Questions and Answers (Bologna Process)

INDEPENDENT AGENCY FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION

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Questions and Answers (Bologna Process)

Diploma supplement

The Diploma Supplement is an annex to the official degree/qualification designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the holder of the degree/qualification. It is based on the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES. It improves international transparency and the academic/professional recognition of qualifications.

Doctorate and Doctoral Degree

A qualification awarded after completion of third cycle study, which is internationally recognised as qualifying someone for research or academic work may be designated as a doctorate or doctoral degree. It includes a substantial amount of original research work which is normally presented in a thesis.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System):

The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a student-centred system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of a programme of study. These objectives should be specified in terms of learning outcomes and competences to be acquired. ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits measure the workload of a full-time student during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme in Europe amounts in most cases to around 1500-1800 hours per year and in those cases one credit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours. ECTS is a system for increasing the transparency of educational systems and facilitating the mobility of students across Europe through credit accumulation and transfer. Credit transfer is guaranteed by explicit agreements signed by the home institution, the host institution and the mobile student.

Examination (exam)

Generally a formal written or oral test taken at set points (e.g. end of a semester or term, mid-semester or term) or at the end of a programme, module or course unit.

First cycle degree

A higher education qualification awarded after successful completion of first cycle studies.

Framework for qualifications of the European higher education area

Framework for qualifications of the European higher education area is an overarching framework that makes transparent the relationship between European national educational frameworks of qualifications and the qualifications they contain. It is an articulation mechanism between national frameworks.

Grade/mark

Any numerical or qualitative measure, based on well-defined criteria, which is used to describe the results of assessment in an individual module or course unit or in a complete study programme.

Higher education

Higher education applies to academic programmes of study that may be entered by students holding either an appropriate school leaving certificate from an upper secondary school or other relevant professional qualifications or approved prior learning and/or prior experience. Providers may be universities, universities of professional studies, higher education institutions, colleges, polytechnics etc. 

Intended learning outcomes

Intended learning outcomes are statements – made by the academic staff – of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning. Learning outcomes must be accompanied by appropriate assessment criteria which can be used to judge whether the expected learning outcomes have been achieved. Learning outcomes, together with assessment criteria, specify the requirements for the award of credit, while grading is based on attainment above or below the requirements for the award of credit. Credit accumulation and transfer is facilitated if clear learning outcomes are available to indicate with precision the achievements for which the credit will be awarded. 

Learning time

The number of hours an average student will need to achieve specified learning outcomes and gain credits to be awarded after assessment

Lecture

teaching activity of academic staff, explanation new themes or other learning materials to students. Usually there is one teacher and a number of students.

Level descriptors

A level descriptor is a statement that provides an indication of the depth and extent of learning expected at a specific stage in a programme. They are a guide to the kind of demands or expectations it is appropriate to make of learners at each of the designated levels within a programme. The descriptors guide the learner, teacher and curriculum with respect to the complexity, relative demand and learner autonomy. These general descriptors can be applied to specific subject disciplines and ways of learning. Level descriptors are useful for curriculum design, assignment of credit, validation, guidelines for recognition of learning from experience and of non formal learning and for staff development.

Levels

Levels are understood to be a series of sequential steps to be taken by the learner (within a development continuum) expressed in terms of a range of generic outcomes, within a given programme. 

Module

The term module refers to a course unit within a modularized system, that is a system based on course units carrying a uniform number of credits (usually 5 or 6) or a multiple of that number. Module may be included in curricula or in a course unit independent from that curricula. 

National framework of qualifications

The single description at national level, which is internationally understood and through which all qualifications and other learning achievements may be described and related to each other in a coherent way and which defines the relation between qualifications.

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