Harmonising Approaches to Professional Higher Education in Europe

Assemblée des Directeurs d’Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (ADIUT) (France)

viewerADIUT is the national association of the 113 University Institutes of Technology, which are autonomous structures inside French universities. The IUT network is deployed over the French territory and delivers Professional university education, life-long learning and research in the industrial and service sectors (24 specialities) at EQF levels 5 and 6. Research and technological transfer are carried out within 163 research laboratories. ADIUT is in direct relation with its socio-economic environment (the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, national and local business organisations, regional and local administrative councils as well as other university groups).

ADIUT has an active International Relations Vice-Presidency that manages a number of mobility and exchange programmes in Europe and outside. We also offer pedagogical engineering in Professional Higher Education worldwide and are involved in the creation of PHE systems in several countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Our activities are organised by 9 committees on Research, Curricula, Means and governance/Quality, Evaluation/Standards and Guidelines, Pedagogy, Professionalization, Lifelong and Work-Based Learning, International relations, and Communication.

Our model situates PHE within French Universities: we think PHE needs to be autonomous within the University organisation to ensure that its courses can be designed by university staff as well as representatives of the world of work with the aim of providing training for as great a number of students as possible. Our staff engage in both academic and applied research within the universities’ research laboratories. At the same time, we have developed efficient links with industry and businesses to foster innovation in the territories and professionalization for our students. In short, we believe that a nationally recognised professional higher education system is key to providing young people with usable competences thus irrigating businesses with vital new talent. Our network has pushed strongly for the establishment of national curricula and competency-based definitions for PHE awards. We have therefore organised our network to provide the specific services PHE needs, from the dissemination of research applied to teaching and learning, organising technology transfer with our stakeholders, to setting up a quality assurance system that is recognised by all partners.

Regular seminars and conferences are organised by and for the network to ensure that our quality system is sustainable.

Why we are participating in HAPHE

French Institutes of Technology have delivered Professional Education degrees since 1965 and have a present enrolment of about 200,000. We believe we can contribute to the definition of Professional Higher Education by sharing our vast experience in this area at Short-cycle and Bachelor levels. We share the same engagement in PHE as many partners in the HAPHE project: we believe that whatever the system chosen to develop PHE, there are a number of key points that may define PHE in Europe:

  • It should have close links with its territory and the world of work;
  • Specialists from the professions should involved at all stages of course design to ensure that the world of work can recruit the young talent needed to allow the sustained growth of the economy;
  • It should enjoy nationally defined funding in order to carry out its specific missions;
  • PHE should be recognised, as a specific way of providing all students with an education that helps them find a place in society and the quality assurance system developed for its evaluation should be developed in complete collaboration with all its public and private stakeholders.

Our role in the project

As a partner, we have undertaken to pass information on PHE in French Higher Education. Our contribution will include our views on funding, quality assurance as well as the situation of PHE in relation to Academic Higher Education. We will relay the findings of the project within our own network (universities and representatives of the world of work) as well as to our partners in Europe and outside of Europe.

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