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“Three Cycle System in the Framework of Bologna Process”, Summer School, Yerevan, Armenia, 2008 European qualifications framework Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis,

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Presentation on theme: "“Three Cycle System in the Framework of Bologna Process”, Summer School, Yerevan, Armenia, 2008 European qualifications framework Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Three Cycle System in the Framework of Bologna Process”, Summer School, Yerevan, Armenia, 2008 European qualifications framework Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis, Bologna expert, Lithuania

2 Countries Participating in the Bologna Process (three cycles)

3 The themes to address: n Why qualifications frameworks? n What is a qualifications framework? n How do national qualifications frameworks relate to European qualifications frameworks? n What benefits from using learning outcomes? n How do qualifications frameworks relate to Diploma Supplement and ECTS?

4 Previous European practice how higher education qualifications are described is listing the - admission requirements, - duration of programme (later workload in credits), - study contents, i.e. lists of courses, but almost nothing has been said about learning outcomes: competencies, skills,etc.

5 Without a coherent national Qualification Framework: Even the level of qualification is sometimes unclear, In binary systems each subsystem may have different and incompatible qualification levels, It is not clear what the graduate “can do”, It is difficult to make international comparisons needed for recognition.

6 - Berlin ministerial Communiqué requests elaboration of national frameworks and an overarching framework for the whole European Higher Education Area. - New style qualifications frameworks should describe qualifications in terms of: level, profile, learning outcomes, workload.

7 Learning outcomes: statements of what a learner is expected to –know, –understand, –be able to do at the end of a period of learning.

8 National qualifications framework is the single description, in which all qualifications are described through learning outcomes and which shows how the qualifications in the national system are related to each other. (Prof. Stephen Adam)

9 The Three-Cycle System If qualifications are described in terms of learning outcomes: - the transparency and international comparability is growing, - the function of the qualification is much easier to understand, - recognition can be focused on these learning outcomes which are relevant to the purpose for which recognition is sought,

10 - more clarity to employers, - more clarity to students, - tool for curriculum development. Defining learning outcomes of each module helps: - creating LLL paths, - use of modules for learners from outside.

11 The framework for qualifications of the European Higher Education Area n European Qualification Framework (EQF) is an overarching framework with a high level of generality, consisting of three main cycles, with additional provision for a short cycle within the first cycle. n EQF includes cycle descriptors in the form of generic qualification descriptors to be used as reference points (the Dublin descriptors). n Descriptors offer generic statements of typical expectations of achievements at the end of each Bologna cycle.

12 Guidelines for credit ranges in the European Qualification Framework n first cycle qualifications: 180 – 240 ECTS credits; n short cycle higher education qualifications within the first cycle: typically approx. 120 ECTS credits; n second cycle qualifications, typically 90 – 120 ECTS credits with a minimum of 60 credits at the level of the second cycle; n third cycle (PhD, doctor) qualifications.

13 Relations between the European overarching framework and the national frameworks B eing more general, EQF should be capable to accommodate the national QFs and help interpretation of qualifications between them; n EQF consists of three main cycles plus the short HE studies; n EQF includes cycle descriptors that can be used as reference points; n EQF does not use profile.

14 Descriptions of qualifications in National qualifications frameworks (NQF) NQF are more specific than the EQF cycle descriptors; NQF compared to EQF may, e.g.: n include profile; n have two parallel sets of generic qualifications; n use levels of credits; n NQFs interpret qualifications in the setting of national HE (and employment) system

15 Steps in creating qualifications frameworks European level - cycle descriptors for the European overarching framework (Dublin descriptors) National level - general learning outcomes for the generic qualifications in the national frameworks Subject field level - Tuning - type exercise formulating subject – specific learning outcomes of qualifications at national or international level Institution/programme level - specific learning outcomes of the particular qualification; - specific learning outcomes of each programme component.

16 First cycle graduates (Dublin descriptors): n demonstrate knowledge and understanding –that builds upon general secondary education, –is supported by advanced textbooks, –but some aspects of knowledge are at the forefront of the study field; n can apply their knowledge & understanding in a professional manner in their work; n are able to devise and sustain arguments and solve problems within their field of study; n have the ability: - to gather and interpret relevant data; - to inform judgments that include reflection on relevant social, scientific or ethical issues; n have learning skills: - to continue to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.

17 What benefits from each grade of learning outcomes detail? Cycle descriptors for the European overarching framework (Dublin descriptors) help interpreting qualification levels among national QFs on: - national level: general learning outcomes for the generic qualifications in the national frameworks clarify the role of the (generic) qualification in the national system, internationally may be sufficient for “level recognition”. - study field level (inter-institutional) – subject specific learning outcomes of qualifications in each subject field – more useful for ensuring consistency in the national system; Learning outcomes usually will have more details at programme level

18 What benefits from each grade of learning outcomes detail? Institution/programme level n detailed learning outcomes of the particular qualification indispensable at recognition of individual qualification – for both academic and professional purposes n detailed learning outcomes of each programme component (course, module, placement, dissertation, etc.) - helps credit transfer - helps assigning credits for prior/experiential learning, promotes LLL - helps assessing informal learning, possibly transnational qualifications – on condition that there is a proof that stipulated learning outcomes have been achieved

19 Role for quality assurance Quality assurance builds trust among the educational Systems; Quality assurance should approve that the stipulated learning outcomes are in reality acquired – i.e. quality assurance is involved at inclusion of each individual qualification into national qualifications framework.

20 Linking national frameworks to European overarching framework There are the following criteria for verifying the compatibility of national frameworks to EQF: n clear link between the qualifications in NQF and the cycle descriptors of the EQF; n NQF and its qualifications are based on learning outcomes; n qualifications are linked to ECTS; n transparent procedures for inclusion of qualifications in the NQF with involvement of national QA system; n NQF and its alignment with EQF is referenced in all Diploma Supplements.

21 Procedures for self-certification of compatibility n competent national body/bodies shall self-certify the compatibility of the NQF with the European framework; n self-certification process shall include agreement of the quality assurance bodies of the country in question recognised through the Bologna process; n self-certification process shall involve international experts; n self-certification and the evidence supporting it shall be published; and shall address separately each of the criteria.

22 Are the existing transparency tools: Diploma Supplement and ECTS fit for reflecting learning outcomes and qualifications frameworks?

23 ECTS key features n Credit is a way of quantifying the learning outcomes. n Credits can only be obtained after completion of the work required and assessment of the learning outcomes achieved. n Credits are allocated to all educational components of a study programme (such as modules, courses, placements, dissertation work, etc.) and reflect the quantity of work each component requires

24 Diploma Supplement - provide details of the learning outcomes, skills, competencies and stated aims and objectives associated with the qualification; - give information on the national higher educational system: its general access requirements; types of institution and the qualifications structure.

25 Challenges n There is a risk that not all countries will introduce outcomes–based qualifications frameworks – or at least some may be slow; n Qualifications frameworks may be introduced superficially: – just formulating the national-level descriptors; – or working without involvement of all the stakeholders. n Outcomes - based curriculum development is new to many European countries/institutions/ academic staff: – training and consultations are needed for many

26 The presentation is based on materials presented by Prof. Andrejs Rauhvarger Member of Bologna Follow- up Group (BFUG) Board and European qualifications framework group

27 Thank You for patience

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