In modern societies, qualifications fulfil many functions. They serve to signal an individual’s personal, social and professional status, but they also control access to education, training and the labour market. Moreover, these functions change in line with wider social changes.
This review examines how the role and functions of qualifications are changing Europe. Covering a wide range of sources, including an overview of Cedefop’s own work and case studies of countries, it outlines four possible scenarios for developments in the next ten years, and identifies the cornerstones for a reform strategy. Download Changing qualifications.
In France qualifications (in French diplômes or more recently certifications) are traditionally used as the key criterion for access to work and study. The labour market is mainly regulated by collective agreements where workers qualification requirements are set out. In French qualification is defined through several descriptors including the qualification levels required to be considered as qualified to be recruited and paid a wage, thus as a licence to practise. In 1971, regulations were established to identify which qualifications have national currency, in order to protect individuals against organisations offering awards with little value. The identification of valid qualifications was done through the National Homologation Commission, which was replaced by the current Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle (CNCP) in 2002, with extended responsibilities. A Cadre National de Certifications (CNC, or NQF) was introduced to make qualifications more transparent – in France the term legibility is preferred – in the labour market. The framework relates to work organisation, has five levels, and contains a grid showing pathways to employment through qualifications in the various economic or labour market sectors. For many occupations, a recognised qualification is a required condition of entry.
There are numerous systems of qualification in France. The State, the social partners, institutions with responsibility for quality assurance, even a range of public and private organisations may be designated as legitimate awarding authorities. However, the value of qualifications differs according to circumstances, and according to their usefulness to users in the labour market.
The creation of a Repertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP, or VET qualifications catalogue) created an official inventory of all the qualifications delivered in France corresponding to this definition. To be included, the qualification must establish certification processes that cover formal, non-formal or informal learning, and a specific procedure named validation des acquis d’expérience (VAE) for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning recognition.
220.127.116.11. Main policies impacting on the qualifications system
According to Maillard et al. (2007), qualifications policies that have had a major impact derive from the development in 1984 of vocational qualifications at the Baccalaureate level (Bac professionnel), and in non-university higher education, such as the Diplôme universitaire de Technologie (DUT). These new qualifications had several features in common: they are part of a national development led by the government with the full support of the social partners, and they are firmly based on processes of identifying occupational competences and converting these into competence or learning-outcomes-based standards for assessment and VET programme development. The same year ‘qualification contracts’ were established, providing the opportunity to develop alternative curricula – partly in enterprises and partly in training centres – for young people. This led to a strong interest and investment in apprenticeship in the mid-1990s. This was accompanied by legislation introduced in 1992 and strengthened in 2002 to set up the system of validation of informal and non-formal learning, financed through awarding bodies...
18.104.22.168. Changing international perspectives on qualifications
The European influence is integrated in the creation of the CNCP. The main objectives of the CNCP are linked closely to the transparency approach developed through European collaboration and the French qualification landscape with its different subsystems reflects this. When the RNCP was created in 2003 it was derived from the Europass certificate supplement format. A permanent national workshop has operated since 2004, through which representatives of the CNCP tripartite membership are following implementation and designing a new French framework referenced to EQF.
There is a strong international influence specifically linked to the development of the licence to practise processes used to regulate activities such as sea, air, rail, etc, as well as engineering, energy and some other occupations. Such convergent qualifications are generally named habilitations: their scope is limited to specific competences or fields of activity, so they are not considered as qualifications that can be registered in the CNCP or be referenced to EQF. The award process follows different rules that bind awarding bodies according to the international norms decided on. Because such qualifications are required for the licence to practise, the French approach proposes a new system called ‘bi-certification’ (Caillaud, 2005), where those qualifications are units integrated in a qualification registered in the CNCP. However, both authorities must be involved in the individual certification process: one for the international component, the other for the usual qualification developed by the national awarding body. The current situation is certainly complex, and calls for further resolution.
