditation and quality assurance system in place, which is relevant to TNE providers looking to work with institutions in Kyrgyzstan.

Institution listings

385 higher education institution entries from 8 different countries were added to, changed on or removed from the lists of recognised higher education institutions. The lists for Bulgaria and Slovenia have been fully updated and significant changes have been made to the lists for France and Malaysia.

Qualification reviews

2 new qualification assessments or changes to levels of comparability were published, following the April qualification reviews. These related to the Diploma / University Diploma from Kenya and the Certificat relatif aux connaissances de gestion de base (Basic Management / Business Knowledge Certificate) from Belgium. Full details of these changes can be found here.

UK NARIC members can view the latest updates by checking the Databank Latest Updates news feed on the top right of the member hub.

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