09 février 2013

Mutual Recognition – Building the Bridge

logoECA Winter Seminar “Mutual recognition and the Bucharest Communiqué” took place in the NVAO premises in The Hague on January 17, 2013.
Recognition and "automatic recognition" are important topics in the Bucharest Communiqué. As ECA has been working on mutual recognition since 2003, this event was organized with a clear idea in mind: to stimulate the debate and exchange of ideas on recognition issues. The statements regarding recognition of the latest EHEA Ministerial Conference were explored in the light of the latest developments in this field.
About 50 participants from 13 countries could benefit from the contributions of carefully selected speakers. Indeed, an interesting discussion would not be possible without major stakeholders clearly expressing their points of view.  Thus, speakers from the following organisations ignited a successful debate: the European Commission (DG Education & Culture); Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG), European Students Union (ESU), Association of the Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Association of Flemish University Colleges (VLHORA), Nuffic, and ECA.
Different models of recognition ranging from “case by case” to “trust based” and “automatic” were discussed. The participants were invited to vote and comment on the most stirring statements. The participants unanimously voted YES on the inclusion of QA information in all recognition decisions. The majority of voters (≈80%) was neither in favour of a “case by case” (≈5%) nor of “automatic” (≈15%) recognition, but favoured intermediate solutions with various levels of using Bologna tools and instruments such as the EAR manual.
The commitment of three new agencies (ZEvA & FIBAA – Germany and CNA – Colombia) to sign the Multilateral Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Accreditation Results regarding Joint Programmes (MULTRA) is an illustration of the fact that evidence and trust based mutual recognition might presently be the most suitable solution.
As recognition is undeniably important for the promotion of international education and cross-border mobility of students and staff, the EAR manual of ENIC-NARICs and the MR Agreements of ECA need support from HEIs and governments to achieve close collaboration between them but also with recognition bodies and QA/accreditation agencies to overcome recognition problems with confidence.
We are happy to share with you all presentations and documents used during the seminar.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:22 - - Permalien [#]


Women dominate university graduates, so why not university leadership positions?

By Terri Macdonald. An online article in Women's Agenda by Conrad Liveris asks why there aren't more women in leadership roles in our universities, when there are more women graduating?
Liveris notes that tertiary education is a haven of activity for women, as both staff and students, but it obvious that equity issues still remain:
Of the nearly 1.1 million students at university 57% are women, making up 53% of all tertiary students in Australia. Women have already made the government's target for 40% of people holding a bachelor's degree, with men still in the mid-30% range.While the above stats reference a 2008 study on such gender breakdowns, there's been little evidence to indicate how wide the gap currently is. The tertiary education sector has a distinct focus on the gender balance with students, but more research needs to be done to give female academics a practical pathway to leadership.

Click here read the full article, Women dominate university graduates, so why not university leadership positions?

Posté par pcassuto à 22:08 - - Permalien [#]

U-Multirank launched

Hedda - Higher Education Development AssociationBy Marielk. U-Multirank is by their own definition a new “multidimensional, user-driven approach” to rankings. As the majority of rankings out there are widely criticized for not getting the whole picture and being heavily research biased, the Commission funded project of developing U-Multirank is set to challenge these criticisms and develop a more flexible approach. U-Multirank was officially launched last week in Dublin, and project co-leader Frank Ziegele and team member Don Westerheijden introduced the relevance of the instrument to various stakeholder groups. The goal is to publish the first ranking of 500 institutions early 2014, covering both full institutions and three disciplinary fields (engineering, business and physics).
The project is funded by the Commission and has been a highly profiled instrument in the context of European higher education area. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, argued that U-Multirank is “a modern and sophisticated ranking, capturing the full diversity of higher education“. Of course, the Commission is known for their big words and the full diversity has nevertheless to be taken in the context of measurable indicators. The general feedback has been somewhat more cautious, while optimistic. For instance, while the European Students Union (ESU) has been involved in the development of U-Multirank, their recent press release on the occasion of the kick-off was still somewhat modest and indicated not assurance but hope that U-Multirank can avoid the pitfalls of previous rankings. Nevertheless, the potential of such instrument to provide information to students was highlighted.
Furthermore, earlier last year the Times Higher Education was reporting that in the UK the House of Lord’s committee raised a number of concerns about the instrument and whether it can deliver its promise. The committee was “not convinced that it would add value if it simply resulted in an additional European rankings system alongside the existing international ranking systems”, and it was highlighted that the success was dependent on institutional engagement. While the THE article extensively reporting on criticisms about their (potential) competitors and specifically highlighting that the committee also brought out the success of THEs own ranking is to be expected, the point about the success being dependent on institutions seeing the value added is something to be taken seriously.
Frank Ziegele from CHE, who is the co-leader of U-Multirank, has earlier written on the Hedda blog about the unique features of U-Multirank
that include five groups of measurement (teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, regional engagement and international orientation), and focus on users and stakeholders. The ranking would not end up in a definite Top100 list,  but rather provide the opportunity for the user to develop groupings of institutions based on selected indicators. The indicators were developed in cooperation with the  stakeholders, including the institutions themselves. Frans van Vught, the project leader of U-Multirank argued that this assured the “criterion of ‘relevance’ in the process of indicator selection“.
However, there are a number of league tables and rankings already, and while the methodology and approach is indeed different, the question is whether the users see this difference and added value in the already saturated market of rankings. In addition, the successful institutions have a vested interest in terms of being able to show that they are “the best” or in the “top 10″. This most definitely has a broader appeal than being in the top group in terms of comparable institutions in the area of research. At the same time, there number of institutions in Europe is quite large and as the top 10 and 100 only can fit so many institutions, the rest of them should by all means be interested in knowing who their competitors are and how they are relatively doing in terms of comparable institutions. However, making this message clear to all of these institutions and getting them on board is where the U-Multirank team has their work cut out for the future.
The project is funded by the Commission, but is carried out by a consortia, including The Centre for Higher Education (CHE) in Germany and the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) in the Netherlands. In addition, the partners include the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University (CWTS), academic publishers Elsevier, the Bertelsmann Foundation and software firm Folge 3, in addition to various stakeholder organisations.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:02 - - Permalien [#]

