1. Objectives and goals of the project
The project of "Global Approaches on Education and Training of Middle-level Professionals" coordinated by Kyushu University is commissioned by MEXT1 as part of its policy initiatives "FY2013 Strategic Promotional Program for Vocational Education of Middle-level Professionals in Targeted Growth Fields". In this project, a variety of people in industry, government, and academia from various areas in Kyushu region have taken the initiative to build a global consortium with the support of people involved in the preceding consortia in specialized fields.
In particular, this project aims to facilitate discussions covering a wide range of aspects concerning the needs and abilities required for Middle-level professionals throughout education levels, sectors of institutions, and the fields of training. Kyushu University enriches the discussion and communication and is working on the following two policy issues as the foundation of this consortium. The first issue is a study of the possibility of the qualifications framework covering both vocational and academic education particularly at tertiary level that can be transparent domestically and internationally. The second is to develop programs based on module-style or credit accumulation that encourages recurrent learning of working people in growing economic fields.
On the one hand, this project remains close to the actual worksites, and encourages that people from universities, junior colleges, and specialized/professional training colleges can develop educational programs for the globalization at the field of
- (1) hospitality in food, culinary and tourism,
- (2) long-term care, health and welfare and
- (3) business and management.
On the other hand, this project views issues more comprehensively apart from worksite and explores the transparency of education and training system on the international dimension. Interactions through these activities are the characteristics of this project and an important goal. So it would be expected a whole range of discussions from down-to-earth practical matters to stratospheric perspectives to take place at this workshop.
2. National Qualifications Framework and Quality assurance at the tertiary education
2-1 Examination of the possibility of incorporating national qualifications
frameworks and quality assurance for fostering Middle-level professionals
The establishment of a system for fostering Middle-level professionals requires the expansion of international transparency and compatibility of qualification systems, which are issues in all education and training systems in Japan, and the clear positioning of unique systems that specialise in vocational education rather than simply inheriting domestic systems for the quality assurance of universities and other schools,
such as the university accreditation models.
Therefore, this project will be involved in various types of growing fields to compare and examine qualifications of academic degrees and vocational education in Japan and overseas and how the qualities of vocational education and training programs are assured today. Based on such examinations, this project holistically studies the policies and issues of developing systems of vocational education as part of lifelong learning in Japan. The main target of overseas research is the positions of programs focusing on academic efforts and programs focusing on vocational efforts concerning qualifications frameworks implemented outside of Japan.
2-2 Qualifications framework and various approaches of quality assurance
The important point of the quality assurance approach in the qualifications framework is to examine it based on the following perspectives: (1) parity of esteem, (2) relationship between consistency and permeability among programs, (3) promotions of recurrent learning by recognizing properly the outcomes of both formal and informal learning outside of a program, (4) the policy framework of cooperation to establish these
The approach of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for non-official educational services, which are now examined and implemented internationally, should also be the focus of efforts.
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