Creating common ground – Recognition framework for Circle U. ready for Christmas launch

The framework for recognition marks a major milestone for Circle U. – and particularly its students – on the path towards seamless mobility.

Front page of the Circle U. Joint Framework for Recognition
Circle U. Joint Framework for Recognition (pdf)

The task force for Recognition, lead by UC Louvain, has just finished drawing up the first framework for recognition within Circle U. The framework outlines common principles and procedures for recognition within student exchange. Streamlining this across the partner universities is no easy feat despite the fact that there are existing conventions and principles in place. National legislation and institutional practices are still forces to be reckoned with, but the alliance has taken a solid step in the right direction.  Hopefully this will turn out to be a giant leap for students and the Alliance’s vision of an inclusive European University Ecosystem – and a valuable tool for those teachers and administrators who will be building future Circle U. activities.

Why have a framework?

One of the ultimate goals of the alliance is to increase mobility by ensuring that Circle U. exchanges offer an added value compared to other destinations or exchange programmes. This objective can only be reached by first establishing a robust and functional foundation which addresses both administrative and academic aspects of student mobility.

The framework for recognition is exactly that foundation. The framework collects and presents existing principles and procedures for recognition at the Circle U. partner universities. In addition, it proposes recommendations on how to further streamline some procedures in order to make recognition and transfer of credits even smoother and more seamless; thereby meeting the Alliance Goal of increasing all types of mobility, be it – physical, virtual or blended.

The framework for recognition was developed by initially sharing information and best practices on a number of recognition-related issues, determining a common understanding of the underlying principles for relevant student relations and for recognition. The second step was to draw from these exchanges guidelines or recommendations to be followed by all Circle U. partner institutions.

Hopefully, this foundational work will make all aspects of mobility more accessible and transparent for students – from the point where they first start researching possible destinations to the time when they return to their home university and receive their credits. 

Work in progress – and still some bumps ahead

Although a lot of work has been put into it, the framework is by no means a finished manifesto. On the contrary, it is a living document that will continue to evolve as the Circle U. alliance matures. Some topics, such as the recognition of PhD students and the recognition of credits in Circle U. developed activities (e.g. blended learning or summer schools) needs to be further developed.

Some of the important priorities in the coming months will be implementing a method of digital transferring students’ results, considering the establishment of mobility windows and developing learning activities pre-approved at system level where Circle U. students are given priority access. All are tasks that will make mobility easier and more manageable for students as well as for university administrators.

These efforts will take place at different levels at all the partner universities, and is expected to start immediately and continue during the final two years of the project. A successful implementation of the recommendations will also depend on work and results in other Circle U. task forces, work packages and at decision making levels at the partner universities.


Joint Framework for Recognition

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Published Dec. 20, 2021 11:42 AM - Last modified Dec. 20, 2021 12:16 PM