Do students enrolled in higher education around Europe develop the competences they need? Are study programmes delivering their promises? Can we learn to compare student’s achievements in different countries in a meaningful way?
ESU will take part in a new project, co-financed by the European Commission in the framework of ERASMUS+.The project – called ‘Measuring and comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Europe’ (CALOHEE) – aims to answer the questions above by developing the infrastructure that will eventually make it possible to test bachelor and master students’ performance Europe-wide across a range of fields.
Initially, five subject areas will be covered: Engineering (Civil Engineering), Health Care (Nursing), Humanities (History), Natural Sciences (Physics) and Social Sciences (Education). After this initial stage, the outcomes can be used to examine many other degree programmes as well.
The assessment frameworks to be developed in the five fields will facilitate the development of the tests. These will in turn allow university management, academics and students to understand whether students are achieving internationally defined levels of competences that prepare them for their role in society in terms of personal development, citizenship and employability. The goal of the first phase of the project is to see if it is possible to design tests that will provide evidenced based tools to measure success and support universities in their efforts at continuous improvement.
The consortium in charge of the project is led by the International TUNING Academy with technical support and consultation provided by non-profit Educational Testing Service (ETS)based in Princeton, New Jersey, USA). An impressive array of participants is involved, including prestigious universities, university associations and other organisations active at European, national and grassroots level, such as the student unions.
Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Boosting economic growth and job creation in Europe is the top political priority of this Commission. We will only succeed in this if we help ensure that our education institutions equip people with the skills needed in a dynamic, globalised economy. That is why I am very much looking forward to the results of this study funded under our Erasmus+ programme. We need more reliable data on how higher education institutions across Europe perform in order to raise standards – and I particularly welcome the focus on competences related to employability.”