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VET IN FINLAND: EQF, NQF and ECVET Sirje Hassinen.

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1 VET IN FINLAND: EQF, NQF and ECVET Sirje Hassinen


3 Subordination of the formal VET institutions

4 Formal education Formal education refers to participation in education provided by the regular education system with the aim to complete a qualification. Education leading to a qualification according to the regular education system is arranged in the following educational institutions: comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools, vocational schools and colleges, polytechnics and universities. Education leading to a vocational qualification can also be arranged in apprenticeship training and in folk high schools and sports institutes. -Vocational college after basic education (students between 16 – 21 years old) 3 years after general upper secondary school (students up to 18/19 years old) 2 years -Vocational education and training centres (for young and/or adult students) -Adult education centres (students from 20 years, some work experience) -Polytechnics (after basic vocational education) In Finland there are no national levels for Vocational Qualifications (NQF).

5 Non-formal education Non-formal education refers to participation in course-form, other than education and training leading to a qualification according to the regular education system. Examples of course training are in-service training arranged and sponsored by the employer, hobby and languages courses at adult education centres, vocational further education courses, driving school, dance school, etc. Accreditation; In general, accreditation means that a student can substitute some or all studies included in the currently performed qualification by studies, work experience or practical training. In the Finnish legislation the accreditation appears to be partly a subjective right of the student. Recognition and validation of prior learning by adult students Structure of adult vocational qualification system is based mostly on non- formal learning idea. Nonetheless 95 % of the candidates taking the tests choose to prepare themselves for the examinations by undertaking some formal training.

6 Informal learning Informal learning is activity practised for the purpose of learning, which is less organised and structured than other education. Informal learning is not institutionalised, in other words, not the responsibility of any organisation. It has no student-teacher arrangement, timetables or entrance requirements. Informal learning can take place almost anywhere irrespective of place; among family or friends, at workplace or in everyday life. Informal learning can be self steered or take place under the guidance of family or some other social context. *Official recognition of prior learning acquired in different ways (by adult students) *Independent of the way the competence is acquired *Accreditation (a student can substitute some or all studies included in the currently performed qualification by studies, work experience or practical training)

7 VET IN FINLAND Finnish National Board of Education Qualifications, study programs and modules of the qualification the vocational skills required in the qualification the assessment criteria Vocational Qualification, (120 credits) The basic skills of the profession Further Qualification for adults, (40 credits) Skilled worker, professional in the field Specialist Qualification for adults, (40 credits) The most demanding tasks in the field At present, there are 358 qualifications 52 vocational qualifications divided into 113 study programmes 183 of them further vocational qualifications 123 specialist vocational qualifications

8 Structure of VET studies in Finland 90 credits of vocational studies (Common vocational studies of the qualification, specialist vocational studies of each study programme) including at least 20 credits of on-the-job learning 10 credits of free-choice studies 20 credits of core subjects (Compulsory 16 credits in all vocational studies are: the mother tongue, second national language, a foreign language, mathematics, physics and chemistry, social studies, entrepreneurship and workplace studies, physical and health education, arts and cultural studies) (Elective 4 credits Environmental studies, Information and communications technology, Ethics, Other cultures, Psychology, Entrepreneurship)

9 Local and international qualification standards that are applied Level of the qualification (in the awarding country) Level 3 of the EC classification Upper secondary level, ISCED 3 Europass Certificate supplement *NQF (EQF?) basic qualification = level 4

10 National Certificate of Language Proficiency National Certificate of Language Proficiency is a test aimed at adults to measure their practical language skills regardless of how and where their linguistic proficiency has been acquired. The tests measure language skills in practical situations in which an adult could be required to speak, listen, write or read a foreign language. The Act on language tests was passed in 1994 and the first national certificates of language proficiency were granted in the same year. Some 22,000 people had been granted a Certificate by the end of The test can now be taken in 9 different languages and there are over 100 educational institutions arranging tests. Europass Language Passport

11 EQF and NQF The European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong learning EQF The 8 EQF reference levels and their descriptors Based on learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and competence) and not learning/teaching/training systems. 8 levels covering all levels of academic and vocational qualifications Learning outcomes Shifts focus from input to what a person knows and is able to do better match between needs of the labour market and education and training provision facilitates transfer and use of qualifications across different countries and education and training systems facilitates validation of non-formal and informal learning

12 Finnish NQF levels Level 1 Level 2 Completion of Basic Education syllabus Level 3 Level 4 Matriculation examination, completion of upper secondary syllabus Vocational upper secondary qualifications Further Vocational Qualifications Qualifications from other administrative sectors corresponding to requirements of vocational upper secondary or further vocational qualifications Level 5 Specialist vocational qualifications Qualifications from other administrative sectors corresponding to requirements of specialist vocational qualifications Level 6 University and polytechnic Bachelors Degrees Level 7 University and polytechnic Masters Degrees Level 8 Scientific and artistic post-graduate degrees, such as licentiate and doctoral degrees

13 European Credit for Vocational Education and Training ECVET The Ecvet is a system for the accumulation and transfer of credit point in vocational education and training. It enables the documentation and certification of learning outcomes gained in the course of vocational education and training abroad. ECVET will improve transparency of qualifications A person has an opportunity for a learning period abroad a person can transfer home his new learning outcomes and include them for the qualification.

14 Why is ECVET important? International student exchanges are more attractive, if there is a certainty, how studies completed during the exchange can be used as part of a qualification. ECVET will allow the added value of international exchanges to be evaluated. ECVET will allow individual learning paths to be created. ECVET will help enrichment of competencies and peer learning – not only taking same like in home country.

15 1. Mastering of work processes 2. Mastering of tasks, working methods, tools and materials 3. Mastering of knowledge that forms foundation for work 4. LLL- key competencies common to all qualifications Knowledge Skills Competence Finnish targets of assessments vs. learning outcomes described in terms of KSC

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