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A few months ago, it seemed that Germany was to be the EU member state with the most noteworthy progress in defining national qualifications levels based on learning outcomes and linked to the European Qualifications Framework – EQF (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, March 2009), but it appears that the Irish are, in fact, the first to succeed.
The recently published Irish Referencing Report shows, in practice, how the Irish National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is linked to the EQF, or more precisely, how the ten reference levels of the Irish NQF correspond to the eight levels of the EQF. The report is the result of intensive talks between national stakeholders and of consultations with three international advisers. It addresses each of the ten criteria, in relation to the procedures established by the EQF Advisory Group. Furthermore, it draws on the principle and objective of the learning outcomes.
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a voluntary initiative, aiming to create a framework that would make national qualifications easily readable and comparable at the European level. The other countries participating in this voluntary exercise are expected to link their national qualifications to the European ones by 2010, at the latest.