European Qualifications Framework
SAQA participated in a conference on the European Qualifications Framework that was held at the European Parliament in Brussels in January 2009. The conference aimed to improve the understanding of the EQF in its relationship with international developments in the field of qualifications frameworks, in particular to:
- improve the understanding of how the EQF relates to international developments in qualification frameworks beyond EU member states.
- highlight areas in which these developments may link together;
- identify possible mechanisms for creating links.
The conference specifically considered the role that qualification frameworks based on learning outcomes can play in improving the transparency of qualifications in the context of increasing mobility. This included a consideration of the implications of the EQF and national or regional qualification frameworks as international reference points. The conference further explored the learning outcomes approach as a `common language` for describing and comparing qualifications internationally and the EQF as a platform for dialogue on increased co-operation between national and regional qualifications systems.
Participation was through invitation only, and brought together 170 experts from 60 countries that have been working in the development of national and regional qualification frameworks. This included members of the EQF Advisory Group (responsible to oversee the development of the EQF), representatives from partner countries1 covered by the European Training Foundation (ETF) that are working on qualification frameworks and representatives and experts from countries in Africa, South and North America and the Asia-Pacific region. The conference also involved international organisations such UNESCO, the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation.
SAQA was invited to present on the developments and lessons learned in overseeing the development and implementation of the South African NQF, as well as its involvement in the development of the SADC regional qualifications framework. The SAQA chairperson, Prof. Shirley Walters, presented a paper that was prepared by herself and the SAQA Executive Officer, Mr Samuel Isaacs with input from Dr James Keevy (International) and Ms. Yvonne Shapiro (NLRD).
EQF conference paper by Shirley Walters and Samuel Isaacs (2009); Presentation made by Shirley Walters (2009); www.etf.europa.eu
1. These countries cover: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Former Yugoslav Republic, Macedonia, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (as defined in UNSCR 1244), Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and West Bank and Gaza Strip
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