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Findings from the EURASHE survey ‘SCHE-L5 the Missing Link in the Bologna countries’ EQF Conference Tallin, 22 October 2012 Magda Kirsch. Context of the study. EURASHE SCHE study 2010 : Context.

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Findings from the EURASHE survey ‘SCHE-L5 the Missing Link in the Bologna countries’

EQF Conference

Tallin, 22 October 2012

Magda Kirsch

Context of the study
Context of the in the Bologna countries’study

Eurashe sche study 2010 context
EURASHE SCHE study in the Bologna countries’2010: Context

  • In 2003 the European Commission commissioned EURASHE to carry out a study on TSC study in Europe.

  • In order to monitor progress that has been made in the field of SCHE in Europe, the European Commission has asked EURASHE to carry out a follow-up report.

  • Scope EU 31 + TR

  • Focus on progression routes for graduates

    • Progression to further studies

    • Progression to the labour market - employability

  • Focus on social dimension in HE


2010 socio economic context
2010 in the Bologna countries’: Socio-economiccontext

  • 20% of unemployed young people most of them unskilled or low-skilled workers;

  • Labour market needs highly skilled technicians;

  • Many young people with low SES are ill-prepared to access HE;

  • Growing number of adult workers who (have to) return to education to upgrade their skills;

  • In view of widening access to education, LLL and meeting labour market needs SCHE is increasingly important;

Eurashe sche study 2010 context1
EURASHE SCHE study in the Bologna countries’2010: Context

Level 5 eqf compared to other qualification frameworks
LEVEL 5 EQF in the Bologna countries’compared to OTHER qualificationframeworks

Definition for sche
Definition in the Bologna countries’ for SCHE

  • European Higher Education Area Framework (3 cycles)

    • within the first cycle, short cycle higher education

      qualifications typically including or represented by

      approximately 120 ECTS credits – within national contexts

      - Dublin descriptor

  • EQF for LLL (8 levels) = Translation device for NQF

    • Level 5

    • Decriptor for level 5 EQF

Sche level 5
SCHE = in the Bologna countries’level 5

  • The 2007 London Communiqué ‘Towards the European Higher Education Area: responding to challenges in a globalised world’ states: ‘We [the Ministers] are satisfied that national qualifications frameworks compatible with the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA will also be compatible with the proposal from the European Commission on a European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning”.

    Source: Bologna Process (2007) – London Communiqué

  • EQF documents assert compatibility for the higher levels of the EQF with the QF-EHEA – Cross referencing was carried out at levels 5 to 8

    Source: European Commission (2008). Explaining the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning

Eurashe sche study 2010 many nqf still under construction
EURASHE SCHE study 2010 in the Bologna countries’Many NQF stillunder construction

Sche eqf level 5
SCHE = EQF in the Bologna countries’level 5?

  • Many NQF still under construction;

  • Most countries surveyed have an NQF for higher education in line with the QF-EHEA;

  • Many countries not having NQF use ISCED

  • Countries with NQF mostly have SCHE or intend to introduce it

  • Most countries with NQF 8 levels but FR 5, IE, 10, SC 12

  • Level 5 virtually always link between SE and HE

    • 1-4 SE / 5-8 HE

    • 1-5 SE / 6-8 HE

    • 1-3 SE / 4-8 HE

Different meta frameworks in use different objectives
Different in the Bologna countries’meta-frameworks in use: different objectives

  • ISCED = an instrument suitable for assembling, compiling and presenting statistics of education: distinction between levels and fields.

  • QF-EHEA = to harmonise higher education systems in Europe by introducing common degree structures with an approximate number of ECTS credits to be earned , thus enhancing transparency, recognition and mobility.

  • EQF = reference tool to compare the qualification levels of the different qualifications systems and to promote both lifelong learning and equal opportunities in the knowledge-based society, as well as the further integration of the European labour market.

