28 août 2011

Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ)

http://www.enqa.eu/images/agencylogos/oaq.gifDas Organ für Akkreditierung und Qualitätssicherung der Schweizerischen Hochschulen (OAQ) ist damit beauftragt, die Qualität von Lehre und Forschung an den universitären Hochschulen in der Schweiz zu sichern und zu fördern. Es arbeitet fachlich und operativ unabhängig und stützt sich dabei auf internationale Praktiken und Forschungsdaten. Es organisiert und verwaltet sich im Rahmen seiner Geschäftsordnung selbst und verfügt über ein eigenes Budget.
The OAQ began its work on 1 October 2001. The basis for its mandate is formed by the Federal Law on Financial Aid to Universities (UFG, SR 414.20)and Cooperation in Matters Relating to Universities of 8 October 1999 (UFG), the Intercantonal Convention on Coordinating University Policy of 9 December 1999 and the Cooperation Agreement between the Federal Government and University Cantons on Matters Relating to Universities (SR 414.205) of 14 December 2000.
In accordance with the relevant legal provisions, the OAQ has been charged with assuring and promoting the quality of teaching and research at Swiss academic institutions. To this end the OAQ carries out quality evaluations, establishes guidelines for internal quality assurance at academic institutions and provides the relevant services.
The OAQ fulfils a number of tasks relating to quality assurance and accreditation at the behest of the Swiss University Conference (SUK/CUS), the body responsible for coordinating university-related activities of the federal government and cantons throughout Switzerland. It develops guidelines and quality standards for academic accreditation in Switzerland and carries out accreditation procedures on the basis of Guidelines introduced by the SUK/CUS. It participates in international collaboration in the field of accreditation and quality assurance. It may participate in an advisory function in evaluations carried out by the universities on their own responsibility and organize evaluations of specific disciplines in consultation with the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS).
The OAQ carries out quality evaluations on behalf of the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) under the qualifying procedure for financial support stipulated by the Federal Law on Financial Aid to Universities and Cooperation in Matters Relating to Universities. The qualifying procedure stipulated by the UFG requires quality audits at all cantonal universities to be carried out every four years which focus on the quality assurance systems operated by the universities.

Posté par pcassuto à 16:53 - - Permalien [#]
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Bestaat de Europese hogeronderwijsruimte?

http://www.nvao.net/page/images/thumb/w100h93_LogoQA.jpgQ&A
- staat voor "quality", "assessment", "questions" en "answers", maar gaat hier over kwaliteitszorg in het hoger onderwijs.
- bestaat uit het Q&Amagazine en de website Q&Azine. Het magazine wordt thematisch ingericht en verschijnt enige malen per jaar, de website is altijd online
- biedt informatie, tips, meningen, voorbeelden en andere inzichten
- is gratis, vrij toegankelijk, interactief en (meestal) Nederlandstalig
- wordt mogelijk gemaakt door de NVAO, maar is van en voor alle bij de kwaliteitszorg betrokken medewerkers, instellingen en organisaties in het hoger onderwijs. Nr. 3: Over de grenzen, apr 2011.

Bestaat de Europese hogeronderwijsruimte?
JA: Ligia Deca (Head of the Bologna Secretariat)

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) launched in Vienna last year by 47 ministers of higher education does exist.
In fact, EHEA tools have become part of daily life in higher education institutions across this vast territory. However, it sometimes looks as if we need criticism to become aware of the obvious presence of the EHEA. Have we realized our dream - 47 highly diverse, yet comparable, higher education systems that trust each other enough to see significantly higher academic mobility and improved diploma recognition, apart from higher quality and more diverse student bodies at the same time? I would say we did. My arguments? Institutional autonomy, academic freedom and stakeholder participation are just a few traits of the incredibly original European academic democracy which is seen as the cornerstone of the EHEA. At the same time, the EHEA acts as a non-stop debating forum on how these principles can inspire actions for the well-being of students, academic staff and universities themselves. Naturally taking into account the different cultural, social and historical backgrounds. The Council of Europe’s basic values regarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law are also cornerstones for the EHEA, especially since EHEA candidates must adhere to the Council of Europe’s “European Cultural Convention”.
Europe is seen as a continent where quality of higher education seems to be at the heart of every national debate. Although the Bologna Process did not invent the concept of “quality assurance”, it did enshrine a European institutional framework for quality enhancement, while allowing for national specificities. My own country, Romania, serves as an example of the trust these structures have brought about: a university can be assessed by any quality assurance agency listed in EQAR.
Recognition and qualifications frameworks are also quantifiable tools for the existence of the EHEA. The Lisbon Recognition Convention is ratified by almost all EHEA members, while by next year all EHEA countries should have national qualifications frameworks compatible with the Overarching Framework of Qualifications of the EHEA. In addition, an overwhelming majority of the EHEA countries have the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) in place as an easy transfer unit for personal academic achievement. The “Independent Assessment of the Bologna Process” study clearly states that mobility numbers for students, academics and researchers have increased and the foreseen build-up of an EHEA Mobility Strategy says something about the consolidation of the area in the next decade. I agree that the tools described above might sound more appealing for policy makers or HE researchers than for students and professors, but mobility would be very difficult, if not impossible, without them. Apart from the countless newspaper articles disputing its benefits or investigating its ever increasing number of action lines, external recognition is an interesting indicator for the existence of the EHEA. Julie Bishop, the Australian Minister for Education Science and Training said: that ‘If Australia is not able to maintain alignment with these developments, a significant proportion of the current 32,000 European enrolments in Australian institutions may find other destinations more attractive.’
Finally, I would ask you to make a small imaginary exercise. Try to describe your student or teacher current experience without the aid of the notions mentioned above. Is there someone who doesn’t know any mobile students or that has never seen a quality assessment questionnaire? Is there someone who has never heard of ECTS? If you reach the conclusion that the first descriptors that come to your mind are some of the elements described above, then we can safely assume that the EHEA does exist. Still very much work in progress, but surely a reality.

