This article was first published on the ECCTIS Blog
The Independent Examinations Board in South Africa has recently added the Advanced Programme: English to their suite of qualifications. The IEB conducted a pilot study of the AP: English in 2011, with the national roll-out being launched in 2012. The AP: English is a new qualification offered by the IEB in addition to the National Senior Certificate, intended to provide the opportunity for students to study English in further depth and increase the number of students following programmes including English at tertiary level. It followed the launch of the then newly developed National Senior Certificate and AP: Mathematics in 2010.
Following the benchmarking study undertaken in 2010, which examined the NSC and AP: Mathematics, this study sought to benchmark the AP: English against UK qualifications. It confirmed that the AP: English can be considered comparable to GCE Advanced level standard.
Exemplar GCE A level programmes were used to assist with the benchmarking study. The majority of the core components of the GCE A level programmes were also covered by the AP: English, although some differences were observed in the entry requirements and the content of the programmes. However, these differences were deemed to be due to cultural differences between the two systems rather than an indication of disparities in academic level. There were clear links between assessment standards and objectives, as well as the depth and breadth of the programmes in providing the skills required for tertiary study. This resulted in the following comparable level:
|Independent Examinations Board Programme||Comparability|
|Advanced Programme English||Is considered comparable to GCE A level standard|
Further information on the IEB AP: English can be found on the IEB website. For information on the project work undertaken, please contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK NARIC hosts many visitors from around the UK and from around the world in its offices in Cheltenham. But last week we wished that our new training room, recently enlarged in our office refurb, had been made even bigger as we welcomed an unusually large delegation of 18 from our counterpart national recognition agency in Norway, NOKUT.
NOKUT is conducting a major fact-finding review to inform the next stages in its development. NOKUT’s remit is not only qualification recognition; it also performs the lead quality assurance role for vocational education and for higher education in Norway.
This accounts for the size of the delegation – there were representatives from the different departments and functions of the organisation, and also Board members. The NOKUT Board includes representatives from the education sector and student union representation as well, so all in all the approach is notably collaborative and multi-stakeholder.
The day after meeting us in Cheltenham, the NOKUT delegation travelled to nearby Gloucester to hold conversations with the UK quality assurance agency, the QAA, with a focus on that aspect of NOKUT’s work.
The exchange of ideas was extremely interesting. There are some similarities between NOKUT and UK NARIC – they are both independent, but officially authorised, agencies – but at the same time there are differences of approach. Of course, in our recognition work, the focus is the same, and there was much discussion in this area.
Our meeting in Cheltenham was very fruitful indeed and we look forward to interesting collaborations and joint projects with our Norwegian colleagues at NOKUT!