CONFERENCE ON THE EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK
BUDAPEST, 25-26 MAY, 2011


Hungarian EU presidency event

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WORKSHOPS

1st workshop: Promoting trust towards EQF
11.00-13.00: Trust towards and ownership of the national referencing process
14.30-16.30: Trust towards the results of the referencing process abroad

The success of the EQF depends on the extent to which stakeholders trust the national referencing processes. This trust cannot be taken for granted and depends on the transparency and quality of the referencing process, on the involvement and ownership of the stakeholders and the cooperation between countries in testing and using the results of the referencing processes. This workshop about promoting trust towards the EQF shall explore how trust towards national referencing processes and their results can be strengthened both internally, at national level, and at European level. Participants are invited to exchange views on what information on referencing is necessary and how the results should be presented in a credible way. The workshop aims also to debate about the challenges encountered in quality assurance and discusses the obstacles confronted by institutions involved in referencing, the role and tasks of NCPs and the relevance of various referencing methodologies.

2nd workshop: The impact of national qualifications frameworks and learning outcomes approach on teaching, training and learning
11.00-13.00: The impact of NQFs and the learning outcomes approach on teaching, training and facilitating learning
14.30-16.30: The role of quality assurance in implementing the learning outcomes based approach at providers' level

This workshop shall investigate the impact and implications of qualifications frameworks and the shift to a learning outcomes approach on education and training institutions and their practises. Developing and implementing learning outcomes based qualifications framework has necessarily a series of implications and consequences for education and training providers, the teachers and trainers, and for all those stakeholders involved the governance of institutions. The workshop aims to discuss what is required for NQFs and the learning outcomes approach to have a real impact on teaching, training and learning practises.

3rd workshop: Qualifications Framework as a policy instrument for Lifelong learning
11.00-13.00: NQF as a tool in recognising prior learning
14.30-16.30: NQF as a tool in lifelong guidance

The development of national qualifications frameworks are often linked to lifelong learning strategies. In many cases, NQFs are open to the learning taking place outside formal education and training systems, at work and in leisure. This work aims to address how qualifications frameworks can in practise act as policy instruments supporting lifelong learning and what their added value is in promoting flexible learning pathways.
Lifelong learning and flexible learning pathways require coordinated policies related to access to learning and qualifications, progression in education and transfer between different learning contexts. Therefore, the workshop is invited to discuss how NQFs can provide a platform for the implementation and coordination of policies and related measures that address the transfer and recognition of learning; notably credit, validation and recognition systems (at national and European level, for examples the European Credit Transfer System in the Bologna Process and the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training), arrangement for the validation of non-formal and informal learning and guidance at national, sectoral and local levels.

4th workshop: NQFs as communication tools. How qualifications frameworks can promote dialogue and cooperation
11.00-13.00: Qualifications framework as a communication tool between stakeholders from different education and training subsectors
14.30-16.30: Qualifications framework as a communication tool between stakeholders in education and labour market

This workshop will discuss how qualifications frameworks can provide a platform facilitating communication and cooperation between different stakeholders, including social partners, businesses, chambers, representatives of employers' organisation. Comprehensive national qualifications frameworks based on learning outcomes provide a neutral reference point for stakeholders with different backgrounds when they talk about qualifications. Learning outcomes based NQF levels may facilitate communication and cooperation between stakeholders from various education and training subsystems. Therefore, they offer an opportunity for dialogue, potentially improving the balance between education and training supply and labour market demands.

5th workshop: External dimensions of the European Qualifications Framework and potential of policy co-operation with other regions
11.00-13.00: The evolution of regional qualifications frameworks
14.30-16.30: How can regional qualifications frameworks support mobility between different regions of the world?

More than 100 countries worldwide are in the process of developing qualifications frameworks and many of these national frameworks are linked to at least one transnational framework. Regional or transnational qualifications frameworks are currently being developed all over the world (EQF, Caribbean regional framework, the Southern African framework, and the ASEAN initiatives for mutual recognition arrangements as well as the Regional Framework for the Pacific). Other frameworks are under consideration (e.g. in Latin America and for the Arab Gulf countries).
This workshop aims to address the external dimension and policy cooperation related to the implementation of the EQF. Participants are invited to discuss how EQF as a tool for transparency can help mobility between regions, how EQF can relate to other qualifications frameworks, its influence on the way in which qualifications frameworks and educational systems are developing worldwide.