NEE: Karl Dittrich (voorzitter NVAO)

Tijdens de vele bijeenkomsten over de voortgang van het Bologna-proces in maart 2010, constateerden Europese ministers verantwoordelijk voor het Hoger Onderwijs, dat de European Higher Education Area (EHEA) een feit was. Hun redenering was simpel: bijna alle afspraken uit de Bolognaverklaringen zijn uitgevoerd of in uitvoering genomen.
Het gebeurt wel vaker dat politieke wensen en de weerbarstige werkelijkheid uit elkaar lopen. De EHEA is voor mij een van de meest onthutsende voorbeelden van deze kloof. Het Europese hoger onderwijslandschap is op het eerste gezicht eenvormiger geworden, in de praktijk zijn de verschillen nog vrijwel even groot als vóór de Bologna-verklaring. Toegegeven, de bachelor-masterstructuur lijkt te zijn ingevoerd. Er is sprake van een versteviging van de externe kwaliteitszorg, we hebben kwalificatieraamwerken gekregen en met de invoering van ECTS is een eerste stap gezet om studenten en arbeidsmarkt goed te informeren. Maar, wie beter kijkt, ziet meer.
Kijk maar eens naar de wijze waarop de bachelor-masterstructuur is ingevoerd en de moeilijkheden die vooral grote landen hebben om hun onderwijsstelsels om te vormen. Kijk maar eens naar het ontbreken van serieuze vormen van kwaliteitsbewaking in allerlei Europese landen. Kijk maar eens consolinaar de gebrekkige wijze waarop de kwalificatieraamwerken worden ingevoerd en getoetst. Elk van deze belangrijke en kwaliteitsverhogende maatregelen zijn op een verschillende wijze ingevoerd en getoetst. En dat de nationale overheden het niet zo nauw namen met de waarheid tijdens de invulling van de tweejaarlijkse stock-taking – daar is iedereen die het Europese onderwijs ook maar een beetje kent van overtuigd.
Europa heeft meer tijd nodig

Is dat verrassend? Nee! Is dat erg? Ook niet! De Bologna-verklaring heeft heel wat veranderingen tot stand gebracht. Ik ben erg onder de indruk van de wijze waarop met name een aantal voormalig Oost-Europese landen zich op de implementatie van de Bologna-afspraken heeft gestort. Hun hoger onderwijsstelsels worden in snel tempo klaargemaakt voor de mondialiserende economie. Petje af. We moeten ons echter wel realiseren dat de afspraken en voornemens die de ministers in opeenvolgende conferenties maakten, zo talrijk zijn, dat het onmogelijk is om ze in een tijdsbestek van tien jaar te implementeren! Europa heeft dus meer tijd nodig en zal zich die ook moeten gunnen. De startpositie van de landen is te verschillend, de kwaliteitsverschillen zijn enorm.
Meer en meer mengt Brussel zich niet alleen in discussies, maar probeert het de regie naar zich toe te trekken. Het Europese register, de stimulans om quality labels op te richten, steeds meer gedetailleerde regels over de inhoud van beroepen en dus van het onderwijs dat tot deze beroepen opleidt en steeds meer pogingen tot “Europeanisering”. Het subsidiariteitsbeginsel sla ik hoog aan. Het komt steeds meer onder druk te staan door de pogingen van de EU om, via haar bevoegdheden voor de arbeidsmarkt, het hoger onderwijs aan regels te onderwerpen. Naar mijn overtuiging kan een dergelijke beweging slechts met kwaliteitsverlaging gepaard gaan. Nivellering ligt mijn inziens op de loer: het gemiddelde zal gaan tellen. Voor landen die het moeten hebben van hun kennis, is dat een zeer bedreigende ontwikkeling. Daarom mag wat mij betreft de European Higher Education Area nog even een papieren werkelijkheid blijven!

Posté par pcassuto à 13:52 - - Permalien [#]

