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Open Universities – Credit for Professional Competences: Master's without a Bachelor's?

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In order to make academic training more flexible, consistent with the European Universities' Charter on Lifelong Learning (European University Association 2008), it has been announced that universities in the European Higher Education Area will be 'opened', to achieve permeability of the education system (Esser, 2014).

Addressing so-called non-traditional target groups creates a new challenge. Training and further education institutions across Europe need to develop credit calculation systems for professionally acquired competences, to enable university entrance, and to make the credit processes transparent and comprehensible. The Technical University of Kaiserslautern in the Rhineland Palatinate of Germany, for example, already offers professionals the possibility of a Master's degree without a Bachelor's degree. Germany is federally structured and therefore has structural similarities with the European Federation of States.

This article presents two examples of innovative practice from Germany, on how students can receive credit for previously acquired knowledge, in a manner consistent with the concept of Lifelong Learning. The article provides a contribution to the discussion concerning methods of calculating the credit value of previous knowledge. In doing so, it vividly shows how long the road can be towards the international transferability of credit calculation processes of professionally acquired competences for university entrance
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Keywords: CALCULATION OF CREDIT; LIFELONG LEARNING; MASTER'S WITHOUT A BACHELOR'S; OPEN UNIVERSITIES; PERMEABILITY; PREPARATORY TRAINING; PRIOR KNOWLEDGE; PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES; RECOGNITION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2017

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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