HAPHE – Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe

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EURASHE is leading the HAPHE project on Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe.

Underneath are further information on:


This group of 11 dedicated actors in the field of Professional Higher Education in Europe believe that while the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has contributed significantly to harmonisation of HE in Europe, the ‘Professional’ Higher Education sector is still in significant flux. Thus, e.g. ‘Fachhochschule’ are increasingly becoming Universities of applied Sciences while traditional universities are increasingly providing professionally orientated programmes. The wide variety of systems which now fall under the umbrella term of ‘Professional’ HE, makes it difficult to transnationally analyse this sector, hinders recognition of qualifications, and limits the ability of soft-policy tools to strengthen its growth.

To address this issue, the HAPHE group intends, to bring together a group of field experts, who, through a wide consultation with stakeholders from education, business and society, will harmonise approaches to professional higher education (predominantly at European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level 6 and above) throughout Europe, by:

  • Surveying the different approaches to PHE provision throughout EU-member states;
  • Setting out the defining characteristics of a ‘professional’ Higher Education programme;
  • Proposing a set of quality criteria which contribute towards the best-case fulfilment of those characteristics;
  • Collecting and sharing best practice on how institutions can adopt the criteria;
  • Suggesting indicators and quantification methodologies to allow comparison of PHE in the context of overall HE and LLL provision.

The involvement of stakeholders in all stages (research, design, valorisation), will ensure the group’s ability to provide sustainable results by creating a critical mass of consensus, to allow the de-facto adoption of the proposals as a standard.

By strengthening the PHE sector, and improving the transparency of PHE provision, the group wishes to enhance employability of European HE as a whole, to contribute towards a more cohesive Higher Education Area, and to support the modernisation of European HEIs, through encouragement of increasing responsiveness to enterprise and society.

Following are EURASHE news items related to the project:

  • otocec_1 Building bridges for a more professional higher education: Join us in Otočec (Slovenia) on 16-17 October 11/9/2014 - EURASHE will organise a Seminar on Professional Higher Education (PHE) titled ‘Building bridges for a more professional higher education‘ in Otočec (Slovenia) on 16-17 October 2014. The Seminar is a 2 day event focusing on the mission of professional higher education (PHE). It is intended to inspire institutional management, staff members, world of work and policy-makers in […]
  • HAPHE_logo_2 EU Validation Seminar on Defining PHE – 5 February 2014 17/1/2014 - EURASHE, and its partners of the HAPHE project, will organise on 5 February 2014 in Brussels (Belgium) an EU Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education. Its aim will be to validate the draft definition and characteristics of professional higher education that the partners identified in the first phase of the project, through desk research […]
  • Profile-of-Professional-Higher-Education-in-Europe-FINAL HAPHE update: Profile of PHE in Europe 13/11/2013 - The HAPHE project reached the second stage in its development, after Mapping Professional Higher Education in Europe, the wide examination of the different approaches to PHE provision through desk research and an empirical Europe-wide survey. The consortium has recently published the Profile of Professional Higher Education in Europe and the first results were showcased at EURASHE seminar on […]
  • HAPHE_logo_2 HAPHE update: drafting a definition for PHE 10/9/2013 - The HAPHE project (Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe) has currently reached the second stage in its development and after Mapping Professional Higher Education in Europe, the wide examination of the different approaches to PHE provision through desk research and an empirical Europe-wide survey, the consortium will soon publish the Country Profiles of […]
  • HAPHE_logo_2 Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe: an Update 11/7/2013 - HAPHE project stands for Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe and is one of the core focuses of EURASHE in 2013. Together with the 10 partners, ensuring strong representation of European Professional Higher Education through the participation of Institutions, National Associations and structural partners, for 10 months we have been developing the project, […]
Following are events related to the project:

