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Designing a National Qualifications Framework – the Scottish Experience Gerard Madill Policy Adviser, Universities Scotland.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing a National Qualifications Framework – the Scottish Experience Gerard Madill Policy Adviser, Universities Scotland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing a National Qualifications Framework – the Scottish Experience Gerard Madill Policy Adviser, Universities Scotland

2 Overview Scottish history & context Our experience Lessons we have drawn Conclusions

3 HE System in Scotland Since 1992 unitary HE sector – but diverse Autonomous, but accountable to Scottish Executive (Government) via Funding Council Main qualification 4 yr Bachelor with Hons Significant minority study for 3 yr Bachelor Short cycle: Cert/Dip HE, HNC/HND (college) All integrated within SCQF Easier transition between HE and other types of qualification/sector of education/training

4 Scottish policy context SCQF – national debate and broad consensus (Garrick/Dearing) SCQF central outcome (cf Fees in rUK) Existing/developing ‘new-style’ QFs Collaborative, widely-owned, descriptive Partnership: Universities, QAAS, Government, Students, Funding Council Shared goals and mutual confidence

5 ‘Have’s and ‘Have not’s In Scotland we HAVE: CAT system established across sector Quality Enhancement Framework – student engagement in internal and external review Learning Outcomes well established in QFs Fresh Talent – welcome mobile students & workers We DON’T have: Variable Top-Up Fees Teaching-only universities 3+1 model ‘Foundation degrees’

6 Purpose and vision of SCQF: Support development of progression routes between qualifications Clarify relationships between qualifications Help maximise credit transfer opportunities Clarify entry and exit points Assist learners in planning their progress and learning and in accessing appropriate education and training over their lifetime

7 Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework SVQ 3Higher HNC / HE Certificate HND / HE Diploma Ordinary Degree Honours Degree Masters Doctorate 66 Access 1 Access 2 Access 3 Intermediate 1 Intermediate 2 Advanced Higher Higher SVQ 1 SVQ 2 SVQ 4 SVQ 5 SVQ 3

8 Benefits to Learners Easier movement between systems No ‘dead ends’ – more than one path Enables more flexible provision – credit accumulation and transfer More transparency empowers learner Learning is better understood and valued by employers Facilitates lifelong learning/ ‘up-skilling’

9 Benefits to Universities More consistency, transparency – degrees treated more equally Formalises and shows good practice Allows universities to respond to Government and employers’ needs Allows better understanding of learning, pedagogy and progression Supports internal Quality Assurance

10 Benefits to Stakeholders/Society Employers are better informed More flexible forms of learning, including WBL, part-time, distance etc. More opportunities for workforce to be re-trained Previous learning recognised, meaning learners take less time out of workplace Better trained and educated workforce

11 The Lifelong Learner Belinda Willis Left school with no qualifications Full-time carer for her son for 25 years Began Computing Course in FE College Went on to study for National Certificate Progressed to HNC, then HND Went to Paisley University, gained an Honours degree. Voluntary work. Next – Teaching Qualification?

12 Challenges for SCQF Widening framework Consensus sometimes slow Great expectations Credit-rating capacity EQF – fit/overlap issues

13 FQHE: Timescales Garrick – 1997 Parallel processes for FQHE & SCQF Design – inclusive process Consultation with HE sector & wide range of stakeholders Publication – January 2001 Implementation – 2003/04

14 Purpose & Aims Why do you want to develop an NQF? What is it for? Who is it for? What do you want it to do?

15 National context Political context Legislation? Voluntary? Institutional autonomy? Drivers? (who and what) Purpose, aims & objectives HE framework or wider, LLL?

16 Issues Fitness for purpose Develop own framework - ownership Not ‘from scratch’ – building on what you do already Learning Outcomes essential for functionality Fit/consistency with EHEA Framework Articulation/consistency of frameworks EQF for Lifelong Learning

17 Conclusions Each country must consider own context Design your own framework, but draw on experience of others, as you see fit Frameworks are dynamic and need to be flexible Concept of ‘Best Fit’ It takes TIME! Value diversity

18 Further Information Scottish Framework for Qualifications of HEIs (FQHE): fault.asp Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Universities Scotland Fresh Talent Initiative:


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