Study evaluating the Professional Qualifications Directive against recent EU educational reforms in EU Member States
Convergence under the Bologna process and the impact on professional recognition
The Bologna process has had a significant impact on higher education systems across Europe – but this impact has been uneven with regard to professional recognition. Its overall impact to date on the recognition of professional qualifications relates to improved comparability of qualifications. This was reported by a third of competent authorities. Yet there has been little substantive impact as a result on the time it takes to recognise qualifications. Four out five competent authorities reported that the time required for the recognition procedure has remained constant over the last 2 or 3 years.
Impact of the Bologna degree cycle structure on professional recognition
The Bologna cycles support transparency by exposing fundamental differences in the structure and level of training. However, only 20% of competent authorities think that the Bologna cycles have made the recognition process quicker or easier.
Impact of ECTS on professional recognition
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) has greater potential to support improved recognition of qualifications. From a competent authority perspective, the more detailed information contained in the Diploma Supplement and ECTS transcripts more practically supports the recognition procedure by providing a consistent and comparable overview of subject content. However, the use of ECTS in applications for recognition remains relatively uncommon.
The approach to introducing credit systems, with significant autonomy for higher education institutions, has led to difficulties in developing a uniform approach at national level. Significant differences remain across countries (and within countries) in the approach to credit allocation. These differences relate to whether the calculation is based on workload as opposed to just teaching/contact hours, and whether a concern for competent authorities than consistency in the definition of credit itself (i.e. what is included). Around half of interviewees for the case studies were satisfied with the notion of ECTS being allocated according to the student workload (and not only according to teaching hours), but a core of competent authorities remain uncomfortable with this approach.
Impact of learning outcomes on professional recognition
At present, competent authorities have relatively little experience in using learning outcomes as part of the recognition process. Learning outcomes are the least well-known element of the Bologna reforms among recognition professionals. Very few competent authorities (13%) among those interviewed for the case studies believed that the introduction of learning outcomes has made the recognition of professional qualifications easier or quicker. This is explained not only by the rareness of its inclusion in applications, but also by the tendency for learning outcomes to be presented in generalised terms (i.e. they can lack sufficient detail to support the recognition decision) and a perceived disjuncture with the current input-based Directive 2005/36/EC requirements. However, there is an expectation that this will change over time given the ongoing development and implementation of national qualifications frameworks and the learning outcomes approach in general.
Future impact of the Bologna reforms on professional recognition
The main barrier to the Bologna process supporting recognition relates to a lack of full and consistent implementation of the reforms. While the Bologna process aids student mobility, the reforms are complex and not yet fully embedded to the point of having a significant impact on professional recognition. There is also the prospect that the Bologna reforms lead to the development of new, more flexible approaches to higher-level learning (within the context of lifelong learning). This may pose additional challenges in the future to competent authorities which are used in most cases to applying recognition on the basis of traditional models of initial professional training as the culmination of an individual’s formal education at a young age.
In terms of the role the Internal Market and its policies might play in supporting the Bologna process to impact on professional recognition, there were a number of references to supporting common platforms (or something similar) as a means of harnessing the common approaches to qualifications supported by the Bologna reforms. The introduction of learning outcomes perhaps provides a new basis for such joint action...
The role of quality assurance in supporting the potential use of agreed learning outcomes
For many stakeholders, the development of common or minimum approaches to quality assurance and accreditation underpin the potential use of learning outcomes in a professional recognition context. Yet only half of competent authorities thought that the fact that institution awarding the qualification is quality assured at national level is a ‘very important’ dimension in deciding on the recognition of foreign qualifications (where the profession is not regulated in the country where the qualification was awarded).
The more practical consideration for competent authorities using outcomes-based approaches was quality assurance at the level of the qualification – and specifically in the context of assessment methodologies. Through the case studies, lack of understanding of and confidence in the assessment of achieved learning outcomes was the most commonly voiced reason why an outcomes-based approach is not currently practicable. What is required is that approaches to quality assurance are aligned between countries, and also that their benefits for and impact on qualifications are bettercommunicated...
Dealing with older qualifications under the EQF
As it currently stands, there is a lack of concrete evidence that older qualifications will be mapped to NQFs linked to the EQF. The current focus of national authorities is on qualification reform and development work. There is discussion in the countries developing NQFs about the position of old qualifications. In practice, it appears possible to use a ‘best fit’ model to apply level to older qualifications. It is recognised that doing so may mean that eligibility and progression provisions do not necessarily apply to the older qualification. However, the presumption that provisions should be extended to holders of former qualifications is the important element – and this is already seen in the specifications for some NQFs. Executive Summary of the Study evaluating the Professional Qualifications Directive against recent EU educational reforms in EU Member States.
With a staggering unmet demand for higher education and an increasing desire to collaborate with foreign higher-education providers, India has emerged as central component of the global expansion plans for many college and universities. Indeed, for India and the United States, such higher-education collaborations have the potential to strengthen the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies. As such it has attracted significant attention from political leaders as well as higher-education decision makers.
