Title EQUAL-CLASS: Engineers qualified in higher non-university VET institutions – providing arguments and evidence for NQF/EQF classification
Project Number 2012-1-AT1-LEO05-06968
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
The EQUAL-CLASS project is a European Commission-funded project
which studied qualifications in the field of mechatronics and electrical engineering/electronics that can be obtained in higher non-university
institutions of vocational education and training or comparable institutions in Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal, and Switzerland.
The aim of the project was to compare selected non-university engineering qualifications from several perspectives, with the ultimate objective of contributing to the understanding of foreign qualifications and promoting
mutual trust with regard to the classification of qualifications within National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs) and their link to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
The EQUAL-CLASS project focussed on qualifications in the field of mechatronics/electrical engineering, which can be achieved in higher non-university VET institutions or comparable institutions in the following countries: AT, CH, DE, LT, PT. Therefore, the EQUAL-CLASS project, as a Transfer of Innovation project, aimed to transfer the methodology developed in the previous ZOOM project.
ZOOM developed a methodology to support an objective and unambiguous classification of qualifications in the respective NQFs. EQUAL-CLASS adapted and revised the classification principles, methodology and guidelines. In addition, qualifications were compared by using the Competence Matrices which were developed in the VQTS project [www.vocationalqualification.net].
The EQUAL-CLASS project offers an example of how similar qualifications from different countries can be described in a comparable way. It contributes to the creation of mutual trust and understanding through transparency and comparability among European countries and in the European labour market. Transparency and better comparability of qualifications as well as the consideration of work experience following graduation (validation of non-formal/informal learning) help enhance the cooperation between VET and the labour market.
The core partnership consisted of research organisations in the field of VET and NQF/EQF, higher non-university VET institutions and a network of VET providers. They were supported by associated partners: ministries, chambers, European and national associations of VET providers and enterprises.
The EQUAL-CLASS project focused on qualifications in the field of mechatronics/electrical engineering that can be achieved in higher non-university VET institutions or comparable institutions in the following countries: Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal. Therefore, the EQUAL-CLASS project, which was a Transfer of Innovation project, aimed to transfer the methodology developed in the previous ZOOM project.
The main aims of the EQUAL-CLASS project were:
- to adapt, test and further develop a comprehensive methodology for describing qualifications (based on the ZOOM template);
- to compare qualifications in the field of mechatronics with regard to their learning outcomes in the emerging NQFs and their links to EQF levels;
- to use ‘Remote Labs’ (i.e. online laboratories to remotely conduct real experiments) as a reality check to gain further evidence for the knowledge, skills and competence of learners or graduates in the previously mentioned fields;
- to identify and analyse occupations and positions of graduates of higher non-university VET programmes in those fields in AT, CH, DE, LT, PT;
- to elaborate to what extent relevant professional experience acquired after a VET programme justifies another - higher - qualification; i.e. the definition of a new qualification that can be allocated to a higher NQF level;
The EQUAL-CLASS project provides an example of developing comparable descriptions of similar qualifications from different countries. The methodolgy tested can help create mutual trust and understanding through transparency and comparability among countries and in the European labour market.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Information and Communication
The main products of EQUAL-CLASS are
- a comparative/analytical report containing feedback and recommendations on the ZOOM methodology
- documentation of the design and implementation of ‘Remote Labs’ (online laboratories to remotely conduct real experiments)
- an analytical report on the implementation of the ‘Remote Labs’
- design and methodology for the graduate survey (questionnaire)
- comparative/analytical report on mechatronics/electrical engineering graduates
- a report on validation of non-formal/informal learning.
The EQUAL-CLASS project was finalised in October 2014. To learn more about the final project results and publications, visit www.equal-class-eqf.eu