The boundaries of competency within Lisbon and Bologna: The short-cycle/ foundation learner
Brine, J. (2008) The boundaries of competency within Lisbon and Bologna: The short-cycle/ foundation learner. European Educational Research Journal, 7 (3). pp. 344-357. ISSN 1474-9041
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2008.7.3.344
The concept of competency is considered both in relation to the educational competency of the short-cycle student described in the 'Dublin Descriptors' of the Bologna Process and in the European Commission's European Qualifications Framework, and in relation to the legal competency that the European Commission has within the field of education and training. This article focuses specifically on the short-cycle/foundation degree introduced in 2003 into the pan-European Bologna Process, and considers its relevance to the European Union's Lisbon Strategy. It argues that the 'short-cycle/foundation' student represents the mid knowledge-skilled learner that is frequently missing from policies and analyses of the knowledge economy that concentrate on either 'basic skills' learners or graduates/postgraduates and that this particular learner, clearly linked to employment, is located at the intersection of vocational and academic learning. The article also considers the role of the European Commission in both the Lisbon and Bologna Processes. Based on an analysis of policy texts the article suggests that the two definitions of competency, whilst quite distinct, are, at the level of policy, very closely connected and serve to increase the Commission's activities within areas of education that are beyond their legal competence.