Different meta frameworks in use position of sche
Different in the Bologna countries’meta-frameworks in use: position of SCHE

  • ISCED = SCHE is at level 5B

    • First stage of tertiary education (not leading directly to an advanced research

      qualification) - Min. 2 years

    • Qualifications in category 5B are typically shorter than those in 5A and focus on occupationally specific skills geared for entry into the labour market, although some theoretical foundations may be covered in the respective programme.

      difficulties to distinguish between SCHE and Prof. Bachelor

  • EQF = SCHE is at level 5 at the EQF

  • SCHE = short cycle within or linked to first cycle

    Many respondents confused frameworks

Different meta frameworks in use position of sche ctd
Different in the Bologna countries’meta-frameworks in use: position of SCHE (ctd.)

Transition pattern isced
Transition pattern ISCED in the Bologna countries’

Source: ISCED 1997

Sche is most blurred area in qf ehea isced
SCHE in the Bologna countries’ismostblurred area in QF-EHEA -ISCED

Different meta frameworks in use differences and similarities
Different in the Bologna countries’meta-frameworks in use: differences and similarities

  • ISCED and QF EHEA refer to duration /workload – ISCED vague

  • EQF : ‘qualification’ is defined as ‘a formal outcome of an assessment and validation process which is obtained when a competent body determines that an individual has achieved learning outcomes to given standards.

    (Source: Official Journal of the European Union, 6.5.2008, C 111/3. Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. annex 1 )

  • Qualification can be given by others than educational providers (e.g. sector bodies). The EQF is therefore much more market-oriented than the European Higher Education Area Framework.

  • Two qualifications frameworks (EQF and QF-EHEA) are not explicitly linked as students or workers who progress from level 6 to level 7 do not automatically progress from Bachelor’s to Master’s degree.

Findings of the eurashe level 5 study
Findings in the Bologna countries’ of the eurashe level 5 study

Where do we find sche l5
Where do we find SCHE/L5? in the Bologna countries’

  • Some countries have level 5 or are planning to introduce it but do not intend to introduce SCHE (e.g. FI);

  • Sometimes credits earned in those level 5 programmes can be transferred to HE programmes (e.g. CH);

  • One country has two-year programmes that are not considered to be SCHE (SE) but are at level 6 and equivalent to BA;

  • In two countries (IE, HR) SCHE/level 5 EQF is provided by HEIs and coexists with the “Advanced Certificate in IE”, and the “Majstor, HR”a further education and training award at level 6 of the Irish NFQ, (level 5 EQF) that is not aligned with the QF-EHEA

  • In the UK SCHE can also be found at level 4.

Parallel qualifications example of ireland source bryan maguire brussels 19 20 april 2012
Parallel qualifications in the Bologna countries’Example of Ireland: Source Bryan Maguire Brussels 19-20 April 2012

Level 5 Advanced Certificate Most common (6,834 in 2010)

  • National standards set and award made by Further education and training awards council (FETAC)

  • Two major variants

    • Crafts (alterance model 4 years post level 2/3/4)

    • School-based (1 year post level 4)

  • ECVET pilot

    Higher certificate

  • Long established short cycle HE

  • Declining popularity (4,075 in 2010)

  • Awarded in institutes of technology

  • Programme specific standards within broad national field standards

  • 120 ECTS

Parallel qualifications: Example of Croatia: in the Bologna countries’

Source Prof. Dr. Mile Dželalija – PLA Brussels 19-20/04/2012

Size of qualifications:

  • HEI qualifications – short cycle:

    • Minimum 2 years education, minimum 120 ECTS

  • “Majstor” – Trades and Crafts qualifications:

    • Master Craftsman Examination and minimum of 2 years of work experience in the profession (if appropriate VET)

    • Master Craftsman Examination and minimum of 3 years of work experience in the profession (if not appropriate VET)

      Profile of qualifications:

  • Both are professionally oriented and directly linked to labour market needs:

    • “Majstor” – Master craftsman eye-optician, goldsmith, ...

