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Qualifications Recognition at the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland Deirdre Stritch 21 November 2008. Role. Deirdre Stritch ( [email protected] ) Project Officer Responsible, with colleagues, for implementation of the National Framework of Qualifications

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Qualifications Recognition at theNational Qualifications Authority of IrelandDeirdre Stritch21 November 2008


Role

  • Deirdre Stritch ([email protected])

    • Project Officer

    • Responsible, with colleagues, for implementation of the National Framework of Qualifications

    • Responsible, with colleagues, for development and enhancement of qualifications recognition service.


The national qualifications authority of ireland nqai
The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI)

  • Established under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999:

    • to develop and maintain a national framework of qualifications

    • a system for coordinating & comparing awards

    • to promote access, transfer and progression – incl. arrangements for credit accumulation and transfer


The National Framework of Qualifications – award-types and awarding bodies


Qualifications recognition role of nqai
Qualifications Recognition - Role of NQAI

  • Qualifications recognition service facilitates the recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland and provides information regarding foreign education systems – using the Framework as the basis for comparison

  • Provides information on Irish education and training system, promotes recognition of Irish qualifications abroad

  • On behalf of State, represents Ireland on European network of centres ENIC/NARIC (higher education)

  • Acts as National Reference Point (NRP) for Vocational Education and Training


Qualifications recognition role of nqai cont
Qualifications Recognition - Role of NQAI cont.

  • Qualifications Authority facilitates recognition of qualifications:

    • for academic purposes – access to further learning

    • for access to unregulated work

  • Comparability made following research & liaison with other bodies, including ENIC/NARICs

  • Issues comparability statements to applicants - advice not legally binding

    • education institutions establish own admission requirements, but the service may assist providers in determining if an applicant holds the qualifications deemed necessary for entry

  • Qualifications pertaining to professions where professional practice is regulated i.e. medicine, law, teaching etc are directed to the relevant Competent Authority - list is available from www.qualificationsrecognition.ie


Demand for recognition service
Demand for Recognition Service

  • Examples of our recognition clients:

    • individuals, county councils for recruitment, involvement in Garda recruitment, provide info to HEIs

  • Volume of applicants steadily increasing:

    • 320 recognition applications in 2003 and 500 queries → 1800 applications in 2007 and approx. 7,700 queries

  • In 2007:

    • 60% of applications from within EU;

    • Approx. 13% from Asia;

    • approx. 11% from Russian Federation and rest of Europe; and

    • Approx10% from Africa


Qualifications recognition policy approach
Qualifications recognition - policy approach

  • Broad policy approach, captured in National Policy Approach to the Recognition of International Awards in Ireland (June 2004)

  • National Action Plan published in 2006

  • Ireland a signatory to the Lisbon Recognition Convention – qualifications recognition service aims to operate within the spirit of the convention:

    • “…a fair recognition of qualifications is a key element of the right to education and a responsibility of society”

  • Recognition:

    • Assessment of the place and value of a qualification from one education system in the context of another education system


Lisbon recognition convention i
Lisbon Recognition Convention - I

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region:

  • Convention and subsequent Riga Guidelines part of Bologna Process for creation of European Higher Education Area by 2010

    Requires:

  • To assess a qualification fairly means to adequately position it in the grid of qualifications of the receiving country

  • outcome is dependent on the features of both higher education systems

  • Recognition (Lisbon Convention)

    • recognise comparable level qualifications if there are no substantial differences

    • consider differences only with a view of purpose


  • Lisbon recognition convention ii
    Lisbon Recognition Convention - II

    • Recognition decisions are to be made on the basis of appropriate information on the qualifications for which recognition is sought

    • The body making the assessment is responsible for demonstrating that an application does not fulfill the relevant requirements

    • A substantial difference must be demonstrated in the case of a refusal

    • The institutions having issued the qualification have a duty to provide relevant information to the applicant/institution/competent authority

    • National information centre shall facilitate access to information on the higher education system and qualifications


    Information needed for recognition
    Information needed for recognition

    • Entry requirements

    • Formal duration and study load (credits)

    • Structure and contents (e.g. thesis included?)

    • Formal rights (academic/professional)

    • Function of the program

    • Placing the program in the education system


    Consideration of substantial differences
    Consideration of substantial differences

    • Should be studied in the light of the elements of a qualification

    • Basic assumption: the existence of a substantial difference is an exception rather than a rule

    • Is the difference substantial in relation to function and purpose of the qualification?

    • A difference in formal terms only not sufficient

    • Substantial differences in the quality can be reason for partial recognition or non-recognition, but onus on the recognising body to prove the difference

    • have to establish whether or not the particular foreign qualification has substantial differences with regard to the purpose for which applicant wishes to have it recognised

      NQAI policy: Where a direct comparison cannot be made with an Irish award type or level on the Framework, as much information as possible is provided on the qualification in question.


    Qualifications recognition developments to date
    Qualifications recognition developments to date

    • Many specific comparabilities already established / advice on comparability of qualifications provided to date available on www.qualrec.ie

    • Irish Framework aligned to Bologna Framework and shortly aligned to EQF

    • Qualifications can cross boundaries, a guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland

    • Currently developing country education profiles which will be published on our website

    • Developments in qualifications recognition agreements with other countries (alignment with New Zealand qualifications system has commenced)


    Developmental areas for qualifications recognition service
    Developmental areas for qualifications recognition service

    • To make increased, and more detailed, information regarding foreign education and training systems and qualifications systems accessible online – 16 countries published to date

    • To make all comparability statements, which have been established to date, publicly available

    • To build up external resources to inform the service

    • To increase communication / awareness of service


    Further information
    Further Information

    • National Qualifications Authority of Ireland: www.nqai.ie

    • National Framework of Qualifications: www.nfq.ie

    • Qualifications recognition service: www.qualrec.ie


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