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(Finnish) Higher Education Qualifications Framework

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1 (Finnish) Higher Education Qualifications Framework
Carita Blomqvist

2 Outline Background (Bologna Process)
National working group and its work Previous, parallel and future processes in Finland Contents of the report Next steps Overarching framework for qualifications of the European Higher Education Area Compatibility

3 Berlin Communiqué 2003 ”Ministers encourage member states to elaborate a framework of comparable and compatible qualifications for their higher education systems, which should seek to describe qualifications in terms of workload, level, learning outcomes, competences and profile.”

4 Berlin Communiqué 2003 ”Within such frameworks, degrees should have different defined orientation and various profiles in order to accommodate a diversity of individual, academic and labor market needs. First cycle degrees should give access, in the sense of Lisbon Recognition Convention, to second cycle programs. Second cycle degrees should give access to doctoral studies.”

5 National qualifications framework
Owned by national system, in many cases based on national legislation Determines what qualifications learners will earn Make explicit the purpose and aim of qualifications Link to quality assurance

6 National qualifications framework
Transparency: describes in a systematic and coherent way all qualifications, the interaction between qualifications and the possibilities for movement between qualifications in all directions Makes it easier to earn qualifications in a variety of ways Focus on outcomes, from procedure to content

7 National qualifications framework
Main elements: Cycles (Levels) Workload and credits Profile: academic/professional Learning outcomes Competences

8 Learning outcomes Statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to do at the end of a period of learning Focus on achievements Paradigm shift from teaching to learning

9 Higher Education Qualifications Framework in Finland
National working group appointed by the Ministry of Education in May 2004 Proposal ready in February 2005 Chaired by the Ministry of Education Two secretaries

10 Higher Education Qualifications Framework in Finland
Permanent participants: Ministry of Education, universities, polytechnics, (academics and administration), student organizations, quality assurance, ISCED, National Board of Education (ENIC) Other: social partners, higher education institutions which are not supervised by the Ministry of Education (Police Polytechnic, National Defence College)

11 Previous, parallel and future processes
Preparations for new degree structure started fall 2003 funding from the Ministry of Education to higher education institutions for planning and implementing the reform - field-specific coordination groups, chaired by academics - analysis of the study programs - planning and revising/renewal of core contents

12 Previous, parallel and future processes
- special group for language teaching - defining requirements, aims (and learning outcomes) - transfer to ECTS-equivalent credit system : - guidance and counselling of students (personal study plans) - development projects 2009: evaluation of the degree reform

13 Proposal for the Finnish Framework
Ownership Public understanding Writing process/background material used: - Legislation, what does it say? Aims of the degrees - Studying the course descriptions, curricula etc. - Discussions with experts

14 Proposal for the Finnish framework
Contents of the report: - national and international background and experience - need and purpose of the framework - classification systems (ISCED, EU Directives) - short description of some other frameworks - proposal for the Finnish framework

15 Proposal for the Finnish Framework
Finnish context: - legislation - steering/governance and development of higher education system - quality assurance - diagram, charts

16 Upper secondary education at least 12 years of schooling
Universities Academically - oriented degrees Polytechnics Professionally - oriented degrees Doctorate c. 4 years Third cycle Master's credits Master's credits Second cycle Work experience Bachelor's credits Bachelor's credits First cycle Upper secondary education at least 12 years of schooling

17 Formal aspects of the degrees
For first cycle (polytechnic, university), second cycle (polytechnic, university) and doctoral - access requirement (s) - workload (credits and years), final thesis/work - access to further study - professional status/competence - profile

18 Learning outcomes For first cycle (polytechnic, university), second cycle (polytechnic, university) and doctoral degrees Main division: -knowledge -skills -competences

19 Learning outcomes Knowledge - breadth and depth Skills
- language and communication skills Competences - cognitive, professional and ethical

20 Proposal for the Finnish Framework
Consultations Written statements from stakeholders requested 60 statements received, summarized in one document Seminars on different cycles and aspects, e.g. on doctoral degrees, labor-market relevance of first (and second) cycle qualifications

21 How to use the Framework?
- Further field-specific work - Joint degrees - Diploma Supplement - Lifelong Learning, Accreditation of Prior Learning Amendments and decision of the Ministry of Education in 2006? Maintenance and development

22 Overarching EHEA framework
- An overarching framework that makes transparent the relationship between national higher education frameworks of qualifications and the qualifications they contain. - An articulation mechanism between national frameworks

23 Overarching EHEA framework
Three cycles of qualifications (sometimes additional cycle within the 1st cycle) Descriptors of qualifications and learning outcomes: generic, not subject-specific Credit ranges in ECTS: 1st cycle: ; 2nd cycle: (minimum 60 credits at 2nd cycle level)

24 Bergen Communiqué 2005 “We adopt the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA, comprising three cycles, generic descriptors for each cycle based on learning outcomes and competences, and credit ranges in the first and second cycles. We commit ourselves to elaborating national frameworks fro qualifications compatible with the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA by 2010 and having started work on this by 2007.”

25 EHEA – national framework
Compatibility of the Finnish framework with the overarching framework Criteria for the verification/self-certification process have been proposed

26 More information

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