    • “Pristupnik” – Short-cycle (Higher education qualifications)

Provision of sche vhe institutions
Provision of SCHE/ VHE: institutions in the Bologna countries’

  • Majority of institutions for SCHE are HEIs (universities, universities of applied sciences) but also Voc. HEC, FEC, Sec. schools, Centres for adult ed.

  • HEIs are often awarding body for SCHE even if SCHE is not organised within the HE institution but also ministries or Qualification agencies award the qualification.

    • Facilitates progress towards HE

    • Are often also responsible for QA

  • For L5 qualifications outside HE also diversity of institutions;

  • What are the awarding institutions for VHE?

    • Professional bodies? Ministries ? Adult education centres? Post-secondary institutions?

Main objective type of qualifications
Main objective – type of qualifications in the Bologna countries’

Further professional specialisation: CZ, FR, LU, SI, TR, UK EWNI

Short professional education: BEfr, BEnl, DK, ES, IE, IS, LV,NO, PT

Preparation for further studies: MT, CY

Two progression routes equally important: HU, NL, UKSC

As far as HVE is concerned only professional qualifications

Programmes provided
Programmes in the Bologna countries’provided

Curriculum according to institutions
Curriculum ( in the Bologna countries’according to institutions)

Majority combination of theory, practice and work placement

14 combination of practice and theory (CY, CZ, DK, IE, IS, MT, TR, UK)

3 mainly practice-based (2 HU, 1LV)

2 mainly theoretical (2 NO) and 1 theory and work placement (CZ)

Use of learning outcomes
Use of Learning outcomes in the Bologna countries’

Qualification frameworks have given a boost to the use of LO

Several countries state that the subject-specific LO are used to indicate what students are able to do when finishing the programme (BEnl, CZ, ES, FR, HU, LU, IE (SCHE), AT, EE, SK (PS), FI, SE (HVE), IT (HTE),

Employers and the professional field (TU, CC) are involved in defining the LO of SCHE/L5 programmes;

LO facilitate vertical mobility – sometimes basis for bridging course

Some countries see the use of LO as a challenge (e.g. TR) because the necessary equipment to practice skills is not always present). Also Greece (no SCHE) finds it a challenge to define levels in terms of LO

Involvement of industry cc tu ea
Involvement in the Bologna countries’ of industry, CC, TU, EA

  • Industry, LM involved: everywhere except NO – IS and CY rarely

    • Chambers of Commerce: AT (no SCHE),BEnl, BEfr, CZ, DK, FR, HU, IE, LV, MT, SI, TR, UK (as well EWNI as SC)

    • Trade Unions: BEnl, BEfr, DK, FR, IE, LC, SI, TR, UK (all)

    • Employment agencies: BEnl, BEfr, HU, LV, MT, SI

    • Employers’ organisations: CY, NL – Sector skills councils:UK

  • Involvement through provision of placements (78%) , helping to draft curricula (69 %) and LO (60%), sitting on board of institutions (67%), teaching at institutions providing SCHE (64%).

Use of ects and ds in sche
Use of ECTS and DS in SCHE in the Bologna countries’

Two progression routes 1 progression to bachelor studies
Two in the Bologna countries’ progression routes1. Progression to bachelorstudies

Bridging course not compulsory: LV, MT, UK (EWNI + SC)

Bridging course compulsory: BEnl, IE

Exam: TR

In some countries 120 ECTS can be transferred:CY, FR, IE, NL, NO,UK

Two progression routes 2 labour market employability
Two in the Bologna countries’ progression routes: 2. Labour market - Employability

  • Demand for graduates at level 5 in all countries concerned but decreasing in some countries (e.g. NO), mainly employed as highly skilled technicians (14) or in services (22).

  • Institutions mentioning employment rate below 80% are all from TR, IE, HU

  • In the UK EWNI only 7 % of full-time FD qualifiers, and 4 % of PT qualifiers, were neither studying nor in employment 6 months after graduation.

