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Achieving Full Recognition - the Diploma Supplement and HEAR

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1 Achieving Full Recognition - the Diploma Supplement and HEAR
British Council and UK NARIC Seminar 17 November 2010, Shrewsbury Huw Morris Academic Registrar Swansea University and Bologna Promoter, Wales


3 Achieving Full Recognition
Aims of the presentation To share with delegates our experience at Swansea University of applying successfully for the Diploma Supplement Label To consider the requirements of the Diploma Supplement Label To reflect upon the purpose of the Diploma Supplement & HEAR and how they can improve the recognition of students’ achievements To compare the content of the Diploma Supplement and HEAR It aims to offer practical advice and encouragement for practitioners It will not address recognition problems associated with certain awards

4 The European Higher Education Area
Background to the Bologna Process 46 European countries have committed their support to the Bologna Reforms Since 1991 Ministers have planned for the establishment of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), by 2010 Significant changes have been introduced throughout Europe, through the Bologna Reforms Enhancing the students’ employability has been central to these reforms, aiming to ensure that European students are globally employable Mobility and Recognition of achievement are central to the reforms

5 The European Higher Education Area
Mobility The European Commission has set a target for the EHEA that, by , 20% of its students will benefit from mobility placements – recognising the benefits of mobility Through the Bologna Reforms, foundations have been set, including: - Funding opportunities through Lifelong Learning - The prestigious Erasmus Mundus degrees - The development of joint degree - Erasmus/Leonardo - Staff mobility - The European Credit Transfer System

6 The European Higher Education Area
Recognition Mobility reforms were introduced in parallel with reforms to facilitate the recognition of achievements, internationally – with different HE systems and qualifications throughout Europe, including: - the 3 cycle degree structure operating within a common European Credit and Qualification Framework - a common approach to quality assurance - the development of specific recognition tools ~ the Europass ~ the Diploma Supplement [to support upward mobility and employability] European Universities were expected to issue a Diploma Supplement by 2005 A “Label” introduced to recognise excellence (only 3 in the UK)

7 Burgess Group - Background
Following the publication of the White Paper on “The Future of Higher Education” (2003) the Burgess Scoping Group was established. One section in the White Paper was concerned with measuring and recording student achievement. “…we must ensure that we have robust ways of describing, measuring and recording student achievement which will be helpful to the student, to institutions, to employers and to other stakeholders.” Its remit included the need to review the degree classification system in the UK via sector-wide consultation. Two reports published: - “Measuring and Recording Student Achievement” 2004 - “Beyond the Honours Degree Classification: the Burgess Group Final Report” 2007

8 Burgess Group – The HEAR
The Higher Education Achievement Report Through Burgess, the HE Sector has been encouraged to develop an enhanced transcript based on the structure and content of the Diploma Supplement – same numbering of sections even. A pilot programme established involving 18 universities (Aberystwyth, Gloucester, UWIC) Results being shared throughout the sector in sessions such as this today and a similar conference in London 3 November. I welcome the impetus and the drive

9 The HEAR c/f Diploma Supplement
Common agreement on the structure ~ information on the holder of the qualification ~ information identifying the qualification ~ information on the level of the qualification ~ information on the content and the results gained ~ information on the function of the qualification ~ additional information The main purpose of the HEAR is to record student achievement, for reference by future employers or for upward mobility (postgraduate courses) With this in mind universities must take measures to record those aspects which will be important for students : mobility/industrial placements; Welsh-medium and other skills; personal achievements You will discuss these aspects particularly the recording and verification of such data

10 The HEAR – a national endorsement
“The Burgess Group commends the HEAR as providing students with a complete and comprehensive record of their educational achievements. It will give employers more detailed information on the skills, progress and attainment of prospective employees. It will give the opportunity to record workplace learning and higher level skills developed as part of higher education programmes, and thereby support the skills agenda and flexible and lifelong learning. By combining the higher education transcript with the European Diploma Supplement, the HEAR will also encourage compatibility with the Bologna Process and lead to wider understanding and recognition of UK qualifications within Europe and beyond” HEFCE website - statement October 2007

11 Achieving Recognition – Swansea University
Recognising the importance of the recognition of a student’s academic achievements Swansea has issued an academic transcript for decades Swansea considered the inclusion of student personal achievements on the transcripts in the early 1980s - based on practice in America Through engagement with Bologna, a strategic decision was taken in Swansea in 2003/4 to develop a Diploma Supplement to enhance graduates’ international employability, incorporating - the academic transcript, details on the programme and the qualification - it did not include details of personal achievements To further the recognition of the awards and the recognition of the Swansea Diploma Supplement the university applied successfully for the Diploma Supplement Label in 2009

12 The Swansea Diploma Supplement
Stucture & content It naturally conforms with the strict requirements in terms of structure, headings, comprehensive content – no web-links The programme details include a section on the learning outcomes, knowledge and understanding, skills etc The transcript is totally embedded into the document including ECTS and UK credits awarded Other information include details of mobility (country, institution, credits) and industrial placements Joint degrees described and reflected (Erasmus Mundus) nature of the award and module details Swansea has been proud to have led and shared with the sector our experiences and assisted colleagues nationally

13 Swansea University – future plans
Future Activities Quinquennial enhancement review of the Diploma Supplement – layout and content The Review will also be informed by and influenced by: ~ the university’s skills strategy ~ the university’s internationalisation strategy ~ the HEAR pilot studies – personal achievements ~ European reviews The university is aiming to develop a new Diploma Supplement for research students To engage fully with students & employers regarding their expectations

14 The HEAR The Recognition of HEAR – internationally
The HEAR and Diploma Supplements are virtually identical The Diploma Supplement is recognised internally and is strictly regulated through the award of the “Label” In the interests of students the HEAR must also carry with it that international recognition or, if it is a national document, should a UK body assess institutions’ documents? Institutions’ HEARs must comply with the minimum requirements of the Label eg 6.1 use of web links The title Higher Education Achievement Report must be recognised in Europe otherwise UK universities will not be eligible to apply for the Label

15 Personal reflections A challenging but worthwhile initiative
I welcome the impetus which the Burgess Group has generated – does it need to expand to doctoral candidates – Swansea will pilot? The intention to encourage student engagement in the development of an on-going construction of the HEAR is to be welcomed I welcome the emphasis of developing an electronic version of the document I would encourage that security measures be built into any planning process – both paper documents and the electronic versions I would strongly advise universities to apply for the “Label” Institutions in Wales need to consider bi-lingual issues and work closely with the new Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol The sector needs to reflect on the views of employers & students

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