1 KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS RECOGNITION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: CASE STUDY 3 rd Annual EFYE Conference, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 7 to 9 May.
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1 KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS RECOGNITION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: CASE STUDY 3 rd Annual EFYE Conference, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 7 to 9 May 2008 Aleksandra Kovač, Nada Trunk-Širca, Doris Gomezelj, Živana Marčeta
2 LLL – challenge of HE LLL – focus on the individual learner (not on systems and institutions). Challenges traditional boundaries between diferent levels of education, princoples of teaching and evaluation of knowledge, The EU objective - to become a knowledge-based society, can be realised only through the educational system that respects the principles of LLL, provides equal opportunities, and social inclusion. The system of validation of non-formal and informal learning (NIL) is congruent with these principles. At the Bergen conference 2005, the creation of a flexible system for higher-education, including procedures for the accreditation of previous education, was set as one of the four priorities to be realised by 2007. The European Qualifications Framework for LLL (2008)
3 Definitions Recognition refers to learning achievements of individuals which might lead to a qualification. Recognised Individual’s knowledge might be used as credit to benefit in the labour market in entry to formal education, financially or in terms of status or self- esteem (OECD, 2004). Formal learning is associated with an educational institution (or workplace) which offers instruction programme and is intentional from the learner’s perspective. Formal learning is always recognised in a certificate or qualification (OECD, 2004).
4 Definitions 2 Non-formal learning is achieved when an individual follows an organised programme of instruction in an educational institution, workplace or in the home. This kind of learning is often embedded in planned activities that are often not designated as learning but which contain an important learning element. Many countries explicitly acknowledge a difference between non-formal learning and informal learning. Where this distinction is made, there is a general agreement that non-formal learning takes place in an intentional way, often in an educational or labour setting, but does not lead to formal qualifications or certification (OECD, 2004).
5 Definitions 3 Informal learning is achieved outside of organised education or training provision and is not organised or structured. In most cases it is unintentional and it is a result from daily ‘experience’ which occurs throughout life (work, family or leisure activities). It does not lead to certification. Lifelong learning is undertaken throughout life and improves knowledge, skills and competencies within personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspectives. Thus the whole spectrum of learning, formal, non-formal and informal is included as are active citizenship, personal fulfilment, social inclusion and professional, vocational and employment related aspects.
6 Benefits of recognition Validation has numerous positive effects (Colardyn & Bjornavold, 2004): provides motivation to individuals for inclusion in formal education, increases interest among employees for participation in organized education program within a company, shortens the time of studies and thus makes them more available to those who rarely decide to participate due to obligations, decreases the costs (to students and institutions). The accreditation of non-formal learning can also be viewed in the light of increasing the possibilities of employment on the labor market. Under certain conditions, the extensive introduction of such a system would also result in a greater mobility of labor force within the EU.
7 CASE IN SLOVENIA (1) Legal framework for non-formal and informal learning NO clear regulation (exeptions vocational education) Expectations that Bologna process will stimulate some changes in this respect HEA – loose regulation: Article 35: criteria for recognition of knowledge and skills gained before enrolment into a study program are part of the accredeted study program (also criteria for passing into the next year and the transition between study programs). Article 49: HE Council is responsible to define criteria for accreditation of knowledge and skills acquired before enrolment into a first degree study program. (NOT done)
8 Project on recognition and implementation of non-formal and informal education Project financed by the Ministry of HE, Science and Technology financed (2005-06) Conclusions: 1. HEIs should define standardised procedure and criteria 2.The procedure should start with the introductory interview with the candidate and creating his protfolio (expert support of HEI) 3.Recognition commission recognise knowledge (take decision) 4.Recommended to HEIs to cooperate (assure similar standards of recognition)
9 FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT KOPER One of the first HE institutions in Slovenia to introduce the process of prior learning recognition. The process of determining, examining, validating and recognizing knowledge is regulated by the Rules (adopted in the Academic Year 2005-06). In accordance with the Rules on Knowledge and Skills Recognition, prior learning can be recognized before enrolment or during study.
10 Recognition Process at the FM The recognition process takes one to two months. Applicants can benefit from an adviser’s assistance in making their portfolios. If an applicant submits a certificate or other document which clearly shows that 30 credits will not be exceeded, the Commission for the Recognition of Knowledge and Skills can reach the decision based on such documents alone. However, if an applicant submits documents which clearly show that 30 credits will be exceeded, the Commission for the Recognition of Knowledge and Skills must arrange an additional examination (conversation, interview, written or oral exam). This additional examination is carried out by an appointed teacher or Assessment Commission.
11 Applications at the FM (2005-2007) Approved applications Declined applications Undergraduate level 465 Graduate level58
12 Applicants’ Characteristics, Gender 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 2005/062006/07 malefemale The majority of applicants were female.
13 Applicants’ Characteristics, Age The majority of applicants were 31 to 40 years old and employed in the public sector.
14 Applicants’ Characteristics, Occupation The majority of applicants were employed in the public sector: 25% in sales, administration and public administration professionals 17% are office management staff 11% are service workers. 11% are client relations officers 8% are technicinas 8% are small company directors and managers etc.
15 Conclusions 1 On average, applicants were awarded 10 credits (30 credits max.) of study workload towards formal qualifications. The applicants invoked the knowledge gained in the fields of economy, legal studies, business, administration, and on the basis of work experience achievements or non-formal education (courses, seminars, workshops etc.).
16 Conclusions 2 Through recognition we will: –Improve the productivity of current labour force –Shorten the period of formal education process –Offer possibilities for further education at the Bachelor’s or Master’s levels –Promote personal growth
17 Conclusions 3 The FM is one of the first HE institutions in Slovenia to be systematically dealing with the recognition of knowledge and skills. The FM shared the expertise and support the implementation of the recognition of knowledge and skills also at the MFDPŠ in accademic year 2007/8. The early experience has shown this to be a complex and lengthy process, which calls for professionally trained staff and, at the same time, requires the candidates to acquire skills to design their portfolios.