Columbus’ Egg? Qualifications Frameworks, Sectoral Profiles and Degree Programme Profiles in Higher Education

Robert Wagenaar

Abstract


During the last 25 years international mobility has become paramount in higher education. International and national authorities and higher education institutions have set-up effective structures to facilitate and implement this process. It has become part of a higher education modernization process which obtained a serious push with the start and development of the Bologna Process in Europe as of 1999. However the same authorities have been far less active in finding answers on how to facilitate this process in terms of curriculum development, quality assurance and recognition. The initiative was largely left to individuals supported by their employing organizations. These have proven to be visionaries. Their efforts have led to competence and learning outcomes based descriptors for meta-qualifications frameworks and to important reference points / meta profiles for subject areas. Academics have been strongly involved in developing the latter and by doing so have offered a more sustainable basis for implementing reforms based on the student-centred approach, which is so relevant for today’s world in terms of employability and citizenship. The most recent development has been the development of Tuning sectoral qualifications frameworks which allow for bridging the two European meta-frameworks, the EQF for Lifelong Learning and the QF for the European Higher Education Area, with sectoral and degree profiles. This can be seen as a breakthrough initiative because it offers us a transparent model which is developed and owned by academics and can easily be used by all involved in programme design and development, quality enhancement and assurance and recognition of (periods of) studies.

Keywords


qualifications frameworks; sectoral qualifications frameworks; sectoral profiles; degree programme profiles; reference points; learning outcomes; competences

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-1(1)-2013pp71-103

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