Underserved Students Who Earn Credit Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Underserved Students Who Earn Credit Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Have Higher Degree Completion Rates and Shorter Time-to-Degree
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) links learning and work. CAEL works at all levels within the higher education, public, and private sectors to make it easier for people to get the education and training they need.
Underserved Students Who Earn Credit Through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Have Higher Degree Completion Rates and Shorter Time-to-Degree.
What Is Prior Learning Assessment?
Prior learning is a term used by educators to describe learning that a person acquires outside a traditional academic environment. This learning may have been acquired through work experience, employer training programs, independent study, non-credit courses, volunteer or community service, travel, or non-college courses or seminars.
Prior learning assessment (PLA) is a term used to describe the process by which an individual’s experiential learning is assessed and evaluated for purposes of granting college credit, certification, or advanced standing toward further education or training. There are four generally accepted approaches to PLA and, when properly conducted, all ensure academic quality:
1. National standardized exams in specified disciplines, e.g., Advanced Placement (AP) exams, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, Excelsior college exams, Dantes Subject Standardized Texts (DSST);
2. Challenge exams for local courses;
3. Evaluated non-college programs, e.g., American Council on Education (ACE) evaluations of corporate training and military training;
4. Individualized assessments, particularly portfoliobased assessments
Background: Credit from Prior Learning and Adult Student Outcomes
Earning college credit for prior learning can help adult students in many ways. For example, earning prior learning credit can help students avoid having to take courses in subjects they have already mastered. This is especially helpful for adult students who have acquired college-level learning through on-the-job training, work experience, the military, volunteer work, open source courseware and other self-study. Earning credit for prior learning saves students both time and tuition dollars in earning a degree. Advocates further believe that such credit also has a motivational factor, encouraging students to persist towards degree completion.
In 2010, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) released a report on a multi-institutional study on prior learning assessment (PLA) and adult student outcomes. The study examined data from 62,475 adult students at 48 colleges and universities, following the students’ academic progress over the course of seven years (See Fueling the Race for Postsecondary Success).
Outcomes for Hispanic and Black, non-Hispanic Students Among PLA students and non-PLA students identified by race/ethnicity in our study, we found that for each racial/ethnic group, graduation rates for PLA students are higher than non-PLA students. The most dramatic difference was for Hispanic students at the bachelor’s degree level; Hispanic PLA students earned bachelor’s degrees at a rate that was almost eight times higher than that of Hispanic non-PLA students.
The data from the 48 postsecondary institutions in our study show that students with PLA credit had better academic outcomes, particularly in terms of graduation rates and persistence, than other adult students. Many PLA students also shortened the time required to earn a degree, depending on the number of PLA credits earned. In this research brief, CAEL showcases the findings by race/ethnicity and income – two demographic categories often used to define underserved student groups. The data show that black non-Hispanic, Hispanic, and lowincome students with PLA credits have better academic outcomes than similar students without PLA credits. The positive findings for low-income, black non-Hispanic and Hispanic students suggest that awarding college credit for significant life learning could be an effective way to accelerate degree completion, while lowering the cost, for underserved student populations.
Figure 2 shows that decreases in average time to degree were apparent for all three subgroups earning PLA credits, with the most dramatic decreases for black non-Hispanic PLA students. With 13-24 PLA credits, black non-Hispanic PLA students saved an average of 14.2 months for the bachelor’s degree, while those earning 49 or more PLA credits saved an average of 21.3 months (Figure 2).
Outcomes for Lower-Income Students

Although data on students’ income level was not available to CAEL, several institutions were able to indicate which students received need-based financial aid. By examining the graduation rates and time to degree of financial aid recipients, and by calculating the cost savings associated with earning PLA credit, we can conclude that PLA could be an effective way to accelerate degree completion, thus lowering the out-of-pocket cost, for lower-income students. Similar to the patterns CAEL found with other student subgroups, financial aid recipients earning PLA credit had dramatically higher bachelor’s degree completion rates than their non-PLA counterparts (72% compared to 16%) (Figure 3).
In terms of time to degree, financial aid recipients without PLA credits earned their bachelor’s degrees in an average of 42.6 months (non-financial aid recipients without PLA credits had a comparable average time to degree of 42.0 months). However, as the number of PLA credits earned increased, the financial aid recipients required less time to earn their degrees, on average. Financial aid recipients with 1-6 PLA credits saved more than 7 months, and those with 13-24 PLA credits saved more than 11 months.
PLA and Tuition Savings

Whether or not they are financial aid recipients, students from low-income families still struggle to pay for a college education. The College Board recently reported that the median debt of bachelor’s degree earners from families earning less than $30,000 per year in 2007-2008 was $16,500 for those attending public institutions, $21,000 for those attending private institutions, and $30,500 for those attending for-profit institutions (See Trends in Student Aid 2010, The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. Trends in Higher Education Series).
For lower-income adult students who are facing this kind of college tuition debt, the ability to earn credit though prior learning assessment can have real financial implications, since the cost of having prior learning evaluated for credit is typically less than the cost of the tuition for the same number of credit hours. For example, an adult student who earns 15 PLA credits (The average number of PLA credits earned by students in our study was 17.6) that can be applied toward the degree can save from a low of around $1,605 at a large public university to a high of around $6,000 at other institutions. The table on the following page provides several scenarios of tuition cost savings, using five institutions from our study as examples.
Summary and Conclusion

The findings outlined in this research brief show that Hispanic and black, non-Hispanic students who earn PLA credits had higher graduation rates and required less time to earn their degrees, compared to their peers without PLA credit. Combined with the impressive outcomes of the financial aid recipients with PLA credit, the findings suggest that PLA could be a potentially important strategy for helping underserved or disadvantaged adult populations succeed in completing postsecondary degrees, and at a substantial cost savings.
CAEL’s new online PLA service LearningCounts.org, in partnership with ACE and the College Board, is providing a way to expand student access to PLA generally, but is also working to provide special opportunities to lowerincome students through scholarships and public sector workforce development programs (these are special LearningCounts.org initiatives funded by the Walmart Foundation and the Joyce Foundation). As we serve more low-income and other underserved populations with PLA, we are looking forward to learning more about how these students use PLA, how many PLA credits they earn, and what kinds of work and life experiences are providing them with that learning. This information will be informing how we educate policy-makers, public officials institutions and advocacy organizations about the uses and value of PLA.

Posté par pcassuto à 13:29 - - Permalien [#]

Higher Education World Atlas

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2345/2404505335_9f06ed86ac_o.jpgWelcome to Moveonnet. Moveonnet provides a comprehensive directory of 6085 universities worldwide and tools for the communication between the international relations offices.

The Worldwide Directory of Higher Education

World Atlas

View here the location of all Institutions of Higher Education. From the world map you can zoom in and geographically view institutions by country or even individually. The dynamic map provides you with links to country and individual institution’s pages in moveonnet containing further information.

Institutions of Higher Education

Here you can find general information on institutions of higher education, contacts, list of partners, information for exchange students, ranking positions, location on a map, etc.

Countries

The country updates include general country information, a list of the different regions/states, links and explanations on the higher education systems and the different institution types as well as a list of the higher education institutions.

