On the Cutting
 EDGE
 shares with you our experts' answers to user submitted questions on all things international education

Updated periodically with responses from the International Evaluation Standards Council, On the Cutting EDGE is your glimpse at the work of AACRAO EDGE and our commitment to advancing international education





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Is a 'C' Always a 'C'?

Question: 

I have a question regarding a transcript we received from Nigeria. A C- is typically the lowest grade we allow for transfer credit. C- at our institution is equivalent to a GPA of 1.7. The transcript lists a C as 50-59% with a GPA of  2.4-3.49.

My institution is reluctant to admit a student with a C that has only mastered 50% of the coursework. Can you provide more information regarding this, that I can provide to my institution?

Answer: 

Thank you for your message to AACRAO EDGE regarding the grading scale at Nigerian universities.  Naturally, admissions decisions are the final prerogative of the receiving institution.  Therefore you must decide for your institution what the grade levels of applicants you want to admit must be.  In AACRAO EDGE, we present the general Nigerian university scale that is evidently used by the University of Jos.  The difference is the use of the letter grades A-F to correspond to the percentage ranges that we show on the Grading Scale page of the entry.  We do not list those Nigerian letter grades but we talk about it in the text above the scale.  We recommend that when this A-F is given with the ranges you see, that 40-44% (E) should be considered a D.  Thus we are saying that the 45-49% be considered a C grade.  Because the 50-59% range represents the (UK-inspired) Lower Second Class outcome, we call that part of the B range, not the C range.  So although it is a range of C on the Nigerian scale, we equate that to a US grade of B.

 I also would like to point out that the British (upon which the Nigerian scale is predicated) approach to 1-100 grading differs GREATLY from the American approach to 1-100 grading.  We use only the TOP part of that scale for satisfactory passing (70-100).   The British look at this range and use much more of it.  Students seldom get 80-100.  So they see 50-59% as a better than satisfactory pass (since 40% is the lowest passing range).

 I would conclude by saying that a 50% in an Anglophone country like Nigeria is not the same thing as a median grade or a lowest satisfactory pass like our 70%.

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How Many Polytechnics in Kenya?

Question:

I'm trying to verify the authenticity of Eldoret National Polytechnic in Kenya as an academic institution recognized by the Kenyan government, but haven't been able to find a list of polytechnic institutions.

The information in AACRAO EDGE regarding credentials mentions polytechnic institutions and that credit can be awarded on a case-by-case basis so I expect that polytechnics are recognized. I just can’t find a list by which to validate the one noted. Can you help me?

Answer: 

Thank you for your question to AACRAO EDGE regarding the recognition of Eldoret National Polytechnic in Kenya.

Until 2016, there had been only two national polytechnics in Kenya (Eldoret and Kisumu). A national polytechnic would of course be recognized because they are NATIONAL institutions meaning the Government approved and supported their creation.  The Daily Nation (Nairobi) reports that now, 8 technical training institutes have been raised to polytechnic status  (Kabete, Kitali, Meru, Mombasa, Nyeri, Sigalala, North Eastern Province, and Gusii).  



There are a host of public and private training institutes that are accredited and that list can be found on the TVETA (Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority) web site; the national polytechnics are not listed there as they are national and therefore approved at creation by the Government.

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Name Change and the Verification Game

Question: 

Can you tell me if the Dr. A. B. J. Abdul Kalam Technical University in India is recognized?  It appears that it was previously named Uttar Pradesh Technical University so I think it is recognized but I was not able to find it in AACRAO EDGE and just wanted to double check. Thanks!

Answer: 

Thank you for your question to AACRAO EDGE regarding the recognition status of Dr. A. B. J. Abdul Kalam Technical University in India. You are correct that Uttar Pradesh Technological University (founded in 2000 by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh) is now called Dr. A. B. J. Abdul Kalam Technical University.

 AACRAO EDGE links to the University Grants Commission (UGC) which is unfortunately not always up to date, but nevertheless a valuable resource for determining the recognition status of an institution within India. If you go into the UGC site’s list of state universities for the State of Uttar Pradesh (yes, you need to know in which state a given school resides) you will still find listed Uttar Pradesh Technical University even though that information is now [at the time of this reply] 3 ½ years old. But, by noting on the Abdul Kalam Technical University site that this is the new name of UPTU, and that UPTU is listed by the UGC as a recognized State university, one can easily see that the school (under its new name) is recognized.

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Scottish Degree in Singapore?

Question:

I am trying to determine the U.S. credential equivalency for the Higher National Diploma (HND) that is offered in Singapore. The credentials tab for Singapore does not list Higher National Diploma as a credential, but I do know that it is a certificate awarded by the Scottish Qualification Authority. Would you happen to have any information regarding Singapore that is not available on the website? 

Answer:

Thank you for your question to AACRAO EDGE regarding the Scottish HND awarded in Singapore. This is a relatively new phenomenon that we have seen on the Mainland but now evidently beginning to see in Singapore (and inevitably Hong Kong): the use of an alien educational system by a host country. Though an Anglophone system in Singapore, the HND is NOT indigenous to the Chinese educational system (or the Singapore system). Thus, we do not want to add it to the Singapore entry any more than we would add the US bachelor’s and master’s degrees to the entry for an overseas system that has private American schools in the host country. Thus you look to Scotland and its entry to decide what to do with a Higher National Diploma from the Scottish Authority.