It contains the report of the various sessions and workshops of the Seminar, dedicated to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Flexible Ties within Higher Education as well as information on the keynote speeches and the social programme proposed to the participants.
With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union
Prior to its General Assembly on 24 September 2011 EURASHE organised a crosscutting session on Policy in Brussels, Belgium.
All of its working groups were invited to take part. Members of each working group had the opportunity to provide information on the state of EURASHE’s Working groups’ achievements.
It reflected their past activities as well as suggestion for future activities, the Workshop also addressed proposals for EURASHE policy development.
24 individuals from 20 member organisations coming from 14 countries took part in the Crosscutting Session on Policy
Besides the general discussions on the position of the PHE on different policy priorities the forum has provided information on the state of EURASHE’s Working groups’ achievements.
The Session also addressed proposals for EURASHE policy development in 2012 and the preparation of the overarching policy paper responding to main challenges of the ET2020 for the PHE to be published in Spring 2012.
The different developments on Professional Higher Education and Research (PHE & R), on Quality Assurance, and Transparency Tools (QA & TT), on Mobility, on National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) as well as Student Centred Learning, on Lifelong Learning, Employability and Short-cycle Higher Education (E & LLL, SCHE) were presented by the Working groups Leaders.
- PHE & R: The case for professional higher education, strongly advocated and warmly approved by delegates, was one that should find new strategies to increase and intensify research and publication. Professional higher education should openly declare its distinctive strengths and differences in terms of its proximity to the labour market and applied research base. For these reasons, it was stated that professional higher-education research outcomes are quicker to reach their target than any equivalent in the university sector. This is a very considerable strength. Students of the future, it was claimed, should be educated in the value of the research environment and be brought closer in contact with it, including the mechanisms of research funding and its linking to the market place
- NQF: It was claimed that student-centred learning could be easily overlooked, in that frameworks should rather begin from the student perspective and from the context of the learner. This would remove the tendency of NQFs to be entirely bureaucratic.
- Mobility: It was stated that mobility should occur within various sectors, for example between professional higher-education institutions and other universities, industry, and the work place more generally. The notion of life-long mobility caught the imagination of delegates; and within this vision, the concept recognised the value of ‘virtual’ mobility. The mobile phone analogy was used – that is, mobility to be in place, ready to operate and be used when needed. In other words, mobility should be ever ready and available to all within professional higher education.
- QA & TT: Multi-dimensional transparency tools, a main area of focus, which inform university stakeholders about the quality of higher education. Some of the input clarified the concept in terms of EURASHE’s interests as it related to professional higher education. Composite indicators were outlined as was the practice of multi-dimensional ranking. Mapping and the use of ESG (European Standards and Guidelines) were briefly outlined. The feasibility of the organisation taking on a specific brief for quality assurance in professional higher education was outlined.
- E & LLL, SCHE: The focus was given to the value of short-cycle degrees, the full recognition of them, increased flexibility within higher education, identifying new groups of learners (non-traditional groups) and intensifying cooperation with business and industry. The value of life-long learning and strategies for its development and integration was stressed. Strong interest was shown to develop the entrepreneurial and transferable skills of PHE students.
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