Chapter 5.3 Acknowledgment of Prior Experiential Learning to Widen Participation at the Université Libre De Bruxelles: The Challenge of the Institutional Message
Institutional Transformation to Engage a Diverse Student Body
ISBN: 978-0-85724-903-6, eISBN: 978-0-85724-904-3
Publication date: 28 June 2011
At the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), acknowledgment of prior experiential learning (APEL) is conceived as a tool to widen participation. We describe the initiatives set up to allow under-qualified, experienced job seekers to access higher education through the APEL process: a network involving the regional offices in charge of employment policies, the universities themselves, but also institutions in charge of education for social advancement and an integrated approach to offer to ‘APEL candidates’ an adequate support to contribute towards their academic success.
We discuss the interaction between the university and those APEL candidates and, therefore, the efficiency of all those initiatives. We studied the admission files and conducted a series of interviews with APEL students. We show that the inclusion of those specific students is a real pedagogical and institutional challenge. Moreover, the institutional message clearly affects the interaction between APEL students and the university. It is, therefore, necessary to develop a clear institutional message on widening participation that could embrace all institutional initiatives and highlight their common goal to increase their chances of success.
Maes, R., Sztalberg, C. and Sylin, M. (2011), "Chapter 5.3 Acknowledgment of Prior Experiential Learning to Widen Participation at the Université Libre De Bruxelles: The Challenge of the Institutional Message", Thomas, L. and Tight, M. (Ed.) Institutional Transformation to Engage a Diverse Student Body (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 187-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3628(2011)0000006019
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