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The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework: what’s academic practice got to do with it?

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework: what’s academic practice got to do with it?

Fernie, Scott, Pilcher, Nick and Smith, Karen L. (2014) The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework: what’s academic practice got to do with it? European Journal of Education, 49 (2). pp. 233-248. ISSN 0141-8211 (Print), 1465-3435 (Online) (doi:10.1111/ejed.12056)

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Abstract

National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) are a globally established and expanding phenomenon. They are increasingly merging and being mapped onto meta-qualifications frameworks. One key NQF in both these roles is the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). There is much research that categorises the different types of NQF, details their success and failure, and there is a steadily expanding body of critical research into NQF. Despite this, little research has focused on how NQF are used in day to day academic practice in the very institutions whose qualifications they frame. This paper begins to redress this through focusing on the SCQF as an exemplar. It presents a synthesis between contemporary literature, documentary analysis of SCQF literature and the data from in-depth interviews with 15 stakeholders from a range of educational roles. The findings show that despite the claims of the SCQF literature and of contemporary literature regarding the success of the SCQF, its diffusion and the extent of its use amongst these stakeholders is limited. Instead, it is used more as a symbolic tick box exercise and largely ignored. We discuss the implications of this and posit a number of questions that challenge the focus of existing research into NQF and argue for a shift in the criteria by which they are judged from educational to market based ones.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: FIRST published: 6 November 2013
Uncontrolled Keywords: National Qualifications Frameworks, dissemination, Higher Education, academic practice
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Educational Development Unit
Faculty of Education & Health
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:20
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8295

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