22.214.171.124. Qualifications trends in France
The key trend in the French context of changing qualifications is the evolution of the ways in which qualifications are designed and used. Qualifications can now be seen more as reference points or milestones for life that provide social signals based increasingly on representing competence. Qualifications used to be a single, final milestone defining for life an individual’s achievement in education and training. This is no longer the case, and it seems that the individual needs to acquire further qualifications, often not in traditional ways, to demonstrate his or her currency in the mobile and changing situations of working life. The other side of this evolution is that the design of qualification has had to become more legible as a signal. Qualifications developers have to explain more clearly how learning inputs are transmitted, and how they are validated with reference to competences or outcomes. This is important for development in several related fields of activity: guidance, training, recruitment and other aspects of human resource management.
Under the headline of 'permeability, a wishful thinking approach to education and training?' experts in higher education and vocational training (HE and VET) are invited to consider permeability from three different perspectives:
1. national policies and initiatives: from credit systems to validation;
2. individual perspective and choices;
3. institutional networking within a changing relationship between VET and HE.
We meet to reflect on triggers and hinderers to permeability, and elaborate possible proposals to take forward the issue in policy and practice.
Recent and on-going research studies, European projects (notably related to qualifications frameworks and credits systems), as well as Cedefop studies (such as the studies on vocationally-oriented education and training at higher qualifications levels or on credits and permeability) will provide the basis for discussion.
See also on the blog Worshop ECVET, Linking credit systems and qualifications frameworks and ECVET: European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training.
El Centro de Estudios para el Perfeccionamiento de la Educación Superior (CEPES)de la Universidad de La Habana y la Red Internacional de Universidades Europeas y Latinoamericanas para la Educación, la Formación y el Desarrollo (REDFORD) los invita a participar en el XVI Coloquio REDFORD “Experiencias Europeas y Latinoamericanas en la Formación de Másteres y Doctores: Retos y Perspectivas” que se celebrará en La Habana los días 8 y 9 de Marzo de 2011.
15-16 Marzo de 2011 - Valparaíso, Chile. La primera versión de la “bienal” es una actividad de dos días orientada a instaurar un espacio colaborativo de innovación para las Instituciones de educación superior chilenas, enfocado en explorar las complejas relaciones entre la educación superior y el mundo del trabajo.
El evento analizará, desde diversos niveles, las respuestas organizacionales que las instituciones despliegan para apoyar el proceso de transición al empleo y carrera profesional. De este modo, la bienal se constituye como el primer foro inter-institucional de este tipo realizado en Chile.
La estructura temática será introducida por expertos internacionales y locales, liderados por el Dr. Prof. Ulrich Teichler, del Centro de Investigación en Educación Superior y Desarrollo de la Universidad de Kassel, Alemania. La actividad incluye seminarios y workshops diseñados para el intercambio de experiencia y buenas prácticas en torno al poyo Institucional para enfrentar en mundo del trabajo. La actividad es liberada y está dirigida a representantes de instituciones de educación superior, investigadores, entidades gubernamentales y hacedores de políticas públicas.
Analizar desde las instituciones, comparativa y colaborativamente los modelos de gestión y enfoque frente a la labor de seguimiento, vinculación y fidelización de los alumnos y/o exalumnos. Compartir éxitos, aprendizajes e indagar en profundidad sobre los factores involucrados en el desarrollo de una gestión exitosa.
Analizar desafíos, perspectivas y tendencias sobre temas como empleabilidad, seguimiento a graduados, servicios de apoyo a la transición de ES a empleo y carrera profesional, competencias profesionales, relación de la educación superior con el sector productivo, éxito profesional, satisfacción profesional, etc.
Instaurar la actividad a nivel nacional, y potenciar que cada versión de la bienal se enfoque en un aspecto especifico respecto al tema macro, incorporando las nuevas variables de educación superior y mundo del trabajo. English Presentation.
Programa. Inscripción Asistentes.
