La section de criminologie au Conseil National des Universités (CNU) a été supprimée par arrêté. La situation à laquelle avait abouti un processus de création contestable et contesté devait être apurée. Le ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche ne se prononce pas sur le fait de savoir si la criminologie est ou n'est pas une science; il se prononce seulement sur l'opportunité de la création d'une section du Conseil National des Universités dans de telles conditions, qui impliquaient en outre des risques non négligeables pour les éventuels docteurs candidats à la qualification.
La situation de la criminologie renvoie à deux questions bien différentes, et qui devront être traitées en cohérence mais séparément, et notamment en s'appuyant sur les futures contributions aux Assises de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche:
L'une est la gestion, par les sections disciplinaires du CNU, des carrières des enseignants-chercheurs dont le profil de recherche est pluridisciplinaire; la criminologie est concernée, mais elle est loin d'être la seule, et la solution à mettre en œuvre doit permettre de traiter également tous les cas de même nature.
L'autre est le développement des recherches et des formations en criminologie, dans une stratégie réellement pluridisciplinaire; la criminologie est au premier chef concernée, mais bien d'autres également, puisque toute formation de nature professionnelle couvre nécessairement un ensemble de compétences complémentaires et donc pluridisciplinaires.
Section of Criminology at the National Council of Universities (CNU) was abolished by decree. The situation had reached a creative process contestable and contested must be discharged. The Ministry of Higher Education and Research does not comment on whether criminology is or is not a science it is pronounced only on whether the creation of a section of the National Council Universities in these conditions, which also involved significant risks for potential candidates qualifying doctors. More...
La loi du 24 novembre 2009 vous offre la possibilité de conserver votre crédit d’heures DIF acquis et non utilisé au moment de la rupture de votre contrat de travail.
Cette possiblité peut s'exercer soit lors de la rupture du contrat de travail (pendant la période de préavis), soit après la rupture du contrat de travail en tant que demandeur d'emploi ou salarié auprès du nouvel employeur.
Votre crédit d’heures DIF acquis et non utilisé finance tout ou partie d'une action de formation, de bilan de compétences ou de VAE (validation des acquis de l'expérience).
La portabilité du DIF s’applique à toute rupture de contrat de travail effective depuis le 26 novembre 2009.
Êtes-vous concerné ?
Tous les salariés qui connaissent une rupture du contrat de travail ou une fin de
CDD ouvrant droit à l’indemnisation chômage et qui ont acquis des droits à DIF
peuvent utiliser les heures DIF portables.
Les ruptures de contrat de travail donnant lieu à l’utilisation du DIF portable sont:
licenciement pour motif personnel,
licenciement pour faute grave,
licenciement économique (hors acceptation de la convention de reclassement personnalisé ou contrat de transition professionnelle),
fin de CDD ou la rupture anticipée du CDD,
démission légitime au regard de la réglementation d’assurance chômage.
Quelles formations pouvez-vous suivre ?
Vous pouvez utiliser le DIF portable pour suivre une:
action de formation,
action de validation des acquis de l’expérience (VAE),
action de bilan de compétences.
L’organisme choisi doit avoir un numéro de déclaration d’activité et figurer sur la liste du FONGECIF ou d’un organisme collecteur agréé au titre du congé individuel de formation.
Quelles sont les obligations d'information de votre ancien employeur ?
A l’issue du contrat de travail, l’employeur doit vous remettre un certificat de travail sur lequel est précisé, outre les mentions habituelles:
le solde du nombre d’heures acquises au titre du DIF et non utilisées,
la somme correspondante à ce solde (9,15 euros X solde d’heures),
ainsi que l’organisme paritaire collecteur agréé (OPCA) dont l’entreprise relève au titre de la professionnalisation.
Quel est le financement possible ?
Les heures DIF portables sont valorisées selon le calcul suivant:
Solde des heures acquises non utilisées X 9,15 euros HT
A noter : Si le coût de la formation est supérieur à la valorisation de vos heures DIF portables, alors le reliquat est à votre charge.
Comment mettre en oeuvre votre DIF portable pendant la période de préavis ?
