National Survey Reveals That External Testing for Higher-Ed Admissions Is Supported by a Large Majority of Ukrainians

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The results of a national survey show most Ukrainians support external testing as a part of the higher-education admissions process.

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We have conducted several such surveys, and I must stress that the attitude towards external testing improves every year. In my opinion, this may be the only successful reform in Ukraine that is positively perceived by citizens.

The Global Development Alliance Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (Alliance USETI), an initiative aimed at combating corruption in higher education in Ukraine, announced the results of the National Survey. The survey results, which covered more than 1,800 individuals throughout Ukraine, were announced at the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN) in April 2011.

“We have conducted several such surveys, and I must stress that the attitude towards external testing improves every year. In my opinion, this may be the only successful reform in Ukraine that is positively perceived by citizens. The results also show that this opinion is consistent throughout Ukraine,” stated Ms. Bekeshkina.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (USETI) Alliance between March 24 and April 5, included 1,801 individuals throughout Ukraine. The "general" group included all Ukrainians, while the "target" group included those whose children, friends or relatives took a standardized test to enter a higher-education institution. The survey has a margin of error of 2.4%.

Ms. Bekeshkina believes that testing reform benefits all Ukrainians regardless of their native language or region. She noted, "Respondents’ native language had little impact on their acceptance to their first-choice higher education institution (HEI). The percentage of people reporting admission was similar for those with native Ukrainian or Russian." This is true despite the fact that all tests are administered in Ukrainian. "Additionally, there do not appear to be regional differences in acceptance rates either,” Bekeshkina emphasized.

According to the survey results, support for external testing is strong and growing. 57.3% of the target group respondents are in favor of external testing as the main criteria for HEI admissions. Among the general group, 45.9% also now support it, in comparison with just 41.9% in 2008. A majority of people in both the target and general groups agree that external testing creates equal circumstances for all during the admission process. Only 31% of both groups believe that external testing is not reducing corruption in the HEI admissions process.

The survey also reveals widespread support for better test preparation and communication about the process. 51% of respondents (55% of the target group) think it is important to improve HEI admissions by better preparing students for testing. Approximately a third of respondents (40% of the target group) want higher-education institutions to ensure openness, to clarify the selection process and to inform applicants in advance of their rights during admissions.

Olesya Orobets, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Issues of Basic Education of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee of Education and Sciences, and Yarema Bachynskiy, Project Director of the USETI Alliance, also participated in the press conference.

About the USETI Alliance
The Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (USETI) Alliance was established in May 2010 to implement external independent testing in Ukraine. Its members include United States Agency for International Development (USAID), American Institutes for Research (AIR), American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS), The Fakt Publishing House, the OPORA Civic network, the company Pro Mova, the L’viv City Community Organization Center for Educational Policy (CEP), the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv (LNU), the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Ukraine (MoES), the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), the National Academy of Management (NAM), the National University Of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NAUKMA), the European Union Project Tempus IV Educational Measurement Adapted to EU Standards (Mälardalen University), the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment (UCEQA), and the Petro Mohyla Black Sea State University (BSU). For more information, visit http://www.useti.org.ua/en/pages/11/about-useti.html

Press Contact: Iryna Depenchuk, +1.202.833.7522

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Kirsten Brecht
American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS
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Iryna Depenchuk
American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS
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