2012 Seminar RPL: Report – RPL: flexible ties within higher education

2012 Seminar RPL: Report - RPL: flexible ties within higher education by Věra Šťastná, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_Report.pdf (2.8 MB) - The Seminar devoted to the topic of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) was organised in Prague (Czech Republic) on 13-14 December in cooperation of EURASHE, ERPLN, the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and CASPHE. The event was attended by 87 participants from 26 countries representing different higher education institutions (HEIs), associations, ministries,
employers’ organisations, international platforms, educational research institutions and quality assurance agencies.

RPL was understood as recognition of the knowledge, competences and skills gained outside higher education, either in formal education (e.g. short cycle programmes, non-traditional programmes, vocational programmes etc.) or in non-formal and informal learning. From a learner’s perspective, the recognition of prior learning is most commonly undertaken with one of the following objectives: to gain admission to a higher education programme or to progress in higher education studies.

The discussions at the seminar clearly showed a change in perception of higher education and understanding that it plays an important role in regional development also vis-à-vis regional economic needs. An increased offer of learning opportunities for non-traditional learners can help not only deal with a shortage of expertise and professionalism in the region but also promote
better employability of citizens. RPL can thus contribute to widening participation of those groups of students and learners, mostly mature ones who are underprivileged at the labour market at the given time or serve as prevention if justifying a worker certified and recognised qualification.

The French VAE

The French VAE by Yolande Fermon, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_FERMON.pdf (0.2 MB) - The Validation des Acquis de l'Experience (VAE) or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) exists for a very long time. With the social modernisation act in 2002, VAE becomes an individual right of every worker, at all levels.

The relevance of UNESCO Guidelines on RVA of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning to higher education

The relevance of UNESCO Guidelines on RVA of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning to higher education by Jin Yang, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_YANG.pdf (5.6 MB) - It is well recognised that lifelong learning covers the full range of provision of learning opportunities, from early childhood through schools to further and higher education. However, it extends beyond formal education to non-formal and informal learning for out-of-school youth and adult citizens. In recent years, in addition to traditional qualifications systems, some countries have developed mechanisms for the recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning. With the overall aim to propose principles and mechanisms that can assist Member States in developing or improving structures and procedures to recognise all forms of learning, particularly the outcomes of non-formal and informal learning, UNESCO has recently developed the Guidelines on the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation (RVA) of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning. Two of the six principles highlighted in the Guidelines - promoting the equal value of learning outcomes of formal, non-formal and informal learning, and improving flexibility and openness of formal education and training - are relevant to higher education in particular. Given that the traditional higher education qualifications have usually been defined with reference to fixed durations, subject, levels of study, the integration of RVA into higher education has the potential to stress the importance of what learners actually know, are able to do and understand. This integration will be conducive to creating alternative pathways in an open and flexible higher education system, To put these principles into practice in higher education system, some concrete mechanisms/approaches are prerequisite: (1) to develop a mechanism for higher education system that pays more attention to the quality of learning outcomes; (2) to create awareness and acceptance of the learning outcomes gained in non-traditional settings; (3) to use RVA to build bridges between higher education and the sub-sectors of education and training and to promote the integration of formal, non-formal and informal learning; and (4) to develop approaches to increase interaction between higher education institutions, enterprises and voluntary organisations to translate learning outcomes from working and life experiences into credits and/or qualifications.

Quality Assurance and RPL : Developing a National RPL Framework for Higher Education in Scotland

Quality Assurance and RPL : Developing a National RPL Framework for Higher Education in Scotland by Ruth Whittaker, Heather Gibson, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_WHITTAKER_and_GIBSON.pdf (0.8 MB) - How can we more effectively enhance approaches to recognising prior informal learning and ensure greater transparency, consistency and accessibility across the Scottish Higher Education sector for current and potential students, employers and staff? The Scottish HEI RPL Network is currently working together, cross-institutionally on developing a National Framework for RPL for Scotland's Universities in order to expand and embed RPL to a much greater extent in the HE sector. This high-level initiative, funded by QAA Scotland is a response to the priorities defined by the Scottish Government in their post-16 legislation with regard to the development of RPL. A National Framework for RPL is viewed by the Quality Assurance Agency, Scotland as being of strategic importance both in terms of helping develop more flexible and learner centred programmes and also in widening access and participation in higher education. An important aspect of this Framework development is to engage strategic managers across the sector and to link the work to the wider quality review and enhancement agenda. This work will inform, and be informed by, European developments through the European RPL Network and post-Bologna developments in relation to the recognition of informal and non-formal learning. The workshop will discuss the development of this national framework and its proposed implementation and will locate this initiative within the context of broader national developments in terms of the changing HE landscape, and Scotland’s Quality Enhancement Framework. Discussion will highlight some of the key enablers linked to developing more effective, streamlined approaches to RPL support and assessment within institutions.