Higher Education and Society: Implications and effects

ESF_Logo_web_(236x122px)Call for participants: ESF funded colloquium on HE
A colloquium with the title “Higher Education and Society: Implications and effects” will be held in Dublin from the 13th -14th of April 2013.
The colloquium includes invited speakers (Prof. Gaële Goastellec and Prof. Maria Slowey) as well as interactive discussions and common session. The focus area of the colloquium is examined through various thematic areas, such as: diversity and change of university systems: cultural, policy and economic challenges; HE as a field of research; academic ability and new forms of knowledge creation; and comparative and collaborative studies on Higher education.
Furthermore, the colloquium will focus on the following questions:
  • What is and/or should be HE’s role in nowadays’ society?
  • How is HE influencing the understandings of social issues by students, policy-makers and even HE researchers?
  • How to improve the distribution of research?
  • How can young researchers cope with the emergent standards in HE research and with the changes in the nature of knowledge itself?
The colloquium has space for 30 participants and while priority will be given to early career researchers for the EuroHESC programmes. Applications from early career researchers affiliated in other projects/organisations/networks targeting higher education are welcomed, amongst them priority will be given to the ones affiliated to ECHER (Early Career Higher Education Researchers’ Network). The organisers cover accomodation for two nights, whereas the participants need to cover their travel costs.
Application deadline 20.02.13.

More information can be found here: Call for Participation ESF Dublin colloquium.

Posté par pcassuto à 21:58 - - Permalien [#]
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Strategic planning: realise your internationalisation goals

BannerFlagBy Fiona Hunter. Many of us in the field of higher education have long-standing experience in our fields of expertise but are still relatively new to the concept of strategic planning, especially when this involves the whole institution. How might we define strategic planning with regards to international education, and what needs to happen within the institution if ambitious goals for internationalisation are to be realised?
Although it is shaped by the past and the present, strategic planning is a process that is oriented towards the future. It looks at the world in 5–10 years from now and seeks to shape future events rather than be dictated to by them. It links past, present and future by ensuring staff understand how history has shaped their institution, reflecting honestly on where the institution is now and the factors that affect it, and considering future objectives and how to achieve them. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:53 - - Permalien [#]