Enhancing employability
Enhancing in the Bologna countries’employability

Profile of students and teachers
Profile of students and teachers in the Bologna countries’

High percentages of PT students in SI (55%), LV (48%), NL (45%), UK EWNI (43%) and IE (43%) but also in BE (just been introduced);

High percentages of FT students in TR (100%) DK,(90%), FR (90%), CY (80%), MT (80%), HU (76%), CZ (72%) IS (70%);

Majority of mature students in NL (70%), EWNI (65%) DK (60%), SI (55%), BE; therefore greater flexibility

In many countries students with low SES over-represented

In most countries majority of teachers with MA degree (BEfr, BEnl, CZ, DK, ES CAT,FR (STS) HU, LU, MT, SI, TR);

Majority with PhD. In FR (IUT), IS, NO

In NL, EWNI, IE, SC majority with BA,

Mixture of academic and professional profile

Conclusions in the Bologna countries’

Some conclusions
Some conclusions in the Bologna countries’

  • SCHE = 1,693,701 students 50% male – without TR 48%, (10% of HE students), including L5 HVE probably more than 2 mio.

  • SCHE but also HVE L5 is provided in different settings

    • Majority of SCHE is in HE Institutions

    • Also provided in FEC, centres for adult education, in secondary schools etc.

  • In half of the countries students with low SES overrepresented

  • Variety of access routes (including RPL),

  • Curriculum is Theory + practice (+ placements)

  • Use of LO is progressing

Some conclusions1
Some conclusions in the Bologna countries’

Clear involvement of business & social partners

Virtually always a professional orientation

Usually high esteem for qualifications at L5

Flexible learning environments

Most popular in: business, admin., hospitality, ICT

Transition from SCHE to level 6 is common and distinction between level 5 and Level 6 is clear;

Sometimes horizontal mobility is possible from HVE (access to HE)

Limited involvement in internationalisation

Some conclusions2
Some conclusions in the Bologna countries’

  • SCHE is clearly in line with all major developments in HE

  • QA could be enhanced – not yet according to ESG -QA

  • Accreditation organisations often not independent

  • Employability: rather high

    but ....decreasing in some highly developed economies

  • In most countries graduates are highly appreciated by LM

  • Social commitment L5 high

  • Clear link L5 and skills needs !

  • L5 is necessary link between L3/4 and L6

Some conclusions3
Some conclusions in the Bologna countries’

  • Not all countries consider SCHE to be HE;

  • Not all countries consider descriptor for EQF level 5 to be compatible with QF – EHEA;

  • Some countries consider that HE cannot be associated with a vocational/professional orientation;

  • SCHE is not always level 5 and level 5 is not always SCHE;

  • SCHE level 5 is sometimes offered alongside level 5 qualifications that are not in line with QF EHEA e.g. IE, HR.

Some conclusions4
Some conclusions in the Bologna countries’

  • SCHE- level 5 EQF clearly contributes to reaching the objectives of “ET 2020”

    • Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality;

      • In many countries a majority of mature learners are involved

    • Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training;

      • Students who are ill-prepared for bachelor studies can progress on the ladder of learning (less drop-out);

      • This level of education can provide the skills the labour market needs;

      • Flexible learning environments;

    • Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship;

      • Many students of low SES, first generation HE students

    • Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship

      • LO are defined together with industry using innovative approaches

New paradigm
New paradigm in the Bologna countries’

Are we going towards a new binary system at level 5 of the EQF with on the one hand SCHE (QF-EHEA) more focusing on progression in HE and on the other hand a more vocational profile focusing on the labour market?

Personally I am in favour as it would avoid lenghtening some types of HVE and at the same time offer a HE route to some more theoretically/academically oriented short programmes

Thank you for your attention

Thank you for your attention! in the Bologna countries’

Any questions?