Background for the symposium
In the modern society trust and reputation have become increasingly important. This implies that not just commercial actors like corporations are focussing on their brand. The same is true also for other types of institutions. Even representatives of higher education institutions (HEIs) are to an increasing extent talking about their reputation and their brand (cf. e.g. Engwall, 2008, p. 41). This development can be understood as a response to increasing market pressures on HEIs. In order to attract students and research resources it has become important for academic institutions to communicate positive images of their educational and research environment.
Even if there is a general tendency in the present day society with its media orientation to strengthen institutional reputation, it can be argued that HEIs institutions have particular motives to work actively with their trust. This is the case, since the two main activities of such institutions, education and research, are associated with very high uncertainty.
In terms of education at least three reasons can be mentioned for this uncertainty. First, by definition students who select an education should not know the content of a particular programme. Second, it takes a long time for most students before they really know whether their education was good for their career or not. Third, educational programmes seldom have openly dissatisfied customers, since negative views would be self-destructive for alumni.
Regarding research similar arguments can be raised. First, the outcome of research should be associated with uncertainty, i.e. it should in principle be new knowledge. Second, it is difficult in the short run to envisage the consequences of scientific findings. Third, scientists, like alumni, are reluctant to criticize the scientific system. This tendency of individuals is reinforced by the ambitions of scientific institutions to protect their reputation and therefore to withhold negative information.
Despite, or perhaps due to, the mentioned uncertainties, over time HEIs have gained considerable trust in society. This confidence can be explained by the successful careers that have been achieved by their alumni, which have made higher education attractive for younger generations. In addition, research during the post-war period has produced results which have led to innovations exploited by corporations and supposedly economic growth. As a result, politicians all over the world, nationally and locally, have found it crucial to invest in HEIs. The number of universities and university colleges has in this way increased considerably during the latter part of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Four factors behind challenges of the trust in HEIs
The trust in HEIs is not unchallenged, however. In the public debate, critical voices can thus be heard regarding their position in society. At least four factors can be mentioned as explanations to this state of affairs: *The advance of information technology, *The strengthening of the media, *The increasing call for accountability, *The rising stress of utility.
As for the development of information technology, it has implied a revolution in terms of access to information. Information is now globally available through the Internet for wide audiences. This has led to the argument that HEIs have lost their raison-d’être. It is argued that electronic universities, like the University of Phoenix will drive HEIs out of the market. Some even question the Internet universities, since it is nowadays possible for any individual to seek the information they want to have. Nevertheless, it can be argued that HEIs so far to have a future due to its quality control but also by offering young people a stimulating environment during a very sensitive part of their life. Still, the expansion of the Internet implies strong challenges of the position of HEIs. While this questioning of HEIs is serious, it is even worse for their trust that the Internet provides opportunities for less scrupulous students and scholars to copy information from the Internet and use the texts of others as their own. As these cases of fraud increase and get generally known the trust in HEIs are likely to be seriously damaged.
Regarding media, it is evident that the post-war world has implied a considerable growth of different kinds of media. The latter part of the twentieth century saw the introduction of a number of new media as well as a deregulation of various media markets. At the same time we can notice a professionalisation of journalism and communication experts. This in turn has implied that all types of organizations nowadays employ people for communication purposes. As mentioned by means of introduction this is true also for HEIs. In universities strong communication departments close to the leadership can increasingly be observed (Engwall, 2008). These in turn may even imply a risk for “science through the media” rather than “science through the scholarly scrutiny” (cf. e.g. the cold fusion case at the University of Utah in 1989; Gieryn, 1999, Chapter 4 and Beaudette, 2002). In this way there are risks that the scholarly examination of research is set aside with a high risk of deceptive behaviour. However, also the review processes in scientific journals are now and then reported to have failed (cf. e.g. Peters and Stephen, 1982, and the Sokal hoax; Sokal, 1996a and b). As a matter of fact this is not completely surprising in times of a growing inflow of manuscripts to journals and an increasing competition among scholars. A result may therefore be an increase in fraudulent behaviour. The latter has of course occurred earlier (cf. e.g. Broad and Wade, 1985 and Judson, 2004), but the pressure on individuals as well as their institutions for bibliometric victories is likely to reinforce such misconduct. For the trust in HEIs, it will be devastating when detected. Therefore, teaching of ethics and the conduct of good practices is crucial in any academic training.
