BRIDGE HANDBOOK Joint Programmes and Recognition What credential evaluators need to know about a Joint Degree Luca Lantero – PNC Italia Erasmus Mundus National Structure - Italy. Best recognition instruments for the dialogue between global experts
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Joint Programmes and Recognition
What credential evaluators need to know about a Joint Degree
Luca Lantero – PNC Italia
Erasmus Mundus National Structure - Italy
Best recognition instruments for the dialogue between global experts
Final Conference - Malta, 18 - 19 October 2012
The BRIDGE Handbook was studied in order to offer practical tools and suggestions for the Erasmus Mundus consortia and HEIs at the following stages:
We want to describe what it is important to taking into account about recognition issues when HEIs decide to implement a joint programme.
The Handbook is the final result of our project, taking into account the experience of the BRIDGE consortium.
We have divided the Handbook into three parts (BRIDGE Joint Programme Phases - CSA) concerning joint programmes and the difficulties associated with the recognition of qualifications and according to different stages in the life of a joint programme:
We have also inserted an extra Chapter providing some initial clarifications about joint degree and recognition procedures + 6 Annexes.
Chapter 1 - Joint Degrees and recognition: some clarifications
Chapter 2 - Creation phase
Chapter 3 - Selection phase
Chapter 4 - Awarding phase
Annex 1 - List of ENIC-NARIC centres and Erasmus Mundus NSs
Annex 2 - National Qualifications Frameworks
Annex 3 - Recognised Higher Education Institutions
Annex 4 - Registers of Higher Education Programmes
Annex 5 - Quality Assurance Agencies
Annex 6 -Catalogue of projects on Joint Programmes
1.1 How to speak a common language: definitions
Official reference documents:
Joint Degree: a single diploma corresponding to at least two official national qualifications issued by at least two official HEIs on the basis of a study programme developed and/or provided jointly by them.
Double/Multiple Degree: two or more national diplomas issued by two or more HEIs on the basis of a study programme developed and/or provided jointly by the HEIs.
Joint Programme: a study programme developed and/or provided jointly by two or more HEIs, possibly also in cooperation with other institutions, leading to the award of a double, multiple or joint degree.
Diploma: the official document attesting the qualification.
1.2 The recognition of Joint Degrees: a formal issue
A Joint Degree is exclusively a method of issue of the national final qualifications within a Joint Programme.
It is incomprehensible how “it often seems more difficult to obtain recognition of a joint degree than of a 'pure' foreign national degree. This is unjustified in view of the overall policy goal of stimulating international and inter-institutional cooperation and academic mobility.” [RJD] and
“information on education systems as well as on individual institutions, programmes and qualifications is one of the key challenges facing those working with the recognition of qualifications [...] the problem is not one of a lack of information, but rather a lack of pertinent and focused information.” [RJD]
Recognition of JDs as a formal issue:
The recognition of joint degrees is exclusively a formal problem tied to the clear and exhaustive presentation of the elements of national qualifications who arrange joint qualifications, and therefore is not a substantial problem tied to the impossibility of a recognition.
1.3 The components of qualifications: what is important to know
What are the elements we must consider for an evaluation of a qualification?
Name of qualification: it is important to know the names of all national qualifications and of those corresponding to final joint degrees that are issued.
Name and status of awarding institutions: this information will indicate whether the institutions of higher education are official within national systems and its status.
Accreditation of a course: accredited HEI does not mean accredited course; not all courses organised by recognised HEIs have this feature; some unrecognised institutions can arrange accredited courses.
Nature of a qualification: academic, research or vocational qualifications; there are JPs created between HEIs of a different nature.
Level of qualification: the level (which one?) is our starting point; the qualifications of different systems placed at the same cycle / level are not directly equivalent between them.
Official length of programme: it is never the only element useful for evaluation procedures.
Workload: ECTS and other systems.
Access requirements: ‘consequential’ and ‘no-consequential’ HED systems.
Access to further study: a qualification will allow access to all courses of next level, only to certain courses of the next level or to no course of study.
Information on learning outcomes:one programme, same outcomes.
