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International Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy

A Reader

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Edited By Virginia Stead

The promise of this admission policy reader arises from the embodiment of research from 58 authors, six continents, 20 time zones, 20+ first languages, and a broad array of research methodologies. Four sections aggregate key themes within the text:
(1) National Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy;
(2) Theoretical Approaches to Higher Education Admission Policy;
(3) Applicant Recruitment and Student Support Services in Higher Education; and
(4) Diversity and Equity in Higher Education Admission Policy Implementation.
This book's global chorus of professional experience, investigation, and insight is unprecedented in its breadth and depth, illuminating a rare swath of challenges and opportunities that Internet-sourced international higher education makes visible. Although each chapter is an independent research report, together they generate a new landscape for admission policy orientation, exploration, and activism. The sheer range of policies and organizational infrastructure will alert all readers to many complexities within the admissions process that remain invisible within single or multiple but similar cultural and political contexts.
Many of these authors have demonstrated courage along with their intellectual acumen in tackling politically sensitive, culturally taboo, and personally dangerous topics within their research. Theirs is a moving testimony to the global quest for fairness within the world of admission policy implementation and to the power of access to higher education. Together, we are determined to advance equitable admissions praxis within all institutions of higher learning and promising futures for all students.
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28 Higher Education Access Policies in the Post-Soviet Region: Standardization, Testing, and Corruption

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CHAPTER 28

Higher Education Access Policies in the Post-Soviet Region

Standardization, Testing, and Corruption

Mariam Orkodashvili

Introduction

This chapter begins with a description of higher education admission policy and practice during the Soviet era. The focus then changes to policy and practice after the 1991 fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In particular, it discusses the implications of introducing standardized entrance examinations in post-Soviet countries. These examinations reflect new interest in equitable access to higher education, the improvement of overall program quality, standards of instruction and assessment at public schools and in preparation for university entrance examinations, the revision of national curricula, and the inclusion of low SES students in mainstream education. Finally, there is a discussion of public perceptions of higher education admission policy corruption in the early 2000s.

Methodology and Sample Selection Criteria

The main method of the study is cross-country comparative analysis. The facts and data have been taken from several post-Soviet countries that have been selected because they have already introduced or are trying to introduce standardized exams. Contextual institutional information has been gathered from several sources, such as official higher education policy documents on national ministry of education websites, other governmental and nongovernmental organizations, media reports, and interviews about public perceptions of corruption and standardized testing.

Evolving Forms of Higher Education Corruption

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