The Irish radicals

May 16, 1997

NORTHERN Ireland began to investigate a credit accumulation and transfer system only a year ago, but has produced the most radical proposals of all. It aims to develop a single post-14 credit framework for the province, creating continuity across school, further and higher education.

"If it's going to happen anywhere, this is a good place to start because of the small size of the province and because higher education has very close relations with the further education colleges," says Sandra Griffiths, director of the Northern Ireland Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (Nicats).

It is not yet clear exactly how the age-14 starting point will work, but it signals a principle of inclusiveness for secondary as well as tertiary education.

The Nicats steering group wants responses by September to a consultation paper on developing level descriptors.

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