EURASHE Seminar on RPL: Flexible Ties within HE – Conclusions

EURASHE Seminar on RPL: Flexible Ties within HE - Conclusions by Věra Šťastná, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_STASTNA.pdf (0.3 MB) - Conclusions of the Seminar on recognition of prior learning (RPL)
- the various definition and experiences
- the conclusions of the roundtable
- the routes and processes of recognition
- the link with quality assurance
- the national frameworks
- the obstacles and challenges
- the future

RPL Cooperation

RPL Cooperation by Frits Schormans, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_SCHORMANS.pdf (0.2 MB) - Frits Schorman has 20 years of experience in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the Police Force. Alice Gorissen has 10 years of experience in RPL at Zuyd University. RPL is part of career development in the police, it is a human resources tool. It is positive for the individual as well as for employer.
The presentation exposes RPL concretely, with the challenges ahead.

Overview of RPL’s Role and Position within the EHEA

Overview of RPL’s Role and Position within the EHEA by Raul Ranne, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_RANNE.pdf (0.3 MB) - Recognition of prior learning has been constant part of developments in EHEA for some time in forms of declarations, documents, developed tools and now, a Commission Recommendation. With each passing year we can see more emphasis being put on recognition and its potential uses, with different institutions encouraging European countries to tackle the issues relating to recognition. There are tools and guidelines, networks for sharing practices and forums for discussion, but we can see that the road leading to making RPL a reality is often a bumpy one. A lot of progress has beenmade across Europe, but still there is long way to go.
This presentation will focus on the overall developments in recognition of prior learning in the EU and how RPL can be made a reality. Through Bologna process to Recommendation on Validation, European Guidelines and the European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning we can see the key questions being brought forward – what are the factors of success and major barriers to RPL? How can we foster the former and overcome the latter? Those are the questions we need answered if we are to proceed in developing our RPL systems and this presentation will try to give small insight into the on-going discussion.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in French Universities: Reflections and lessons…

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in French Universities: Reflections and lessons… by Dorota Piotrowska, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_PIOTROWSKA.pdf (0.9 MB) - The longstanding French experience in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) offers us lessons.
1. Competence is not equal to Learning outcomes
2. Validation is more complex than a verification based on examination
3. Quality Assurance is all about trust.
For the future, we hope even more worker can benefit from the recognition of their prior learning.

Quality Assurance and RPL at national and institutional levels: an example from Ireland

Quality Assurance and RPL at national and institutional levels: an example from Ireland by Anne Murphy, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_MURPHY.pdf (0.5 MB) - Anne Murphy’s contribution to the seminar is focused on academic quality assurance aspects of RPL practice in higher education. It is intended primarily for academic and policy staff who have roles and responsibilities for RPL and for its quality assurance. It gives a brief outline of the stages involved in RPL policy development which lead to every-day practice. A set of useful exemplar policy and practice document will be supplied which participants are welcome to adapt to their own circumstances and contexts.

Key Issues in RPL from the QA View

Key Issues in RPL from the QA View by Patrick Leushuis, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_LEUSHUIS.pdf (0.4 MB) - Most experts and policy makers agree that recognition of prior learning (RPL) should be widespread reality in the practice of flexible higher education, tailored to the needs of lifelong learners. It is well understood that learning does not only take place in educational programs; people also learn and grow through experience. RPL holds the promise to adequately validate and accredit competences developed through informal and non-formal learning . RPL holds the promise to prove that these types of learning are just as valuable and lead to learning outcomes that are equivalent to formal education. But the promise of RPL will only become and remain reality if participants, stakeholders and society in general can trust and accept the assessment methods used and the results of these RPL-assessments. To put it clear, the quality of RPL-procedures should be undisputed.
This presentation will focus on key issues that determine the quality of RPL-procedures and acceptance of outcomes of RPL-procedures. These key issues involve the use of appropriate assessment criteria and instruments that allow for a wide range of types of evidence for competence development, while at the same time they have to match accurately with formal qualifications and curriculum requirements. Staff involved in guidance and counselling of participants and assessment of their competences need to have specific qualities and need to be selected and trained. The quality of the reports, the substantiation and justification of the assessment results, is a challenge in particular. Accountability of degree awarding authorities and those responsible for giving exemptions based on outcomes of RPL-procedures is another key issue in quality assurance, trust and acceptance. And of course, if the Higher Education Institutes are not capable of providing flexible learning arrangements, building on the competences of RPL-participants, RPL will not become widely used and accepted.
In the presentation these key issues will be discussed and an attempt will be made to pinpoint key success factors and practical suggestions to deal with these issues.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in French Universities: Institutional Mindshifts

