european students’ union

PASCL Final Conference on Student-Centred Learning

July 25, 2016

Our final PASCL Conference on Student-Centred Learning took place on 25th May 2016 in Brussels. The event gathered policy and decision makers at European and national level, but also representatives of students and higher education institutions staff.

Hosted at the University Foundation premises in Brussels, the Final PASCL Conference put forward results of the project, such as the new peer assessment framework for “student-centeredness” of a higher education institution. Project participants presented examples of teaching incorporating elements of student-centred learning and university best practices. The conference ended with the award ceremony, where institutions were rewarded for successfully implementing SCL in their education strategy.

Although it is not a new concept, the understanding of student-centred learning is evolving. The main goal of SCL is that the student leaves the university attaining his/her learning outcomes while following a personalised path in accordance to his/her learning style. This requires very good communication between the teacher, the student and the top management. For more information about what student-centred learning is, please consult PASCL website.

However, challenges still remain in terms of assessing student-centred learning at classroom level where the teaching takes place, instead of following bureaucratic procedures only. Some participants also emphasized the difficulty of making SCL formal, as part of the accreditation process, advocating instead for the concept to be part of the non-formal accreditation process.
The involvement of students in curriculum design, recognition of good teaching and staff training were some of the re-occuring challenges identified across Europe.

A general consensus was that universities need to adapt to this rapidly changing world, through equipping students with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, so much needed for the knowledge economy. For this to happen, it is time to bridge the science of education with practice.

PASCL project is funded with support from the European Commission. For further information about the agenda and speakers of the final conference, please feel free to consult the event webpage.

Background

Based on T4SCL project, ESU together with Education International developed a comprehensive description of what SCL means in the Bologna context, what are its direct and indirect benefits, what are the preconditions for its implementation. Student-centered learning (SCL) gained political recognition in Bologna process agreements only in 2009 through the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Ministerial Communiqué. ESU/ESIB has been a strong advocate for interaction between teacher and student, which we consider crucial for quality and relevance of learning outcomes. Also Student-centred learning has an immense impact on the process of acquiring those learning outcomes, responds to the diversity of profiles and needs of learners and therefore improves the higher education retention rates.

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