NATIONAL ATTEMPTS CONFRONTING GLOBALIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE OF THE SYRIAN NATIONAL STANDARD MEDICAL TEST
Globalisation effects on higher education became a major conflicting dialogue around the world. Not all nations responded similarly to these effects, but for most of them, the growth and diversification in global markets and products increase the concerns and worries of the quality of educational human products. The accreditation and affiliation of international student degree turns into crucial national attempts to confront the challenges of global education. Based on the Syrian National Standard Medical Test, this paper looks at the accumulated experience in the Syrian Arab Republic, explains the country’s practices in managing and assuring the quality of international medical education of returning graduates, and evaluates the national efforts paid in this context. First the paper assesses the size of the problem in Syria by providing and discussing some statistics provided by the candidates applying to the Syrian National Standard Medical Test. Then it empirically investigates the educational and other related characteristics of the candidates who failed passing the medical quality assurance procedures (including the test). The data is collected from the candidates’ application records over a period of three years. The study further investigates how successful the test and the other related quality assurance procedures are on the light of the empirical test’s results. The evaluation of the quality assurance procedures is done by interviewing some of the key Syrian higher education players. This study is the first academic study tackling the response of Syrian higher education sector towards globalisation concerns. The study highlights the difficulties encountered by Syrian decision maskers in a number of dimensions including the political, the ethical and the social. It also gives suggestions and recommendations to better manage the issues of higher education fraud and corruption.