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3. a sy stem to aid recognition for academic and professional purposes. I t is potentially useful for all higher education institutions, professional bodies, students, employ ers, public bodies, gov ernments and citiz ens.
4. an approach that specifically excludes claims and v alue-j udgements concerning equiv alence by prov iding sufficient obj ectiv e information to allow the recipient to mak e his or her own j udgements about the qualification in question. I t is a sy stem that does not guarantee automatic admission or recognition. I t facilitates the process whereby j udgements are made by autonomous national or local bodies (academic, professional, gov ernmental, etc. ) and therefore does not infringe local rights of j udgement. I t eases the process of access and recognition.
5. a tool that should be used with sensitiv ity. T he recognition of foreign qualifications should be v iewed as a process for the assessment of the competence, experience and k nowledge acquired, recognising that ‘ fair recognition’ and not exact equiv alence should be sought. Users of the supplement are encouraged, where possible, to focus on the outcomes of the learning that has tak en place and to mak e their j udgements using the qualitativ e and quantitativ e information prov ided.
6. a set of guidelines that av oids the inclusion of so much detail that it confuses the user. T his minimalist approach ack nowledges the cost of producing the supplement and wherev er possible adv ocates referral to other information sources that could be consulted. H owev er, the Diploma S upplement should prov ide all the necessary information for a j udgement to be made without repeated demands for more data.
7. an addition to the original credential. T he credential should remain unchanged from its normal state (in its approv ed language and textural form). T he Diploma S upplement should accompany the authentic credential that certifies the award. I t is not a substitute for it. Furthermore, the Diploma S upplement can be used in conj unction with other appropriate documentation, including curriculum v itae, etc. a person may well hav e sev eral Diploma S upplements, each accompany ing an indiv idual qualification.
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Ge n e r a l Gu i d e l i n e s :
I t is strongly recommended that supplements should conform with the
1. T he brief explanatory note (I n the box at the head of the sample supplement) should be reproduced as part of each completed Diploma S upplement, in order to guide higher education institutions, citiz ens, employ ers and other potential users of the information.
2. I nstitutions should follow the structure and sequence of information carefully dev eloped and tested by the pilot proj ect. V arious customised v ersions were tested and found not to be as clear and user-friendly. I n the cases where sections were omitted altogether, these supplements were inv ariably found to be ineffectiv e. G reat care needs to be tak en in compiling supplements in order to av oid imprecise, missing or confused information. O v erlong and ov er-complicated supplements should be av oided. T hey irritate those who receiv e them. A v oid information ov erload and present information as concisely as possible. T he examples of good practice supplements show how this can be done. T he use of a transcript clearly helps prov ide detailed information in a concise way.
3. I n combination with the credential itself, the supplement should prov ide sufficient information to enable the reader to mak e a j udgement about the qualification and whether it is appropriate for the purpose for which the holder seek s to use it (e. g. for access to an academic programme, exemption from part of a programme, employ ment/ right to practise a profession, etc. ). I t is not designed to replace a curriculum v itae but to prov ide additional information.
4. T he supplement should alway s be accompanied by the original qualification as supplements normally hav e no legal v alidity. T he existence of a Diploma S upplement does not guarantee the status of an institution, its awards, or whether it is recognised as part of a national higher education sy stem. H owev er, it should contain information on these aspects.
5. T he supplement should alway s hav e the name and title of the qualification, the name and status of the institution awarding/ administering it, and the classification of the award all presented in the original language. I ncorrect translations mislead those mak ing j udgements about qualifications. T ransliterations are permissible in the case of scripts 302 I nfo rm atio nen der E U other than the L atin alphabet. I t should be possible to relate the names of degrees and awards to the description of the higher education sy stem under section eight,
6. S upplements should be free from any v alue j udgements, equiv alence statements or suggestions about recognition. I nformation in all eight sections should be prov ided. W here information is not prov ided, an explanation should giv e the reason why.
7. T he production of supplements is best done centrally and not dev olv ed to different parts of academic institutions. T his k eep costs down and minimises v ariation in content and approach.
8. I nstitutions should tak e appropriate action to minimise the possibility of forgery and misrepresentation of their supplements.
9. I nformation on the higher education sy stem (section eight) should be k ept to a two-page maximum. W here possible, information could include diagrams and charts to aid clarity. A s a follow-up to the pilot Diploma S upplement proj ect, finalised v ersions of this information are to be produced for each country with the help of national E N I C s/ N A R I C s (national information centres), M inistries and R ectors’ C onferences.
1 0. I t is best to issue supplements automatically at the time the qualification is completed. T his is preferable to retrospectiv e issue which becomes more difficult as programmes and educational awards are subj ect to continuous ev olution and change. I t is particularly important that section eight of the supplement describe the national higher education structure in force at the time the qualification was awarded.
1 1. G reat care should be tak en with translations and terminology as many problems exist in this area. I n order to ov ercome these, it is essential that the original language is used where indicated in the supplement. I n addition, the glossary of terms associated with the supplement has been specifically produced to ov ercome linguistic confusions. S upplements may be produced in whatev er language(s) institutions think appropriate.
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1 2. W here they exist, institutional, regional and national quality assurance sy stems should include Diploma S upplements in their activ ities.
T his will help ensure the quality of supplements.
1 3. S upplements are designed to be used with sensitiv ity. T he ev aluation of qualifications from another country should concentrate on the competence, experience and k nowledge acquired, recognising that ‘ fair recognition’ and not exact equiv alence should be sought.
