HAPHE – Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe

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:

  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • Following are events related to the project:

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

  • Assemblée des Directeurs d’Institut Universitaire de Technologie (ADIUT)- The Assemblée des Directeurs d’IUT (ADIUT) is the national association of directors of all 113 University Institutes of Technology (IUT) in France. IUTs are autonomous structures inside French universities. The... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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,... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE)- Sdružení profesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS) CASPHE is the Czech Association of Professional Higher Education, an independent organisation (NGO) of higher professional schools/colleges, higher education institutions and experienced individuals in the... Read more
  • 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 research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE represents universities of applied sciences... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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.... Read more
  • State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow (University of Applied Sciences) (PWSZ-TAR)- Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Tarnowie (PWSZ) more to come soon…
  • 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... Read more
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    Following are experts involved in the project:

  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Vice-President of EURASHE- Prof. Dr. phil.habil. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is the Vice-President of the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Stuttgart (Germany) and responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs in the Board of the... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • Marek Frankowicz- Specialist in Theoretical Chemistry and expert on Higher Education reforms. Coordinator for Quality and Internationalization at State Higher Vocational School in Tarnow and Associate Professor at the Jagiellonian University in... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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),... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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.... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • 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... Read more
  • Richard Thorn- Richard is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (Bachelor degree in Natural Sciences in 1978 and a PhD in 1983) and the Institute of Public Administration (MA in Public Management,... Read more
  • Ann Verreth- Ann Verreth has been vice-president of NVAO’s executive board since 1 January 2016. Within NVAO she is in charge of strategy, communications and system-development matters as regards Flanders; as well... Read more
  • 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... Read more