The term professional higher education cannot easily be defined. Rather it is a ‘passe-partout’ word for educational programs and trainings that exist under different education structures in most European countries. However, at present, there is no sharp, generally acknowledged definition of PHE, and one shall not expect that such definition will appear soon. The only justification for such a term may then be that throughout Europe there are institutions and programs that profess themselves as profession-oriented, or want to be styled as such. This because they recognize themselves in a number of features or indicators that are linked to the predicate ‘professional’.
It is important to elaborate multidimensional characteristics of PHE, with adequate indicators of good practice or even excellence, and to make a comparative review of existing HE structures in European countries, identifying also problems and weak points of present systems. This is precisely one of the aims of the HAPHE project.
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