Lifelong learning 2009-2012
Seminar on the Short-Cycle Higher Education
EURASHE organised a Seminar on Short-Cycle Higher Education (SCHE) titled ‘Embedding Professional Short-Cycle Higher Education (SCHE) in the (Higher) Education System‘ in Budapest (Hungary) on 20-21 January 2011. It is organised by EURASHE, Budapest Business School (BBS) and the L5Missing project.
Short Cycle Higher Education (SCHE) is a sector of higher education which has started a rather dynamic development in a number of European countries within the recent decade. It seems to be a response to changing requirements for qualified skills and manpower flexibility on the European labour market. Governments of a number of countries are running a discussion on the role, position and arrangements of the sector which has been recognised as a part of the higher education system, and yet indicates some specific characteristics.
The seminar provided a platform for sharing experience and best practices among the participants from different countries. It should lead to identification of perspectives and priorities of further development of the sector and its role within the Bologna process. The programme of the seminar included a presentation of the results and findings of the survey on the situation of SCHE throughout Europe, contributions from the guests from the U.S.A. and Canada, a presentation of the Hungarian situation and views of key stakeholders – students and employers. The seminar benefited from the first public presentation of the results and findings of a complex comparative cross‐European survey on SCHE which was run by EURASHE within the EU‐funded project “L5: Missing Link”.
The seminar also offered the possibility to understand this issue more in details and to discuss different experience within a number of parallel workshops which focused on more detailed aspects of SCHE.
The seminar examined the current situation of the SCHE in the European Higher Education Area from various aspects including:
- mission and position within HE systems;
- links to labour market and employers;
- links to other sectors of higher education, as well as vocational education & training;
- links to European (respectively national) Qualification Frameworks, profile and characteristics of graduates;
- methods of teaching/learning including recognition of prior learning (RPL);
- quality assurance and accreditation;
- regional role of HEIs and community colleges in a changing social and economical environment, in context of life‐long learning;
- role of national bodies, regional and local authorities in steering and (co)funding SCHE.
Conclusions and report
Seminar on ‘SCHE and (Professional) Higher Education’: Important outcomes for the next years!
The official Bologna seminar in Budapest gave the participants the possibility to hear more about the results of the survey by EURASHE on the situation of the Short Cycle Higher Education (SCHE) in the European Union (and within the Bologna Process). The conclusions and recommendations from this report will be no doubt the start for (more) interesting discussions on an international level, about the EQF and the National Qualifications Frameworks, and for international debates on the position of the SCHE – and other programmes at the same level like higher vocational education in the higher education area.
It was therefore very important to hear more about the situation in Canada and the United States of America, in Community Colleges – offering higher education programmes. We can learn from them – but the developments in the Bologna Process can also inspire the policy makers outside Europe.
In the workshop sessions the participants could learn from what is happening in Hungary, Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Slovenia, France – with good practices which also can be used as input in the national debates on the position of the SCHE.
In the next years there will be more seminars on SCHE, as a degree in higher (professional) education. All experts, interested staff members of HEI’s, managers, representatives of national and international organisations and everyone who is looking for more information about the developments concerning the use of the SCHE for Lifelong learning, flexible learning pathways and employability… you are welcome to join those seminars.