Last month, we attended a higher-education summit held in Washington and a preliminary meeting at Pennsylvania State University focusing on the how partnerships between the two nations might develop. The meetings were prompted by the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative, a project co-sponsored by India and America to spur the development of partnerships and collaboration between higher-education institutions in the two countries. We came away with a fuller appreciation of the challenges India faces in its higher-education sector, as well as the enthusiasm with which American institutions view opportunities for academic partnerships in the country.
The Indian government’s educational projections are incredible: The need to educate 100 million young people by 2020, and a goal of increasing higher-education participation for the age cohort from 15 percent to 30 percent in 10 years. Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal argues that this requires 1,000 new universities and 50,000 new colleges, staffed by a million new faculty members and guided by a revamped quality assurance regime. In his view, partnerships with U.S. universities are a key element for providing the capacity within the Indian educational system needed to meet the surge in demand.
In short, India is staring at tsunami of young people approaching higher education, and the system does not have the capacity to meet the demand. And, if the government is not able to find the means to do so, the country will have a demographic disaster – “just adding mouths to feed, not hands that can work,” according to Narendra Jadhav, a member of the Planning Commission of India, speaking at the Penn State meeting.
But what exactly should the role of American (or other foreign) universities play in the development of educational capacity within India? This question raises a key issue regarding the role of cross-border higher education and the differing perspectives often brought to the table by the host and the home countries. Is the purpose of the activity to build capacity or to be capacity?
India seems to be of two minds on this point. On the one hand, partnerships are envisioned as a way of providing expertise to build new or enhance existing institutions and structures in India. Specific proposals often contemplate the training of faculty for example, or the establishment of new degrees and programs to train the “21st century workforce.” This is classic “building capacity” language. The expertise of foreign institutions is used to transform the domestic system.
However, collaborations take time to develop and time is not something India has much of. They need to respond quickly to the rapidly approaching tsunami of young people. Thus, India is also considering importing branch campuses. Branch campuses, while not always an ideal means for building capacity within the system, can quickly “be capacity” by providing additional access to higher education.
But establishing a physical presence in another country through a branch campus or some other variant of a foreign outpost is an enormous commitment. What we will see is likely to be similar to other countries that have taken steps to welcome foreign outposts to their shores, but have stopped short of actively pursuing branch campuses. A few institutions are able to navigate the political barriers, often through personal connections and with the financial support of local authorities, and set up independent degree-granting locations. But most activity is through joint- or dual-degree initiatives that represent modest home campus investment and can be terminated relatively easily by either party.
The question for India is whether either model satisfies the government’s policy concerns. Greater involvement of branch campuses in India could provide a modest increase in the capacity of the country, but it will certainly take indigenous institutions to fully realize the massive increase in access that is envisioned. But meaningful collaborations with foreign institutions take a while to develop and become operational. In addition, opening up their borders to foreign education providers brings some risk as well. Concerns about profiteering institutions should be taken seriously, especially since the U.S. for-profit industry is looking abroad to expand as opportunities at home are constrained by new Department of Education regulations and Congressional inquiries. In sum, India needs to find a way to rapidly increase educational access, while ensuring the quality and sustainability of the educational experience.
India is making an enormous investment in education, and is looking outside its borders for ideas and expertise. U.S. institutions are eager to help. Foreign outposts and international collaborations may form part of the solution, but will it be enough? What other opportunities might exist?
Demos choisit d'accompagner son développement en organisant la 6ème édition des Trophées du DIF le jeudi 29 mars 2012. Cet événement a pour objectif de valoriser et de récompenser les entreprises et les organismes publics qui s'investissent dans le développement des compétences de leurs collaborateurs par la mise en place du DIF. Une journée de conférence consacrée aux bilans et perspectives du DIF précèdera la remise des prix. Les participants auront l'occasion d'échanger sur la question du DIF comme outil privilégié de la GPEC (Gestion Prévisionnelle des Emplois et des Compétences). En partenariat avec le GARF, Entreprises et Carrières, ...
Dans le cadre des Trophées du DIF 2012, Demos souhaite sonder les entreprises et organismes publics ainsi que les salariés et agents sur leur vision concernant la mise en place globale du DIF: son efficacité, la communication auprès des salariés, les freins rencontrés, les processus, le financement…
En répondant à ces enquêtes , vous avez la possibilité de participer à un tirage au sort qui vous permettra peut-être de gagner un ouvrage des Editions Demos de votre choix!
--> Vous êtes DRH ou Responsable Formation ? Participez à l'enquête "Les Pratiques d'entreprises en matière de Droit Individuel à la Formation".
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Voir aussi 5e édition des Trophées du DIF et de la Professionnalisation, 3e édition des Trophées du DIF et de la Professionnalisation. Précédentes éditions: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.
Today’s post comes from Rachel Chen, Jessica Na and Darren Yang, three students at Peking University High School’s International Division, which recently hosted a visit by the head of the OECD’s PISA programme, Andreas Schleicher.
