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QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORKS IN THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA: DEVELOPMENTS AND OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUES. Launching meeting for a South East European QF network Cetinje, July 8 - 9 , 2008 Sjur Bergan Council of Europe. WHY ARE QUALIFICATIONS IMPORTANT?.

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QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORKS IN THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA: DEVELOPMENTS AND OVERVIEW OF THE ISSUES

Launching meeting for a South East European QF network

Cetinje, July 8 - 9, 2008

Sjur Bergan

Council of Europe

why are qualifications important
WHY ARE QUALIFICATIONS IMPORTANT?
  • Knowledge society requires qualifications
  • Competences important for modern society
  • From procedures and formalities toward contents
  • Emphasis on learning outcomes – what you know, understand and are able to do.
    • NB Knowledge without understanding can be dangerous
  • Attitudes are also important – cf. democratic culture
broader background
BROADER BACKGROUND
  • Increased mobility
  • Increased emphasis on recognition of qualifications for mobility - and as an individual right
  • Increasing demands on public authorities and institutions
  • Transparency
  • Increasing diversity of HE?
what is a qualification
WHAT IS A QUALIFICATION?
  • A name?
    • Ph.D
    • Doktorsexamen
    • Dr. art.
    • Doktor nauk
    • Kandidat nauk
    • Doctorandus
qualifications a complex phenomenon
QUALIFICATIONS: A COMPLEX PHENOMENON
  • Quality
  • Workload
  • Level
  • Profile
  • Learning outcomes
what is a qualifications framework
WHAT IS A QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK?
  • Description of all qualifications in a given (higher) education system
  • Description of how these qualifications articulate
  • Description of how learners can move between qualifications within a system
  • Description understandable to informed foreigners
qf and bologna
QF AND BOLOGNA
  • Global dimension:
    • origin: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
  • National qualifications frameworks in place in some “Bologna” countries before 2003
  • Request by Ministers in Berlin 2003 for “overarching framework of qualifications for the European Higher Education Area”
report of the european framework group
Report of the European Framework group
  • Link:
  • http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/Docs/00-Main_doc/050218_QF_EHEA.pdf
bergen communique
BERGEN COMMUNIQUE
  • “We [i.e. Ministers] adopt the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA, comprising three cycles (including, within national contexts, the possibility of intermediate qualifications), generic descriptors for each cycle based on learning outcomes and competences, and credit ranges in the first and second cycles.
  • We commit ourselves to elaborating national frameworks for qualifications compatible with the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA by 2010, and to having started work on this by 2007”.
london communique
LONDON COMMUNIQUE
  • QFs important instruments for comparability within the EHEA and facilitating movement within, as well as between, HE systems;
  • some initial progress made towards the implementation of national QFs, but much more effort is required
  • ask the Council of Europe to support the sharing of experience in the elaboration of national qualifications framework
  • National QFs compatible with the EHEA framework will also be compatible with the EQF
  • EHEA framework central element of the promotion of European higher education in a global context.
bergen and london essentials
BERGEN AND LONDON ESSENTIALS
  • We have an overarching framework
  • We will develop national frameworks by 2010
  • This is a steep challenge and we need some coordination even if QFs are ultimately a national responsibility
frameworks and framework
National framework

closest to the operational reality

owned by national system

ultimately determines what qualifications learners will earn

describe the qualifications within a given education system and how they interlink

EHEA framework

facilitate movement between systems

face of “Bologna qualifications” to the rest of the world

provides the broad structure within which national qualifications frameworks will be developed

FRAMEWORKS AND FRAMEWORK
overaching and national frameworks
OVERACHING AND NATIONAL FRAMEWORKS
  • EHEA framework described the “outer limits” within which national frameworks should be situated;
  • Allows for diversity within those limits;
  • Ensures compatibility between national frameworks
  • Presents “common face” (important in a global setting)
ehea and eqf
EHEA AND EQF
  • EHEA framework adopted 2005, EQF 2007/2008
  • EHEA for HE, EQF for lifelong learning
  • Compatible but not identical
  • Possible to develop national frameworks compatible with both
  • Cooperation between the two overarching frameworks
developing national frameworks
DEVELOPING NATIONAL FRAMEWORKS
  • Commitment by all Ministers of the Bologna Process
  • Compatible with EHEA frameworks
  • Should be done by 2010, but also needs to be done well
  • Requires broad consultation within the country
  • Take account of the experience of other countries
developing national frameworks 10 steps
DEVELOPING NATIONAL FRAMEWORKS: 10 STEPS
  • Decision to start: Taken by the national body responsible for higher education (minister?)
  • Setting the agenda: (see WG-Report nr. 1 (section 2.3))
  • Organizing the process: Identifying stakeholders; setting up a committee/WG
  • Design Profile: Level structure, Level descriptors (learning outcomes), Credit ranges
  • Consultation National discussion and acceptance of design by stakeholders
developing national frameworks 10 steps19
DEVELOPING NATIONAL FRAMEWORKS: 10 STEPS
  • Approval According to national tradition by Minister/Government/legislation
  • Administrative set-up Division of tasks of implementation between HEI, QAA and other bodies
  • Implementation at institutional/program level;  Reformulation of individual study programs to learning outcome based approach
  • Inclusion of qualifications in the NQF;  Accreditation or similar (cf. Berlin Communiqué)
  • Self-certification of compatibility with the EHEA framework (Alignment to Bologna cycles etc.);  WG Report nr. 1;  Pilot projects
some challenges
SOME CHALLENGES
  • Meet the deadline – but not at the expense of quality
  • Make QFs a frame for making sense of diversity rather than bureaucratic straightjacket
  • Develop focus on learning outcomes
  • Divert attention from systems and procedures to content and outcomes
  • Make rational use of QFs: HEIs, program design, QA, recognition