About the field trials

In seven centres of adult education offering the course of additional general education (AGE) a VPL procedure is organised. All these centres use a VPL scenario and registration form prepared by VISKA-Flanders. At the end the collected data will support a policy advice regarding VPL for low qualified adult learners.

Local guidance counsellors support the clients during the VPL-procedure according to the instructions in the roadmap drawn up by VISKA-Flanders  in consultation with the centres. An (intake) interview is planned with every client.

Earlier study results and/or participation in exemption tests can lead to an as short as possible learning path for the course ‘additional general education’ according to the already acquired knowledge and skills.

About the target group

The target group for the field trials are low qualified adults who do not have a diploma of secondary education (NQF 4) and who meet the admission requirements to register for the course of AGE (additional general education).

According to the European Social Survey (European Social Survey, 2012) almost 80% of the low-skilled adults in Flanders and Brussels are born in Belgium. Less than 15% of this group does not have the Belgian nationality and 10% belongs to an ethnic minority group in our country. The parents of the low-skilled adults are born in Belgium in approximately 70% of the cases. When we compare this to the average distribution in the whole population, we can conclude that there is a slight overrepresentation of people from another origin in the low-skilled group. The parents of the low-skilled group are most of the time also low-skilled themselves, with a very small amount of parents that are high-skilled. Based on data collected in the VISKA project we may assume that the target group will mainly consist of adult learners born in Belgium (around 70%) along with other adult learners mostly coming from the Netherlands, Morocco, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey (Vlaamse Overheid, 2017). Migrants and refugees are a part of the target group when they are in line with the linguistic requirements linked to the course of AGE.

About the anticipated policy aim

The aim of the VISKA project interventions in Belgium Flanders is to draw more attention to the importance of general education and a general educational qualification. In Flanders, a decree was recently approved concerning a VPL procedure for professional qualifications. Currently there is no decree for a VPL procedure for obtaining the AGE certificate. The CAEs that offer the course of AGE already use a VPL procedure, which they have, however, devised and designed themselves. With this research we try to take a first step towards mapping out the current VPL procedures for AGE in CAEs, we use field trials to investigate how we can guarantee more and equal VPL possibilities for AGE for the low-skilled and whether a VPL procedure for AGE is indeed an added value in order to obtain a diploma in secondary education. By providing policy advice, we try to give the policymakers working on VPL, an insight into the conditions for a high-quality VPL procedure for AGE. This way, policymakers will be able to develop a quality VPL procedure for AGE in the future, following the VPL decree for professional qualifications, so that it becomes a win-win situation for both society and for the individual.

Flanders an ‘educational qualification’ in adult education is the combination of a professional qualification with a certification AGE. This combination leads to a diploma of secondary education. A vocational qualification describes the knowledge and skills an individual needs to exercise a profession. An educational qualification gives an overview of the knowledge and skills an individual needs to start further studies, to participate in society or to exercise a specific profession. In this report the term educational qualification only signifies VPL for additional general education.

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