Outcomes

The outcomes of the Study are manyfold. Highlighted should be the process of trust and confidence building between all involved which developed gradually from the first seminar meetings on. This allowed for open discussions, required to develop a mutual good understanding of the higher education systems in China and Europe. The learning visit of a delegation of six Chinese experts to three European universities contributed significantly to this.

The five outcomes agreed in the final outline were met by the study. The first of these was the establishment of 3 disciplinary working groups of 5 universities, each with high prestige and profile in their respective academic fields. For each group a coordinating institution and academic leader was appointed.

The second outcome was the development and implementation of the survey among four stakeholder groups: employers, graduates, students and academic staff. The outcomes met the minimum standards. They proved of crucial importance for the development of the conceptual frameworks or meta-profiles. The outcomes were presented and analysed in a lengthy paper of 60 pages carrying the provisional title An Analysis of the Generic and Subject Specific Competences in three Subject Areas based on the China-EU Tuning Joint Study Consultation.

The third outcome is three substantial reports containing a conceptual framework / meta-framework for each of the subject areas involved. The frameworks follow a fixed template. They offer a wealth of information about the Chinese educational system in general and about the three subject areas in particular. They also highlight the challenges ahead.

Intensive discussion and written information collected allowed for realizing the fourth outcome, a short paper identifying communalities and differences between European and Chinese HE systems to be based on the conceptual frameworks / meta-profiles prepared.

The material available forms the basis for meeting the fifth scheduled outcome, establishing connections between Chinese and European disciplinary networks and higher education institutions by linking the outcomes of the Tuning EU-China. Relevant European networks have been directly informed about the results.

The study also allowed for identifying weak elements in the present Chinese higher education system, namely the lack of a reliable credit system. This is particularly relevant for recognition of studies in an international perspective. It also became clear that the learning and teaching strategies applied are very traditional and input based. The Chinese experts themselves concluded that it would be very useful to study the development of a student workload and outcomes based credit system. Such a system could also serve as a means to reform and enhance degree programmes. To develop standards for the different cycles it is also thought advisable to study the possible development of a qualifications framework.

The scope of this study was limited. Although the three qualifications frameworks may have their impact, there are obvious limitations. The three disciplines only represent two sectors or domains of education, engineering and social sciences. The sectors not covered, that is the humanities, natural sciences and health care have their own features as we know from other studies. It would therefore be advisable to involve more subject areas / disciplines to cover the whole spectrum of higher education.

The results of the study have been published in the book Tuning Teaching and Learning Process in China.

It contains a Chinese and English language part and is meant to inform the Chinese higher education community. The book contains basic information about the Tuning approach, the consultation process as well as the three conceptual frameworks.

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