The merging of the European formal higher education systems and universities from the different European member countries agreed in the Bologna process has concluded in 2012.
Now, the European countries are increasingly emphasizing the need to recognize the full range of an individual’s knowledge, skills and competences – those acquired not only at school, university or other education and training institutions, but also outside the formal system. This requires new approaches to validate such learning experiences (i.e. identify, document, assess and/or certify), making them usable for further studies or advancement in work.
This is why the Commission has made a proposal for a Council Recommendation inviting EU governments to establish validation systems by 2015, linked to the European Qualifications Framework, including the possibility to obtain a full or partial qualification on the basis of non-formal learning, like the programs offered by Bircham International University.
Benefits of validation
Systematic validation mechanisms would make clear which skills are available in the European workforce:
- facilitating a better match between skills and labor demand, addressing skills shortages in growing sectors
- promoting better transferability of skills between companies and sectors
- helping citizens move around the EU to live and work.
What is non-formal learning?
Broadly, learning outside the formal school/vocational training/university system, taking place through planned activities (e.g. with goals and timelines) involving some form of instruction, for example:
- programs to impart work-skills, literacy and other basic skills for early school-leavers
- in-company training
- structured online learning
- courses organized by civil society organizations for their members, their target group or the general public.
Bircham International University is a provider of non formal higher education recognized and regulated by the laws of Spain. BIU transcript follows the directives of the ECTS credits since 2006 and is member of several institutions that play some advisory role at the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the validation of non-formal learning.
- EFQUEL - European Foundation for Quality in eLearning
- EFVET - European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training
- EU VIP - Validation of Informal Learning
- OAPEE - Organismo Autónomo Programas Educativos Europeos.
- Online Trust Seal - Sello de Confianza Online
Recognizing all forms of learning is therefore a priority of EU action in education and training.