Calling all HE staff who are new to open practice

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/css/hea2/images/hea2-header-bg-swirl.pngIf you are new to Open Educational Resources (OERs), you could qualify for an HEA-sponsored place at OER13, a conference showcasing Open Practice.
Open Practice is a growing, global movement in higher education involving major international institutions such as MIT, Harvard and Stanford. In the UK, numerous OER projects have been supported successfully by the UKOER programme run jointly by the HEA and Jisc. The HEA is encouraging further growth of the Open Practice community by sponsoring new-to-OER HE staff to learn more about this exciting development in open academic practice at OER13.
OER13 takes place at the University of Nottingham on 26 and 27 March and the HEA is funding a set number of places. For more information and to apply for a free place visit the event page of the HEA website.
OERs are part of a growing, global Open Practice movement in higher education involving major international institutions such as MIT, Harvard and Stanford. In the UK, numerous OER projects have been supported by the UKOER programme run jointly by the Higher Education Academy and Jisc. The Higher Education Academy would like to support the growth of the OER and Open Practice community by encouraging UK academic and professional higher education staff who have had no engagement with OERs to find out more about this movement.
OER13 is a conference taking place at the University of Nottingham on 26th & 27th March 2013 which will showcase Open Practice projects (http://www.oer13.org). The Conference programme will consist of an engaging mix of keynote presentations, refereed papers and posters exploring the impact of OER on HE within the conference themes. The Higher Education Academy is funding a scheme which will provide the conference fees for OER13 to HE staff who are new to OERs i.e. those staff involved in delivering HE who have neither been engaged in OERs nor previously funded as part of the UKOER programme and who do not have a paper accepted for OER13.

Posté par pcassuto à 21:50 - - Permalien [#]

Numérique: rendre l'apprentissage des langues accessible à tous

European Commission logoExpolangues au rendez-vous! The biggest language-related event in France celebrates “Digital technology for language learning”.
For its 31st edition, Expolangues focuses on new technologies and language learning. The European Commission and other institutions propose a rich overview of study and career opportunities in which languages play a significant role, as well as practical information on where and how to study and practice foreign languages in Europe.
Come and visit our stands at Expolangues 2013 and get an insight of how interpreters and translators work! Download the Programme.
Expolangues célèbre le « numérique au service des langues »

À cette occasion, seront mobilisés les acteurs clés des nouvelles technologies et de l'enseignement des langues le jeudi 7 février autour du colloque « Numérique: rendre l'apprentissage des langues accessible à tous » qui réunira les experts du marché, chercheurs, sociologues, éditeurs, enseignants... Consultez cet événement.
Maîtriser le français et une langue étrangère font partie des connaissances indispensables à la réussite scolaire et à l’insertion professionnelle. Si aujourd’hui l’école est au cœur des préoccupations gouvernementales, c’est parce que ces savoirs ne sont pas acquis par 50% des élèves, dès le primaire! Comment lutter contre ces lacunes? Comment les résorber au cours de sa scolarité puis de sa vie professionnelle?
Les solutions passent inexorablement par le numérique. A l’heure des smartphones, des tablettes, des tableaux blancs interactifs… Comment concevoir l’enseignement des langues sans eux? Au-delà des transformations pédagogiques, c’est aussi la relation espace-temps qui doit être repensé. L’apprentissage des langues ne se fait plus exclusivement dans la classe. Les langues se pratiquent dans les transports en commun, chez soi ou encore à l’étranger.
Fort des expériences concrètes menées par les acteurs de l’enseignement et de la formation professionnelle nous répondrons à ces questions avec eux mais aussi des représentants d’institutions publiques françaises et étrangères (instituts, collectivités territoriales, médias...)

Posté par pcassuto à 21:43 - - Permalien [#]

Quality assurance procedures in the processes of certification, curricula setting, accreditation and training of trainers

publicationsQuality assurance procedures in the processes of certification, curricula setting, accreditation and training of trainers in European VET systems - 9. France
Information Gathering Exercise
Quality assurance procedures in the processes of certification, curricula setting, accreditation and training of trainers in European VET systems

IV. The results of the scrutiny of information already available

The main results of this study are presented in two parts: the first part, the “Matrix”, presents the results in a table format, using the “codes” presented below; the second part is the set of “Country Cards”, which function as endnotes for each Member State, where some summary explanations are given as answers to the questions raised in the matrix...
9. France
1. Assessment, validation and recognition of the learning outcomes – existence of mechanisms for formal and non-formal/informal contexts:
1.1. Who is responsible for assessment, validation and recognition of the learning outcomes?

