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Hybrid Qualifications: Structures and Problems in the Context of European VET Policy

structures and problems in the context of european vet policy

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Edited By Thomas Deissinger, Josef Aff, Alison Fuller and Christian Helms Jørgensen

Against the background of increasing qualification needs there is a growing awareness of the challenge to widen participation in processes of skill formation and competence development. At the same time, the issue of permeability between vocational education and training (VET) and general education has turned out as a major focus of European education and training policies and certainly is a crucial principle underlying the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). In this context, «hybrid qualifications» (HQ) may be seen as an interesting approach to tackle these challenges as they serve «two masters», i.e. by producing skills for the labour market and enabling individuals to progress more or less directly to higher education. The specific focus of this book is placed on conditions, structures and processes which help to combine VET with qualifications leading into higher education.
This volume assembles articles by researchers from Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Canada, Scotland, England, Denmark, Austria and Germany.

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Part Two Hybrid Qualifications in and outside Europe 147

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Part Two Hybrid Qualifications in and outside Europe DAVID RAFFE & CATHY HOWIESON Hybrid qualifications in a credit-based system: Scottish Higher National Certificates and Diplomas Introduction Hybrid or dual qualifications are typically introduced in order to make an education system more “permeable” or “seamless”. In a seamless system, learners can progress vertically, horizontally or diagonally with no dead ends or barriers; general and vocational learning have equal value and learners can easily move between them; learning outcomes are valued regardless of the institution, mode, duration or (in)formality of the education which led to them; provision is typically modular, or organised in short courses or cy- cles which allow learners to take decisions incrementally with fre- quent opportunities to change direction; all learning is a basis for further learning rather than a means of selection or rejection; and all learners are included regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnicity or social background. This vision is familiar from debates on life- long learning (EC 2000, Green 2002, Schuetze and Slowey 2002); we refer to it as the “intrinsic logic” of a seamless system, although we shall suggest that a “permeable” system with more realistic ob- jectives may be a more appropriate aspiration. Attempts to develop a seamless, unified system in Scotland over the past three decades have encountered political, epistemological and especially institutional barriers (Raffe 2007). The institutional barriers arise from the mismatch between the intrinsic logic of re- forms, as described above, and the institutional logics of the educa- tion system, labour...

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