A small delegation of AACRAO international education experts traveled to Paris in March to participate in a two-day bilateral seminar hosted by CampusFrance and the French Foreign Ministry, part of the ongoing Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative. The focus of the initiative is to increase the participation of U.S. students in study abroad opportunities at French institutions of higher education. Participants in the seminar included the French Foreign Ministry, French higher education institutions, U.S.-based higher education associations and universities (including AACRAO), and the U.S. State Department.
Comparing U.S. and French institutions
Over the past three years, AACRAO has contributed to the initiative by enhancing U.S. higher education professionals' knowledge and understanding of the French higher education system. The AACRAO delegation--Melanie Gottlieb, Deputy Director of AACRAO; Tom Green, Associate Executive Director of AACRAO; and Robert Watkins and Bill Paver, members of AACRAO's IESC (International Education Standards Council), which reviews research and placement recommendations for EDGE presented a detailed look at comparisons between the U.S. and French educational system in the area of degrees, grading, and credit transfer.
As a result of the discussions, AACRAO's International Education Services (IES) and the AACRAO International Education Standards Council will continue to collaborate with French colleagues over the next year to conduct research and clarify practice in regards to ECTS in the French context, French/US grade equivalencies, and business education in France. Research findings will be shared with the membership in the form of a white paper, and results will be incorporated into the AACRAO EDGE database.
More information on the seminar, including agenda, presentations, and a detailed participant list is available on the website for the Office for Science & Technology at the Embassy of France in the United States.
AACRAO's relationships with entities like the French Foreign Ministry contribute to the association's ability to conduct ongoing research in the field of international education. Look for more opportunities to engage in this research as members in the coming year, as AACRAO shifts resources in IES away from the business of producing credential evaluations for individuals to focus on professional development, training, and research in the field of international admissions and credential evaluation.
For more information on professional development opportunities in international education, visit IES on the AACRAO website.