The ministries responsible for initial and continuous vocational education are mainly those responsible for school education, higher education and employment.
Other ministries are also involved (Agriculture, Health, Sports etc. for their specific area).
For IVET – the Ministry for National Education is responsible for initial vocational education at secondary level. (Some other ministries also have responsibilities in IVET, such as the Ministry of Agriculture that is similarly responsible for professional agricultural training. The Ministry of Higher Education is responsible for Higher education.)
In this context the law has assigned to the Ministry of Education several duties:
– it draws up vocational diplomas/qualifications in consultation with professional bodies. (Vocational diplomas/qualifications issued by the Ministry of National Education are national and are worth the same whether they are acquired in initial education – IVET (schoolbased scheme or apprenticeship), through CVET or by a validation of professional experience. They are registered in the Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (National Directory of Professional Certifications),
– it sets exam rules,
– it awards diplomas,
– it offers a range of courses to pupils and on-the-job apprentices,
– it recruits, trains and pays teachers,
– it monitors the quality of training,
– it is accountable for the results and the resources used.
For IVET and CVET – the Regions (regional governments) define and implement the regional policies of vocational training, for young people and for adults.
The French Regions are regional authorities that are run by elected officials.
Their remit is to plan and ensure the coherence of vocational training in their geographical area. Within this remit, they set out their policies according to their economic and social priorities, in consultation with the State and social partners.
As such they draw up the regional plans for developing vocational training which set out, in the medium term, in their geographical area, a coherent programme for developing courses of study for young people and adults. They also fund certain schemes for these groups according to their priorities. They are responsible for the construction, upkeep and facilities of upper secondary schools (lycées) as well as the funding of school transport.
For CVET – the Ministry for Economy, Industry and Employment is responsible for national regulation concerning vocational training for adults as well as for young people in the labour market.
The validation of non-formal and informal learning can lead in whole or in part, to a diploma, a title or certificate of professional qualification entered in the National Directory of Professional Certifications.
1.2. Where does the decision making regarding assessment, validation and recognition of the learning outcomes lie?

For IVET, concerning the Ministry of Education and its vocational diplomas/qualifications: the ministry is responsible for designing its qualifications/vocational diplomas – in consultation with professional bodies – and for designing the assessment, validation, recognition/certification process and procedures. Within this framework, training providers (with companies for alternate schemes such as apprenticeship) deliver training provision leading to vocational diplomas/qualifications. The training providers proceed to assessment, juries involving VET experts and professional bodies proceed to validation.
The ministry is responsible for recognition/certification: it delegates this final task to Rectors of Academies, who are at the head of the regional education authorities.
For CVET, process and procedures depend on different aspects: CVET can be delivered in order to gain a diploma, a title or certificate of professional qualification entered in the National Directory of Professional Certifications: the structures that produce those certifications include the Ministry of Education, of Higher Education, of Health, Sports, Agriculture, and also many other bodies.
But CVET can also be delivered to adults who wish to gain competences that do not lead to certifications.
Procedures will vary, depending on the aim of CVET and on the structures that produce certifications.
1.3. How are the stakeholders involved in the decision making process?

Stakeholders include the State through ministries, the social partners and the economic world and the Regions.
All those actors collaborate at different levels:
For IVET and CVET – at national level for the cooperation between stakeholders concerning VET policies: the National Council for Vocational Lifelong Learning. This Council also produces studies and reports. For qualifications recognised by the State – at national level: the National Commission for Professional Qualifications (CNCP). The commission is composed of ministries, social partners, Regions; its role is to manage the National Directory of Professional Certifications, to inform people, to check the complementarity of certifications.
-- For IVET and CVET – at national level for the creation of qualifications: Professional Consultative Commissions. Vocational diplomas/qualifications are drawn up and regularly reviewed in consultation with the professional and economical world in the framework of national bodies called «Consultative professional committees» (Commissions Professionnelles Consultatives). These committees are compulsory and enable consultation for the creation and renewal of qualifications and for the definition of the contents of qualification, including the definition of learning outcomes.
-- For IVET – at national level for the deliverance of training: the economic world also intervenes in the training deliverance since IVET relies on alternate schemes. IVET is delivered through apprenticeship but also through the school-based system which includes compulsory training periods in enterprises.
-- For IVET – at national level for the validation process: the economic world also intervenes in the validation process through the participation of professionals on juries.
-- For IVET – at regional level – regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees (CCREFP) allow coordination and discussions between the stakeholders involved in VET in order to jointly intervene in scopes linked to employment and VET policies (state representatives, regional assemblies, management and labour organisations – social partners – and regional consular chambers: agriculture, trade and commerce and industry).
-- For IVET – at regional level – the French regions must plan and ensure the coherence of vocational training in their geographical area. Within this remit, they set out their policies according to their economic and social priorities, in consultation with the State and the social partners, taking into account the regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees. As such, Regions draw up the regional plans for developing vocational training which set out, in the medium term, in their geographical area, a coherent programme for developing courses of study for young people and adults. The work should lead to contracts (Contrats de Plan Régionaux de Développement des Formations Professionnelles) signed between Regions and the State.
-- For CVET – at national level – the National Joint Committee for Vocational Training is in charge of ensuring that continuing vocational training’s agreements are duly applied.
-- For CVET – at sector level- the National Joint Employment Commissions and the National Interprofessional Agreements (the most recent one, from 2009, focused on vocational lifelong learning).
-- For CVET – at regional level – regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees (CCREFP) allow coordination and discussions between the stakeholders involved in VET in order to jointly intervene in scopes linked to employment and VET policies (state representatives, regional assemblies, management and labour organisations – social partners – and regional consular chambers: agriculture, trade and commerce and industry).
-- For CVET – at regional level – the French regions must plan and ensure the coherence of vocational training in their geographical area. Within this remit, they set out their policies according to their economic and social priorities, in consultation with the State and social partners, taking into account the regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees. As such, Regions draw up the regional plans for developing vocational training which set out, in the medium term, in their geographical area, a coherent programme for developing courses of study for young people and adults. The work should lead to contracts (Contrats de Plan Régionaux de Développement des Formations Professionnelles) signed between Regions and the State.
2. Curricula setting:
2.1. Is the curriculum based on standards and/or frameworks?