Networks

The network section includes general information, aims, contacts and members.

International programmes

For information on international programmes, e.g. Master, Bachelor or Summer courses including description, modalities, contacts etc. please have a look in this section.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:16 - - Permalien [#]

Internationalization of Higher Education Nine Misconceptions

http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/research/cihe/_jcr_content/top-right/bcimage.img.pngThe Center for International Higher Education defines its mission to be advancing knowledge about the complex realities of higher education in the contemporary world. International Higher Education (IHE). Our flagship quarterly publication features analysis and reports about key issues in higher education worldwide. The current issue is featured on the website. A comprehensive subject and author index permits easy access to all past articles.
Issue 64, Summer 2011
Internationalization of Higher Education: Nine Misconceptions, by Hans de Wit.
Hans de Wit is professor of internationalization at the School of Economics and Management, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands. This is an abridged version of his public lecture in Amsterdam, April 6, 2011. E-mail: j.w.m.de.wit@hva.nl.
EDUCATION IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

The influence of the English language as a medium of communication in research has been dominant for a long period of time. Also, over the past 20 years the tendency in higher education has been to teach in English, as an alternative for teaching in one’s mother tongue. There are several unintended negative effects. Increasingly, education offered in the English language is regarded as the equivalent of internationalization, which results in a decreasing focus on other foreign languages; in an insufficient focus on the quality of the English spoken by students and teachers for whom English is not their native language; and thus leading to a decline in the quality of education.
STUDYING OR STAYING ABROAD

A study or internship abroad as part of your home studies is often regarded as the equivalent of internationalization. In particular, the European Commission’s policy to stimulate this manner of mobility has contributed to that instrumental approach over the last 25 years. It is questionable, however, whether the imbalanced and oversimplified approach to mobility matches internationalization. As well, it can be said that mobility is merely an instrument for promoting internationalization and not a goal in itself. Mobility needs to be finely embedded in the internationalization of education. It should be determined whether these Internationalization in European higher education has developed over the last 20 years, from a marginal point of interest to a central factor—also called a mainstreaming of internationalization. Indisputably, globalization of our societies and economies has expanded the influence of competition and market processes on the manner in which internationalization is implemented. Internationalization distinguishes many motives and approaches. The mainstreaming of internationalization assumes a more integral process-based approach, aimed at a better quality of higher education and competencies of staff and students. Reality is less promising, however, although the international dimension takes an increasingly central role in higher education. Still, there is a predominantly activity-oriented or even instrumental approach toward internationalization, which leads to major misconceptions about the nature of this development. Nine misconceptions will be described (two of them coinciding with a myth as described in IHE by Jane Knight in “Five Myths About Internationalization,” no. 62, winter 2011), whereby internationalization is regarded as synonymous with a specific programmatic or organizational strategy to promote internationalization—in other words, where the means appear to have become the goal. added values are developed among students; and more innovative reflection is required on alternative ways of achieving these added values, for instance by the use of distance education and virtual mobility.
AN INTERNATIONAL SUBJECT

A third misconception that continues to surface persistently is that internationalization is synonymous with providing training based on international content or connotation: European studies, international business, or universal music. Within the institutions and schools offering these programs, the prevailing opinion seems to imply that, in this way, internationalization has been properly implemented. Without meaning to ignore the valuable contribution of such programs, again, it is too simplistic and instrumental an argument to declare regional studies as synonymous with internationalization.
HAVING MANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

A fourth misconception of internationalization is the assumption that having many international students equals that trend. Without denying that the combination of local and international students in the lecture room can make a significant contribution to internationalization, simply having international students is not sufficient. Unfortunately, countless examples can be given of programs that are oriented exclusively toward international students or where international students are being added as an isolated group.
FEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS GUARANTEES SUCCESS

The other side of the preceding misconception occurs as well. In particular, many international programs have developed a distorted proportion between the number of local and international students. Partly as a result of the increasing national and international competition for international students, the proportion between local and international students becomes more and more unequal. Thus, one can hardly speak of an international classroom setting. Conversely, this development has a negative effect on the internationalization of mainstream, non-English-language programs. Local students with a certain, whether or not motivated, international interest preferably enroll in the international programs—which means the interest of mainstream education in the local language dwindles. Also, in these programs, the presence of a small number of international students creates tensions. Should the courses be taught in English if there are only one or two international students in the lecture room? How can the integration of international students be realized in such distorted proportions?
NO NEED TO TEST INTERCULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETENCIES

A sixth misconception assumes that students normally acquire intercultural and international competencies if they study or serve their internship abroad or take part in an international class. This misconception is closely related to the previous ones about mobility, education in English, and the presence of international students. If these kinds of activities and instruments are considered synonymous with internationalization, then it is obvious to assume that intercultural and international competences will therefore also be acquired. Once again, reality is more complicated. It is not guaranteed from the outset that these activities will actually lead to that result. After all, students can completely seclude themselves from sharing experiences with other students and other sections of the population in the countries they visit.
THE MORE PARTNERSHIPS, THE MORE INTERNATIONAL

A seventh misconception on internationalization is the focus on partnerships: the more partnerships, the more success of internationalization. Globalization, competition, and market processes have reinforced the development toward strategic partnerships. This tendency toward strategic partnerships often implicates intentions, however. The majority of partnerships remain bilateral, and in several institutions and schools the number far exceeds the number of students and teachers being exchanged.
HIGHER EDUCATION—INTERNATIONAL BY NATURE