L’employeur est tenu de mentionner dans la lettre de notification de licenciement les heures acquises au titre du DIF et non utilisées. Il doit vous informer de la possibilité de déposer une demande de DIF avant la fin de votre préavis.
L’accord de l’employeur sur le choix de la formation n’est pas nécessaire. Si vous demandez à utiliser votre droit pendant le préavis les heures acquises au titre du DIF sont valorisées par 9,15 €.
Si l'action de formation est réalisée, elle peut se dérouler pendant le préavis, après la rupture ou "à cheval sur ces deux périodes".
En l’absence de demande de votre part, la valorisation des heures DIF portables n'est due ni par votre employeur, ni par l'OPCA.
Comment mettre en oeuvre votre DIF portable en tant que demandeur d'emploi ?
Etape 1 : Préparer votre projet de formation
Identifier la formation que vous souhaitez suivre
Trouver l’organisme de formation pouvant assurer la formation de votre choix:
- Munissez-vous du numéro de déclaration d’activité (11 chiffres) de l’organisme de formation
- Demandez-lui un devis et le programme détaillé de la formation
- Vous pouvez bénéficier d’un appui de Pôle emploi pour la recherche d’un organisme de formation
- Si le coût de la formation est supérieur au montant figurant sur votre certificat de travail, l’organisme de formation doit établir avec vous un contrat de formation professionnelle précisant votre engagement financier.
Etape 2 : Constituer votre dossier
Prenez contact avec Pôle emploi et munissez vous des pièces suivantes:
Devis et programme de formation,
Copie de votre certificat de travail remis par votre ancien employeur,
Le contrat de formation professionnelle précisant votre engagement financier, si nécessaire.
Etape 3 : Financement par AGEFOS PME
Adressez à AGEFOS PME de votre région les pièces nécessaires à l’étude de financement, 21 jours au minimum avant le début de la formation:
Demande de prise en charge de la formation DIF portable renseignée
Avis du conseiller Pôle emploi (favorable ou défavorable)
Devis et programme de formation
Copie de votre certificat de travail
Contrat de formation professionnelle, si nécessaire
AGEFOS PME accorde le financement selon la réglementation en vigueur et envoie son accord :
au demandeur d’emploi,
à Pôle emploi pour information,
à l’organisme de formation.
Seul un accord écrit garantit notre financement.
Le financement par AGEFOS PME ne saurait excéder la somme acquise au titre du DIF portable. Si le coût de la formation est supérieur à cette somme, le reliquat du coût pédagogique est à votre charge.
AGEFOS PME règle, systématiquement et directement, l’organisme de formation une fois la formation réalisée sur présentation des pièces justificatives : facture et attestation de présence/ou feuilles d’émargement établies par demie journée.
Comment mettre en oeuvre votre DIF portable auprès de votre nouvel employeur ?
Vous pouvez mobiliser votre DIF portable auprès de votre nouvel employeur.
La demande doit être faite dans les deux ans qui suivent votre embauche.
Votre demande est soumise à l’accord de l’employeur pour suivre une action de formation, de VAE ou de bilan de compétences.
En cas de désaccord de l’employeur, vous pouvez mobiliser votre DIF portable et demander le financement de l’action à l’OPCA dont relève votre nouvel employeur au titre de la professionnalisation.
L’action financée doit répondre aux priorités prévues par accord de branche ou interprofessionnel dont relève l’entreprise.
Dans ce cas, l’action se déroule hors temps de travail sans versement de l’allocation de formation.
Cas particuliers : Retraite, licenciement pour faute lourde
Vous ne pouvez pas bénéficier du DIF.
Voir aussi Uniformation: premier bilan du DIF portable, Portabilité du DIF - pas aussi simple qu’il n’y paraît, Qui peut prétendre au DIF portable, Le DIF portable prêt à décoller.
Ο νόμος της 24ης Νοεμβρίου 2009 επιτρέπει σε σας για να κρατήσει ώρες πιστωτικές σας κερδίσει και αχρησιμοποίητα DIF κατά το χρόνο της σύμβασης σπάσιμο σας.
Η δυνατότητα αυτή μπορεί να ασκηθεί κατά τη λήξη της σύμβασης εργασίας (κατά τη διάρκεια της περιόδου προειδοποίησης), ή μετά τη λήξη της σύμβασης εργασίας ως αιτών εργασία ή υπάλληλος με το νέο εργοδότη. Περισσότερα...