For IVET – for the qualifications of the State, including those of the ministry of Education), the national curriculum is based on the framework of the State.
For CVET – the frameworks are defined at sectoral, regional and local levels.
2.2. Levels of actions:
2.2.1. Where does the decision making regarding standards and/or frameworks lie?

For IVET, at national level – the Ministry of National Education regarding secondary education.
2.2.2. Where does the decision making regarding curriculum development lie?

For IVET, at national level – the Ministry of National Education regarding secondary education.
For CVET – at provider level.
2.3. Is the curriculum based on National Qualification Frameworks (NQF)?

Yes – for the curricula developed to obtain a certification registered in the National Directory of Professional Certifications.
2.4. Is the curriculum based on competencies?

Yes – for IVET and CVET.
2.5. Is a credits system in place?

If we consider that credits systems refer to ECVET or ECTS, a credit system is in place for higher education.
2.6. What is the role of practice? (Proportion and delivery).

For IVET delivered through a school-based scheme – about 15-20% compulsory work-based learning, depending on the type of programme and of diploma.
For IVET delivered through apprenticeship, about 65-70%.
For CVET, it depends on the demand, and on the sectoral, regional, local agreements involving, for instance, social partners or the regional authorities.
3. Accreditation of VET providers:
3.1. Who is responsible for the accreditation of VET providers?

For IVET – the State and the regional authorities.
For CVET – the providers evolve on a free market. They can be private or public. The 2009 law established the necessity to give transparency for those who buy training schemes and for citizens. CVET Providers must now give information about the objectives of training offered, about nature and time of provisions. They must deliver, at the end of the training periods, attestations explaining results of the evaluation and validation process. The law also intends to create a database of CVET providers, giving standardised information about providers, including their quality signals, such as labels.
3.2. Where does the decision making regarding the accreditation lie?

Idem
3.3. How are the stakeholders involved in the decision making process?

Stakeholders include the State through ministries, the social partners and the economic world, the Regions. All those actors collaborate at different levels:
-- For IVET and CVET – at national level for the cooperation between stakeholders concerning VET policies: the National Council for Vocational Lifelong Learning. This Council also produces studies and reports.
-- For qualifications recognised by the State – at national level: the National Commission for Professional Qualifications (CNCP). The commission is composed of ministries, social partners, Regions; its role is to manage the National Directory of Professional Certifications, to inform people, to check the complementarity of certifications.
-- For IVET and CVET – at national level for the creation of qualifications: Professional Consultative Commissions. Vocational diplomas/qualifications are drawn up and regularly reviewed in consultation with the professional and economical world in the framework of national bodies called «Consultative Professional Committees» (Commissions Professionnelles Consultatives). These committees are compulsory and enable consultation for the creation and renewal of qualifications, for the definition of the contents of qualification, including the definition of learning outcomes.
-- For IVET – at national level for the deliverance of training: the economic world also intervenes in the training deliverance since IVET relies on alternate schemes. IVET is delivered through apprenticeship but also through the school-based system which includes compulsory training periods in enterprises.
-- For IVET – at national level for the validation process: the economic world also intervenes in the validation process through the participation of professionals on juries.
-- For IVET – at regional level – regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees (CCREFP) allow coordination and discussions between the stakeholders involved in VET in order to jointly intervene in scopes linked to employment and VET policies (state representatives, regional assemblies, management and labour organisations – social partners – and regional consular chambers: agriculture, trade and commerce and industry).
-- For IVET – at regional level – the French Regions must plan and ensure the coherence of vocational training on their geographical area. Within this remit, they set out their policies according to their economic and social priorities, in consultation with the State and social partners, taking into account the regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees. As such Regions draw up the regional plans for developing vocational training which set out, in the medium term, in their geographical area, a coherent programme for developing courses of study for young people and adults. The work should lead to contracts (Contrats de Plan Régionaux de Développement des Formations Professionnelles) signed between Regions and the State.
-- For CVET – at national level – the National Joint Committee for Vocational Training is in charge of ensuring that continuing vocational training’s agreements are duly applied.
-- For CVET – at regional level – regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees (CCREFP) allow coordination and discussions between the stakeholders involved in VET in order to jointly intervene in scopes linked to employment and VET policies (state representatives, regional assemblies, management and labour organisations – social partners – and regional consular chambers: agriculture, trade and commerce and industry).
-- For CVET – at regional level – the French Regions must plan and ensure the coherence of vocational training on their geographical area. Within this remit, they set out their policies according to their economic and social priorities, in consultation with the State and social partners, taking into account the regional employment and vocational training co-ordination committees. As such Regions draw up the regional plans for developing vocational training which set out, in the medium term, in their geographical area, a coherent programme for developing courses of study for young people and adults. The work should lead to contracts (Contrat de Plan Régionaux de Développement des Formations Professionnelles) signed between Regions and the State.
4. Training of teachers/trainers:
4.1. Who is a “teacher”/“trainer”?