The Creation phase is the first part of a JP life cycle and it concerns its development and implementation.
During this phase it is important to consider all the life elements of a course in order to avoid problems to arise during the actual development of the JP, both within the partner institutions which organise the course and towards students who will obtain the final degree.
* Taking from the JOIMAN experience
2.1 Higher Education Systems involved
It is fundamental to know the system and the national legislation of HEIs which organise the JP.
What sources we can use to get information on a HED system?
Partner HEIs but NOT ONLY SCHOLARS!!!
Involvement of the ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF.
Erasmus Mundus National Structures and ENIC-NARIC centres.
Different cycles: 3+2, 4+1, (2+3) 5 etc.
How to organize a JP between these systems?
Identify the target group: 'national' students (students from the partner institutions), 'international' students (from other systems) or both.
2.2 Higher Education Institutions and different qualifications
HEIs can issue 'official' qualifications within their system, but these qualifications can be of 'different' nature.
The nature of a qualification depending on the HEI status:
- Different types of higher education institutions within binary systems
- 'Unofficial' institutions which issue official qualifications
- 'Official' institutions which issue non official qualifications
- Unrecognised institutions which claim to be recognised: the phenomenon of Diploma Mills
- Institutions which operates in a system but belong to another: trans-national institutions (TNE)
2.3 Qualifications of the same level and different nature
The generic indication of 'official second cycle degree’ within a joint programme can be misleading, both for credentials evaluators and students attending the course.
The level is our starting point: more then one qualification at the same level in a HED system. (Examples).
2.4 A very useful tool: the Qualifications Framework
126 countries are adopting or have already adopted their own National QF within the education system.
The student selection phase within a JP does not identify itself exclusively with the selection procedure phases, but it also includes the organisation of these procedures and all the useful information for students who will be selected.
The documentation requests and the information provided to prospective students must consider differences among HED systems, which sometimes differ from those used by the partner institutions, therefore:
* Taking from the BRUSSELS AIRLINES experience
3.1 Only one joint evaluation for a single course
It is recommended - and rightful - to establish a single selection phase and clear rules for students who intend to attend the course.
Case 1: Admission to the course without a formal qualification
Case 2: 'Recognition of prior learning’
Case 3: The concept of ‘consequentiality of degrees’
Selection Board Composition:
Composed by both representatives of the academic field (scholars) and by representatives of the administrative field (administrative staff): both competencies are necessary during the selection phase to evaluate the degrees presented by students under the academic and administrative point of view.
Indicate an only ONEinformation source for the prospective students in order to collect all the applications of the joint course and to receive questions from applicants, by avoiding that each institution receives autonomously the applications to the course or answer to students questions autonomously.
3.2 Admission to the course: qualifications and documents required
Elements of the qualification required
(a) Minimum duration in years;
(b) level/cycle and reference scale;
(c) possibility of admission to the next courses in the reference foreign system
(d) nature of the qualification.
Documents required for the admission
3.3 Information for future students
Documents useful to manage the relationships between future students and the partner institutions of the JP:
Statement for personal data handling in order to verify the information provided by candidates;
Student agreement (EM experience) that indicate rights and duties of the future students and the commitments of partner institutions.
Joint Website with the following information:
(a) the subjects of the joint course;
(b) the list of the institutions participating in the programme;
(c) the name of the national qualifications which will be issued at the end of the course;
(d) all the information related to the selection procedure for the admission to the course;
(e) a single contact for the clarification and information requests.
Coming soon… (FEEL CONNECTED!!!)
Recognition of a qualification: NO automatic procedure among EU countries!
Clear description of elements of JD: official names of national qualifications and other details (see The components of qualifications).
Awarding procedure - Legalisation aspects: who is in charge to sign the final qualification?
Format of the final Diploma: which elements are important to insert.
Recognition procedures for Joint Degrees corresponding to different qualifications… waiting for results of the BRIDGE Case 3.
The course does not end - and your relationship with students as well - when you award the final diploma: they got one of your qualification for their entire life (more then a marriage)!
THINK FIRST !!!
BE FLEXIBLE !!!
FEEL CONNECTED !!!
I am the scared guy!!!