(Valencia, 20 August 2012) A European Commission-funded project, “European Indicators and Ranking Methodology for University Third Mission” (E3M) has released a green paper title Fostering and Measuring “Third Mission” in Higher Education Institutions. The document not only provides information about what the E3M participating institutions learned in the course of this unique project, but perhaps more importantly, specific insights into the “kinds of beneficial impact universities can have on their host societies, and the circumstances that influence the ability of universities to deliver those impacts”.
In addition to serving as an important information dissemination tool to key stakeholders, the Green Paper authors also hope it will spur concrete action with regard to further development and implementation of “Third Mission Indicators and Metrics”. Specifically, the report provides important information about the utility of indicators and metrics to render third mission activities more “monitorable”, and therefore to some “extent influenceable or manageable”. Good indicators and metrics “well and responsibly handled” can help managers take informed decisions and leverage resources for future development. They can also help institutions communicate with and learn from one another. However, the Green Paper also clearly cautions that such tools are only useful if they are developed carefully and employed thoughtfully, taking into account the strategic goals and unique contexts of individual institutions.
The Green Paper abstains from articulating a ranking methodology for university Third Mission activity, but does suggest that there is “significant potential for the use of Third Mission metrics… to provide comparisons for small groups of comparable institutions”, i.e. benchmarking. Further conversation on how best to measure and track Third Mission activities is encouraged, with the clear preference expressed to work diligently towards achieving intelligent, useful tracking and measurement tools in this area, rather than rushing headlong into quick, careless solutions that may ultimately be more damaging than helpful.
E3M project website: www.e3mproject.eu/results.html.
See also Defining and Delivering the University’s Third Mission and Universities' Third Mission: Indicators and Good Practices.
On 14 December 2010 ECA members launched the Multilateral Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Accreditation Results regarding Joint Programmes (MULTRA).
On 13 June 2012 two new agencies - EVA Denmark and AQU Catalunya have signed the MULTRA.
The purpose of the MULTRA is to simplify the accreditation and recognition of joint programmes and degrees awarded and to provide an efficient way to expand mutual recognition to more European Higher Education Area countries.
The MULTRA is now signed by the agencies FHR and ÖAR (Austria), EVA (Denmark), CTI (France), NVAO (The Netherlands and Flanders), PKA (Poland), ANECA (Spain), and AQU Catalunya (Spain).
For more information on the MULTRA click here.
In particular, it was reported that TEQSA will concentrate on whether the English competence skills of students improve as they go through their course, and how the institutions assess this.
The report cites a recent study that found overseas students who started with 'competent' levels of English were unlikely to graduate with the level of language skill needed to work in Australia. However, given the recent announcement of a 2 - 3 year post study work visa for graduates, having adequate English language skills will be vital if these students are likely to be able to pursue work in their chosen professions in Australia.
This issue has been a long running one. NTEU has for a number of years, echoed the concerns of members working in universities, who see the pressure to admit larger numbers of international students is not necessarily being matched by available English language support services (and where those exist, they are often under resourced).
TEQSA's thematic audit would look at all entry standards in all pathways, language support through the curriculum, and exit standards.
However, given TEQSA's recent obsession with 'drilling down' to the micro level, we are wondering just how it will execute this audit, and what hoops the institutions will need to jump through. It would be a concern if the reason for this review - which we think has merit - is lost in a sea of compliance procedures and red tape.
Link to the story is HERE.
In light of the increasing number of higher education providers that claim to be recognized by the Council of Europe or other international organizations, we wish to make it clear that the Council of Europe does not recognize or in any other way bestow legitimacy on any higher education institution, programme or provision. Institutional recognition is normally within the competence of national authorities and is normally conditional on the institution or programme undergoing quality assessment.
There seems to be an increasing number of higher education providers that claim to be recognized by the Council of Europe, alone or in cooperation with other international organizations, such as UNESCO, or by individuals acting on behalf of an international organization. Sometimes providers also claim that the Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention for the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region confers recognition on their education provision. In some cases, providers claim to have been recognized by the Council of Europe, whereas in other cases their text is phrased in such a way as to give the impression that they have been recognized, even if technically they do not say so.
