UKRAINE STANDARDIZED EXTERNAL TESTING INITIATIVE

A USETI Alliance representative consults prospective students on testing.
A USETI Alliance representative consults prospective students on testing.

THE CHALLENGE
The Government of Ukraine (GOU) and the Ukrainian public acknowledge that corruption in higher education has become a serious impediment to the country’s economic, political, and social development.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

  • A sustainable, strengthened external testing system more capable of independently and transparently developing and implementing secure tests that meet international standards;
  • A secure legislative and regulatory policy basis for testing and higher education admissions;
  • A sustainable, high level of public support for equal access to Ukrainian higher education.

USETI Alliance Phase II offers a unique opportunity to secure the long-term institutional and political sustainability of equal access to Ukrainian higher education through comprehensive industry-standard item banking/test development system; new direct links to academic programs that will become the foundational nucleus of the Ukrainian testing/educational measurement sector’s long-term legitimacy; management tools for
internal capacity building; and amore competently committed external community of test-data
consumers.

OVERVIEW
USETI Alliance’s overarching goal is: by project completion, Ukraine's higher education system will be more transparent in selecting applicants for baccalaureate and other levels of higher education.

OUR PROGRAM
Since 2007, USAID, in partnership with the government of Ukraine, national universities, Ukrainian civil society, and others have worked to improve the admissions process for Higher Education Institutions. Our efforts have one goal in mind - an equal and fair chance for every young Ukrainian to attend university and leave with the qualifications necessary to help unlock Ukraine's potential for economic, political and social growth.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2007, the Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative (USETI) was established as part of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Country Program. The main goal of USETI was to target corrupt practices associated with admissions to Higher Education Institution (HEIs) by introducing standardized external testing as a mandatory criterion for university admissions.
  • In 2009-2010, The USETI Legacy Alliance was formed to build upon the reforms already undertaken to infuse higher education with transparency and engender better quality education for Ukrainians, as well as involving other organizations and the business community in the education reform process.
  • By the end of 2015 about 1.6 million students will have been accepted to university programs based on their preparation and knowledge as reflected in their standardized external testing performance rather than family contacts or their ability to pay.
  • Standardized testing brought equality to applicant evaluation and greatly reduces corruption opportunities, thus ensuring a quality merit-based system. The Alliance directly benefited Ukraine’s more than 1,100 HEIs and affiliates, many of which are finally addressing issues of quality, due to the introduction of national standardized HEI admissions testing in 2008. According to the results of National Polls in 2008-2013, in 2013 53 percent of Ukrainians agreed that standardized external testing enables gifted children to enter any HEI, even the most prestigious (40 percent in 2010).
  • In 2013 53 percent of respondents supported external testing results as the key criterion for HEI admissions. (49.5 percent in 2012);
  • The USETI Alliance supports the Center for Educational Policy, which developed and maintains a reporting system for standardized external testing (SET) results - KONKURS. Since its rollout KONKURS has attracted keen interest from a wide audience – test takers and their parents, teachers and university administrators with more than 100 million “hits” in 2012.  This is no surprise – the system publishes test results of each applicant in the Internet.

Another local NGO, USETI Alliance partner OPORA Civic Network plays a pivotal role in public monitoring of standardized external testing. Gains in public approval of standardized external testing by 2013 are one of OPORA’s great achievements. They go beyond monitoring standardized external testing itself – for a number of years OPORA has worked on university admission monitoring through intensive public observation – The USETI Alliance GDA is an alliance that truly responds to public demand.

Last updated: October 15, 2014

Share This Page