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									ASEAN Qualifications Framework: Current
Architecture and Lessons Learnt from the
 European Qualifications Framework for
            Lifelong Learning

                 Que Anh Dang
            ASEM LLL Hub (asemLLL@dpu.dk)
           Kuala Lumpur, 14-15 November 2011




                                               1
                       Outline


• Context and Concept of NQFs and RQFs
• Charateristics of NQFs and RQFs
• Interplay between NQFs and RQF
• ASEAN QF: Rationales,Developments, Current
  Architecture and Challenges
• EQF holds lessons for ASEAN QF


                                               2
              Political and Economic Context

• NQF has its root in the Competence approach to
  vocational education
• 1980s and 1990s: neo-liberal economic policies
  emphasized primary role of private sector and
  employers in the labour market.
• Employment-led standards for (vocational)
  qualifications
• Transfer control of vocational education from providers
  to employers
                                                            3
             Political and Economic Context

• From mid 1990s- 2000s: NQFs linked to lifelong
  learning, with a series of influential EU White
  papers
  – Accrediting all types of learning
  – Credit-based frameworks
  – Improve people’s employability
  – European-wide policies: Bologna Process (1999),
    Lisbon Strategy (2000), Copenhagen Process (2002)

                                                        4
              Concepts of NQFs and RQFs


• NQF: A set of principles and criteria to specify
  qualifications in terms of standards, levels and
  outcomes
• RQF: an instrument for the development and
  classification of qualifications between countries




                                                       5
                   Characteristics of RQFs

RQFs usually:
• Have less regulatory and more communicative purpose
• Include a wide range of sectors of education and training
• Have may of national and regional policies, conventions,
  protocols supporting
• Have limited, often voluntary institutional arrangements
  for governance and management



                                                          6
                       Characteristics

•   NQFs:
-   Often top-down decision of governments
-   Single set of criteria
-   Single hierarchy with level descriptors
-   Learning outcomes
-   A set of benchmarks for assessement
-   Transparent and portable

                                              7
                 Partial and comprehensive
                         frameworks

• Scope:
  – Qualification type: vocational or academic, privately
    or publicly owned.
  – Qualification level: limited to higher education, or
    covers all levels
  – Qualifcation sector: occupational sector or a region




                                                            8
               Stages of RQF Development


1.   Exploring: awareness, understanding
2.   Conceptualising: discussion papers
3.   Testing: pilot sectoral projects
4.   Implementing: legislation, funding
5.   Reviewing: re-conceptualise, formal review



                                                  9
             Interplay between NFQs and
                         RQF



• Prioritisation of NQF development
• Prioritisation of Regional qualifications
  framework development
• Parallel development of NQFs and RQF
• Referencing process

                                              10
               European Qualifications
                    Framework

• Started in 2002, adopted in 2008
• 31 member countries
• 8 levels in 3 domains: Knowledge, Skills and
  Competence
• Key actors: European Commission, European
  Training Foundation, CEDEFOP, expert groups,
  EQF Advisory group, National Coordination
  Point
                                                 11
ASEAN Regional Qualifications
       Framework




                                12
                        ASEAN Regional Qualifications Framework:
                                   Developments

Countires with NQF       Framework: type, level, sector
1. Malaysia              All sectors, but early stage of implementation
2. Singapore             VET only
3. Thailand              Higher Education only
4. The Philippines       All sectors, but each sector managed separately

NQF in development
Brunei Darussalem        In progress
South Korea (ASEAN+3)    In progress
Not yet NQF
Cambodia                 None, but currently focus on NVQF
Indonesia                None
Myanmar                  None
Vietnam                  None
China, Japan (ASEAN+3)   None                                              13
            ASEAN Regional Qualifications Framework:
                     Current Architecture


• Enhancing Skills Recognition Systems in
  ASEAN (ASEAN Australia Programme, 2000-)
  – Regional Qualifications Framework in TVET: 4 levels
    of certificate, agreed by 5 ASEAN countries
    Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam and
    Thailand.
• Education and Training Governance: Capacity
  Building for NQFs (ASEAN, Australia and
  NewZealand, 2011-)
                                                          14
                      ASEAN RQF in TVET: agreed by 5
                            ASEAN countries
Job level                    Certificate        Descriptors (Generic competencies for each level)

1. Semi-skilled              Certificate 1      Understand safety requirements, has basic practical skills
worker/assistant/helper                         and operational knowledge in a defined range of tasks, can
                                                carry out routine tasks given clear direction, takes limited
                                                responsibility.

2. Skilled worker            Certificate 2      .... Can carry out skilled tasks, takes limited responsibility
                                                for output of self.

3. Advanced skilled worker   Certificate 3      Has some theoretical knowledge, has a range of well
                                                developed skills, can apply solutions to routine problems,
                                                can interpret available information ....
4. Supervisor/Foreperson     Certificate 4      Has a broad knowledge base, can apply some theoretical
                                                concepts, can identify and apply skills and knowledge, can
                                                identify, analyse and evaluate information, understand and
                                                take responsibility for quality, safety & environmental
                                                issues.
5. Manager                   Diploma            5. Assistant Professional
                                                                                                                 15
6. Senior Manager            Advanced Diploma   6. Associate Professional
7. Professional              Degree             7. Professional
                               ASEAN: 7 MRAs on sectoral qualifications
                                         (Mutual Recognition Arrangement)




1.   Engineering Services (2005)
2.   Architectual Services (2006)
3.   Surveying Qualifications (2006)
4.   Nursing Services (2006)
5.   Medical Practitioners (2008)
6.   Dental Practitioners (2008)
7.   Accounting Services (2008)
•    (Source: Wongboonsin, 2010)

                                                                            16
                ASEAN Regional Qualifications Framework:
                     Rationales and Charateristics


• Regionalism/Regionalisation   •   Weak foundations
• Economic implications         •   Disparate geographic spread
                                •   Political restraints
                                •   No coordinating body
                                •   Lack of experts




                                                                  17
               ASEAN RQF:Observations


• Current enthusiasm- primarily driven by
  ideological and political forces
• Pervasive role of donors and international
  agencies
• ’Globalised’ competence-based approach:
  learning outcomes with different
  understandings

                                               18
               EQF holds lessons for ASEAN QF

EQF: Political issue
  – political tool for regional integration
  – Not only a technical instrument implemented across countries,
     but also critical reform of qualifications systems and practices
Administrative issue:
  – Coordinating bodies at regional and national levels
  – Methodologies for referencing process
  – Communication strategies
  – Zone of trust and mutual understanding
  Educational issue:
  - learning outcomes relate to assessment, curriculum and
     pedagogy
                                                                        19
                                      Food for thoughts

1. Do regional qualifications frameworks yield their benefits only when all or many
   countries have established NQFs?
2. Can regional qualification frameworks follow a prescriptive model and assume
   regulatory role given the power and heterogeneity of education and training systems in
   the countries within the region?
3. What potential and prospects exist (if any) to link EQF and ASEAN QF initiatives?
4. What further networking or agreements are desirable to develop articulation and
   acceptance between NQFs within and between the two regions?
5. Can these regional QFs be implemented if the concept of learning outcomes is still
   contested?




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