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ECTS and Joint degrees in the Bologna process Raimonda Markeviciene, Helsinki, 01.06.2005.

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Presentation on theme: "ECTS and Joint degrees in the Bologna process Raimonda Markeviciene, Helsinki, 01.06.2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECTS and Joint degrees in the Bologna process Raimonda Markeviciene, Helsinki,

2 Bologna action lines Bologna declaration (1999) 1.Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees 2.Adoption of a system based on two cycles 3.Establishment of a system of credits 4.Promotion of mobility 5.Promotion of European cooperation in quality assurance 6.Promotion of the European dimension in HE Prague Communiqué (2001) 7.LLL 8.HEI and students 9.Promotion of the attractiveness of the EHEA Berlin Communiqué (2003) 10.EHEA and ERA – two pillars of the knowledge based society

3 EQF Helsinki Recommendations Dublin descriptors NQF QA Curricula design LO+student workload Recognition LO+student workload Comparability of cycles (I, II, III) Periods of study Joint degrees ECTS for accumulation and transfer Bologna process – why ECTS?

4 ECTS philosophy – from transfer to accumulation ECTS created for transfer: Voluntary Period abroad – value Information/transparency Communication Flexibility Trust automatic academic recognition For accumulation should be:  Non-invasive; Respect national and institutional autonomy;  Applicable to all sectors of HE;  Cover all forms and modes of learning;  Distinguish between different levels and types of credits;  Allow transference with non- European frameworks;  Address all European educational systems;  Facilitate student-centered learning;  Permit accreditation of prior (experiential) learning.

5 ECTS – from transfer to accumulation Credit was: Relative value – allocated to each course unit by the institution to reflect its workload as a proportion to the total workload of the academic year. Credit became a building block: Absolute value. 1 credit – hours of student workload ( ); Credit remained: Relative value: Conventionally 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year (30 – per semester)

6 ECTS – two parameters WORKLOAD (ECTS Credits) LEARNING OUTCOMES (Competences) The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centred system based on student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme of study. These objectives should preferably be specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired.

7 Learning outcomes and Workload: their relationship  Learning outcomes: Statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of learning. They can refer to a single course unit or module or else to a period of studies, for example, a first or a second cycle programme. Learning outcomes specify the minimum requirements for award of credit.  Workload: The estimated time required to complete the activities foreseen for each course unit / module. Workload includes all learning activities, i.e. lectures, practical work, information retrieval, private study, placements, fieldwork, preparation of examinations, etc. Learning outcomes defined for a unit / programme should match the available workload required by a typical student.

8 ECTS credit is based on:  Student learning time rather than teaching hour  Desired learning outcomes, and not teacher’s inputs  Output approach – knowledge+understanding+abilities

9 Tuning Over 130 European universities from 27 countries to develop:  Common concepts  Common reference points  Common procedures and methodology for curriculum design Two cycles Departmental level

10 Tuning approach to credit allocation The need – what competences need to be developed: The necessary steps:  Module – allocate credits on the basis of the desired LO and the estimated workload to reach them.  Planning and determining student workload – educational activities, time to carry them, assessment, etc.  Checking of calculated workload through evaluations – student questionnaires; real time involved.  Adjustment of workload and/or education activities or sometimes even LO.

11 Degrees in European HEA What do we recognizeHow do we recognize Degree profiles LO (competences) Student workload Level Study periods Degrees (three c.) Joint degrees

12 Joint degrees (JD) – practical Bologna developments fostering recognition  Supported development in Bologna, Prague, and Berlin Communiqués “Ministers call upon the HE sector to increase the development of modules, courses, and curricula… leading to a recognised joint degree” (Prague, 2001)  Feature to enhance the attractiveness of the EHEA  EC support through Socrates/Erasmus PROGS and Erasmus Mundus (2004): improve European position in global environment – positive “brain gain”

13 Working definition for JD (EUA) The programmes developed or approved by several institutions; Parts of the programme have to be studied at other institutions; Students’ stays at the participating institutions are of comparable length; Periods of study at partners’ recognized automatically; Teachers teach at other institutions, form joint commissions for admission and examinations; After completion of the full programme, the students obtain either national degrees or joint degree awarded by the consortium.

14 What is… Joint degree Double degree Multiple degree

15 JD – institutional problems Student cannot be enrolled at more than one institution; Students are required to spend 50% or more of their study time at a national institution; Students must defend their final thesis at a national institution; Most often these are multidisciplinary programmes which are marginalized as peripheral activities inside institution; Workload and grading standards are uneven across institutions; Joint master programmes may produce quite different outcomes in terms of qualification according to the national systems;

16 JD - recognition - problems oStudy periods at partner institutions recognized automatically; oJD is recognized by all participating institutions oNo problems with national recognition if JD is awarded as a national degree (certificate signed by the partners); oJD often recognized by other institutions in the country (depends on quality and accreditation of the awarding institution); oThe “real” JD awarded by several institutions formally not not recognized in law.

17 JD – Quality assurance QA necessary: 1.To guarantee necessary standard of the qualification 2.As an accountancy measure for taxpayers Problems:  QAA in most cases evaluate curricula rather than institutions  Curricula in most cases have to comply with national assurance procedures and requirements to be accredited  International nature of the programme makes it impossible to apply national QA procedures Solution (?): Internal QA + Student opinion

18 JD – financing – problems Threat – “elite” students (tuition fees)  Added expenses – meetings (planning, examinations and grading), accommodation and travel costs;  At faculty level – extra departmental money to pay teaching staff;  “Expensive” joint cooperation – easy target for reducing funding;  Funds are not allocated to the programmes that have not been nationally accredited;  External sources may add administrative or “political” burden;

19 Recommendations  European governments have to create flexible legislative framework in order to foster the development of variety of structural JD models;  The general framework should not be prescriptive;  Institutions themselves have to decide on the structure of the programme, admission requirements and learning outcomes;  Shared understanding of master qualification – emphasis on admission requirements and learning outcomes not on the length of studies.

20 What should we do? Identify needs and resources With partners develop and agree on:  Degree profile (+ admission requirements)  Competences  Workload  Learning/teaching/assessment  Internal QA Solve recognition issues

21 European framework for JD Lisbon Convention European Qualification Framework Bergen Communiqué: “…support for the subsidiary texts to the Lisbon Recognition Convention and call upon all national authorities and other stakeholders to recognize joint degrees awarded in two or more countries in EHEA.” (2005, May)

22 The most important thing is… change of attitude The main actors are institutions and only their vision and support may affect further development

23 Thank you for your attention!


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