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Old 12-11-2016, 01:59 PM
Location: Johannesburg/Durban
50 posts, read 35,990 times
Reputation: 47


Hi, interesting read. I hope you won't mind me jumping in and giving my opinion here. I am a tenured Full Professor at a major Business School, I have taught MBAs for over a decade and I am, myself, an international graduate (BS-Denmark; MBA-UK; MSF/PhD-South Africa; PostDoc-Belgium).

Let's start with the basics: All legitimate degrees from all countries are "valid" in all other countries. This mutual recognition /reciprocity is a result of the fact that our countries are signatories of enabling legislation (which requires such recognition) at the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO). [And in the specific case of medical education, including the World Health Organisation (WHO)].

However each country (outside of the US) has an official evaluator which examines the transcripts of the institution, entry requirements, legal status of the institution and the graduate (i.t.o, professional licensing) and produces an official equivalence statement for use in its country. In terms of those professionals which require professional licensing, while the degree is still valid, the new country is entitled to require additional requirements for licensing. The most difficult profession to transfer is medicine (because you have the lives of others in your hands!) and as licensing requirements are different in all countries, they must specifically be met by all foreigners wishing to practice within those borders. [In the US if you have a degree from a foreign medical school, the degree is valid, but you would normally have to sit the ECFMG - an examination from the US Educational Commission For Foreign Medical Graduates, which is a professional (i.e., not a University) body dealing with health care in the States - similar requirements apply to Engineers, CPAs, and Lawyers]. Employers will then make their decisions based on these equivalence statements. [An American trained Medical Doctor - even if from Harvard - will still have to take a similar exam offered by the General Medical Council in the UK, should s/he wish to work there]. Having no such official body in the US equivalence statements are often obtained from private evaluators who are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (World Education Services, for example is one such, very well known, member).

The situation in the US is different because in most other countries of the world, higher education is centralised and offered to the public by the government. The government establishes the University based on its assessment of the training needs of the population and is the primary funder. In this regard while there may be cooption between the institutions, they are not competitors on a fundamental level, they are sister institutions and are required by their governments to offer students a comparatively equivalent standard of education. Thus the glory that is given to Oxbridge must translate to ALL British higher ed. institutions, for example. [In a very real sense then, a degree in the UK is not from Oxford or Salford or University X, but ultimately from the British government]

The problem is that the US education system is fundamentally different to that found outside the States in that a large percentage of institutions are private and rely not on the government but on regional/national/subject-specific accrediting agencies to ensure their legitimacy. These institutions do compete with each other (primarily for funding) which then translates to a ranking system. The higher you rank the greater funding you can attract (even in terms of student fee income)!

Now that brings us to the question this thread should be asking: What do US employers think of foreign education? Unfortunately the answer to this question is not one that can be rationally answered, because it is extremely subjective. The problem is that Americans have very little knowledge of the world outside the US in general. They operate on a great deal of assumption and there is a tremendous amount of literature which speaks about "American arrogance", which has become an accepted phenomenon. So stereotype/assumption/naivety/arrogance greatly affect this evaluation. If they are used to their University's being ranked, they would want to apply the same logic to other countries? So if there are top/middle and lower ranked Universities in the US then they assume the same must be true for outside the US. So they rely on stereotype (and would, for example classify Oxford as a "top" international institution and not say the University of Liverpool) even though the same people (the UK Department of Education in this case) operate both the institutions and consider them equivalent.

American arrogance is best seen in the way that Americans deal with degrees from middle/low income countries. Rather than accepting that competence by its very nature refers to a minimum bar that must be met. Like the high jump what determines success is the height that you clear not the height that you jump. Unfortunately standards are just that, they refer to the predetermined height of the bar which must be cleared and not to the actually height which has been jumped.

Given what is happening in the US at the moment (Trump/white-black racial tensions) I would not be surprised if engineers/medical doctors driving taxi cabs are a reflection of subconscious racism/classism rather than an evaluation of competence. After all what employers who rank foreign degrees poorly are saying is that competence can only come in that which looks like us!
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:11 PM
1 posts, read 524 times
Reputation: 10
What about a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from Algeria ?
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:54 PM
8,427 posts, read 7,706,967 times
Reputation: 3027
Personally, I know some professors in US universities who only have PhD degrees from China.
However it is rare and they mostly had post doc research in the US.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:48 AM
102 posts, read 60,557 times
Reputation: 51
Yes if the US thinks it is an advanced country and looked down on the education and techonology of other countries. Maybe yes, maybe no, not sure. And the US also has very different education systems from other countries. For examples, a 18 years old can directly study medicine or dentistry in the UK or Hong Kong, not quite possible in the US.

When HK was a British territory, medicine and law degree holders of British commonwealth universities can practice without taking examinations. Including British, Canadian, Australian, Burma, Sri Lankan universities. US degrees needed to take exams.
After 1997, all degrees holders from non Hong Kong universities need to take exams to practice medicine, law, pharmacy etc in Hong Kong. Including British, American, Mainland Chinese...

Most Mainland Chinese professors in Hong Kong have PhD from the US or UK . Degrees from Mainland China are not quite generally accepted in Hong Kong.
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