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Guidelines for Exemption from Parts of a Study Programme on the Basis of Prior Learning and Work Experience

Full title: Guidelines for Assessing Applications for Exemption from Parts of a Study Programme at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, on the Basis of Prior Learning and Work Experience.

Approved by the Academic Affairs Committee 16 October 2012 in accordance with  Act of 1 April 2005 No. 15 Related to Universities and University Colleges, § 3-5 Subsection two

1. Scope

These guidelines apply to the assessment of applications for exemption from parts of a study programme at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, on the basis of documented prior learning and work experience.

2. Delimitations and definitions

2-1

In these guidelines prior learning and work experience refer to knowledge, skills and general competence, cf.  The National Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning, acquired in other ways than through formal university or university college education.

2-2

Exemption in accordance with these guidelines may include assessment/examination, compulsory participation in teaching activities, coursework requirements, practical training, participation in project work, assignments, presentations etc.

2-3

Admission to a study programme at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences on the basis of prior learning and work experience does not in itself imply a right to be exempted from parts of a study programme. If an applicant believes that his/her prior learning and work experience exceeds the admission requirements, he/she may apply for exemption from parts of a study programme, cf. Section 3-4 of these guidelines.

2-4

Upper secondary education or tertiary vocational education does not by itself provide a basis for exemption from parts of a study programme at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.  Such education or training must be combined with vocational training and/or other prior learning activities in order to be assessed for an exemption.

For the engineering programmes at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, the provisions regarding exemption in the National Curriculum Regulations for engineering education, § 5, apply.

3. Application procedures

3-1

Application for exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience shall be addressed to the relevant Faculty at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. The Faculty Board may decide that applications for exemption must be submitted within a specific deadline.

3-2

The applicant must specify which part(s) of the study programme he/she wants his/her prior learning and work experience to be assessed in relation to.  Furthermore, the applicant must specify the learning outcomes he/she has acquired, i.e. the achieved learning outcome that shall provide a basis for the exemption. This must be supported by the presented documentation, cf. Section 5 on documentation requirements.

3-3

The Faculty Board decides upon applications for exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience.

3-4

An application for exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience will normally not be processed until after the applicant has been granted admission to the study programme in question at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

4. The basis for assessment

4-1

Applications for exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience are given an individual assessment.

4-2

The applicant’s prior learning and work experience shall cover the parts of the study programme which he/she has applied to be exempted from. This means that it must be established, on the basis of an academic assessment, that the applicant’s knowledge, skills and general competence are equivalent to the learning outcomes the student shall acquire through regular studies in accordance with the National Curriculum Regulations, the programme description and/or course description for the study programme in question.

4-3

If an application for exemption concerns practical training where academic supervision is required, the applicant must document practical training with formalised academic supervision of a certain extent. The academic supervision must have been given by qualified professionals. Practical training shall be assessed in relation to the learning outcomes described in the National Curriculum Regulations, the programme description and/or course description for the study programme in question.

4-4

In addition to the submitted documentation, cf. Section 5, the Faculty Board may decide that an academic interview and/or practical testing shall be carried out to establish whether the applicant’s total knowledge, skills and general competence may provide a basis for exemption. The Faculty Board may also decide that the applicant must prepare a written assignment, a self-reflection paper etc. on a given topic that will be included in the basis for the assessment.

4-5

Exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience shall not weaken the candidate’s academic level.

5. Documentation

5-1

Applications for exemption from parts of a study programme on the basis of prior learning and work experience must be sufficiently documented for an academic assessment. Such documentation may include:

a) A confirmation or certificate from an employer or voluntary organisation describing the applicant’s tasks and participation in specific work activities or work areas, including the applicant’s working methods. Any formalised academic supervision which the applicant has received in a professional context must be accounted for. The confirmation or certificate must be signed and dated and state the duration of the employment or the engagement at the organisation, the applicant’s position and employment percentage.

b) A course certificate including a course description stating the extent or duration of the course (hours/days/weeks/months), its contents and level.

c) Published articles, reports etc. within the subject area or field of knowledge.

d) Work samples, products etc. within the relevant subject area or field of knowledge. The applicant must be able to document that the works are his/her own.

5-2

Documentation such as work certificates, confirmation of participation or engagement in voluntary organisations, course certificates etc. must be officially certified copies. Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences may require that the applicant presents the original documents.

6. Delegation of authority

In accordance with these regulations Sections 3-1, 3-3 and 4-4, the Faculty Board may delegate the decision-making authority to other bodies at the Faculty.