Scotland got there first

May 16, 1997

Scotland pioneered the new approach to credit when all 21 higher education institutions formally backing the Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer (Scotcat) framework in 1991.

This established a common system of credit points and levels, and an agreement to cooperate in developing credit-based learning, including links with work-based learning and continuing professional development.

The Scottish Advisory Committee on Credit and Access, set up by the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals and the Higher Education Quality Council, is talking to other interested bodies, including the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department, about extending Scotcat to create a common credit framework covering the whole of post-compulsory education.

The discussions are timely, given the Higher Still reform of Scotland's post-16 curriculum and assessment system which will merge the academic and vocational streams.

The University of Paisley is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Scotcat, and has around 2,400 students on part time and work-based programmes. It delivers several credit-rated modules on British Aerospace's Prestwick site, for example, with many employees given credit for Higher National certificates and diplomas they already hold.

It has helped develop a top-up degree for registered nurses alongside Scotland's National Board for Nursing, Queen Margaret College, and Glasgow Caledonian and the Robert Gordon Universities.

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