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Seminar on Professional Higher Education: Building bridges for a more professional higher education
Otočec (Slovenia), 16 Oct 2014 - 17 Oct 2014
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Slovene Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Ljubljana (Slovenia), 1 Jul 2014
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Czech Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Prague (Czech Republic), 18 Jun 2014
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Croatian Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Zagreb (Croatia), 9 Jun 2014
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German Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Stuttgart (Germany), 6 Jun 2014
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French Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Paris (France), 26 May 2014
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Maltese Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Valletta (Malta), 17 May 2014
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Danish Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Copenhagen (Denmark), 1 May 2014
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Portuguese Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Lisbon (Portugal), 30 Apr 2014
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Belgian-Flemish Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Brussels (Belgium), 28 Apr 2014
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Estonian Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Tallinn (Estonia), 21 Apr 2014
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Polish Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Legnica (Poland), 21 Mar 2014
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EU Validation Seminar on Defining Professional Higher Education (PHE)
Brussels (Belgium), 5 Feb 2014
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 3 Feb 2014
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HAPHE partner meeting
Prague (Czech Republic), 12 Dec 2013
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HAPHE Expert Group on PHE (3rd meeting)
Prague (Czech Republic), 11 Dec 2013
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Harmonizing Professional Higher Education in South-Eastern Europe - 2nd International Conference and Exchange of Good Practice
Bled (Slovenia), 28 Nov 2013 - 29 Nov 2013
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 14 Nov 2013
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HAPHE Expert Group on PHE (2nd meeting)
Stuttgart (Germany), 12 Nov 2013
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 25 Sep 2013
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HAPHE Expert Group on PHE (1st meeting)
Stuttgart (Germany), 9 Sep 2013
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HAPHE work package meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 29 Jul 2013
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 19 Jun 2013
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HAPHE Stakeholders’ Session - Czech Republic
Prague (Czech Republic), 15 May 2013
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23rd Annual Conference: Higher Education - Making the Knowledge Triangle Work
Split (Croatia), 9 May 2013 - 10 May 2013
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HAPHE mid-term partner meeting
Split (Croatia), 8 May 2013
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 29 Apr 2013
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HAPHE partner meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 27 Feb 2013
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HAPHE work package meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 9 Feb 2013
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HAPHE work package meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 15 Jan 2013
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HAPHE work package meeting
Prague (Czech Republic), 15 Dec 2012
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Harmonizing Professional Higher Education in South-Eastern Europe
Maribor (Slovenia), 29 Nov 2012 - 30 Nov 2012
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HAPHE work package meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 26 Nov 2012
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HAPHE work package meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 5 Nov 2012
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HAPHE partner meeting - Administration
Brussels (Belgium), 26 Oct 2012
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HAPHE partner meeting - Administration
Brussels (Belgium), 16 Oct 2012
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HAPHE kick-off meeting
Brussels (Belgium), 11 Oct 2012 - 12 Oct 2012
Following are the partners of the project:

  • ADIUT_logo Assemblée des Directeurs d’Institut Universitaire de Technologie (ADIUT) - A national association of the 113 University Institutes of Technology, which are autonomous structures inside French universities. The IUT network is a tight-knit fabric throughout the country with numerous links to employers’ representatives and a capacity to respond as a network to international as well as regional and national demands in terms of training and […]
  • ASHVC_logo Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) - Skupnost višjih strokovnih šol Republike Slovenije (SKUPNOST VSŠ) Association HVC is the association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges offering 2-year professional programs awarded with 120 ECTS and dealing with applied and professionally driven research within the first Bologna cycle at level 5 EQF. 29 such programs are provided in 33 towns across Slovenia. The Association […]
  • DHBW_logo Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) - Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg / DHBW ) is the first higher education institution in Germany which combines on-the-job training and academic studies and, therefore, achieves a close integration of theory and practice, both being components of cooperative education. With around 34,000 enrolled students, over 9,000 partner companies and more than 145,000 graduates, DHBW counts as one of […]
  • VVIVS_logo Croatian Council of Universities and University Colleges of Applied Sciences (VVIVŠ) - Vijeće veleučilišta I visokih škola (VVIVŠ) In April 2002, a Network of Colleges was formed in order to promote and defend the common interests of colleges, to ensure that Croatian professional studies follow common grounds with similar studies in Europe, to ensure quality of professional education in Croatia, to promote mobility of students and teachers […]
  • CASPHE_logo Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) - Sdružení pofesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS) CASPHE is the Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education, an independent organisation of 9 higher professional schools/colleges and extra-university higher education institutions in the Czech Republic. It has been a member of EURASHE since 1994 and is represented in its bodies by Michal Karpíšek, Vice-President of EURASHE.
  • EURASHE_block European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) - EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education that offer professionally orientated programmes and are engaged in applied and profession-related research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE represents univerisities of applied sciences and university colleges; other members of EURASHE are national and sectorial associations of higher education institutions, and other individual institutions, such as universities.
  • VLHORA_logo Flemish Council of University Colleges (VLHORA) - Vlaamse Hogescholenraad (VLHORA) The Flemish Council of University Colleges is the formal consultative and advisory body of all Flemish University Colleges. It advises the Flemish government on policy issues concerning higher education, applied research, social services and the arts.
  • KIC_logo Knowledge Innovation Centre (Malta) (KIC-Malta) - The Knowledge Innovation Centre is a dynamic consultancy focusing on knowledge brokerage and innovation of knowledge transfer processes. The Centre brings together a variety of local and European experts from a variety of fields, and has worked extensively within Quality Assurance of Higher Education, Technology Enhanced Learning, Student Services and knowledge economy (as it relates […]
  • CCISP_logo Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council (CCISP) - Conselho Coordenador dos Institutos Superiores Politécnicos (CCISP) The Portuguese Polytechnics Coordinating Council (CCISP) was created in 1979 and is the body of joint representation of public polytechnic higher education establishments. CCISP is responsible for articulating issues related with the education system not only in terms of legislation but also in terms of the budget for […]
  • PWSZ-TAR_logo State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow (University of Applied Sciences) (PWSZ-TAR) - Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Tarnowie (PWSZ) more to come soon…
  • TTK-UAS_logo Tallinna Tehnikakõrgkool University of Applied Sciences (TTK UAS) - TTK University of Applied Sciences (TTK UAS) is a state professional higher education institution, offering competitive professional higher education in the fields of engineering, production, technology, architecture and construction. TTK University of Applied Sciences is the largest university of applied sciences in Estonia, currently educating 2760 students. TTK UAS offers 4-year professional higher education study programmes (240 ECTS), for daily learners, distance learners and […]