IVET teacher / lecturer – educator working in the formal education system, civil servants (90%). They are usually trained in higher education institutions (Universities, ‘écoles normales supérieures’, certain universities or private institutions).
Teachers/trainers in apprenticeship – often ex-tradesmen and tradeswomen, experts in the field they are teaching; they may be employed on a contract (full- or part-time) in the Apprentice Training Centre, or they may be self-employed.
IVET apprentice master – employee responsible for training a young apprentice within the company; no specific training or qualification process is required.
CVET teachers and trainers – there is no national regulation governing the status of trainers or other training professionals. But there are different frameworks that can be developed.
4.2. Is the training of teachers/trainers based on standards/rameworks?

For IVET and CVET teacher/lecturer, the status and rank are determined by national entrance examinations for admission to the profession and regulated by the state.
4.3. What institutions /instances are in charge with training of teachers/trainers?

For IVET and CVET teacher/lecturer – higher education institutions.
4.4. What is the proportion “technical”/“pedagogical” in the training of teachers/trainers?
4.5. What institutions/instances are in charge with the accreditation of “teachers”/“trainers”?

For IVET teacher/lecturer – the State: there are national entrance examinations for admission to the profession (concours), regulated by the State.
Extra sources of information:
www.centre-inffo.fr – the website of the French national Centre for the Development of Information on Continuing Vocational Training. Download Quality assurance procedures in the processes of certification, curricula setting, accreditation and training of trainers in European VET systems.

Posté par pcassuto à 21:23 - - Permalien [#]

