Unlocking the potential of the European Degree label

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 13:03

Insights from the ED AFFICHE External Advisory Committee meeting

The ED-AFFICHE External Advisory Committee met for the first time on 25 September, a multifaceted group bringing together insights and expertise from the European University Association, Erasmus Student Network, European Student Union, European Federation of Education Employers and the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education. Their mission? To delve into the European Degree label, exploring its purpose and the many hurdles it has the potential to overcome for higher education institutions as they develop joint degree programmes.

Examining key outputs of the ED-AFFICHE project

Discussion focused on two pivotal documents developed under the project:

  • ED-AFFICHE Database of Collaborative Programmes

The database maps collaborative programmes within the ED AFFICHE consortium. It was created through a June 2023 questionnaire distributed to universities in the six ED-AFFICHE alliances, with opportunities for feedback on the final version.

The committee recognised the clear added value of this document; however, they expressed concerns over the sustainability of its content. All participants agreed that ensuring the longevity of this document would ensure its value in the long term.

  • ED-AFFICHE Comparative Analysis of Obstacles for Transnational Collaboration in Higher Education

The document unites countries with shared experiences, best practices, and innovative legislation for addressing joint programme challenges. It serves as the foundation for discussions with national and regional authorities and will pave the way for the ED-AFFICHE "Policy Report on Best Practices and Recommendations for the Future Development and Implementation of Joint Programs in Europe" (D3.2). The committee wholeheartedly agreed on the high quality of this document, highlighting its relevance to the current European higher education landscape.

Reflecting on next steps

The committee also explored challenges linked to accreditation processes and legislative aspects of the European Degree label. Their fruitful discussions highlighted the need for clear definitions and integration of existing Bologna tools as crucial to driving the European Degree forward.

The committee also considered the current degree-awarding process and potential implications on the European Degree label. The thoughtful insights shared in the meeting led to a strong collective understanding of the European Degree label and its transformative potential. Overall, the discussions highlighted the importance of flexibility, sustainability, and transparent communication to developing the criteria for the European Degree label.