In light of the increasing number of such claims, we wish to make it clear that the Council of Europe does not recognize or in any other way bestow legitimacy on any higher education institution, programme or provision.
Attention is also drawn to the alert published on the UNESCO web site on this topic.
The different categories of unsubstantiated claims of recognition features on this site in large part also apply to claims of recognition by the Council of Europe.
Education provided within national systems
It should be recalled that most education provision belong to a national education system, and that the competence to determine what institution, programmes or other provision is recognized belongs to the public authority responsible for the education system in question. Increasingly, recognition or acceptance of higher education institutions by national authorities is made conditional on the institution or programme undergoing a quality assessment. In Europe, this is the policy adopted by the Ministers responsible for higher education in the framework of the Bologna Process aiming to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010. In 2005, the Ministers adopted a set of European Quality Assurance Standards, which are based on a background report elaborated by ENQA – the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and partners.
International, transnational or cross-border education
Some of the providers claiming to be recognized also claim to provide “international” or “European” education, in other words they do not claim to belong to a higher education system. There is no competent international body, independent of national education systems, with a mandate to recognize or assess such provision. However, UNESCO and the OECD have elaborated Guidelines on Quality provision in Cross-border Higher Education that “aim to support and encourage international cooperation and enhance the understanding of the importance of quality provision in cross-border higher education” as well as to “protect students and other stakeholders from low-quality provision and disreputable providers as well as to encourage the development of quality cross-border higher education that meets human, social, economic and cultural needs”. In 2001, the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee adopted a Code of Good practice in the Provision of Trans-national Education, which also provides useful indications of what students should look for in a provider claiming to offer international education.
Precautions students should take
Students should carefully verify the status of an institution, programme or provider before they decide to enrol in a higher education programme. They should ask the institution whether it has undergone a quality assurance exercise, and if so, by what body it has been assessed. While some higher education providers that do not belong to national education systems are of good standing, it may be wise to pay particular attention to the status of institutions claiming to be international or European. Providers claiming to be recognized or supported by international organizations such as the Council of Europe should be regarded with scepticism.
This report is based on the ENQA workshop “Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: exchanging good practice”, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, on 9-10 February 2012 and presents articles on themes such as the state of development of qualifications frameworks, the role of agencies in the self-certification process, and the meaning of qualifications frameworks in external quality assurance. Download the report Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: Exchanging Good Practice.
Recognition of prior learning and the role of quality assurance agencies. Accreditation of prior learning in France as a case study, by Teresa Sánchez Chaparro, Programme Manager, Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI), France, p.30-35.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) implies the formal acknowledgement of learning acquired in a non-formal context (usually coming from experience unrelated to an academic context). This process is generally seen as an important tool for progressing in the fields of lifelong learning and continuing education, two preeminent objectives of the Lisbon agenda. RPL is normally conducted by educational institutions or professional certification bodies. In the case of certifications issued by educational institutions, this process provides recognition of a certain academic level (according to a national qualifications framework) in view of two main objectives: increasing labour market recognition and/or enabling access to a higher level of studies.
Because of its potential role in the fields of employment and social promotion, RPL practices are politically sensitive and are normally part of an explicit political agenda which responds to national objectives. This political dimension must be taken into account by quality assurance agencies as a starting point in order to develop quality assurance criteria in this field. The answer to the question: what makes a sound RPL process? is fundamentally dependent on the pursued goals and cannot in any way be affronted from an exclusively technical perspective.
An ENQA break-out group session devoted to this subject within the workshop on Quality assurance and qualifications frameworks has enabled to confront different national realities and policies regarding RPL and, in consequence, different quality assurance roles and practices among the different QAA represented. In this paper, the French experience in the field of prior learning recognition, or in French terms, validation des acquis de l’expérience (VAE), is presented as a case study which enables to illustrate some important general issues. After analysing this case, the last section of this paper tries to reproduce the main issues raised during the discussion held at ENQA’s workshop break-out session on recognition of prior learning, and draw some conclusions as to the possible role of quality assurance agencies.
