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  • Vocational education

The recognition of learning units in vocational education is regulated by the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET), the adoption of which in the EU Member States is voluntary.

The main purposes of ECVET are to (1) foster validation and recognition of work-related skills acquired in different environments, (2) improve the attractiveness of the mobility in VET, (3) increase the compatibility of the VET systems across Europe (like the Bologna process in higher education) and (4) contribute to the employability of the VET graduates[1].


  • Higher education

The recognition of prior learning and learning outcomes in higher education in integrated in the Bologna process; further it has been actively promoted by the European Commission with modernization agenda of higher education within the EHEA.


  • Permeability between higher and vocational education

The ECTS and ECVET systems are developed independently of each other and therefore there is no generally regulated permeability between them yet.  Part of the reason for this is that ECVET is not universally implemented by all Member States.

Modularization and credit transfer have been considered as important elements in modernization agenda especially when students are allowed students to obtain and accumulate credits from different institutions and settings e.g. work experience, volunteering, in-formal and non-formal learning. However the legislations of the EU countries allow this process differently.

As recognized by CEDEFOP, relationships between VET and higher education, institutional structures and education and training profiles significantly influence permeability[2].

The recognition of prior non-formal and informal learning in higher education has two directions: (1) it can allow access to higher education or/and (2) it can provide credits towards qualification.


  • Careers



[2] CEDFOP, Briefing Note – 9072 EN, November 2012, p.3

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