At universities and among their researchers, the general opinion identified a truly international characteristic, and thus there is no need to stimulate and guide internationalization. Thereby, references are made to the Renaissance, the time of the philosopher Erasmus (ca. 1467–1536), whom the European exchange program is named after. This historic reference ignores the fact that universities, mostly originated in the 18th and 19th century, had a clear national orientation and function. Internationalization does not arrive naturally in general universities and universities of applied sciences, but needs to be introduced. That is why the rather widely accepted definition of internationalization by Jane Knight refers to an integration process.
INTERNATIONALIZATION AS A PRECISE GOAL

Most of the mentioned misconceptions conceive an activity or instrument as synonymous with internationalization. The last, also fairly prevailing, misconception regards internationalization as a main goal, and therefore it is in line with the misconceptions mentioned earlier. Internationalization is a process to introduce intercultural, international, and global dimensions in higher education; to improve the goals, functions, and delivery of higher education; and thus to upgrade the quality of education and research. If internationalization is regarded as a specific goal, then it remains ad hoc and marginal. To comprehend the challenges and opportunities for the internationalization of higher education it is compelling to recognize that these misconceptions are still fairly common.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:35 - - Permalien [#]


Higher Education Finance and Cost Sharing Profiles by Country

http://gse.buffalo.edu/org/inthigheredfinance/images/UB-GSE-logo.gifAll scholarly projects have life spans, and the International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project, housed in the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education at the University at Buffalo, is no exception. The core grant from the Ford Foundation, which has supported the Project since 1999 concluded in August 2008, although the extensive Project library and Website as well as many of the activities associated with the Project continue with the support of the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education and income from consultancies.

Australia: AustraliaNew Zealand.
Latin America: ArgentinaBrazil, ChileMexico.
North America: CanadaUnited States of America.

Higher Education Finance and Cost Sharing in France
I. A Brief Description of French Higher Education

The higher education system in France is quite complex1 and is composed of more than 3,500 public and private institutions including (Chevaillier and Paul 2006): Eighty-four public universities with three types of university institutes (institutes of technology, teacher training institutes, and professional university institutes). The universities are also the sites of research, often in connection with the independently funded and administered national research agencies, particularly the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). All of the classical universities are public and faculty members are considered civil servants. Nineteen private universities and colleges. Five hundred public, private or mixed higher schools (grandes écoles) including teaching (écoles normales supérieures), engineering (écoles d’ingenieur), business (écoles de commerce), agriculture, veterinary medicine among others. These are highly selective, prestigious, and generally quite small institutions that serve as gateways to the highest status positions in management, engineering, public administration and education. They are organizationally and administratively disparate: some are under the education ministry, others are under other ministries and some are even operated by chambers of commerce. Independent institutions with short programs in health and social services. Short cycle technical institutions (sections de techniciens supérieurs) that award Brevet de Technician Supérieur (BTS). Two year post-bac higher education diplomas and institutions (upper secondary schools) that hold preparatory programs (Classe Preparatoire aux grandes écoles - CPGE) for students planning to take the entrance exams to the grandes écoles.
The new LMD (Licence, Master, Doctorate) system was set up in French universities in 2006/07 in line with the Bologna Declaration to facilitate student mobility among European countries and disciplines. The first degree, the Licence, is equal to three years of study, the Master’s to two additional years and the Doctoral to three additional years beyond that. Admission to the universities for the Licence is open to all holders of the academic secondary school (lycée) leaving certificate (the baccalauréat). Admission to the grandes écoles is extremely selective and competitive and generally, but not always, takes place after two or more years of preparatory classes following the receipt of the Bac (CPGE classes).
In 2007, 2,258,001 students were enrolled in higher education compared with just over one million in 1980. Of these 2+ million, 1.3 million were enrolled in universities; 113,000 in university institutes of technology (IUT); 235,500 in two year higher education diploma programs (in a “section de technician supérieur”); and 506,500 in other public and private higher education institutions including the highly prestigious grandes écoles and in the post-Bac high school-based preparatory classes (Classe Preparatoire aux Grandes Écoles – CPGE) (Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche 2007).
The universities, and IUTs charge fees of about Euro 150 for the first degree. Fee levels are set by ministerial order for all programs leading to national degrees and these levels may differ by program. Universities may set their own fee levels for programs that do not receive funding from the Ministry of Education (Chevaillier and Paul 2006). Some of the public grandes écoles charge substantial tuition fees (Euro 5,300, for example, at the Sciences Po in Paris) for their own diplomas, however students who are studying for a national degree only have to pay the regular university fee (Chevaillier and Paul 2006). In all cases, fees are waived or reduced for students receiving means tested financial support from the state, which is based on annual parental income2. Private higher education institutions charge fees ranging from Euro 1,450 to Euro 5,800 per year. In addition students have to pay the mandatory health insurance fee, approximately Euro 350, as well as various other small documentation and student activity fees totaling not more than Euro 50.. Grants More than half of all French higher education students receive means-tested grants based student and parent income, and other criteria i.e. family income, the number of children in the student’s family, whether the student resides at home or not, the location of the higher education institution and the student’s program level (Eurostudent 2008). To be eligible for grants, students must be under 26, pursing national diplomas or recognized university diplomas and enrolled full time. Grants account for eighty-four percent of total public support, scholarships from other public sources for 14 percent, and loans for only 2 percent. In 2006, 32 percent of the total students enrolled received grants. As of 2008, the individual grants range from Euro 1,424 to Euro 4,019 per year and depend on In 2008, the French system introduced a new merit grant to replace the old. The new merit grant aims to promote excellence in all domains and to pay more attention to middle class students. The merit grant is given as a supplement to eligible students who are already benefiting from the means-tested grant or who do not receive the means tested grant, but are eligible for a tuition fee waiver by virtue of their families’ income level. Merit grants are awarded for three years and are €200/month (website: Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche). Student loans Students who are not eligible for grants may apply for interest free means-tested government loans (Prêts d’honneur), which are allocated by the Centres Régionaux des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scholars, public establishments under the Ministry of Higher Education that are charged with providing student services and ensuring access. The loan amounts are quite modest and consist of a one-time disbursement of approximately 2,000 €. Only about 2 percent of higher education students, or 4,000 students, avail themselves of these loans. (Eurostudent 2008).
While commercial banks have made up to 60,000 student loans in France, these have generally been to wealthier students in the Grands Ecoles whose parents were able to provide a guarantee and/or collateral. A new government guaranteed loan was introduced in the fall of 2008 for all students under 28 years old that will be originated by participating banks to cover fees and living costs. The new loan is not means tested nor does it require student/family guarantees or collateral and is instead guaranteed by a government guarantee fund (5 million Euros allocated for 2008-09 to leverage 140,000 loans) managed by OSEO, a public risk-sharing facility that reports to the Ministry for Economy, Finance and Industry and to the Ministry for Higher Education and Research. OSEO will take on a part of the default risk by guaranteeing 70 percent of each loan not including interest accruals. The government will make annual contributions to the guarantee fund. Students may borrow up to 15,000 Euros over the course of their studies. Banks may refuse to give loans to students that do not display the academic and professional seriousness necessary to ensure repayment.
A total of 20,000 loans were made in the first four months of the program with an average size of 7,500 Euros and a total of 60,000 are expected to be made in the course of 2009. Loans must be repaid within 10 years of the loan’s origination. During the in-school years, the student can choose to pay only the insurance premiums or the premiums plus interest. The interest rate on the loans ranges from 3.8 to 4.5 percent depending on the bank. The new loan is expected to eventually replace the prêts d’honneur.
Child allowances and tax breaks
The government provides French families with child allowances based on the number of children studying and tax deductions. (Kaiser 2007). Parents are legally financially responsible for their children until the age of 18 and continue to receive child allowances and tax breaks until their children reach the age of 26. Few students (13 percent) work during the academic year, while almost half (46 percent) work during their summer vacations.
II. Estimated Expenses of Higher Education in France
More..
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Posté par pcassuto à 11:12 - - Permalien [#]
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Coordinating quality assurance in higher education