Recognition of prior learning in France (validation des acquis de l’expérience- VAE)
RPL processes, as they are practiced today in France, were established by the 2002 Law on social modernization with the name of VAE (validation des acquis de l’expérience - Law n° 2002-73 du 17 janvier 2002 de modernisation sociale). This law establishes an individual right to the recognition of professional experience in the acquisition of an academic title or a diploma. This recognition device was established within the following context:
• The existence of a significant population sector with a low or inexistent graduation level (According to the 1995 INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques- National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) employment survey, four out of ten workers in France didn’t have any formal qualification at the time). Regardless of their individual competences, this population sector was not recognised by the French labour market, and their professional and social ascension was, in practice, very difficult.
• Initial qualifications play a stronger role in France than in other countries (Anglo-Saxon countries, for example) in reference to social hierarchy. Some authors talk about a ‘French structural fondness for qualifications’ (TRYBY, Emmanuel; Accreditation of prior experiential learning and the development of higher education; European journal of vocational training, Nº 46- 2009/1-ISSN 1977-0219) or even about a ‘French dictatorship of qualifications’ (Méhaut Philippe, Lecourt Anne-Juliette (2007) ; The accreditation of prior learning experience in France : A good start, to be continued ; Discussion paper). A 2005 study shows that over 73% of job offers in France, regardless of the age of the candidate, mention the number of years of study and the qualification required (in Great Britain, this rate goes down to 27% - Marchal Emmanuelle, Rieucau Géraldine (2003) « Candidat de plus de 40 ans non diplômé ou débutant s’abstenir », Connaissance de l’emploi n°11, CEE). Different studies also show that the possession of a diploma enables a quicker and more stable access to the job market in France. The fact of having a diploma has also an impact on the stability of the contract (with a much higher rate of indefinite contracts for graduates). Finally, the possession of an initial academic qualification plays, at least since Napoleonic times, an important symbolic role in the meritocratic France, where initial qualifications are one of the axes for social differentiation.
• A dual training system which establishes a sharp distinction between initial training and continuous and vocational education training (CVET). As an example, only around 1,5 % of continuous education actions in 1996 resulted in an academic title or diploma (again from the studies by the CEREQ).
The new VAE system established by the 2002 law tries to profit from the major role played by initial diplomas in France in order to attain two main objectives:
• Facilitate social promotion and secure career paths
• Build a bridge between the CVET system and the initial training system.
Brief description of the French VAE system
The VAE process enables an individual to get all or part of a certification (diploma or professional qualification certificate) based on his/her professional experience (salaried, non-salaried, or voluntary). This experience, which must be related to the intended certification, is validated by a panel. If the VAE process leads to an academic qualification, it is directly assessed and recognised by the higher education institution.
The diploma obtained has exactly the same validity as a diploma obtained by an ordinary study path. All diplomas, certificates, and professional qualifications are available through VAE. They are registered in a public registry (RNCP- National Register of Professional Certifications, http://www.rncp.cncp.gouv.fr/). Academic diplomas registered in RNCP cover a variety of levels, from secondary education to the masters level. All engineering degrees (masters level diplomas) are included by law in the RNCP and have thus the obligation of delivering their diplomas also through VAE.
The diagram below shows the main steps of the VAE process and the main actors involved. Several structures at the regional and national level have been put in place in order to provide general information on the procedure and to orientate candidates towards a suitable certification. Once the certification is chosen, a first check on the admissibility of the request (mainly the verification of the candidate having the three years of relevant experience required) is conducted. After passing the admissibility check, the candidate must prepare an application which will be finally examined by a mixed panel composed of academic and professional members. The panel may issue a full or a partial validation. In the latter case, the jury can propose the necessary pedagogical complements (courses, internships, and so on). There is no time limit for obtaining these additional competences.
The VAE process in engineering higher education in France: The role of CTI
The main mission of CTI is to conduct accreditation of engineering programmes in France. CTI supervises all paths for obtaining an engineering diploma, including VAE. All engineering institutions must include a specific section concerning VAE in their selfassessment report in view of programme accreditation (VAE procedures, number of accreditations issued, number of candidates, cost of the process, type of compensatory measures proposed, etc.).
