Posted by: Gillian | December 8, 2010

Recognition and standardisation in HE

This is a -shoot-from-the-hip(heart) post as standardisation in Higher Education seems to me to be the road to ruin. This is a heavily qualified view of the Bologna Process :

Just look at the length of time it takes some universities, colleges and accrediting authorities to approve a program(me)!  Two to three years is not unusual yet, in places where two years is the norm, I’ve seen awards skitter past in weeks on fast tracks with everyone crossing their fingers and toes and hoping the inherent quality of  the new will pass muster and that those who prefer longer approvals will be absent on the day the programme is discussed.  In today’s world, years are nowhere near fast enough.

Over a decade ago, there was an institution in South Africa that offered ‘on demand’ exams and overnight, properly moderated results.  For all I now know, it might still exist.  It was a model for where things can go.  Exams were updated nearly as frequently and the courses and programmes checked for currency several times a year.

Standardisation in HE has a place in the learning absolutes of analysis, synthesis and invention – which is not quite Kolb  but close enough for ‘instructional designers’ to handle.  Standardising curricula –  in the sense of inputs – across international boundaries is  a process that will go on forever and is a sure way to kill all invention and progress.  Universities and colleges need to focus on thinking ability within subject-knowledge areas, not just what is on the list of approved inputs.  Once the focus moves to analysis etc, the content can be market-responsive whether that market is slow-evolving core knowledge and research or fast moving and industry-related.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by GillianP and Education, paulstpancras. paulstpancras said: RT @GillianP: VCs and international learning people, please develop this ! […]

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