The OERTEST Project

HomeThe OERTEST Project: Creating Political Conditions for Effective Exchange of OER in Higher Education. Luca Ferrari, Ivan Traina.
This paper refers to the OERTest project and Open Educational Resources (OER) as support education materials that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone. In this paper we will try to answer the following question: how can the political conditions be created to foster an effective exchange of OERs between Higher Education institutions? The article presents several policy recommendations (intended as lessons learnt from the project) to ensure an effective recognition and exchange of OER between Higher Education Institutions. Download Ferrari Traina.
The OERTEST Project: Creating Political Conditions for Effective Exchange of OER in Higher EducationPolicy recommendations (PR)
As a further result of the feasibility study the OERTest consortium has identified and discussed a set of policy recommendations (PR), that have been divided in two main categories: “macro level” (PR1-8), including general indications addressed to national and EU governments, organizations and competent authorities, developed by reviewing and updating the International and EU documents; “micro level” (PR9-18), including specific indications addressed to HEI, Universities and networks, developed through practical actions (analysis, action-research, test) and participatory exchanges (seminars, workshops, interviews) realized in the context of the OERTest project and related to problems still to be solved such as assessment and certification. In the following pages the PRs are shortly presented.
PR1. Develop specific policies for the production and use of OER starting from awareness raising:
HE institutions have to promote the development of specific policies for the production and use of OER within wider strategies for advancing education. The adoption of this vision will facilitate the creation of an open, flexible, inclusive educational environment including support mechanisms.
PR2. Stimulate institutional and national partnerships:
HE institutions are able to take part in educational collaborations, promote shared, collaborative teaching and provide reward systems for open education.
PR3. Promote the exchange of ideas and practices among OER European interest groups:
collaborative agreements between universities are likely to be the most productive approach (i.e. trust relationships as in Erasmus).
PR4. Reconsider the existing Intellectual Property Right and Copyright schemes:
enact legislations, then enable ‘fair educational use’ of copyrighted digital learning materials. Whenever learning materials are produced with public funding, open licenses should be used.
PR5. Overcome fragmentation in learning resources:
the creation of a repository of OER-modules based on quality criteria will facilitate learning processes. This implies the need for universities to share a common approach to training, which can call attention to the pedagogical potential of OERs, including the development of ICT skills (example: the OERTest Clearinghouse). The OERTest project set up a high-quality repository tested by 5 European universities, with commonly agreed standards for classification and scenarios in order to share the learning modules.
PR6. Improve transparency and accountability in teaching: the creation of a “Learning Passport”, a European Diploma Supplement-compliant ‘transcript’, should be thought of as an opportunity through which HE institutions can record the learner’s achievements against Learning Outcomes. Other specific recommendations to facilitate this process are:
Include, when publishing your own OERs, an overview on the content • (pre-structure), learning outcomes and suggested assessment methods. Think of the resources as one package which self-learners can use independently.
Investigate whether assessment and recognition of your OERs would • be feasible within your own institution, e.g. for students of your own university, e.g. students of HEIs with existing agreements with your department/university (exchange programmes), prospective students of your programme through existing procedures of recognition of prior learning.
PR7. Overcome the dichotomy between the perceived value of real and virtual learning:
the adoption of OERs could contribute to: facilitating access to high quality content at university level and to the higher education system without the need to meet access requirements; promoting opportunities for professional improvement; encouraging the trend towards personalization and adaptation to the rhythm of student learning (just-in-time learning); reducing dropout rates, since the student has more information about the course; improving mobility and exchange between universities; providing an opportunity to rethink the university system in its most positive sense; enriching the learning process (and the institutions themselves) by making content available to students from other universities; complementing the traditional university system of funding.
PR8. Promote the provision of Open Educational Assessment and quality procedures:
HE institutions need to share barriers, opportunities and concrete practices in order to improve understanding of OER Assessment. To facilitate this, a possible regulatory framework was developed to allow for the unbundling of course design, provision and certification. In this framework the recommendation created in the OPAL project, the suggestion of integrating OEP into Institutional Quality Procedures is a relevant challenge: “traditional academic (and scientific) quality assurance procedures rely on a formal hierarchical system of peer-review and external assessment. Collaborative co-creation upends this quality model Recommendation: Develop specific quality schemes for Open Educational Practice, particularly by moving concepts from recent EU projects such as CONCEDE, OPAL, OERTest etc. from pilot into operational phases”.
PR9. Open up assessment activity of HE Institution prior learning in order to include OER progressively:
in OER-based learning, it is “essential” to support unbundled assessment & accreditation, to specify a “Learning Passport” and to create realistic assessment & certification scenarios that map onto current traditional higher education processes.
PR10. Allow different scenarios to facilitate the acquisition of an educational certification/qualification:
different universities prefer different scenarios, depending on their charging models, legislative constraints, prior collaborative arrangements, flexibility in current assessment procedures. There are at least four concrete reasons for using these scenarios:
• as a showcase of a program within an institution;
• to validate credits as part of a program within an institution;
• as a supplement or complement to a degree course, that is, completing a program;
• specialization regarding a concrete topic or knowledge area or to fill gaps.
PR11. Adopt quality criteria to define the minimum requirements of an OER learning module to be eligible for assessment and certification: the definition of minimum requirements and characteristics of the modules from a simple and clear structure, and shared between institutions. These criteria have to make clear that the OER approach goes beyond the exhibition of content, in that it promotes a complex and complete learning process.
PR12. Implement quality assurance assessment and certification:
the implementation of a quality assurance assessment system and certification should be developed by management staff and it may involve teachers when accrediting the learning assessed in other institutions. In any case, these processes will be as systematic and concrete as possible as well as based on the reputation of institutions. The procedures for assessment and certification need to be clear and well formalized.
PR13. Promote a plurality of assessment methods:
the need to take into account a variety of assessment methods represents the way to promote a plurality of assessment methods. Nevertheless, it would be complex to define an evaluation process depending on each specific OER-module. Suggestions from the international experts involved in the OERTest project pointed out the importance of choosing the “appropriate tests or procedures”. Beyond the examinations (clearly insufficient), similar processes to the doctoral thesis or project evaluation could be followed. It is also suggested that “the assessment could be the same as that used with students who follow the present OCW”, i.e. continuous assessment applied or adapted to those taking part in the learning process in an autonomous way.
PR14. Test informatics tools to improve the assessment process automation:
different EU universities are testing informatics tools to support the assessment process. For instance when a student gathers a set of X evidences of X type, the system will inform that he or she is ready to be assessed; or in the case of accreditation, the system would offer the possibility of sending a certificate, recognizing it in the student record or sending the information to the university of origin. That is, linking the activity of the student to assessment and management, taking into account all processes and needs resulting from each phase.
PR15. Explore an alternative economic model for the adoption of OER:
the implementation of an economic model of OER in HE institutions, requires us to understand:
• which inputs are available (internal and external to the institution)?
• when will they be available?
• who would benefit from them (the institution, the consortium, in percentages, etc...)?
• what inputs cover what expenses?
Regarding fees it is important to consider the processes that come into play and the resources consumed: “the price, at a minimum, must cover the costs”.
PR16. Support initiatives creating shared Open Courseware repositories:
need to support - starting from the EU level – OER initiatives creating shared Open Courseware repositories among existing ERASMUS networks in specific subjects. Furthermore, creating a repository of OER-modules based on quality criteria will facilitate learning processes. This implies the need to share a common structure between universities. We are working in the OERTest Clearinghouse along this line.
PR17. Disseminate knowledge and existing good practices:
the dissemination of knowledge about the existing good practices on identification and access management” requires universities to issue identity proofed online credentials and help build future partnerships among HE institutions.
PR18. Address quality assurance for distributed learning:
it is crucial to address quality assurance for distributed learning involving different HEI at the national level but also between different countries and allow pioneer HEI institutions to experiment “safely”.
Conclusions
If we accept to face the challenge of OER in HE, it is essential to change or modify our educational perspective, including finding creative solutions to shift from prescriptive educational methods towards open learning formats. The questions highlighted are central and aimed at analyzing efficiency benefits of OER, the relationship between OERs, and the reasons for teachers and learners to use OER materials.
In this article we have presented some evidence and results of the OERTest project. At the same time we have presented the lessons learned and the consequent policy recommendations which each HE institution needs to take into account for implementing OERs.
We conclude by calling for wider participation and input into the development, promotion and dissemination of a culture of sharing amongst the teaching community in Higher Education. We encourage readers to interact with the platform created in the framework of the OERTest project (http://www.oer-europe.net/node/15) and provide feedback and suggestions. Download Ferrari Traina.