CTI has developed a set of criteria regarding the way VAE procedures should be conducted. These criteria are gathered in the document Références et Orientations (References and Guidelines- available at www.cti-commission.fr). The quality criteria
applied are coherent with the political goals established at the national level. In consequence, the criteria have been developed under the assumption that VAE is basically a beneficial procedure, with a strong potential to boost employment and social advancement. Engineering institutions in France are sometimes accused of being elitists, and VAE is considered by CTI as one of the devices which can be employed to foster social diversity in this environment.
The legal obligation for all HEIs to establish VAE processes has also had some methodological benefits at the national level, in the sense that it has been a major driver to formalise the competence-based approach within French higher education institutions. Some engineering institutions in France are reluctant to deliver their diplomas through VAE, as they think that the educational value of the VAE is lower than a classical diploma and hence could degrade the value of their academic certificates. Being able to articulate a VAE procedure that ensures the same level of exigency as in the standard path is indeed a crucial issue for CTI.
At the other end of the spectrum, some higher education institutions could take this practice as a business opportunity. The fact that they can deliver a “partial validation” followed by a recommendation on pedagogical complementary elements could encourage engineering institutions to use VAE in order to fill their continuous education programmes. CTI is aware of this potential conflict of interest and tries to be vigilant in order to prevent abuse.
As far as accreditation is concerned, CTI has tried to adopt a balanced position, which respects the specific policies of each institution with regards to VAE but, at the same time, tries to ensure a fair implementation of these recognition processes. The main accreditation criteria applied by CTI are:
• Certification: the diploma delivered must be strictly the same as that delivered through other learning paths.
• Professional outcomes of the programme: engineering institutions must adequately formalise the outcomes of their programmes in a way that they can serve the certification of professional competences. These descriptions must be made public and transmitted to the National Registry of Professional Certifications.
• Evaluation procedures and criteria: the procedures and evaluation criteria must be clear and public. They must guarantee an equitable treatment of all candidates.
The evaluation criteria should be at the same exigency level than the ones used to attribute the diploma through other paths.
• Information and guidance to the candidate: institutions must be transparent and provide sufficient information to possible VAE candidates. They must put in place (or offer) guidance and counselling to the candidates throughout the process.
• Accreditation panel: the VAE panel must include academic and professional members (other than the external lecturers of the programme). It must include some members from the jury that delivers the ordinary diploma in order to ensure a same exigency level, but other than that, the composition must be substantially different and adapted to understand the specific challenges of this track.
Recognition of prior learning is implemented at various levels and with various objectives in the different European countries. Whereas the RPL process in some countries (such as Ireland, Germany or the Netherlands) mainly
involves considering the learner’s prior formal or informal learning in order to gain entry to further study or to gain credit or exemption towards a degree, in other countries, such
as France, RPL is used as a major route to award an academic degree.
The case of France’s VAE is indeed an extreme case. VAE enables the acquisition of a complete academic degree through the exclusive validation of professional experience. The VAE legislation does not limit the number of certifications obtained by a particular person. In France, it is hence possible to get up to the master level without having any formal academic qualification. As an example, we can examine the case of a French citizen, who left school without his secondary education degree and was subsequently able to obtain 6 academic diplomas through VAE (including a bachelor in literary Arabic) up to the master level. This person is currently in charge of VAE processes at a prestigious engineering institution (http://orientactuel.centre-inffo.fr/Hassane-Akka-de-bac-3-a-bac-5-en.html).
The French approach to RPL raised some critical voices among QA colleagues during the ENQA workshop break-out group discussion. Whereas the break-out group participants could easily accept that one can arrive to the same level of professional competence through working experience as via an academic degree, it is more difficult to argue that this path could be equivalent in terms of methodological skills and analytic capacity. There is also an experiential dimension associated to formal higher education which definitely plays a role in building a competence profile.
The case of Hong Kong (http://www.hkqf.gov.hk/guie/HKQF_intro.asp) provides an example of how RPL processes can be established without mixing the notions of level and profile. In Hong Kong the recognition of professional competences is made by a number of specific agencies with close links to industry. Candidates obtain recognition of a certain academic level and the right to be admitted to a higher level of studies, but they do not obtain an academic degree.
