Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transnational Qualification Framework (TQF)

A Transnational Qualification Framework (TQF) is a developing system of framework for educational qualifications that would be recognized internationally.

A Qualification Framework is primarily an official document that clearly defines each and every qualification brought under it. It may also provide a hierarchy of qualifications. In system view it is a meta-data model that is an all encompassing framework to integrate the qualifications issued by different academic bodies into a common structure. It consists of a set of common reference points, referring to learning outcomes, supported by a range of tools and techniques, regardless of the system where a particular qualification was acquired.

In the present world socio-economic situations a Transnational Qualification Framework is very much required because of the following.

Frameworks can provide towards a system that is based on learning outcomes and the implied shift from a teaching based system to a learning based system.
It can ensure labour market acceptance of qualifications across the world.
A brief history of TQF movement

In 1997 the Council of Europe developed, together with UNESCO, the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, called Lisbon Recognition Convention (as it was adopted in Lisbon in 1997). The Convention is the key legal instrument for recognition of qualifications across Europe.

A study was commissioned by the Confederation of European Union Rectors’ Conferences on TRANSNATIONAL EDUCATION PROJECT with the support of the European Commission (DG Education and Culture)and the report published in March 2001. European Union has identified that one of the major issues faced by people who wanting to work or learn in another EU country, or indeed to move between different parts of the labour market, is that their qualifications and competences may not be accepted. This is further complicated by the proliferation of qualifications world-wide, the diversity of national qualification systems and education and training structures, and constant changes in these systems. To address these issues EU Commission has formally published a Staff Working Document on European Qualifications Framework (EQF) on 8 July 2005.

The Commonwealth Education Ministers conceived the idea of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) at their meeting in Halifax, Canada, in 2000. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) extended a formal invitation to the Education Ministers of the small states to participate in this initiative aimed at expanding access to education enabled by appropriate ICTs. A Concept Document on Transnational Qualifications Framework for VUSSC was published in May, 2008. The [VUSSC], facilitated by Commonwealth of Learning, is being implemented to establish a Transnational Qualification Framework among the Samll States in the British Commonwealth.

An Expert Meeting on the Impact of Globalisation on Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications was organised at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 10-11 September 2001 by the Division of Higher Education in cooperation with UNESCO Offices in Bangkok (PROAP), Beirut (UNEDBAS), Bucharest (CEPES), Caracas (IESALC) and Dakar (BREDA). The objectives of the meeting were to explore the international dimensions of quality assurance, accreditation and the recognition of qualifications in a world in which globalisation is increasingly impacting on higher education. A general consensus was reached by the participants that a global forum on the international dimensions of quality assurance, accreditation and the recognition of qualifications was necessary establish a Task Force to develop the Action Plan.

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