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Glossary

The ASEM Education Compendium for Higher Education’s glossary provides definitions of common terms related to education and training, as well as more specific entries related to credit systems, assurance and validation mechanisms. It is intended to promote communication and understanding between ASEM countries and beyond.

The purpose of this glossary is not to establish standard universally applicable definitions, but rather to be provide a working reference for all education and training stakeholders.

Diploma Supplement (DS)

The Diploma Supplement (DS) is a document accompanying a higher education diploma, providing a standardised description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies completed by its holder. It is produced by the higher education institutions according to standards agreed by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The Diploma Supplement is also part of the Europass framework transparency tools. 

It has the following eight sections of information:

  • the holder of the qualification
  • the qualification
  • its level and function
  • the contents and results gained
  • certification of the supplement
  • details of the national higher education system concerned (provided by the National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs))
  • any additional relevant information

Graduates in all the countries taking part in the Bologna Process have the right to receive the Diploma Supplement automatically, free and in a major European language.

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf 

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

A learner-centred system for credit accumulation and transfer, based on the principle of transparency of learning, teaching and assessment processes. Its objective is to facilitate planning, delivery and evaluation of study programmes and student mobility by recognising learning achievements and qualifications and periods of learning.

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide.
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf

European Qualifications Framework (EQF)

The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. The EQF aims to relate different countries' national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework. Individuals and employers will be able to use the EQF to better understand and compare the qualifications levels of different countries and different education and training systems.

Source: Enic-Naric Net (2016) ‘GLOSSARY’
http://ear.enic-naric.net/emanual/glossary/glossary.aspx 

Grades

Grades describe the quality of learning achievements and rate the performance of a student at a particular level.

Source: Enic-Naric Net (2016) ‘GLOSSARY’
http://ear.enic-naric.net/emanual/glossary/glossary.aspx 

Higher Education Institution (HEI)

An educational body which carries out higher education activities based on legally approved study programmes.

Source: UNESCO (2007) ‘Quality Assurance and Accreditation’
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001346/134621e.pdf 

Learning Outcomes

Totality of information, knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values, skills, competencies or behaviours an individual is expected to master upon successful completion of an educational programme.


Source: ISCED 2011 UNESCO Institute for statistics
http://uis.unesco.org/glossary 

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

An instrument for the classification of qualifications according to a set of criteria for specified levels of learning achieved, which aims to integrate and coordinate national qualifications subsystems and improve the transparency, access, progression and quality of qualifications in relation to the labour market and civil society.

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide.
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf

Programme

A set of educational components – based on learning outcomes – that are recognised for the award of a qualification.

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf 

Quality Assurance (QA)

The process or set of processes adopted nationally and institutionally to ensure the quality of educational programmes and qualifications awarded. Quality assurance should ensure a learning environment in which the content of programmes, learning opportunities and facilities are fit for purpose. Quality assurance is often referred to in the context of a continuous improvement cycle (i.e. assurance and enhancement activities).

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide.
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf
 
Internal and external quality assurance

IQA is the ongoing, continuous process of evaluating, monitoring and improving the quality of a higher education institution and its study programmes. A distinction is typically made between internal quality assurance (IQA) – whereby practices to improve the quality takes place within the university – and external quality assurance (EQA), which is often performed by a national agency, sometimes together with professional bodies or private providers of QA services.

Source: UNESCO
http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en/how-does-internal-quality-assurance-impact-employability-3551

Student Workload

An estimation of the time learners typically need to complete all learning activities such as lectures, seminars, projects, practical work, work placements, individual study required to achieve the defined learning outcomes in formal learning environments.

Source: European Union (2018) ECTS Users’ Guide.
https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/document-library-docs/ects-users-guide_en.pdf