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EQF implementation Brussels 2008


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The implementation of the European Qualifications Framework and national educational policies

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EQF implementation Brussels 2008

  1. 1. EQF : Transferable Ruble or Euro? The Potential of National Qualification Frameworks Péter Radó
  2. 2. The potential of NQFs <ul><li>EQF implementation: the hidden expectations about NQFs </li></ul><ul><li>What exactly to be implemented? (The messages of EQF) </li></ul><ul><li>What exactly are we talking about? (From a definition to a taxonomy) </li></ul><ul><li>What NQF may deliver what kind of message? (The implementation potential of NQFs) </li></ul><ul><li>The diversity of contexts: the „best fit” of something like an NQF </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Hidden and overt expectations <ul><li>Original assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Two messages are emphasized: </li></ul><ul><li>Opting into EQF is voluntary </li></ul><ul><li>You do not need an NQF to go for it, sectoral qualifications can be referenced to EQF levels without the mediation an NQF </li></ul><ul><li>EQF implementation: Countries should relate their qualifications systems to the framework by 2010 and they should introduce a reference to EQF levels in certificates and diploma by 2012. </li></ul><ul><li>-> Establishment of EQF coordination points + referencing national qualifications to EQF. </li></ul><ul><li>↔ W ill it generate trust? = Will it make EQF more, than transferable rubl e ? </li></ul>
  4. 4. A figure from 2005. (Guess the country of origin of the person who produced it)
  5. 5. 1. Hidden and overt expectations <ul><li>The real implementation challenge: </li></ul><ul><li>„ As the implementation of the EQF can not be enforced, its success will depend on clear coordination, sound arguments, good practices and mutual trust. Implementing the EQF thus requires that its principles are translated into a practical process of cooperation aiming at the translation of common goals into practical policies at national level. „ </li></ul><ul><li>That is: „ a coherent application of the basic principles underpinning EQF, in particular the use of the ‘learning outcomes’ approach and the principle of ‘best fit’. „ </li></ul><ul><li>(Roles and functions of an EQF Advisory Board. Discussion paper Nov. 2007.) </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden expectations towards implementation: </li></ul><ul><li>In order to generate trust the extent of „fit” matters. (See: 1991: introducing the principle of „mutual trust” -> heavy investment into quality assurance) </li></ul><ul><li>-> In order to ensure the principle of „best fit” the „messages ” of EQF should be implemented </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. The messages of EQF <ul><li>Modernization message. The underlying learning outcomes based approach: determining goals for educational services in terms of competences that connect processes with external (labor market and social) outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>The lifelong learning message. The required policy coordination in the education sector that connects all levels and strands of education in order to make learning pathways smoother. </li></ul><ul><li>The quality message. Incorporating new external references into the internal regulatory systems in order to better orient institutional quality management systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The message about the changing role of formal systems. Integrating the recognition of non-formal/informal learning into the qualification system if it has a widespread grass-root practice, opening channels for it if the practice is sporadic. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3. NQF: from a definition to a taxonomy <ul><li>Original understanding: something like UK or Ireland already have: an NQF that is the basis for the recognition of individual qualifications, well connects individual pathways and that is very much quality assurance oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy (RLO Cluster) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple frameworks: Qualification system without links among sector frameworks, separate levels for one or more sectors (Hungary today) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinating framework: Connected but not integrated sectoral frameworks, a single set of levels covering all sectors (no descriptors) with each sector having its own sub-range levels (Turkey proposal) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-framework: Connects the outcomes of sectoral frameworks but does not integrate learning pathways, a set of levels and descriptors covering all sectors which is the basis for relating to each sectoral framework (EQF, Hungary 2010.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrating framework: Intends to bring learning pathways together, a set of levels and descriptors covering all sectors, each sector uses this levels and descriptors (Austria proposal, Hungary in the long run) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 4. The potential of NQF types in transmitting „EQF messages ” <ul><li>Multiple frameworks: may move towards le a rning outcomes, weak potential in LLL, OK for EFQM based systems, weak in recognition of non-formal/informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinating framework: weak in moving towards learning outcomes, less weak in LLL, OK for EFQM based systems, weak in recognition of non-formal/informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-framework: strong in moving towards learning outcomes, better in LLL, helps the realignment of quality management regimes, opens channels recognition of non-formal/informal learning </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating frameworks: strong in moving towards learning outcomes and in LLL, helps the realignment of quality management regimes, integrates the recognition of non-formal/informal learning </li></ul>
  9. 9. 5. The diversity of contexts <ul><li>Implementation of EQF = national instruments that transfer the underlying messages of EQF into the work of edu service providers: improvement on the basis of perpetual reflection on the basis of external references = organizational learning </li></ul><ul><li>Generating organizational </li></ul><ul><li>learning: five basic </li></ul><ul><li>functions to be </li></ul><ul><li>operated in the systemic </li></ul><ul><li>environment of institutions </li></ul><ul><li>NQF: connects all </li></ul><ul><li>instruments of output </li></ul><ul><li>regulation + indirect </li></ul><ul><li>realignment of all others </li></ul>
  10. 10. 5. The diversity of contexts Will all countries go for the „ best option ” ? <ul><li>Extreme diversity of concrete institutional settings – the „best fit” of NQF as an instrument </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fits to a coherent system of regulations (input/process regulation, output regulation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fits to the actual chain of interpretation of external goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fits to accountability systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fits to the way how poor performance is identified </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All these systems are moving targets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing structural changes in CEE countries (e.g. management and school evaluation system, Hungary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New instruments change the context of old ones (e.g. PM Delivery Unit, UK) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 5. The diversity of contexts Will all countries go for the „ best option ” ? <ul><li>„ If your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail” </li></ul><ul><li>(Clarence Page) </li></ul><ul><li>-> NQF: should be one piece of a rich toolkit if the goal at the national level is more than implementing EQF as „transferable ruble” </li></ul><ul><li>-> Surprising uniformity in terms of the number of levels and the structure of descriptors </li></ul><ul><li>-> Diversity in terms of emphasized purposes and procedural settings </li></ul>