All countries of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) have committed to developing national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) compatible with the Overarching Framework of the EHEA by 2010. This commitment was undertaken in 2005, at Bologna Ministerial Conference in Bergen, when the Overarching Framework EHEA was officially adopted by Ministers. Particular 10-steps methodology for the development and implementation of NQFs-EHEA was developed by Bologna Follow-up Working Group on Qualification Frameworks.
The main objective of the project is to support the structural reform of higher education system in BiH, supporting the development of the BiH Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in (BHQFHE) in line with national priorities, and its implementation at different institutional levels. The project shall provide models for full formal implementation of the BHQFHE at institutional levels, based on all criteria and procedures of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF-LLL) and the European Qualifications for European Qualifications Framework Area (QF-EHEA). Specific project objectives are:
- Strengthening and supporting institutional capacities for BHQFHE development
- Creating the BHQFHE model and developing statements at sectorial level
- HEIs capacity building to write and assess LOs linked with sectorial descriptors
- Development of BHQFHE implementation model at the level of study programs and piloting at HEIs
- Self-certification of BHQFHE
The project involves building capacity on PCU to implement the QF through forming expert operational teams in 6 scientific areas which would deal with development of generic and specific descriptors through consultation process with high level of involvement of different stakeholders. Operational teams will manage creation processes and procedures for making scientific qualifications as models for the implementation in the HEI and other institutions related to the Higher Education system in BiH and establishment of these models on institutional level. One of the key components of the project will be collaboration with the Inter-resort committee for making qualifications framework in B&H. Verification of compatibility of the QF-BHHEA with the QF-EHEA and the EQF-LLL is one of the outcomes of the project (models for Self-certification report). The project will be implemented within 36 months.
QFs are essential for higher education reform in Europe, as the policy tool which significantly contributes to enhancement the transferability and transparency of qualifications, and strengthening links between higher education and work field. QFs directly introduce student centered learning and change the philosophy of education from the input to the output approach, using comparable descriptors and learning outcomes.
Report by the EHEA Working Group on QFs presented at the Bologna Ministerial Conference at Bucharest in March 2012 reasonably showed that this is an area where considerable work is yet to be done. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is still on the beginning of the process.
The Council of Ministers (national government) of BiH adopted the “Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in Bosnia and Herzegovina” and the Strategy for its implementation in December 2007. Both documents are published in “Official Gazette of BiH” No. 13/08. Adopted framework is on generic level (contains generic descriptors for three cycles of higher education: bachelor, master and PhD), should be more developed, and particularly implemented on the level of each study program at all higher education institutions in the country. Further, to be recognized in EHEA, QF has to be prepared for self-certification against the Overarching Qualifications Framework.
Since the formal adoption of the BiH QF-EHEA in 2007 nothing happened. Generic descriptors adopted by Document are not commonly used, sectorial descriptors are not further developed, study programs at the higher education institutions are not learning outcome based.
While QF-EHEA covers only three levels of higher education (bachelor, master and PhD), there is another European meta-framework – European Qualifications Framework for Long Life Learning (EQF LLL), covering all level of education (from pre-primary to PhD). EQF LLL is established by Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the (EU Official Journal C 111, 6.5.2008). By the Recommendation, all EU, candidate and potential candidate countries are called to relate their national qualifications levels to the relevant levels of the EQF LLL.
Introducing the EQF LLL in 2011, the Council of Ministers of BiH adopted a Baseline of the Qualifications Framework in BiH (“Official Gazette”, No. 31/11), and established the Inter-sectorial Commission for making the QF in BiH two years after (“Official Gazette”, No. 9/13). Baseline of the QF in BiH includes full matching of two European meta-frameworks: QF-EHEA and EQF LLL. At the constitutive meeting in February 2013, the Inter-sectorial Commission, consisting of representatives of the sectors of education, labor and statistics at all levels, supported the idea that the QF for Higher Education in BiH should be developed separately through the Bologna process.
This Project is to develop BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA QUALIFICATION FRAMEWORK FOR HIGHER EDUCATION (BHQFHE) on the sectorial levels, to create the model of BHQFHE implementation at the level of study programs, to test implementation model through pilot activities on selected number of study programs, and to conduct self-certification of BHQFHE against the European QF-EHEA. All mentioned will be done in accordance to the 10-steps methodology BFuG Working Group on Qualification Frameworks. Sectorial division will be made accordingly to the Framework Law on Higher Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which stipulates scientific areas, as: natural sciences. technical sciences, biomedicine and health, biotechnical sciences, social sciences and humanities. For each of the sectors three sectorial statements will be developed, for the level of bachelor, master and PhD. Sectorial statements will be the obligate basis of all study programs in the country for the development and inclusion of learning outcomes.
Any Qualifications Framework is a link between education and the labor market. Therefore, work on the qualifications framework implies the involvement of a large number of stakeholders and social partners. The goal is to agree on the level of competence, knowledge and skills that every successful student has upon completion of the study program in order to access the labor market. Such a consensus can only be reached if the sectorial statements are made jointly by representatives of the academic community, and representatives of labor and students. Validity of the statements, their generally acceptance and common use can be reached by involvement of the state institutions, not just from the education sector, but from the sector of labor and statistics.
WIDER OBJECTIVE of the Project is enhancement of the transferability and transparency of higher education qualifications, and strengthening links between higher education and work field, by developing and implementing BHQFHE.
• Strengthening and supporting institutional capacities for BHQFHE development.
• Creating of BHQFHE model and development of statements at sectorial level.
• HEIs capacity building to write and assess learning outcomes linked with sector descriptors.
• Development of BHQFHE Implementation model at the level of study programs and piloting at HEIs.
• Self-certification of BHQFHE.
TARGET GROUPS are higher education institutions, students, work-field and professional associations, policy-making public bodies from the sectors of education, labor and statistics.
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