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Implementing the Bologna Process: The experience of Estonia Workshop: Boosting quality: International Credential Evaluation and Higher Education Quality.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing the Bologna Process: The experience of Estonia Workshop: Boosting quality: International Credential Evaluation and Higher Education Quality."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing the Bologna Process: The experience of Estonia Workshop: Boosting quality: International Credential Evaluation and Higher Education Quality Assessment in SSH (PHOENIX) Bishkek, 13-14 April 2006 Gunnar Vaht The Estonian ENIC/NARIC

2 Higher education in Estonia l Legal framework Education Act (1992) Universities Act (1995) Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act (1998) Private Schools Act (1998) University of Tartu Act (1995) Standard of Higher Education (2002)

3 Access to higher education l General requirements (qualifications) Gümnaasiumi lõputunnistus (Secondary School Leaving Certificate - 12yrs of study) + State Examination Certificate Secondary Vocational School Leaving Certificate + State Examination Certificate Corresponding foreign qualification l Specific requirements Results of state examinations (mother language, foreign language, mathematics, etc) admission examinations/tests/interviews average mark on leaving certificate or group of marks of certain subject(s)

4 Higher education institutions l Universities (ülikool) institution of research, development, study and culture with programs at all higher education levels in several fields of study l Professional Higher Education Institutions (rakenduskõrgkool) educational institutions with programs of professional higher education and Magister-study. The institution may offer secondary vocational programs. l Vocational Education Institutions (kutseõppeasutus) institutions of secondary vocational programs. The institutions may offer the professional higher education

5 Bologna process in Estonia l Estonia was among the countries signing the Bologna Declaration in 1999 l Large scale changes started already in the beginning of 1990s by removing Soviet ideology in the programs, increasing the university autonomy, introducing the credit accumulation system based on student workload and accreditation system l Bologna process was seen as a continuation of the developments, an opportunity to increase the competitiveness internationally (comparable degree structure) and broadening the students´ choices (national and international mobility)

6 New degree structure l Higher education system is binary at first and second level l University structure has three cycles following the bachelor-master-PhD model l Transfer to the new two-cycle specialist degree structures of academic year 2002/03

7 Legal framework for degrees l The Government approved the Standard of Higher Education (2002) functions as a broad qualification framework which determines the conditions of access to, capacity, learning outcomes, graduation requirements, etc of PHE, Bak, Mag and PhD studies l Special legislative acts govern the outcomes and content of regulated professions and other one long-cycle programs (in medicine, class teachers, civil engineers etc) l New Governmental decree (2004) for designation of academic degrees

8 Degree structure (pre-Bologna) l Old system (until 2002/03 admission) l General system as one-long-cycle structure Universities Bakalaureus-degree (4…5 years) - specialist´s qualifications Magister-degree (1…2 years) - research degree Doktor-degree (Mag+4 years) - second research degree Professional higher education institutions PHE-diploma (3…4 years) - the access to Magister- study was limited

9 Degree structure (Bologna) l New system (since 2002/03 admission) l General system as two-cycle (bachelor-master) structure - so called “3+2 model” Universities Bakalaureus-degree (bachelor-level) - 3 years Magister-degree (master-level) - 2 years one long-cycle programs (master-level) - 5 years; Medicine and Veterinary Medicine - 6 years Doktor-degree - 3…4 years Professional higher education institutions PHE-diploma (bachelor-level) - 3…4 years Magister-degree (master-level) - 1…2 years in cooperation with university.In some fields also independently.

10 Bakalaureus-studies l At this level the basic knowledge and skills of a speciality are obtained. l The nominal length of study is predominantly 3 years and the capacity of studies 120 national credit points (ainepunkt) = 180 credits in ECTS system l The new qualification enables holder to commence work and continue studies at master level l Under a previous degree structure bakalaureus- studies provided a competence necessary for working as a specialist and the right to work in a position that requires high qualification (lawyer, engineer, teacher, etc)

11 Magister-studies l The aim of second cycle studies is to educate a specialist with profound professional knowledge. Study is devoted to in-depth preparation for the speciality and includes a narrow specialisation. l The nominal duration of 1…2 years and capacity of studies 40…80 national credits (60…120 ECTS credits), but along with bachelor-level studies not less than 5 years (3+2 or 4+1), and capacity of 200 national credits/300 ECTS credits

12 Comparison of old and new systems l Till 1991 Diplom-Specialist (5) - Kandidat Nauk (3) - Doktor Nauk (+…) l 1991-1994 University Diploma (5) - (Research) Magister (2) - Doktor (4) l 1995-2001 Bakalaureus (4) - Magister (2) - Doktor (4) l Since 2002 Bakalaureus (3) - Magister (2) - Doktor (3…4) (Bachelor-Master structure or “3+2” system)

13 Professional higher education l The purpose of PHE study is to acquire the competence necessary for working in the relevant profession or continue studies in a master level l Providers: Professional higher education institutions; structural units of universities (university kolledzh); selected vocational secondary education institutions

14 Doktor-study l Highest stage of higher education with the purpose of acquiring knowledge and skills necessary for independent research, development or professional creative work l The nominal duration is 3 to 4 years (180 to 240 ECTS credits)

15 Recognition and comparison of “old” degrees l Draft Governmental Decree on comparison of former qualifications - in order to ensure the equal rights of graduates in access to further study and to the labor market. l Diploma Supplement - the description of educational system and indicates on which system the degree is earned l Estonian ENIC/NARIC - information to the foreign authorities

16 Recognition tools l Diploma Supplement - the model of UNESCO, Council of Europe and European Commission Implemented by the initiative of individual universities in 1999 and issued on request (some fee) Since 2002 the DS is a state document annexed to every diploma (free) l ECTS Since 1997 higher education institutions may use ECTS credit and marking system simultanously with national system and only in student mobility programs Since 01.09.2006 - the only credit system in Estonia and as the national credit system.

17 Quality Assurance l License, accreditation, recognition License issued by the Ministry of Education and Research (MoER) State inspection inspection by MoER regularly; self analyse Accreditation part of the quality assessment. Organised by Estonian Higher Education Accreditation Centre Foreign experts for two-three days Decision by Higher Education Quality Assessment Council Approved by the Minister State recognition of diplomas/qualifications Statute of Diploma - state standards

18 Accreditation l The recognition of diplomas is dependent upon the accreditation decision l Accreditation of the program is granted for 7 years (conditional accreditation for 3 years) l Accreditation criteria - content of the study program, quality of the teaching, management practices, state of the study facilities, quality assurance practices, teachers qualifications, etc. l During 1997-2002 the first round of accreditation was completed, over 500 study programs were under accreditation process

19 Implementation of Bologna process l The so-called “National Bologna Group” was established in 2000 - representatives: Ministry of Education, Rectors Council, Student Union and Estonian ENIC/NARIC l On 2001, the Government approved the reform plan l Major legislative changes were implemented during 2002 and 2003 l Transfer to the new degree structure was very quick and was possible only because HEIs were very interested in these changes

20 Further plans l Ensuring the employability of the “new” bachelors; l Recruitment of international staff with long-term contacts; l Work with qualifications framework - description of learning outcomes l Joint degree programs - amendment of legislation l Implementing the lifelong learning principles in higher education - APEL

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