In terms of accountability, it is, as pointed out by e.g. Power (1997) generally called upon in the modern society. It is requested that outsiders should be able to see what different institutions are doing, and that institutions should be able to show that they are efficient in their use of provided resources. In this world HEIs have a considerable problem, since both education and research are accomplished in relatively closed environments. As a result they have increasingly faced various measures of scrutiny: evaluation, accreditation and ranking. In these exercises publication indicators have come to play an increasing role through more and more sophisticated control systems of scientific impact. These have in various disciplines led to a critique of the research drifting away towards “more rigour than relevance”. This in turn may contribute to the undermining of HEIs by providing an image that their researchers are just doing research in their own self-interest as a l’art pour l’art. In addition, the strong emphasis of scientific publications may reinforce a view that faculty members ignore their students, thereby neglecting the quality of teaching.
The call for accountability is closely related to the call for utility, since it is nowadays widely requested that the output of research should not only keep up with high scientific standards but also make contributions to society. This demand seems to have increased in the last decades as a result of the tendency of politicians world wide to stress the role of HEIs as motors in the economic development of their countries. High ambitions are set with respect to the share of the populations going to higher education. In addition investments in research are pointed out as crucial for economic growth and welfare. Although, the rhetoric is not always translated into economic resources, these views on HEIs have led to high expectations on useful results. As such effects are not always possible to observe – particularly not in the humanities and the social sciences, but even so in the hard and applied sciences – the trust in HEIs is challenged. In addition, trust is threatened as HEI scholars are too closely related to economic interests in roles as consultants, co-owners or part-time employees of companies.
* Globalisation, global development issues and HE institutions
* The implications of globalisation for African higher education
* Global development issues and European higher education since Bologna
* University ranking and development engagement: can a globally competitive university afford development cooperation activities
* What can European HE institutions contribute to global development challenges
Senior management of (European) higher education institutions, policy advisors in (European) higher education, representatives of agencies in international cooperation development, cooperation experts related to national Ministries or the EU with a specific interest in knowledge and HE.
La Formation Continue dans L'état de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (n°4 - décembre 2010)
L’état de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche 2010 permet de faire le bilan annuel chiffré du système d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche français, de le situer au niveau international et de suivre ses évolutions, notamment sur le long terme. Financement, ressources humaines, accès au supérieur, réussite, qualification, insertion des diplômés, vie étudiante, recherche en biotechnologie ou nanotechnologie, participation au PCRD, publications, brevets, etc. sont les thèmes abordés dans les 35 fiches de cet ouvrage dont c’est aujourd’hui la 4e édition (2010). Télécharger la publication complète de l'État de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche.
Voici ce qui concerne l'indicateur 16: la Formation Continue
En 2008, la formation continue dans l’enseignement supérieur a accueilli 460000 stagiaires, délivré 65000 diplômes dont 38000 diplômes nationaux et réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 350 millions d’euros. À nouveau au nombre de 4000 en 2009, les validations des acquis de l’expérience se maintiennent.
En 2008, la formation continue dans l’enseignement supérieur accroît son activité de 8% pour le chiffre d’affaires (CA) et de 3% pour le nombre des stagiaires, par rapport à 2007; malgré cela elle garde une place modeste au sein de la formation professionnelle réalisée en France (5% du CA total). Les fonds privés, entreprises ou particuliers, représentent 63% des ressources des établissements en matière de formation professionnelle, tous types confondus, et leur part atteint même 68% dans les universités, alors que les fonds publics se maintiennent à 30%.