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GLOSSARYDefinitions and usage of terms v ary from country to country. T o reduce the possibility of misunderstanding this glossary aims only to cov er all the main terms used in the papers associated with the Diploma S upplement initiativ e. I t is partly based and fully consistent with the definition used in the 1 9 9 7 L isbon C onv ention on the R ecognition of Qualifications C oncerning H igher E ducation in the E uropean R egion.
ACAD EMIC RECOGNITION refers to the recognition of courses, qualifications or diplomas from one (domestic or foreign) higher education institution by another. Usually this is sought as a basis for access to further new study at the second institution (cumulativ e recognition) or, as recognition allowing some sort of exemption from hav ing to re-study elements of a programme (recognition with adv anced standing). A further ty pe of academic recognition is recognition of studies tak en elsewhere in another institution (recognition by substitution) that replace a comparable period of study at the home institution (see P R O FE S S I O N A L R E C O G N I T I O N ).
ACCESS (to higher education) refers to the right of qualified candidates to apply and be considered for admission to higher education. A ccess is distinct from admission, which concerns the indiv iduals’ actual participation in the higher education programme concerned.
ACCRED ITATION is the process by which one higher education institution gains authority to award, and/ or gains recognition of, its qualifications from another senior competent authority. T his might be the S tate, a gov ernment agency or, another domestic or foreign higher education institution (see FR A N C H I S E ). T he term has its origins in the A merican sy stem and is used in some E uropean countries in the same way as ‘ recognition’.
AD MISSION the act of, or sy stem for, allowing qualified applicants to pursue studies in higher education at a giv en institution and/ or a giv en programme.
ASSESSMENT i) (of institutions or programmes) the process for establishing the educational quality of a higher education institution or programme; ii) (of indiv idual qualifications) the written appraisal or ev aluation of an indiv idual’ s foreign qualifications by a competent authority ; iii) Materialien und Arbeitshilfen 305 (of indiv idual students) the actual testing of a student' s ability and sk ills within a programme (e. g. by examination).
AW ARD this is used sy nony mously with qualification.
COMPETENT RECOGNITION AUTH ORITY a body officially charged with mak ing binding decisions on the recognition of foreign qualifications.
COURSE a part of a programme of studies that is normally self-contained and assessed separately. C omplete study programmes are normally composed of sev eral courses.
CRED ENTIAL a term sometimes used to refer to a qualification (see QUA L I FI C A T I O N ).
CRED ENTIAL EV ALUATOR the indiv idual who mak es a j udgement on the recognition of foreign qualifications (see C O M P E T E N T R E C O G N I T I O N A UT H O R I T Y ).
CRED IT the ' currency ' prov iding a measure of learning outcomes achiev ed in a notional time at a giv en lev el. Usually associated with credit-based modular courses (see E C T S ).
D E F ACTO RECOGNITION refers to situations of unregulated recognition for professional purposes, such as where no national legal authorisation to practice a particular profession exists or is required. T his is the most problematic area of professional recognition (see P R O FE S S I O N A L R E C O G N I T I O N and R E C O G N I T I O N ).
D E J URE RECOGNITION refers to the recognition of the right to work in a specific country in a regulated profession (e. g. medical doctor) in the E uropean Union or E uropean E conomic A rea. T hese situations are subj ect to v arious E uropean Union Directiv es whereby if a citiz en is a fully qualified professional in one M ember S tate, he or she has a right to exercise that profession and be recognised as a professional in another M ember S tate (see R E G UL A T E D P R O FE S S I O N, P R O FE S S I O N A L R E C O G N I T I O N and R E C O G N I T I O N ).
D IPLOMA here refers to any formally awarded qualification/ credential. I n some educational sy stems the term refers to a specific category or ty pe of qualification. I t is not being used in this restricted sense here.
306 I nfo rm atio nen der E U ECTS the E uropean C redit T ransfer S y stem (dev eloped by the E uropean C ommission). T his is a sy stem based on E C T S credits (student work load), designed to facilitate mobility, credit accumulation and transfer, and the international recognition of periods of study completed abroad.
ENIC E uropean N ational I nformation C entre on A cademic R ecognition and M obility (C ouncil of E urope/ UN E S C O ).
F RANCH ISE the situation where an institution agrees to authorise another institution (nationally or internationally ) to deliv er an approv ed programme whilst normally retaining ov erall control of the programme' s content, deliv ery, assessment and quality assurance arrangements. H owev er, significant v ariations in franchise relationships exist.
F IELD OF STUD Y the main disciplines or subj ect areas of a qualification.
H IGH ER ED UCATION all ty pes of courses of study, or sets of courses (programmes), training, or training for research at the post secondary lev el which are recognised by the relev ant authorities as belonging to its higher education sy stem. H igher education builds on the lev el of competence, k nowledge and sk ills generally acquired through secondary education (see H I G H E R E DUC A T I O N I N S T I T UT I O N and P R O G R A M M E O F S T UDY ). H igher education normally comes after secondary education in time and is normally offered through higher education programmes at higher education institutions. H owev er, it should be noted that higher education institutions may giv e courses of study that are not higher education lev el. C onv ersely, institutions which are not considered as belonging to the higher education sy stem may offer some higher education programmes. T he exact definition of higher education and higher education institutions v ary from country to country. For example, in some countries, nursing is considered to be a field of higher education, whereas in other countries, nursing is considered to be part of post-secondary education without being higher education.
H IGH ER ED UCATION INSTITUTION an establishment prov iding higher education and recognised by the competent authorities as belonging to its sy stem of higher education (see H I G H E R E DUC A T I O N and