Following a European Commission consultation over the establishment of a European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the European Commission and the Hungarian Ministry of Education co-hosted a conference in Budapest on 27-28 February 2006, at which an analysis of stakeholders’ responses was presented and discussed. The planned EQF is to become a “translation device” used for comparing qualifications, and entirely based on learning outcomes. Overall, respondents to the consultation found that the EQF is necessary and relevant, but underlined that its implementation and use should be voluntary.
Based on the discussion of the consultation results, the conference identified the following areas for further development:
- Level descriptors need to be further elaborated and simplified. The Commission will establish a technical working group which will look at this issue. Descriptors relating to post-secondary education should make a clear reference to Bologna;
although this is not a prerequisite for the EQF, a large majority of countries indicated the intention to develop a national qualifications framework, based on learning outcomes and accepted by the education sector and the labour market;
the EQF could provide added value by providing a framework for the recognition of sectoral qualifications emerging at international level;
the European Commission will launch a call for proposals under Leonardo da Vinci still this spring, to support testing and development of the EQF and national qualifications systems;
- it is necessary to highlight the EQF's benefits for end-users (citizens, employers, education and training providers etc.), and take this into account the further development of tools like the Europass or Ploteus. The Commission will launch a public consultation on the establishment of a credit system for vocational training in the second half of 2006.
Commissioner Figel’s speech, DG Education and Culture Director-General Odile Quintin’s speech, and the main conclusions of each workshop are now available online on the DG Education and Culture’s website.
EQF conference results