Les formations proposées par les universités progressent en chiffre d’affaires comme en nombre de stagiaires, alors que le CNAM connaît une baisse de 12% des inscriptions en 2008, mais pour des stages nettement plus longs qu’en 2007 (180 heures contre 146).
Les IUT ne forment que 6% du nombre de stagiaires de formation continue des universités (22500) mais représentent 14 % du CA et 20% des heures-stagiaires en raison d’une durée moyenne des stages plus importante que dans les autres organismes de formation. De plus, la moitié des contrats de professionnalisation sont signés avec des IUT.
En 2008, sur 369000 stagiaires en universités, la part des salariés stagiaires inscrits à divers titres (plan de formation, contrat de professionnalisation ou congé individuel de formation) atteint 33%, leur nombre passant de 116000 à 119000. Les stagiaires inscrits à leur initiative (particuliers) passent de 166000 en 2007 à 183000 en 2008 et restent majoritaires (50%). Le nombre des particuliers membres des universités interâge ne représente plus que 45% des individuels payants, un peu moins qu’en 2007. Dans le même temps, la part des demandeurs d’emploi reste stable, soit 9% des stagiaires avec un total de 33000 stagiaires pour un volume de 8 millions d’heures stagiaires (19%) alors que le nombre des chômeurs indemnisés diminue de 2% et que celui des demandeurs d’emploi sans aucune aide progresse de 18% en un an. Au total en 2008, les 216000 individuels payants et « autres » (professions artisanales et libérales) représentent 59% des stagiaires et 41% des heures-stagiaires (19 millions).
En 2008, les stages courts qualifiants, d’une durée moyenne de 31 heures, attirent toujours davantage de stagiaires à l’université, soit 31% des inscrits. Un quart des inscrits préparent un diplôme ou un titre national et 19% un diplôme d’université. La fréquentation des conférences à caractère culturel reste stable avec 25% des inscrits.
Le nombre des diplômes délivrés dans le cadre de la formation continue universitaire a continué d’augmenter en 2008. Sur les 59 000 diplômes délivrés, plus de la moitié sont des diplômes nationaux (33 000), 41% sont de niveau II (licences et maîtrises), plus d’un tiers de niveau I (master), 15% de niveau IV, principalement le diplôme d’accès aux études universitaires (DAEU) et 11% de niveau III, essentiellement des diplômes universitaires de technologie (DUT) préparés dans les IUT. En 2008, la part des diplômes délivrés par les universités en formation continue sur l’ensemble des diplômes s’établit à 9% contre 8,3% en 2007.
La validation des acquis de l’expérience constitue un autre moyen d’acquérir un diplôme en faisant valoir son expérience professionnelle. Depuis 2002, ce dispositif se développe dans l’enseignement supérieur (universités et CNAM) en plus de la validation des acquis professionnels (décret de 1985) qui permet d’accéder à une formation par une dispense du titre normalement requis pour s’y inscrire. En 2008, environ 4055 validations ont été délivrées pour obtenir tout ou partie d’un diplôme dont 2154 diplômes complets.
Voir les articles du blog L'état de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (n°3 - décembre 2009) et L'état de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (n°2), voir sur le site du MESR L'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (nov. 2007).
The State of Higher Education and Research 2010 allows for the annual numerical system of higher education and French research, to be at international level and to follow its developments, particularly over the long term. Finance, human resources, access to higher education, success skills, graduate employment, student life, research in biotechnology and nanotechnology, participation in the FP, publications, patents, etc. are the themes of the 35 sheets of this work which is now the fourth edition (2010). Download the full publication of the State of Higher Education and Research.
Here regards the indicator 16: Continuing Education
In 2008, training in higher education has received 460,000 students, 65,000 diplomas issued 38,000 national diplomas and achieved a turnover of 350 million euros. Again the number 4000 in 2009, the validation of prior experience persist. More...