The purpose of credit transfer and articulation is to make it easier for students to move between courses and institutions. This gives people more opportunities to fulfil their potential and respond to changing employment needs.
The terms can vary, but, articulation is generally used to mean movement between qualifications. Credit transfer generally means that a student gains credit for previous study so they can complete their current qualification more quickly. Credit transfer and articulation can apply between courses within an institution and between institutions (e.g. moving from one university to another).
Early work on credit transfer and articulation was done by Universities Australia which established Policy Guidelines on Cross-sector Linkages in 2002. These guidelines were further developed by the Australian Qualifications Framework Advisory Board (AQFAB) to cover all education sectors. The National Guidelines on Cross Sector Qualifications Linkages were adopted in 2004. Also, in 2004 AQFAB adopted the related National Principles and Operational Guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning.
In 2005, the former Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) endorsed a number of initiatives on credit transfer. The Council has:
- adopted Good Practice Principles for Credit Transfer and Articulation at its May 2005 meeting. These provide high-level Ministerial endorsement for further improvements in institutional practice. They are broad in nature and do not compromise academic or institutional autonomy in assessing and awarding credit
- adopted Principles for Good Practice Information Provision on Credit Transfer and Articulation from VET to higher education at the July 2006 meeting, following consultation with stakeholders on draft principles approved by MCEETYA in 2005. The scope for initiatives to showcase and demonstrate good practice was considered as part of the response to the National Study on Credit Transfer referred to below
- commissioned a national study of the practices in credit transfer and articulation from VET to higher education, mapped against the Good Practice Principles. This study involved extensive consultation with the VET and higher education sectors. The study identified gaps in practice and made recommendations for initiatives to drive further improvement. The study produced three reports which have now been released:
- The Stage 1 Report which provides an overview of the field [PDF 1.0MB]
- The Stage 2 Report which has case studies of credit transfer arrangements [PDF 769KB]
- The final report, Giving Credit Where Credit is Due which includes recommendations to improve credit transfer [PDF 516KB]
- endorsed responses to the recommendations of the final report that refer recommendations to relevant organisations for further work and implementation. Annual progress reports will be provided to MCEETYA [PDF 27KB]
- established a Working Party to improve data collection on credit transfer and articulation drawn from sector representatives and experts. This produced specifications for improved data collection.
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In the 2007 Budget the Australian Government announced that FEE-HELP will be extended to full-fee-paying students studying higher level VET qualifications including VET Graduate Diplomas and VET Graduate Certificates. VET FEE-HELP assistance will be available for VET Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses where credit is available for higher education qualifications. This will make it easier for VET students to move to university.
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