2 Activities and 3 missions were implemented in October 2022. The first mission of Activity 1.2.4 entitled “Preparation of first draft of Guidelines for the development of the HE qualifications referenced to the level V, including institutional aspects of provision, process of assessment of competences and awarding of qualifications” was held in the first week of October. A general review of the main legislative framework relating to the short cycle was performed to determine if there exist legal preconditions to develop a short cycle in the higher education system of North Macedonia. Focus groups with the representatives from NQF Unit, hotel and tourism, IT, health sectors, Chambers of Crafts, the Employment Agency, and the Adult Education Center were conducted to examine the demand for short cycle qualifications. On the 5th of October, a policy learning event was organized to share good examples and challenges with the representatives from HE and VET, employers, chambers, NQF board. Experts presented general preconditions for the developments in EQF level V and especially short cycle qualifications, the need to understand the purpose and the value for different stakeholders of such qualifications were emphasized, recent developments of European Higher Education Area and precondition for transparent and permeable HE system were discussed. Also, a variety of level V qualifications in Europe and examples of structure of short cycle study programmes from the European countries were presented and discussed, as well as the process for introduction of short cycle in Lithuania. To get a further insight into the preconditions and demand for the short cycle in the country, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to higher education institutions, employers, and employers’ organizations.
In the period from 17th till 21st of October, Activity 1.2.6. “Conducting of analysis/assessment about the differences and the need of unification of the title of qualification (ISCED fields/Harmonies and standardized)” was implemented. meetings with the members of the National Council for Higher Education and Research, the director of Agency for Quality in Higher Education in North Macedonia, representatives of the higher education institutions, Ministry of Education and Science were held. The existing classification of studies, the qualification titles awarded by higher education institutions, and relevant legislation regulating classification and titles of qualifications were discussed. The mission also included meetings with representatives from statistical office and the employment agency. The goal of the meetings was to determine how the study classification is used in these sectors. The experts recommended to transition from currently used FRASCATI to ISCED classification. Even though primarily used for statistical purposes, it can be used for classification of the fields of study in the first and second cycles. Alternatively, it can be taken as the basis and amended to fit national purposes. Examples of nationally tailored classification systems developed on the basis of ISCED were provided by the experts.
In the period from 31st of October until 4th of November the second mission of Activity 1.2.4 was held Development of the final version of Guidelines for the future development of the HE qualifications referenced to level V, including institutional aspects of provision, processes of assessment of competencies, and awarding of qualifications. The Guidelines were developed on the basis of the survey results, discussions with the different stakeholders, and experts’ insights.
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