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National Higher Education Credit Framework Launched

A national credit framework has been launched today, which will help summarise student achievement and learning across England

Credit enables higher education institutions to identify the level and quantity of learning that a student may have already achieved. It will be particularly useful, for example, for those students wishing to transfer within and between institutions and for those studying over a period of time.

Students are awarded credits after the completion of a 'block of learning', such as a module, unit or qualification. Credit also takes into account learning that takes place outside higher education, such as in the workplace.

The credit framework for England will bring together a range of similar schemes and approaches in a more coherent, clear and transparent fashion, benefiting staff, students and employers.

The launch follows a consultation by the Measuring and Recording Student Achievement Steering Group chaired by Professor Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, and which is supported by Universities UK, GuildHE, the Quality Assurance Agency and the higher education funding councils.

Professor Burgess said:

"I'm pleased we've agreed to a coherent approach to credit in England, as the framework will help align the current UK credit systems. It will also take into account developments in Europe."

Professor Drummond Bone, President, Universities UK, said:

"Today's announcement demonstrates the flexibility of the HE sector to suit the needs of students, employers and Government. A national credit framework will help support lifelong and work-based learners, as well as those studying part-time."

Pamela Taylor, Chair of GuildHE and Principal of Newman College, said:

"GuildHE welcomes the publication of this report. It offers a practical way forward for the more extensive use of credit in higher education. This will not only enable institutions to work more effectively together in the UK and in Europe but also further support the progression of learners into HE."

Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell said:

"I welcome this report. A more consistent, transparent approach to the use of credit will benefit learners. I hope that it will help to establish better progression routes into and through higher education, especially as those routes become more varied and adaptable. It will also be vital that we align the approaches of higher and further education to credit, to help learners to progress from further to higher education, and to enable them to do so as smoothly as possible."

Peter Williams, Chief Executive, QAA, said:

"We welcome the publication of the report and its recommendations. They should, without being prescriptive, provide guidance, for both students and institutions, on the use of credit in England This will help understanding of how study programmes are structured, how much work is expected of students and how hard it should be, and will go some way towards describing what individual students have achieved. It's a major step forward."

The England credit framework follows similar approaches to using credit in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Measuring and Recording Student Achievement Steering Group has also produced, with the support of the Quality Assurance Agency, a guide on credit in England for students, institutions and employers.

Notes

  • Journalists wishing to receive an embargoed copy of Proposals for national arrangements for the use of academic credit in higher education in England should contact the Universities UK press office on 0207 419 5568 or email pressunit@universitiesuk.ac.uk <mailto:pressunit@universitiesuk.ac.uk>.
  • Professor Bob Burgess is available for interview. Please contact the press office for more details.
  • Proposals for national arrangements for the use of academic credit in higher education in England will be available at http://bookshop.universitiesuk.ac.uk from Thursday 14 December 2006. Hard copies are available from UUK Publications 020 7419 5435.
  • The report is one of the two strands of the Measuring and Recording Student Achievement Steering Group. A second one, on degree classification, will be published next year.
  • Academic credit in Higher Education in England will be available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/news from December 14 2006.
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