http://www.che.ac.za/images/che_logo.jpgThe Office of the Executive Director: Quality Assurance is responsible for:
1. Coordination of quality assurance and local stakeholder management

Education White Paper 3 (reference: Education White Paper 3: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education) assigns responsibility for coordinating quality assurance in higher education to the HEQC. The organisation is therefore required to facilitate a common approach to quality assurance in collaboration with the other bodies concerned, such as professional councils and sector education and training authorities (SETAs); and to ensure that duplication of quality assurance activities in higher education is avoided. This can involve sharing information and quality assurance systems, and in some instances entering into formal agreements or memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with other bodies whose scope of practice in quality assurance in higher education overlaps with that of the HEQC. The Executive Director's office also manages relations with local stakeholders including higher education institutions and their associations, government departments and the business and student fraternity.
2. International relations

The HEQC recognises that its work must be informed by international debates on developments in quality assurance in higher education, and that the organisation can contribute significantly to such debates. Relationships with quality assurance agencies in the African continent and internationally are key to the HEQC's achieving this objective. For this reason, the organisation has over the past five years established Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in the UK, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in India, the Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) and the Tertiary Education Council (TEC) in Botswana. The HEQC will continue to establish relationships with quality agencies internationally, sharing information with countries entering the discourse of quality assurance for the first time, and participating in a coordinated fashion in international debates on higher education.
3. Delegation of stipulated quality assurance functions to higher education institutions

The HEQC is responsible for evaluating and reporting on the effectiveness of the quality management systems of higher education institutions in relation to assessment, short courses, certification arrangements, and recognition of prior learning (RPL). Rather than evaluate each of these areas on an ongoing basis at each institution, the HEQC has developed a framework and criteria on the basis of which quality assurance responsibility for these areas can be delegated to those higher education institutions which can demonstrate that they have in place effective quality management systems. Previously, evaluating these areas was part of the HEQC's institutional audit system. In the case of all institutions that have been audited, and those that are being audited in 2008, decisions about which areas can be delegated will be based on their audit reports and improvement plans. To determine the extent to which it can delegate these areas to the remaining institutions, the HEQC will draw on information in its possession and/or will request further information.
4. The Higher Education Quality Committee Information System (HEQCIS)

One of the responsibilities of the HEQC is to collect from its accredited providers data on student enrolment and achievement, in the format prescribed by the HEQC in consultation with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The HEQC then submits this data to SAQA for inclusion in the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD). The HEQCIS is the system developed by the HEQC to enable this data to be collected. Data from public providers does not form part of the HEQCIS as this is sent directly by these institutions to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). After being processed by the Department's Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS), it is submitted to SAQA. HEQCIS can be accessed at: www.che.ac.za/heqcisinfo.

