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Day's End - Report

  • Expectations
  • QA and QFs
  • Case Studies
  • Group Discussion


  • VUSSC mandated by Ministers of Education; VUSSC to use existing structures and capacity.
  • Task for the week‚ (James Keevy f2f workshop leader) refine doc; agree to a framework; plan the agreed mechanism and processes (plan of action); need to work online after this week
  • Decisions made here will be presented in 2009 to CCEM.
  • More of a network of Ministries of Education to facilitate the development of material.
  • TQF not intended as COL's. It is a VUSSC production for small states. The states will need to take ownership.
  • VUSSC can help improve APRs
  • Establish critical mass of expertise via collaborative work
  • VUSSC a collaborative network, not a tertiary institution
  • From a network to a consortium, with support from COL.
  • TQF ‚Äì matching outcomes; translating between systems; national and regional systems.
  • A linking structure, to build human capacity and strengthen countries.
  • COL does what governments ask it to do, not the other way around. COL does not operate like a donor agency.
  • Continuity in pursuing objectives not a problem as each meeting deals with a different subject.
  • Produce FAQs about VUSSC


  • Looking for directions
  • Link other QFs and accreditation systems with the TQF; Ensure that there isn‚Äôt duplication.
  • Compatibility; transferability
  • Challenges of the Virtual University
  • Refining the concept doc
  • Learning from the experience of others
  • Implementability; Feasibility of concept
  • philosophical/theoretical clarification
  • Networking with other countries
  • Credibility; transparency
  • Mechanism, processes and principles to recognize VUSSC courses
  • VUSSC support for strengthening national systems
  • Specific needs of this group and how the needs could be met
  • Agreement and consensus on way forward; consensus building; community of practice.
  • Need to leave here with a sense of ownership
  • How the TQF relates to eLearning.

QA & QFs


  • Fora for QA
  • Conventions for academic mobility covering six regions re recognition of qualifications
  • Comparability by 2010 (Bologna process)
  • Guidelines for cross-border education (guidelines distributed).
  • More than 60 countries have adopted external accreditation system.
  • Degree mills false links to Unesco; portal of recognition being developed. 14 countries participating.
  • QA in small states ‚Äì new initiative

The Singapore Model

Lee Kok Hong‚ MoE‚ Education & Training

Phases of Singapore Educ System

  • Survival driven; bldg more schools; equipping students with skills to support industries;
  • Efficiency-driven: streamlining school types; ensuring quality via inspectorate system
  • Ability-driven: thinking schools; learning nation; school autonomy and cluster system; flexibility and choice

QA in Schools

  • Now, self assessment and external validation
  • Searching for a framework Europe, US and Singapore Q Award Model
  • Evolving own framework

School Excellence Model

  • Core values (students first; teachers key; leading with purpose; systems support; working with partners; management by knowledge; continuous improvement and innovation. People + systems = organizational excellence);
  • Framework (enablers driving key performance results);
  • external validation (once in every 5 years; based on self-assessment report; MoE appointed external validation team of trained SAB assessor/s and external assessors (from NIE, polytechnic e.g. & MoE people as well)

QAF for HE

  • Universities, polytechnics and other HEIs.
  • 3-5 year cycle‚ instit. self-assessment; feedback
  • Governance and leadership; management and strategic planning; teaching and learning; service (framework criteria)
  • External review panel from overseas

Mr Renganathan‚ Singapore Quality Class (SQC) for private education organizations (PEOs).

  • To establish Singapore as an education hub
  • Aligned to international standards
  • Voluntary
  • Pre-Q requirements must be maintained for them to remain in good standing
  • Continuous improvement‚ minimum score 400 (out of 1,000 points)
  • Benchmarks for student recruitment
  • Private schools not allowed to award degrees but can partner with overseas universities (Australia, UK and USA).