However, the French VAE should be understood in the light of the French specific national context, namely a number of urgent structural problems which needed to be addressed in order to improve competitivity and social equity, and the special role played by initial qualifications.
RPL practices are indeed politically sensitive and highly dependent on the context. Agencies must explicitly assume this political dimension in order to define what role to play regarding RPL processes. The following questions should be posed:
• Is RPL an important issue in my specific national and political context? Is it being practiced at a significant level?
• Are there any risks of derive in the way HEIs are implementing these recognition processes?
Depending of the answer to these questions, the quality assurance agency may adopt a more or less active role. In the case of France, RPL practices are politically important and there are indeed certain risks - such as a general resistance of institutions to VAE; conflicts of interest to be avoided; and certain methodological aspects associated to the competences approaches - which justify, as we have seen, an active role from the national accreditation agency.
BESSON Eric (2008) ; Valoriser l’acquis de l’expérience : Une évaluation du dispositif de VAE ; Secrétariat d’état chargé de la prospective, de l’évaluation des politiques publiques et du développement de l’économie numérique. CEREQ (Centre d’Études et des Recherches sur les Qualifications - Center for the study and research on qualifications). (www.cereq.fr)
Délégation générale à l’emploi et à la formation professionnelle (DGEFP) (2007) ; La validation des acquis de l’expérience (VAE). Rapport au Parlement en application de l’article 146 de la Loi n°2002-73 du 17 janvier 2002 de modernisation sociale. Law n° 2002-73 du 17 janvier 2002 de modernisation sociale (http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000000408905&dateTexte=)
MARCHAL Emmanuelle, RIEUCAU Géraldine (2003) « Candidat de plus de 40 ans non diplômé ou débutant s’abstenir », Connaissance de l’emploi n°11, CEE
MÉHAUT Philippe, LECOURT Anne-Juliette (2007) ; The accreditation of prior learning experience in France : A good start, to be continued ; Discussion paper. Portail national de la validation des acquis de l’expérience (http://www.vae.gouv.fr/)
TRYBY, Emmanuel (2009); Accreditation of prior experiential learning and the development of higher education; European journal of vocational training, Nº 46- 2009/1-ISSN 1977–0219
This report is based on the ENQA workshop “Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: exchanging good practice”, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, on 9-10 February 2012 and presents articles on themes such as the state of development of qualifications frameworks, the role of agencies in the self-certification process, and the meaning of qualifications frameworks in external quality assurance.
The theme of qualifications frameworks and their relation to quality assurance is gaining urgency in the European scene as more and more countries are completing their national qualifications frameworks and quality assurance agencies need to take important decisions on how to implement them. Some of the key features of the qualifications frameworks are the specification of learning outcomes, processes for assessing learners’ attainment of the expected outcomes, their relation to the ECTS, identification of transfer and progression routes, and recognition of prior learning. Download the report Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: Exchanging Good Practice.
Several current reforms in higher education are having a significant impact on quality assurance and the work of quality assurance agencies. Among these, the establishment and referencing to qualifications frameworks and the adoption of assessment methods focusing on student learning outcomes pose important challenges to the methods and processes used for internal and external quality assurance.
The ENQA 2012 workshop on Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: exchanging good practice and these articles covered a wide range of issues related to qualifications frameworks, such as the state of art in their development and adoption, the role of agencies in the self-certification process, and the impact of qualifications frameworks on external quality assurance. In addition, a view from the stakeholder community was presented through an article outlining the use and importance of qualifications frameworks to the labour market and employers. Recognition of prior learning, assessment of learning outcomes, and learning outcomes in programme oriented quality assurance were also discussed in smaller working groups during the workshop.
As the first article underlines, it is clear that while several changes have already taken place, we are still at the beginning of implementing qualifications frameworks. It is important to make sure that they are developed jointly with quality assurance, learning outcomes, and other recognition tools. At the same time, the article emphasises the importance of making sure that European, but especially national qualifications frameworks become more visible and better known, so as to bring real benefits to the end users, whether individuals, higher education institutions, academic staff, or employers.