Posté par pcassuto à 09:05 - - Permalien [#]
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Work-Integrated Learning: Good Practice Guide

http://www.che.ac.za/images/che_logo.jpgHigher Education Monitor 12: Work-Integrated Learning: Good Practice Guide August 2011. A central feature of the HEQC's approach since its inception has been to initiate and facilitate quality-related capacity development activities in a collaborative manner across a range of areas in higher education, including the practice of teaching and learning. The quality promotion and capacity development activities for the South African higher education sector have included the conducting of large dedicated projects in selected areas, workshops, training sessions, seminars, and publications.
This publication, Work-Integrated Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Institutions, is intended to assist those involved in programme development and in the curriculum development and adaptation required by the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (October 2007). It also aims to prompt other academics who are involved in teaching to consider the educational purpose and role of work-integrated learning in teaching and learning. As the authors argue, "University teachers should be concerned to ensure that the students that graduate from their programmes are prepared for the world in which they will live and work." The publication provides a theoretical foundation for work-integrated learning while making use of a large number of local and international case studies for illustration and example.
Conclusion

University teachers should be concerned to ensure that the students that graduate from their programmes are prepared for the world in which they will live and work. The integration of professional and academic concerns in the curriculum will go some way towards addressing this requirement. In South Africa, the recurriculation processes required by the HEQF speak directly to this need. Keeping up with developments in the profession and workplace is a challenge for university teachers, as well as for graduates. Teachers and students need to be well informed about trends and issues that are practised outside the university, as well as inside it. University teachers should locate workplace issues in a wider context. To do so, they should compare the information about the workplace and about new curricular developments. University teachers should think carefully about the relationship between the workplace and the university. A university education is not about job training, and a WIL curriculum should not be dictated by economic or narrow workplace interests. Instead the university must be (as it always has been) responsive to society and responsive to the needs of students to become productive members of society. Beyond that, part of the mission of higher education has also been to look beyond immediate problems and to prepare students to change and improve existing practices, not merely to adapt to the world as they find it.

Posté par pcassuto à 08:56 - - Permalien [#]

Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century

http://www.chea.org/images/chea-vert.gifCHEA Initiative White Paper: Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and the Role of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (August 2011).
BY FRED HARCLEROAD, Introduction

The British magazine, The Economist, probably the leading globally informed publication of this type, in its September 8, 2005 issue, stated that U.S. higher education is “the best in the world.” Although not a “system” and not managed by a central ministry, it is clearly an identifiable enterprise. And its outstanding stature is attributed to its not being organized under the authority of a central government. What holds it together? In part, it is participation by thousands of diverse collegiate institutions and their skilled faculties in the self-regulatory process of accreditation that has developed in the past century. As society needed new, diverse institutions, higher education changed and adapted. Without the police powers of government, and primarily voluntary in nature, it has worked to improve and expand programs and degree offerings. Core values of a democratic society have been maintained, along with autonomy of diverse institutions responding to their varying missions.
Why and how is this condition possible? Two major factors of our republic contribute. They are, first, our unique Constitution, and, second, our unique tripartite system of providing goods and services in our society.
The United States of America, in forming the Constitution after achieving independence from England, developed a combined federal and state system, with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution listing 18 powers delegated to the Congress and Amendment No. X stating, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The term, “education” is not used in the Constitution or The Federalist Papers developed to encourage its passage. Therefore, education in all of its forms, including higher education, is reserved for the states.
As a result, the chartering, establishment and operation of higher education and all institutional education activity is a state power and not a federal power. The federal government has oversight responsibility with regard to the District of Columbia and provides for some specialized institutions in the District. And it provides for institutes to train military forces needed to defend the country and its borders - but all other activity must be state-chartered and required to conform to state law.
The United States has also developed a plan for providing goods and services for its society that is unique. It is tripartite: business and commerce (profit-making and tax-paying); state and federal governments (funded by taxes on business, tariffs and, after the passage of the 16th amendment, taxes on individual incomes) and, finally, thousands of voluntary associations working in the public interest and not responsible, in the main, for paying taxes. Governments are totally responsible for legal matters, consumer protection and exerting the police powers required to enforce the laws and their associated regulations. The voluntary organizations cannot enforce laws or exert the police powers of the government.
Accrediting bodies are among the thousands of voluntary organizations. They are 501(c)3 operations, as is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a national membership organization charged with national coordination of accreditation. As a result, consumer protection laws against such entities as degree mills, accreditation mills and illegally operating organizations claiming to be educational institutions must be subject to enforcement by government agencies – the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) or state government supervisory agencies...