 

Following are experts involved in the project:

  • Anthony_F_Camilleri_MT Anthony F. Camilleri - Anthony F. Camilleri is a tertiary education policy consultant. He holds qualifications in law from the University of Malta, and was also active in the Malta national students’ union and the European Students’ Union. He works on topics related to Quality Assurance of Higher and Vocational Education, Social Dimension of Education and Innovation in Education. […]
  • Johan_Cloet_BE Johan Cloet - Johan Cloet has been the Secretary General of EURASHE in 2014-2016, which he represented in the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) and several of its working groups, such as on ‘Structural Reforms’ and ‘Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process’. He has also been the representative of EURASHE in the E4-Group (with ENQA, ESU and EUA), […]
  • Stefan_Delplace_BE Stefan Delplace - Stefan Delplace became the Secretary General of EURASHE in 2004, a position he occupied until 2014. He represented in the Bologna Follow-Up Group and several of its working and coordination groups, such as of the ’Structural Reforms’ and ‘Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process’ groups. Stefan Delplace was the chair of EURASHE’s working […]
  • Ulf-Daniel_Ehlers_DE Ulf-Daniel Ehlers - Prof. Dr Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is Vice-President for Quality and Academic Affairs at the Baden-Württemberg State University (DHBW) in Stuttgart (Germany). He has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the same university. Before he has held positions as Associate Professor in the University of Duisburg-Essen, Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning in the […]
  • Justin_Fenech_MT Justin Fenech - Dr. Justin Fenech graduated from the University of Malta as a Doctor of Laws (LLD). He was highly active in student representation, being elected as President of the Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU) and as Chairperson of the European Students Union (ESU). Through his endeavours he has gained considerable experience in multi-level stakeholder consultations at national […]
  • Marek_Frankowicz_PL Marek Frankowicz - Specialist in Theoretical Chemistry and expert on Higher Education reforms. Professor at State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow and Associate Professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Vice Head of the Jagiellonian University Centre for Research on Higher Education. Member of EURASHE Council. Bologna Expert for Poland. Member of the Work Group for Polish National […]
  • Michael_Gaebel_DE Michael Gaebel - Michael Gaebel is the head of the Higher Education Policy Unit, which focuses on issues related to higher education learning and teaching, including the Bologna Process, lifelong learning, e-learning and MOOCs, internationalisation and global dialogue. When he first joined the organisation in 2006, he was in charge of developing EUA’s international strategy and global exchange and […]
  • Nicole_Graf_DE Nicole Graf - Since autumn 2014 Prof. Dr Nicole Graf has been the president of the new independent Heilbronn Campus, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. From 2005 to 2009 Prof. Dr Nicole Graf led the Campus Bad Mergentheim. As Professor for International Management she has been entrusted with the development of international study programs for the DHBW. Nicole Graf […]
  • Marko_Grdosic_HR Marko Grdošić, Project Manager of EURASHE - Marko Grdosic is the Project Manager at EURASHE coordinating running projects as well as developing future ones. He is following the thematic agenda of Lifelong Learning and Employability and supports the external representation of the Association. Marko as well coordinates the main events organised by EURASHE – Annual Conference in Split, Croatia, May 2013; Quality […]
  • Guy_Haug_FR Guy Haug - Played a key role in the shaping and initiating the Bologna Process and the EU’s agenda for the modernization of higher education as part of the Lisbon Strategy (now EU2020), as well as the ERASMUS and TEMPUS programmes for mobility and cooperation in European Higher Education. Has extensive experience of cooperation and mobility with other […]
  • Raimund_Hudak_DE Raimund Hudak - As senior lecturer and researcher with over 10 years of experience at leading academic institutions Raimund Hudak has been involved in various research programmes in Germany and abroad. He is the Project Manager at the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in the European-wide research project HAPHE. Raimund Hudak is also CEO of Synesis’ European practice. With his […]
  • Michal_Karpisek_CZ Michal Karpíšek, Secretary-General of EURASHE - Michal Karpíšek is the Secretary-General of EURASHE, starting 1 June 2016. He has been Executive Officer of the Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) since 1994. He has been engaged in the introduction and development of Czech professional higher education since its very beginning. Focusing on internationalisation, CASPHE became a member of […]
