This paper aims to provide a critical analysis of the European Commission's and the member states' attempts to introduce a European Qualifications Framework and national frameworks respectively.
The paper is based on a review of policies and substantive desk research in countries that have applied a qualification framework approach.
The analysis shows that qualifications frameworks (QFs) are resisted partly from inertia and conservatism and partly because important educational purposes are being defended. NQF experiences suggest that hopes associated with QFs are unrealistic (e.g. accreditation of prior learning).
The paper draws mainly on conceptual and secondary analysis. In future primary empirical analysis would be desirable.
The findings are extremely relevant to policy makers on the European and national levels. The lessons from NQFs suggest incrementalism, building blocks, supporting policies, consensus and staying as close as possible to practice are important.
This paper is one of the few attempts to evaluate current initiatives based on prior experiences.
Young, M. (2008), "Towards a European qualifications framework: some cautionary observations", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 32 No. 2/3, pp. 128-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590810861677Download as .RIS
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