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The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning, Jens Bjornaveld
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The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning, Jens Bjornaveld


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  • 1. The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning Kick-off training seminar for Bologna experts Madrid 30 June 2008 Jens Bjornavold
  • 2.
    • EQF – the political process
    • 22 April 2008; Formal signing of the EQF Recommendation by the Presidents of the European Parliament and the European Council
    • 2010; Countries invited to refer national qualifications levels to the EQF by 2010
    • 2010; Countries invited to introduce reference to EQF in certificates and diplomas by 2012
    • EQF is based on a Recommendation- therefore a voluntary process
  • 3.
    • What is EQF about?
    • The EQF is a translation grid for all qualifications
    • throughout Europe
    • EQF supports cross-border mobility by simplifying comparison of the content and profile of qualifications
    • EQF facilitates lifelong learning; enables linking and combination of qualifications from different institutions and sub-systems
    • Responds to the increasing diversity of qualifications in Europe
  • 4.
    • An overarching, meta-framework
    • EQF encompasses general, vocational and higher education and training
    • Covers the entire span of qualifications from end of compulsory school to highest level of professional and academic qualifications
    • the overarching character is critical to address progression between (for example) Vocational and academic education and training, initial and continuing training
  • 5.
    • Learning outcomes
    • - what a learner knows, understands or is able to do at the end of a learning process
    • Supports better matching between education and training
    • provisions and labour market needs
    • Facilitates validation of non-formal and informal learning
    • Increases transparency of qualifications
    • The shift to learning outcomes
    • a pre-condition for EQF
  • 6.
    • Learning outcomes;
    • knowledge, skills and competence
    • The 8 EQF-levels distinguished by
    • the complexity and depth of knowledge and
    • understanding
    • the degree of necessary support or instruction
    • the degree of integration and independence required
    • the range and complexity of practise/application
    • the degree of transparency and dynamics of situations
  • 7.
    • EQF and the shift to learning outcomes
    • EQF challenges countries to use learning outcomes when defining and describing qualifications;
    • EQF introduces a common language for comparing
    • qualifications.
    • A challenge;
    • A danger that countries will apply the learning outcomes
    • perspective in a non-coherent way;
    • How can the application of learning
    • outcomes be trusted?
  • 8.
    • The relationship between
    • EQF and EHEA
    • There’s a correspondence between the level descriptors of the short, first, second and third Bologna cycles with EQF levels 5-8;
    • There’s an ongoing work, through the EQF Advisory Group, to make sure that the criteria for self-certification within EHEA and EQF as far as possible corresponds ;
    • A range of EQF test and pilot projects have started, several looking into the relationship EHEA-EQF;
  • 9.
    • The relationship between
    • EQF and EHEA
    • The EQF is different from the EHEA by addressing a broader field and emphasising the overall coherence of qualifications systems (general, vocational and academic qualifications)
    • The EQF does not aim at a common structure of education and training – contrary to Bologna;
    • The EQF does not ask for structural changes at national level
  • 10.
    • The relationship between vocational and higher education and training
    • EQF provides an opportunity to clarify
    • how one sub-system of education and training relates to other parts of education and training (VET-HE);
    • how the role of sub-systems is changing;
    • how EQF can be seen as an opportunity to further
    • develop qualifications.
    • A challenge,
    • Should universities have a monopoly of levels 6-8?
  • 11.
    • Towards National Qualifications Frameworks
    • The EQF acts as a catalyst for the reform of national qualifications systems
    • The big majority of EU countries are now developing overarching NQFs – covering all levels of qualifications - in response to the EQF
    • Illustrates that EQF is seen as relevant
  • 12.
    • Towards overarching National Qualifications Frameworks
    • (situation spring 2008)
    • Having developed NQFs: France, Ireland, Malta, UK
    • Are developing NQF: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia,
    • Slovakia, Turkey
    • Are considering NQFs: Greece, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
  • 13.  
  • 14.
    • EQF and the individual citizen
    • An opportunity to develop more user oriented qualifications systems
    • by focussing on learning outcomes
    • by opening up towards validation of prior learning
    • by clarifying learning pathways
    • A challenge as
    • institutions and sectors create barriers to learning by emphasising their own exclusivity
  • 15.
    • Conclusions
    • EQF is not about standardisation, it is about
    • creating a common reference point;
    • a common language able to bridge the
    • increasing diversity of qualifications in Europe
    • a common framework making co-operation possible,
    • an instrument to avoid fragmentation
  • 16.
    • EQF –
    • opportunities and challenges
    • An opportunity: EQF is an instrument facilitating European cooperation and national reform
    • A challenge: EQF will change nothing without active participation and strong commitment from all stakeholders
    • We need to make explicit main
    • opportunities and
    • challenges