Sequential schooling or lifelong learning? International frameworks through the lens of English higher professional and vocational education

  • Stan Lester
  • Education + Training, February 2018, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/et-05-2017-0066

A critique of international education and qualification frameworks.

What is it about?

This paper provides a critique of international education and qualification frameworks (ISCED, EQF and F-EHEA), particularly from the viewpoint of English higher education and training.

Why is it important?

Some of the assumptions in international frameworks are a poor fit with how education and training actually work in different countries. This hide important parts of the education and training system from international view, and it can lead to questionable policy decisions.


Dr Stan Lester

One of the main issues is that some international frameworks, particularly ISCED which is used as a framework for comparative education statistics, haven't caught up with the diverse nature of higher and professional education. Most notably it under-reports achievement outside of formal higher education, so that the extent of higher-level attainment in countries such as Germany (particularly the Meister qualification) and the UK (professionally qualified status and higher vocational qualifications) appears lower than it really is.

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