Principle 4: Developing trust in learning outcomes achieved outside the institutional context of certifying bodies


Following the first debates about the EQF, this framework was not planned to be an instrument of educational reform, but a translation machine which shall allow stakeholders all over Europe to judge properly (and to measure against the own background) what learning outcomes have been achieved by learners coming from abroad. It was explicitly said that the introduction of the EQF would not touch the autonomy of member states to determine themselves how their educational systems should look like.


This is only true in a formal sense. There was, of course, no EU directive to which national law had to be adapted as this is the case in other fields of policy. The introduction of the EQF, however, caused reaction in national fields which already becomes visible by the establishment resp. update of national frameworks related to the EQF and the debates which are connected to these processes: It can be easily grasped that this sometimes leads to a renewal of or even to a launch of reform discussions, especially there where the EQF discussion makes visible that there are some gaps in the own system. The results of interviews with stakeholders (implemented within the EQF Predict and other projects) confirm empirically that there is a relationship between the introduction of the EQF and reform debates; they show 
clearly that the degree of interest in debates of this kind differs  from country to country according to reform necessities.


Among others, this concerns the topics recognition of prior, non-formal, and informal learning. Mechanisms to assess these learning results exist, but in many countries they are not very popular, at least as far this concerns bodies currently responsible for certification. Ways have to be shown how trust in learning results can be ensured that have not been achieved in the institutional context of certifying bodies; this has to be reflected when the EQF assignment of educational key elements is discussed.

 

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