Recognition of non formal and informal education in slovenian higher education
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RECOGNITION OF NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION IN SLOVENIAN HIGHER EDUCATION. 3 rd Annual EFYE Conference, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 7 to 9 May 2008. Aleksandra Kovač, Nada Trunk-Širca, Doris Gomezelj, Živana Marčeta. Introduction.

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Recognition of non formal and informal education in slovenian higher education


3rd Annual EFYE Conference,

University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus,

7 to 9 May 2008

Aleksandra Kovač, Nada Trunk-Širca,

Doris Gomezelj, Živana Marčeta



  • Recognition of non-formal and informal learninng goes in line with the princilpe of LLL, creation of flexible system of HE, equal opportunities, and social inclusion

  • One of the priorities to be realised in the Bologna process(Bergen conference 2005)

  • The European Qualifications Framework for LLL (Recomendation of the EC, April 2008)



  • Some definitions

  • Steps taken at the Slovenian national level

  • Implementation of the recognition of non-formal and informal learning at the Faculty of Management Koper

Definitions 1

Definitions (1)

Recognitionrefers to learning achievements of individuals which might lead to a qualification. Recognised Individual’s knowledge might be used as credit to benefit in the labour market in entry to formal education, financially or in terms of status or self-esteem(OECD, 2004).

Formal learningis associated with an educational institution (or workplace) which offers instruction programme and is intentional from the learner’s perspective. Formal learning is always recognised in a certificate or qualification(OECD, 2004).

Definitions 2

Definitions (2)

Non-formallearning is achieved when an individual follows an organised programme of instruction in an educational institution, workplace or in the home. This kind of learning is often embedded in planned activitiesthat are often not designated as learning but which contain an important learning element. It does not lead to formal qualifications or certification (OECD, 2004).

Definitions 3

Definitions (3)

  • Experiental learning knowledge and skills acquired through life and work experience and study, which are not formally attested through any any education or professional accreditation. It can include instruction based learning provided by any institution, which has not been examined in any of public examination systems. (Evens, 1984).

Definitions 4

Definitions (4)

Informal learningis achieved outside of organised education or training provision and is not organised or structured. In most cases it is unintentional and it is a result from daily ‘experience’ which occurs throughout life (work, family or leisure activities). It does not lead to certification (OECD, 2004).

Definitions 5

Definitions (5)

Lifelong learningis undertaken throughout life and improves knowledge, skills and competencies within personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspectives. Thus the whole spectrum of learning, formal, non-formal and informal is included as are active citizenship, personal fulfilment, social inclusion and professional, vocational and employment related aspects.

Benefits of recognition

Benefits of recognition

Validation has numerous positive effects(Colardyn&Bjornavold, 2004):

  • provides motivation to individuals for inclusion in formal education,

  • increases interest among employees for participation in organized education program within a company,

  • shortens the time of studies and thus makes them more available to those who rarely decide to participate due to obligations,

  • decreases the costs (to students and institutions).

  • increasing employment possibilities on the labor market (also greater mobility of labor force within the EU)

Development in slo 1

Development in SLO(1)

Legal framework for non-formal and informal learning

  • NO clear regulation (exeptions vocational education)

  • Expectations that Bologna process will stimulate some changes in this respect

  • HEA – loose regulation:

    Allows all forms of LLL

    Article 35: criteria for recognition of knowledge and skills gained before enrolment into a study program are part of the accredeted study program (also criteria for passing into the next year and the transition between study programs).

    Article 49: HE Council is responsible to define criteria for accreditation of knowledge and skills acquired before enrolment into a first degree study program. (NOT done)

  • Criteria for Accreditation of HEIs and Study programs (2004)

Development in slo 2

Development in SLO (2)

The Ministry of HE, Science and Technology financed the Project on recognition non-formal and informal education (2005-06)


  • HEIs should define standardised procedure and criteria

  • The procedure should start with the introductory interview with the candidate and creating his protfolio (expert support of HEI)

  • Recognition commission recognise knowledge (take decision)

  • Recommended to HEIs to cooperate (assure similar standards of recognition)

Recognition at the mf

Recognition at the MF

  • One of the first HE institutions in Slovenia to introduce the process of prior learning recognition.

  • The process of determining, examining, validating and recognizing knowledge is regulated by the Rules(adopted in theAcademic Year 2005-06).

  • In accordance with the Rules on Knowledge and Skills Recognition, prior learning can be recognized before enrolment or during study.

Recognition process at the fm

Recognition Process at the FM

  • The recognition process takes one to two months.

  • Applicants can benefit from an adviser’s assistance in making their portfolios.

  • If an applicant submits a certificate or other document which clearly shows that 30 creditswill not be exceeded, the Commission for the Recognition of Knowledge and Skills can reach the decision based on such documents alone. However, if an applicant submits documents which clearly show that 30 credits will be exceeded, the Commission for the Recognition of Knowledge and Skills must arrange an additional examination (conversation, interview, written or oral exam). This additional examination is carried out by an appointed teacher or Assessment Commission.

Applications at the fm 2005 2007

Applications at the FM(2005-2007)

A pplicants c haracteristics gender














Applicants’ Characteristics, Gender

The majority of applicants were female.

A pplicants c haracteristics age

Applicants’ Characteristics, Age

The majority of applicants were 31 to 40 years old and employed in the public sector.

A pplicants c haracteristics occupation

Applicants’ Characteristics,Occupation

  • The majority of applicants were employed in the public sector:

  • 25% in sales, administration and public administration professionals

  • 17% are office management staff

  • 11% are service workers.

  • 11% are client relations officers

  • 8% are technicinas

  • 8% are small company directors and managers etc.

Conclusions 1

Conclusions 1

  • On average, applicants were awarded 10 credits (30 credits max.) of study workload towards formal qualifications.

  • The applicants invoked the knowledge gained in the fields of economy, legal studies, business, administration, and on the basis of work experience achievements or non-formal education (courses, seminars, workshops etc.).

Conclusions 2

Conclusions 2

Through recognition we will:

  • Improve the productivity of current labour force

  • Shortenthe period of formal education process

  • Offer possibilities forfurther education at the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels

  • Promote personal growth

Conclusions 3

Conclusions 3

  • The FM is one of the first HE institutions in Slovenia to be systematically dealing with the recognition of knowledge and skills.

  • The FM shared the expertise and support the implementation of the recognition of knowledge and skills also at the MFDPŠ in accademic year 2007/8.

  • The early experience has shown this to be a complex and lengthy process, which calls for professionally trained staff and, at the same time, requires the candidates to acquire skills to design their portfolios.

Recognition of non formal and informal education in slovenian higher education

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