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in French Universities: Institutional Mindshifts by Stéphane Lauwick, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_LAUWICK.pdf (0.6 MB) - This presentation aims at showing how French universities have organised themselves to take into account and support RPL since 2002, when a law was passed to organise RPL at a national level. It included specific dispositions for University Bologna awards, which made for a new, comprehensive approach that went further than a simple third way of awarding degrees to involve a complete new paradigm in which quality assurance, competence-based award definition and individual assessment lead to the recognition by Universities of the inputs of the professional world. The acceptance of RPL in higher institutions was largely fostered by an organisation that rested on a mix of constraint and autonomy: although compelled to setup a recognition process, each university was allowed to implement it according to its own strategy. The example of the university of Le Havre will serve to show initial academic resistance was overcome. The RPL process rests on the burden of proof and a competence-based approach was developed, one that radically changed certification, from institution-centric process to learner-centred assessment. The RPL jury is a case in point as it enjoys a new, unique positioning, above all juries within the University. Ten years after the first diplomas were awarded, large numbers of academics have accepted RPL but challenges remain. They centre on the cost of the procedure and the failure of enterprises to use it widely and to finance it: we are now able to see how RPL has evolved from its initial aim as a tool to fight unemployment to a personal instrument of development.

EURASHE: Supporting European Professional Higher Education

EURASHE: Supporting European Professional Higher Education by Michal Karpíšek, Version 2012 , EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_KARPISEK.pdf (0.7 MB) - EURASHE is the European association of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that offer professionally oriented programmes and are engaged in applied and profession-related research within the Bologna cycles. EURASHE holds the view that all institutions of higher education have a three-fold mission, i.e. teaching, research and services to the community. Their scope and focus depend on the specific profile and mission of the institution, and may have varying stresses and outputs. Professionally-oriented institutions and programmes with their close links to stakeholders emphasise a key role of learning, share a broad interpretation of innovation and research, aiming at practical applications and outcomes. In the presentation, you can find out more about the policy priorities of EURASHE and its activities.

Life Long Learning @ Zuyd

Life Long Learning @ Zuyd by Alice Gorissen, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_GORISSEN.pdf (0.6 MB) - At Zuyd, the recognition of prior learning is practiced for 40 years, in partnership with the world of work, government and partners in education. The document exposes it practically with the challenges left to be met.

RPL at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT)

RPL at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) by Oran Doherty, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_DOHERTY.pdf (0.5 MB) - Oran’s presentation will commence with an introduction explaining how RPL is managed in Ireland and the RPL legislation and guidelines available to Irish Higher Education providers. The presentation will then differentiate how Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) deals with Prior Certified Learning and Prior Experiential Learning and the challenges involved. Sample RPL portfolios and assessment sheets will also be illustrated. The roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders will be described. Finally, the presentation will look at sample Work Based Learning programmes developed in conjunction with national and international employers and illustrate the important role RPL plays in these programmes.

New impulse for RPL?

New impulse for RPL? by Hans Daale, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_DAALE.pdf (0.5 MB) - Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is not aimed at creating lighter programmes, to study less or be exempted. It offer more flexibility for personal and professional development of workers. Leido has a pilot project to give a new impulse to RPL. It is based on a business perspective more than a educational/institutional perspective, to adapt the regulation. The classes of the first year of short cycle higher education could be taken in two to three years and the next years would be adapted. It is focused on non-formal learning, relevant work experience and project-based. The fees would be adapted to the specific kind of student. The degree is recognised by the ministry of education.

Quality assurance in the accreditation of prior experienced learning (APEL/RPL)

Quality assurance in the accreditation of prior experienced learning (APEL/RPL) by Kristien Carnel, Version 2012, EURASHE_Sem_RPL_121213-14_pres_CARNEL.pdf (1.7 MB) - The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has its specificity when it comes to quality assurance. The case of the KHLeuven is exposed here.
1. KHLeuven
2. How did RPL start?
3. The evolution of RPL
4. The added value of RPL
5. What is the future of RPL?