Possible Future Emphases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

The current CHEA Initiative to date has identified eight general issues for which to determine action plans for the future activities. Several are comparable to the nine functions outlined by Robert Glidden to the Congress in 1997, including advocacy for accreditation, relations with federal and state governments and relations with accrediting associations (such as recognition). International quality assurance as an additional key CHEA activity has been underway for many years and very successfully. Accountability has been a board policy effort for several years, with some success. Attention to the institutions with profit as a major objective has been limited. As a consequence, it is appropriate to suggest some specific activities that CHEA can consider for future action.
The CHEA Institute for Research and Study of Accreditation and Quality Assurance, with its publications, is one of the organization’s most effective services. A number of possible studies are suggested that the Institute could carry out in future years and possibly affect future improvements in some CHEA recognition responsibilities:
1) Inside Accreditation, dated June 14, 2010, on the feasibility of “Selling Accreditation” lists three possible standards and five practices that accrediting bodies could include in their approval process when a currently accredited college is sold. A study of current written standards and actual practices would be useful in this future area of consideration.
2) A current public concern is that peer review includes definite conflict of interest. A potentially valuable study could involve contact with a statistically useful sample of the peer reviewers on site visitation teams during the past three-to-five years to determine their reasons for participating. The tasks are demanding and essentially professional service. The result of such a study could provide information on whether there is actual “conflict of interest.” Include also any data on compensation (usually very low, a token payment).
3) Conflict of interest, if accurately described, involves professional ethics. It would be useful to make a study of existing codes of ethics for those on evaluation teams and review bodies and develop a national code of ethics.
4) Make a study of the standards listed by each regional association to determine if there is a set of common core standards for review and what differences are significant. Determine if practices and review guidelines have a comparable core and explore for process comparability and procedures for visiting teams to follow. Then, examine programmatic comparable data – and try to determine a common data set that all institutions should develop for use on a yearly basis for long range planning and yearly budgeting and fund allocation. Use the common data set for all accreditation self-studies.
5) Make a study of CHEA’s 3,000 member presidents and the ways they use accreditation.
6) Studying learning outcomes is more difficult for overall institutional than for programmatic accreditors. However, it would be useful to make a simple study of these two different types of accrediting and recommend some common core outcome measures that would be useful to recommend to various accrediting bodies.
All of these potential studies could provide vital information publications focusing on best practices in accreditation. In several areas for future efforts over the years, the best thing that CHEA can do is continue the current work. With a limited staff and budget, the current products are very effective. Cooperative publications with a few critical organized groups, such as the State Higher Education Executive Officers organization and the Education Commission of the States, would be a good follow-up to the NCHEMS 2010 analysis of state uses of accreditation. A few findings that many states have laws and operations using accreditation might lead to expanded use. A common suggested legal/regulatory wording could encourage other states to pass such laws and develop such regulations. Particular areas for such action are:
1. Whether accreditation is needed to operate (40 states);
2. Requiring nonpublic institutions to be accredited (21 states);
3. Have CHEA recognition for all states with this requirement;
4. Have accreditation (using CHEA) required for out-of state institutions (44 states);
5. Accreditor must be recognized by CHEA as well as USDE (8 states); and
6. Increase state transfer requiring accreditation (8 states)
Dennis Jones, in a 2002 CHEA report (Different Perspectives on Information About Educational Quality: Implications for the Role of Accreditation), suggested that regional accreditors establish three levels of accredited status (meets minimum requirements, exceeds minimum requirements or far exceeds minimum requirements). Some programmatic accreditors have already moved in this direction. An analysis of the programmatic accreditors varied levels and the attitudes of the regionals could be somewhat controversial but interesting to do in later years.
Since the basic group that developed and continues to support CHEA was, and is, the presidents of 3,000 institutions, the President’s Project remains a valuable activity. Presidents are key members of the CHEA board. It could be useful to have a special part of each conference devoted to their analysis of continuing and future CHEA efforts. An alternative would be to have a special session of the group of presidents that originally voted to establish CHEA, including key association board members and their executive officers.
CHEA is a unique member organization with a continuing problem because bureaucrats in the executive branch of government will continually try to go beyond the Constitution and legislative limits as the money they control to distribute to students for attendance increases. Future efforts must maximize CHEA’s extensive services to the presidents of institutions that were responsible for establishing CHEA and support its funding needs to operate successfully, and is critically important to the needs for quality assurance in the U.S. higher education enterprise in the future. In this way, CHEA can continue as a key factor in the maintenance of the U.S. higher education enterprise as “best in the world.”

Posté par pcassuto à 08:19 - - Permalien [#]

Adaptación de la legislación española al Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior

http://www.crue.org/opencms/opencms/system/modules/org.opencms.frontend.templateone/resources/logoCrue.gifEn esta sección se presenta la documentación oficial relativa a la implantación en el sistema universitario español de las reformas derivadas del EEES dividida en secciones temáticas.
Con carácter general, las enseñanzas universitarias oficiales están reguladas por el Real Decreto 1393/2007, de 29 de octubre, que aquí se recoge. Asimismo se aporta un esquema de la organización de las enseñanzas y una presentación en Power Point elaborada por el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. Ir a Adaptación del sistema universitario español al EEES.

resaltadoEstructura de las enseñanzas universitarias.
Real Decreto 1393/2007, de 29 de octubre, por el que se establece la ordenación de las enseñanzas universitarias oficiales (deroga RD 55/2005 y RD 56/2006). Presentación en power point elaborada por el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. Esquema de la organización de las enseñanzas universitarias.

resaltadoTítulos oficiales y legislación relacionada.
RESOLUCIÓN de 23 de diciembre de 2008, de la Secretaría de Estado de Universidades, con el acuerdo por el que se establece el carácter oficial de determinados títulos de Grado.

resaltadoSistema de europeo de créditos ECTS.
La necesidad de crear un marco de calificaciones internacional para el desarrollo del EEES originó el Sistema Europeo de Transferencia de Créditos o ECTS (siglas para European Credit Transfer System). Este sistema, centrado sobre el eje común del crédito europeo y generalizado a todos los estudiantes de la UE, fue la clave para la transferencia y el reconocimiento de los estudios cursados en otros países. El crédito europeo ha despertado un gran interés más allá de Europa. Se reconoce como un sistema con grandes posibilidades para adaptarse a culturas diversas, lo que ejerce un gran atractivo a la vez que permite a Europa presentar un marco común que será entendido aún manteniendo una variedad cultural que enriquece los aspectos formativos.

resaltadoSuplemento europeo al título.
Real Decreto 1044/2003
, de 1 de agosto, por el que se establece el procedimiento para la expedición por las universidades del Suplemento Europeo al Título (BOE núm. 218 de 11 de septiembre). Modelo de Suplemento Europeo al Título.

resaltadoHomologaciones y reconocimientos.
Real Decreto 285/2004
, de 20 de febrero, por el que se regulan las condiciones de homologación y convalidación de títulos y estudios extranjeros de educación superior Modificado por el Real Decreto 309/2005, de 18 de marzo.

resaltadoFinanciación.
Orden CIN/2038/2008, de 25 de junio, por la que se convocan ayudas para favorecer la movilidad de profesores visitantes y de estudiantes en enseñanzas universitarias oficiales de máster para el curso académico 2008-2009. Resolución de 23 de diciembre de 2008 por la que se conceden ayudas para la movilidad de estudiantes en másteres oficiales para el curso académico 2008-2009.

Posté par pcassuto à 02:41 - - Permalien [#]
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