Following Shanghai’s success in PISA last year, the student-assessment programme became much better known in China, and many journalists now want to know more about it. To answer some of their questions, Andreas Schleicher, the head of PISA, recently visited the International Division of Peking University High School and held a press conference.
First, however, Mr. Schleicher arrived at the kitchen of our International Division and had breakfast with some of us students. We were all excited about his visit and got up early to wait for him. Mr. Schleicher was a tall and amiable man. He was curious about our experiences as students here, so he asked us a lot of questions such as “How did you choose your courses?” and “What do you do in your free time?”. We were so absorbed in the conversation that we barely ate.
After breakfast, Mr. Schleicher attended the conference, where he showed he had a lot of thoughts on education. We were really impressed by two points he made.
The first was that as the world develops, getting knowledge becomes easier. So, the ability we should foster is not only how to collect knowledge, but how to select knowledge that is true and useful to us and apply it to solve problems. For instance, nowadays, most students know how to use computers and collect knowledge on the Internet; they can use it to get the answer to a math question if they want. However, students may find different answers on the Internet, and they need to think about which one is the right one. Most students can do that, but not so many can really use the math knowledge they’ve got to solve real-life problems.
The second point is that learning should be life-long. In other words, school is just the beginning of learning. Nowadays, a lot of people stop learning once they leave school, which is a sad thing to say. Educators can change this by motivating students instead of forcing them to learn, because only students who are motivated can keep learning in their lives. For example, if a teacher shows students how enjoyable reading is, some students will become interested in reading and will read more by themselves. Eventually it will become a life-long habit.
Mr. Schleicher thought China’s education didn’t do well on motivating its students, but he did think that the serious attitude of China’s government toward education is laudable. Though there are still some problems with China’ education system, he is glad to see the effort that China’s government had put in to solving the problems.
Mr. Schleicher’s visit made us think more on education. We feel lucky to study in a school where the teachers motivate and encourage us, and where the resources for learning are abundant. We hope we will be able to go on learning all the way through our lives and be successful.
Find out more: Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education – Shanghai, OECD Educationtoday blog.
Les Services Formation Continue des 4 Universités de Bretagne, vous invitent à participer à un séminaire d’échanges sur "L’individualisation des parcours de Formation Continue: Pratiques et innovations" le lundi 14 novembre 2011 de 13h45 à 18h00 à l’Université de Bretagne-Sud Amphithéâtre 2 du Pôle Sciences 2 rue Le Coat St Haouen à Lorient. Pour vous inscrire.
Atelier 1: Les clés de l’innovation pour améliorer l’individualisation des parcours de formation continue
(Animation Patrick Lesné, Chargé de mission, Bureau RAVIE, SFC-Adefope, Université de Bretagne-Sud)
S’interroger sur les marges de manoeuvre possibles pour améliorer l’attractivité de l’entrée en formation pour le public FC et analyser les freins et moteurs de l’individualisation des parcours FC pour atteindre cet objectif.
Atelier 2: La gestion des parcours professionnels du public FC - Quel rôle et quel positionnement des organismes de formation pour faciliter les transitions professionnelles pour le public FC ?
(Animation Magali Guirriec, Chargée de mission Formation Continue/Relation entreprises, SFC, Université de Rennes 1; et Catherine Larreur, Conseillère REVA, SUFCEP, Université de Bretagne Occidentale)
S’interroger et échanger sur le rôle et le positionnement des organismes de formation dans le cadre de la gestion des parcours professionnel du public FC.
Atelier 3 : Les préconisations spécifiques en cas de VAE partielle: Quelles pratiques ? Et quelles modalités inter-partenaire dans leur mise en place ?
(Animation Gwilaine Le Gall, Responsable REVA, SFC-Adefope, Université de Bretagne-Sud; et Mounia Afkir, Responsable REVA, SFC, Université Rennes 2)
Echanges sur les pratiques des organismes de formation liées au suivi de préconisations spécifiques en cas de VAE partielle: similarités, particularités, spécificités, et innovations. Echanges sur les liens à développer entre les organismes de formation pour la mise en place des préconisations suite à VAE partielle.
Usługi kształcenia ustawicznego z 4 uniwersytety z Wielkiej Brytanii, zapraszamy do udziału w seminarium dyskusji na temat "indywidualizacji Kurs Kształcenia Ustawicznego: praktyk i innowacji", poniedziałek 14 listopada 2011 od 13:45 do 18:00 na University of British Biegun Południowy Science Amfiteatr 2 2 The Street Coat Haouen St Lorient. Aby się zarejestrować.
Warsztat 1: Najważniejsze innowacje w celu poprawy indywidualizacji szkolenia
(Animacja Leśne Patrick, Project Manager, Biuro zachwycony SFC-Adefope, Université de Bretagne-Sud)
Pytanie swobodę możliwe zwiększenie atrakcyjności wejścia w szkolenia dla publicznych i analizy FC hamulce i silniki zindywidualizowanych ścieżek do osiągnięcia tego FC. Więcej...