National learning credit transfer has no future

August 22, 1997

The transfer of learning "credit" on a national scale in higher education is virtually a dead concept, according to a new study, writes Tony Tysome.

Credit accumulated by students through credit accumulation and transfer schemes is hardly ever portable, says Alan Crispin, who is compiling a report on CATS for the Higher Education Quality Council.

One problem is that each credit scheme operates on a different basis. But the key stumbling block is that there is no way of matching up a student's exit point from a course with the entry point to another, other than along conventional lines.

The Department for Education and Employment is backing an Inter-Consortium Credit Agreements project that aims to bring the various schemes together into a single national CATS system.

But unless a national curriculum is created for higher education, which Dr Crispin thinks unlikely, there will be little scope for students to freely transfer with their learning credit.

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