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Leonardo Marušić University of Zadar Recognition of HEC (Higher Education Qualifications) Before 1997 (or later) – Nostrification (substantial) 1997 – Lisbon convention Since 1997 (or later) – Recognition (formal) Nostrification HEC obtained in country A Recognition needed in country B Documents submitted to an equivalent HEI in country B with a curriculum similar to the one in country A for which the nostrification is sought. Nostrification HEI in country B compares the programs in detail (curriculum, course syllabi and duration etc.), and: • if there are no major differences – issues a HEC • otherwise – requires additional exams or even additional coursework (which can take years) New HEC is used in country B instead of the original one Problems Duration of the process (too long) Mobility (limited) European Higher Education Area (dysfunctional) Solutions Bologna process (3 cycle) ECTS Qualification Framework (EQF and NQF) Recognition of HEC Recognition HEC obtained in country A Recognition needed in country B Why is the recognition needed? •Employment in country B (professional recognition) •Access to higher education in country B (academic recognition) Professional recognition Documents submitted to relevant body (agency, ENIC/NARIC) on national level The body issues a document (administrative order) of recognition The document is used for employment together with the original HEC Professional recognition Process is formal and based on Lisbon Convention Article VI.1 To the extent that a recognition decision is based on the knowledge and skills certified by the higher education qualification, each Party shall recognize the higher education qualifications conferred in another Party, unless a substantial difference can be shown between the qualification for which recognition is sought and the corresponding qualification in the Party in which recognition is sought. Comparison of educational level (based on acces requirements, learning outcomes, ECTS ...) No comparison of details of curricula, and courses Academic recognition Documents submitted to the HEI on which enrolment is sought The HEI issues a document of recognition The document is used for enrolment together with the original HEC Process is formal and based on Lisbon Convention Some comparison of details of curricula, and courses is possible (elements of nostrification) Recognition of periods of study Lisbon Convention Article V.1 Each Party shall recognize periods of study completed within the framework of a higher education programme in another Party. This recognition shall comprise such periods of study towards the completion of a higher education programme in the Party in which recognition is sought, unless substantial differences can be shown between the periods of study completed in another Party and the part of the higher education programme which they would replace in the Party in which recognition is sought. Recognition of periods of study - Lisbon Convention Article V.2 Alternatively, it shall be sufficient for a Party to enable a person who has completed a period of study within the framework of a higher education programme in another Party to obtain an assessment of that period of study, upon request by the person concerned, and the provisions of Article V.1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to such a case. Recognition of periods of study - Lisbon Convention Article V.3 In particular, each Party shall facilitate recognition of periods of study when: a) there has been a previous agreement between, on the one hand, the higher education institution or the competent authority responsible for the relevant period of study and, on the other hand, the higher education institution or the competent recognition authority responsible for the recognition that is sought; and b) the higher education institution in which the period of study has been completed has issued a certificate or transcript of academic records attesting that the student has successfully completed the stipulated requirements for the said period of study. Recognition of periods of study It is performed by the qualification-awarding HEI through Recognition of credits (i.e. it is based on ECTS) It is less formal and more substantial then the recognition HEC (i.e. with even more elements of nostrification) ECTS is based on workload students need to achieve the expected learning outcomes Workload indicates the time students typically need to complete all learning activities related to a course. Learning outcomes describe what a learner is expected to know, understand and is able to do after completition of the course. ECTS ECTS User Guide, February 6, 2009 Credits awarded in one programme may be transferred into another programme, offered by the same or another HEI. This transfer can only take place if the degree- awarding HEI recognizes the credits and the associated learning outcomes. Partner HEIs should agree in advance on the recognition of periods of study abroad. Recognition of credits It is a process through which an institution certifies that certain learning outcomes achieved and assesses in another institution satisfy certain requirements of the programme they offer. Decisions are made on the basis of reliable information on the learning outcomes achieved, as well as on the means of assessment and validation. HEIs should make their recognition policies known and easily accessible. Recognition of credits Given the diversity of programmes and HEIs, it is unlikely that the credits and learning outcomes of a single educational component in different programmes will be identical. Therefore, a flexible approach to recognition of credits obtained in another context is recommended. “Fair recognition” rather then perfect equivalence is to be sought. “Fair recognition” should be based on the learning outcomes – i.e. what a person knows and is able to do - rather than on the formal procedures that have led to the completion of a qualification or its component Recognition of credits It is facilitated by use of the ECTS key documents: • Course Catalogue • Student Application Form • Transcript of Records • Diploma Supplement • Learning Agreement • Recognition Sheet (if they exist) Learning agreement In the case of agreed student mobility, the three parties involved – the home institution, the host institution and the student – should sign a Learning Agreement for mobility prior to the mobility period. In such cases, recognition of the credits by the home institution is automatic if the conditions stipulated in the learning agreement have been fulfilled. This document approves students programmes of study abroad and ammends them as needed. Recognition Sheet is an additional document to be signed by the same parties, which guarantees full recognition of such programmes by the responsible academic body. Learning agreement All learning components to be followed abroad should be listed in the Learning Agreement. Where a student is awarded credits for learning components other than those specified in the Learning Agreement it is up to the home institution to decide whether or not to recognize these. In case of changes to the programme of study agreed with the learner, the Learning Agreement may be amended, but the amended version must be signed again by the same three parties concerned within an agreed period of time. Suggestion: Agreements should not only be made with institutions with similar programmes, but also with those with complementary programmes, thus providing further opportunities to the students. Conclusion If there is an agreement between the HEIs regarding the student mobilty and recognition of periods of study, i.e. if Learning Agreement and Recognition Sheet have bene signed, recognition is a simple formal procedure. If, however, there is no such agreement, recognition of periods of study requires detailed evaluation of courses, assesment methods etc., which makes it a complicated procedure simmilar to nostrification. Therefore, it is reccomanded that a HEI should integrate mobility in its programmes and assure that Learning Agreement and Recognition Sheet are signed.
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