  • Jan_Koucky_CZ Jan Koucký - Jan Koucký, Director of the Education Policy Centre at the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) focuses on the relationship between education and the broader social and economic context (e.g. equity and labour market issues). He has served in executive and advisory roles at the Ministry of Education and as a two-term […]
  • Anne_Kraav_EE Anne Kraav - Anne Kraav is an associated professor of civil engineering at TTK University of Applied Sciences, since 2001, Vice Rector for Development. Anne Kraav has been intensively involved in applied research activities and is a member of Estonian Universities of Applied Sciences R&D working group. She is also a member of different Estonian professional associations. Anne […]
  • Regitze_Kristensen_DK Regitze Kristensen - Regitze Kristensen was SPACE’s Secretary General for more than 3 years. Her valuable experience includes her work as Director of international relations from her home institution and as project manager of many European projects in the field of Socrates, ERASMUS, Minerva and Leonardo, Grundtvig and DANIDA projects. It includes as well her applied research in the field […]
  • Stephane_Lauwick_FR Stéphane Lauwick, President of EURASHE - Stéphane Lauwick joined the University of Le Havre (France) in 1993 as a professeur agrégé. After heading the Electrical Engineering Department of the University Institute of Technology (IUT) of that university, he is now the director of the Institute, an institution that enrolls some 2500 students and delivers 26 awards. He has been member of […]
  • Jiri_Nantl_CZ Jiří Nantl - Jiří Nantl is First Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic since 2012. Prior to this post he was responsible for Higher Education in the Ministry. In his work at Masaryk University (Czech Republic), he was Head of the Department of Studies in 2005, Chancellor from 2006 to 2009 and Director […]
  • Zarko_Nozica_HR Žarko Nožica - Žarko Nožica is professor and scientist. He obtained his masters and PhD degrees at University of Zagreb (Croatia). Mr Nožica has over 25 years of experience in University (Croatia) and Industry environment (California, USA). Previously he held a number of senior positions in the industry in the USA: As Vice President he managed the Applications […]
  • Armando_Pires_PT Armando Pires, Vice-President of EURASHE - Armando Pires is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon. He received his MSc degree in 1988 and PhD degree in 1994 in Electrical Engineering at the same university. He was the President of the Setúbal Polytechnic Institute (2006-2014). He was also the Vice-President of CCISP (Polytechnic Institutes Coordinating Council). He […]
  • Alicia-Leonor_Sauli-Miklavcic_SI Alicia-Leonor Sauli-Miklavčič, Board member of EURASHE - Alicia-Leonor Sauli-Miklavčič is a good connoisseur of international professional higher education, she has been Project Expert at the Slovene Association HVC as well as a member of the EURASHE working group on Employability & Lifelong Learning. She was one of the partners in the L5-Missing Link project, and is one of the experts for the […]
  • Richard_Thorn_IE Richard Thorn - Dr Richard Thorn is a science graduate of Trinity College Dublin, holds a Masters in Public Administration from The Institute of Public Administration in Dublin and a Doctorate in Environmental Science, also from Trinity College (Ireland). He is Emeritus President of the Institute of Technology Sligo, a doctoral awarding higher education institution in NW Ireland […]
  • Marc_Vandewalle_BE Marc Vandewalle, Board member of EURASHE - Marc Vandewalle is Secretary General of VLHORA, the Flemish Council of University Colleges. As CEO he is chief of the VLHORA staff and member of the board of UAS-directors. As such he is member of different national and international fora. He has been member of the Board of EURASHE for the period 2010-2018 and of […]
  • Ann_Verreth_BE Ann Verreth - Ann Verreth worked as secretary general of VLHORA, the umbrella organisation of Flemish university colleges. The VLHORA gives advice to the Flemish authorities on all policy aspects regarding college education, scientific project research, social services and the practice of the arts. Moreover the VLHORA organises and stimulates consultation between the institutions on all issues related […]
  • Iva_Voldanova_CZ Iva Voldánová - Iva Voldánová is a former project associate of EURASHE. In 2009-2013 she worked on the follow-up and monitoring of European projects assisted the Secretary General in policy activities. Previously, she has been a trainee at the DG Education and Culture, Higher Education Policy and Erasmus Unit and a consultant at Accenture Services in the Czech […]