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Qualifications framework

The overarching "Framework of qualifications for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)" (qualifications framework) comprises three ↑cycles (including, within national contexts, the possibility of intermediate qualifications) and generic ↑descriptors for each cycle or level. These descriptors are based on ↑learning outcomes, ↑competences and student ↑workload. Moreover, the framework comprises credit ranges for the first and second cycles.[1] The qualifications framework derives its distinctive purposes from the objectives expressed through the ↑Bologna Process. The most directly relevant of these objectives are international transparency, ↑recognition, and ↑mobility.[2] In the qualifications framework it is stated that the regulation of qualifications is linked to the education system within which the qualifications are issued: "The EHEA framework is not a regulatory instrument. It serves as a reference point to help national authorities (and other agencies, institutions and individuals) in determining how their qualifications might be compared to others within the EHEA. The development or formalisation of national frameworks in a way that takes note of the overarching framework will greatly facilitate the objectives of transparency, recognition and mobility in the future."[3] The framework was adopted at the Bergen Conference (2005), where the European Ministers committed themselves to elaborate national frameworks for qualifications compatible with the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA by 2010, and to have started work on this by 2007.[4] In addition, the EU Commission has proposed an EU framework for qualifications. In the public consultation process on this European Qualifications Framework (EQF) during the second half of 2005, the Commission received approximately 120 responses from 31 European countries, responses which in many cases reflected extensive national and Europe-wide consultation processes organised by the respondents. The results were discussed at a conference held in Budapest on 27./28.2.2006, organised jointly by the European Commission and the Hungarian Ministry of Education. The EQF is seen as a constructive initiative which should contribute significantly to the transparency, transferability and recognition of qualifications at European level. It will also stimulate national and sectoral reforms in support of ↑lifelong learning.[5]
Related terms:
↑Bachelor; ↑Doctoral studies; ↑Master

[1] Cf. Qualifications.

[2] Cf. Bologna.

[3] Qualifications, pp. 77-78.

[4] Cf. Bergen, p. 2; see also: Qualifications.

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