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Protocol for International Evaluation COVID-19

Protocol for cases in which international documents are not available due to institution disruptions. This might be a closure due to conflict or natural disaster or simply an inability to produce a document for the duration of a crisis.
NOTE: This Protocol could be adapted and applied in domestic situations as well international.
  • Sample Guidance to Applicants


    1. Applicants should provide the institution with a complete educational history, beginning with secondary (high) school graduation. They should include all enrollment at any higher education institution(s), whether the institution is currently closed or open, and include the following information for all institutions:
      • name of the institution(s) in the native language,
      • the location(s),
      • the dates of attendance,
      • name(s) of any degrees, diplomas, or certificates they may have received, in the native language.
    2. NOTE: It is important to make it clear to applicants that they should disclose their full higher education history. Some students may omit items that they believe will be unavailable
    3. If applicants have any official documentation in their possession, they can send copies of the documentation for review: transcript and diploma or degree certificate in the original language of issue, English translations if not officially issued in English.
    4. The documents are only acceptable if they are sent by mail or courier unless they can be verified electronically at the source. (Documents sent by email should not be accepted unless they can be verified electronically at the source, as detection of altered electronic documents is more difficult.)
    5. The applicants must send an explanation to the institution that gives specifics about the closure of their specific institution. This can be sent by mail, courier or email. (Email will be easiest if they send Web links.)
    6. The explanation should include information from official sources that confirms information about the closure of their institution specifically, such as URL’s for official online sources (university Web sites, government decrees, press releases, etc.), copies of any official communications they have received from the institution, etc.
    7. The applicant must explain how they acquired the documentation they are planning to send to the institution. Sample text for request: Please send an explanation as to · how and when you requested the documentation from the institution, · how and when it was issued to you, · how and when you received the documentation from the institution, and · where you were at the time you received it from the institution.
  • Sample Best Practice Institution Procedures


    1. Review each request on a case-by-case basis
    2. Check the institution website for any crisis-related communications and take under advisement any information found there in terms of length of disruption or length of service resumption dates.
    3. If it is decided to go ahead with the evaluation based on the documentation presented by the applicant, the evaluation should be considered “provisional”. Sample best practice language for use in student communications:
      • The documentation was accepted directly from the applicant for review for a possible “provisional” evaluation, because the institution is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
      • Because the documentation was not received directly from the issuing institution, it cannot be authenticated at this time.
      • Based on a careful review of the applicant’s copy and the university’s knowledge of and experience with official higher education credentials from XXX [name of country or institution], we have deemed the unofficial documents from the applicant as acceptable for a “provisional” evaluation.
      • This “provisional” evaluation is valid only until the institution is reopened and it is once again issuing official student records.
      • The university will require official documentation issued directly by the institution as soon as the institution has reopened and is once again issuing official student records.
    4. These comments should remain on the evaluation/in the student’s file until the applicant has official records forwarded to the university. No changes to a “provisional” evaluation should be made without official documents received directly from an institution. Extended deadlines should make reasonable accommodations appropriate to the length of the crisis. It is incumbent upon the university to monitor the situation in the regions from which their students originate.
    5. Institutions must make their own decisions about using a “provisional” evaluation for their admissions or other purposes.