During the EU Summit of EADTU (European Association of Distance Teaching Universities), European open and distance learning (ODL) universities have decided on the large scale delivery of certified short learning programmes
by signing a Memorandum of Understanding
. In light of the modernisation and skills agenda of the European Commission and anticipating on next steps in the Bologna process, the Rectors of all 12 European ODL universities have solidified their commitment to advance short learning programmes (SLP) in their provisions and to valorise these as full-fledged learning paths. Signatories will mutually recognize modules and courses affiliated to these programmes and develop joint SLP’s with related virtual mobility schemes.
Key areas of the MoU include:
- Responding to needs of working students, who look for shorter awards and diplomas that they can later on valorise during bachelors/masters studies. SLP’s are to fill the demand of a large and growing student category that is looking to update their knowledge or lay the foundation for a career switch, also providing the opportunity to integrate SLP credits in degree programs.
- Application of SLP’s in ODL universities will respond to a need for a more diverse range of leaning options. SLP’s could position themselves as tracks/models in broader degree programmes , and can be used to foster inclusion of disadvantaged learners and migrants. EADTU will develop a common qualification framework in line with European standards.
- To incorporate MOOC’s in the SLP frame, the partnership will develop best practices on recognition of these types of online courses as well as on other types of relevant courses.
- The partnering efforts in EDATU answer to a changing pedagogical landscape in Europe, where online education will enhance areas of continuing and open education and raise, through blended learning, the quality and efficiency of degree education.
The collaboration between partners in the EADTU intends to enrich national courses, to give students European-wide access to SLPs
, and to prepare them better for the labour market and career switches. Martine Reicherts, Director General of Education and Culture, emphasized the role of SLPs for regional development and education that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and employability.
EADTU - press release