Posté par pcassuto à 21:00 - - Permalien [#]

HEFCE funding for higher education 2013-14

HEFCE logoThe Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced its high-level funding decisions for higher education in England, following the annual grant letter from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and subsequent decisions by the HEFCE Board on 31 January. Allocations to individual universities and colleges will be announced on 21 March. In 2013-14, the second year of the transition to the new funding arrangements for higher education, HEFCE will continue to invest for the benefit of students and the wider public. We remain committed to sustaining a high-quality teaching experience and to supporting high-cost and strategically important subjects, widening participation and smaller specialist institutions. We also support the Government’s drive to improve efficiency, and will continue to work with universities and colleges to deliver savings.
The total amount the Board agreed for distribution for the 2013-14 academic year is £4.47 billion. This breaks down as follows:
£2.3 billion for teaching

Overall HEFCE teaching funding has reduced from £3.2 billion last year. This reflects a reduction in the numbers of students who entered higher education under the old funding regime, as they complete their studies, and an increase in the numbers of ‘new-regime’ students as they commence and continue theirs.
The increase in tuition fees for new-regime students is in most cases significantly greater than the reduction in HEFCE grant and, on average, will result in higher income per student for universities and colleges in 2013-14 than in 2011-12.
We have increased the rates at which we fund both old-regime and new-regime students by around 1 per cent compared to the current academic year. Under the new funding arrangements HEFCE will continue to fund widening participation activity (£105 million in 2013-14) and student retention (£228 million in 2013-14).
In recognition of the importance of postgraduate provision we are continuing to provide additional funding for taught postgraduate students, who are not eligible for publicly funded tuition fee loans.
We recognise the complexity of having two funding regimes running in parallel and the administrative burden that this places on universities and colleges. We will support them in adjusting to the new regime, and keep any change to a minimum.
£1.6 billion for research

This is the same cash level of funding that we have allocated for research in the past two years; we are not changing our funding formula for research this year. HEFCE remains the single biggest funder of university research in England.
The single largest element of our funding, for mainstream quality-related research (QR), is just over £1 billion (including London weighting). We will continue to support research degrees, with £240 million. The other elements of research funding comprise QR charity funding (£198 million), QR business funding (£64 million) and funding for National Research Libraries (£6 million). Read more...
See also Board decisions.

Posté par pcassuto à 20:38 - - Permalien [#]