In terms of self-certification, the second author underlines that verification by selfcertification is a process in which each QA agency has a significant and obligatory role to play. The role of quality assurance is to demonstrate that programmes are based on intended learning outcomes and that qualifications are awarded on basis of achievement of these outcomes. If, however, we are to realise the objectives of the QF-EHEA in relation to transparency, mobility, and recognition, self-certification is only the first step. The Swedish case example presents a recently adopted approach to quality assurance. In line with the Bologna Process and the goal of increased employability of students, qualification descriptors were introduced and have become the tool in quality assurance of higher education in Sweden. Continuous reviewing in the coming years will help to develop best practice in implementing the new approach, and will be able to provide informed answers to questions such as: Can results of an academic study programme be measured? If yes: how can that be done? And is this European quality assurance of the 21st century?
The system used in Denmark relies on the use of external examiners for the measurement of achieved learning outcomes. Discussions on the use of learning outcomes in programme based QA in the related working group brought up a number of different methods. A conclusion of the group’s work was that if the scale of the potential small revolution brought about by learning outcomes based assessment is to be investigated seriously, the answer lies perhaps not in better measurement, but instead in finding new ways of stimulating ownership of the concept of learning outcomes itself. The working group on recognition of prior learning discussed different ways in which prior learning is used for entry into further study, achievement of credits, or for the award of an entire degree. It became clear that recognition of prior learning practices is politically sensitive and highly dependent on the national context. It was felt thus that agencies must explicitly assume this political dimension in order to define what role to play regarding recognition of prior learning processes in their own frameworks.
The working group discussing the assessment of learning outcomes concluded that there is a need to analyse the assessment of learning outcomes paying attention to the legal framework and academic context. In addition, the maturity of the higher education system as a whole, and the degree of implementation of other ‘Bologna tools’, such as qualifications frameworks, play a significant role in the process. The group felt a need to focus on the quality assurance of the assessment procedures of learning outcomes through checking the assessment practices used by programmes to assess different learning outcomes. The participants agreed that the focus of such assessment should be on the programme learning outcomes, not on the achievement of individual student.
Overall, the main conclusion of the workshop and of this publication is that there is great benefit in sharing and comparing national practices, and learning from good practice at the level of quality assurance agencies. However, the national political and legal context, as well as the degree of implementation of the Bologna reforms, has a significant impact on the way in which agencies can and should react and relate to the implementation of qualifications frameworks. Coordinating efforts in developing and implementing qualifications frameworks and other Bologna reforms is important to ensure a successful consolidation of the European Higher Education Area. In addition, all relevant actors should make efforts to ensure that information on the role and purpose of qualifications frameworks and learning outcomes-based assessment is provided to all interested parties, including employers, so that student employability can be improved, mobility facilitated, and recognition of non-formal and informal learning further developed. Download the report Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks: Exchanging Good Practice.
Our CSR policy sets out our overall aims, key activities and targets in the areas of:
managing our environmental impacts
activity in the community
working with the sector.
HEFCE corporate social responsibility policy 2011-2015
Download the HEFCE CSR policy 11-15 as PDF (131 KB), as MS Word (73 KB).
Our CSR activities include:
- certification to ISO14001, an international environmental management system standard
- achievement of the Carbon Trust Standard
- publication of an annual CSR report (available to download below)
- regular benchmarking. We have used Universities that Count to benchmark our performance. In 2009-10 we achieved the Gold standard with a score of 90.8 per cent, an improvement on our score of 84.7 per cent and Silver standard in the previous year. In 2010-11 our results compared well with a higher education sector average of 75.3 per cent and a corporate average of 86.1 per cent
- a volunteering policy that enables our staff to flex their hours to undertake volunteer work
- an annual CSR event for staff
- we have adopted a sustainable procurement policy
- our People Strategy, which articulates our overarching principles in relation to people management
- our strategy for sustainable development in the HE sector.
HEFCE corporate social responsibility report 2010-11. Download the HEFCE CSR report 2010-11 as PDF.
Reports from earlier years are now available on the national web archive.
HEFCE corporate responsibility index feedback report 2009-10. Download the CSR index feedback 2010 as PDF.
HEFCE corporate responsibility index feedback report 2008-09. Download the CSR index feedback 2009 as PDF.
For further information about corporate social responsibility at HEFCE, contact Gordon Franks, tel 0117 931 7046, e-mail email@example.com.