Sharon Tan‚ QA system

  • WDA development of a skilled workforce
  • Organizational accreditation and course accreditation
  • Organization: mgt; financial practices; learner support and services; admin practices
  • Course: design and dev; trainer and assessor requirements; facilities and equipment
  • Continuous improvement review processes ‚Äì undertaken once a year; effective design & delivery; ability to deliver outcomes; fulfillment of continual improvement requirements; viability of the organization; free from breach of terms and conditions
  • Capability development. Build competency-based training
  • Summary: focus on capability dev; emphasis on CIR; simplify accreditation process
  • WDA;
  • WSQ

Qualifications frameworks as a global phenomenon


  • About 70 countries have QFs; all QFs not the same.
  • USA not involved in a QF; Germany only recently involved.
  • Point of departure in this exercise is to start with what the states have and build upon that.
  • Issue of a state being too small to have a qualifications framework. Not enough people; too expensive (do all countries need a QF?).
  • How we stop the brain drain lies elsewhere, not in having a QF.
  • QA necessarily comes with a QF (question raised)

Case Studies


  • Long discussion/consultation period on the way to creation of SQA
  • From certificates through to doctorate level covered by the framework
  • Providers and employers were engaged
  • Stakeholder engagement to promote awareness
  • Strategic and corporate plan in place.
  • Benefits‚ national equivalence and comparability of qualifications; facilitates international comparability; career dev opportunities; recognition of prior learning;
  • Challenges‚ ambitious pr5oject; additional support required; need for database on labour market requirements; need to train resource people and establish local templates; continuation of QA work; funding (donors could be very directive).
  • TQF will be relevant to the development of NQFs/RQFs


  • Built from the bottom up through an elaborate process of engagement and consultation
  • 10-level framework
  • Challenges ‚Äì capacity internally and to facilitate change; limiting conflicts of interest; getting public acceptance; keeping stakeholders continually in the loop; MoUs with professional bodies; delineating the role of SQA vis-√†-vis existing modalities, e.g., within the MoE ‚Äì turf issues
  • Difference between SQA and NQF
  • Autonomy of SQA
  • NQF has occupational bias, reconciling autonomy with emerging HE system
  • Overcoming old habits
  • Articulation with other NQFs (comparability and access)
  • Achievements ‚Äì small and nimble; communities of trust; progress in dev of NQF;
  • recognition of foreign qualifications; building capacity; sown seeds for implementation of aspects of NQF


  • 10 reps from the Caribbean
  • Most countries do not have a NQF or Accreditation bodies; working on RQF
  • Academic and TVET, RQF intent to allow for a seamless progression in qualifications transfer
  • Responsibilities of partner institutions‚ MoEs, CXC,
  • Level 1-5, from entry level to advanced level.
  • Benefits ‚Äì descriptions of knowledge and skills; skill demand vs. supply; portability; career choices; development of CARICOM; integration of Caribbean workforce; realize mobility;
  • Transparency and trust needed.


  • Shift from Framework to Register
  • Labour/educ mobility
  • Quality assured qualifications locally are registered
  • QA and Q control procedures
  • RQR doesn‚Äôt interfere with national qualifications



  • Further definition of the virtual university
  • Applies not only to small states (Commonwealth QF for small states?)
  • Framework should include all levels of education
  • Develop action plan to include a costed implementation plan
  • Increase access and mobility, and quality


  • Clearer definition of the VU concept
  • Implementability and available support from COL
  • Interrelationships between QFs
  • Ownership
  • Purpose of TQF, how it will be developed
  • Elements that should go into TQF: e.g., what is meant by QA, accreditation
  • TQF should aim for similarities, benchmarks, standards
  • Definitions, levels of descriptors, entry levels, duration

Med & Indian Ocean

  • Definition of VUSSC‚ virtual, loose, not a legal entity
  • Other countries could be involved
  • Seems directed at vocational training
  • Portability
  • Need for a TQF was questioned. Small states w/o own NQF need it
  • Is it premature at this point to talk about a TQF that is limited in its scope?


  • Concentrate on concept rather than definitions
  • TQF useful organism to guide own work
  • TQF only for VUSSC? Yes but used for universal application or reference