The need of validation and recognition of learning outcomes acquired non-formally and informally: A comparative study

Margarita Teresevičiene, Vaiva Zuzevičiute, Julie Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose - This paper aims to examine and summarize the findings of a comparative survey carried out to assess how learning outcomes acquired non-formally or informally are validated and recognized. Owing to limitations of the study, this paper just seeks to consider the challenges that higher education faces, and the new possibilities that might emerge. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology of the study includes critical and systemic analysis of references, also quantitative and qualitative research, which was completed as a three-stage survey. The following methods were used: analysis of recent legal and political educational documents, structured interviews of experts, and a questionnaire comprising open and closed type questions. Findings - The EU is committed to the principles of transferable learning but, until the principles and processes of recognition and validation of learning are integrated within national policy, this is unlikely to happen in any meaningful way. The current situation of autonomous HE management militates against consistency and equity of access for students wishing to have learning recognised and accredited. Research limitations/implications - A total of 55.3 per cent of questionnaires were returned (as 600 questionnaires have been sent out to NGOs in the countries mentioned), so this must be seen as a limitation of the study. Practical implications - Findings can be used in designing and implementing procedures of validation and recognition in higher education (of learning outcomes acquired non-formally and informally, e.g. in work place). Originality/value - A targeted study enables one to make an informed comparison of practices (in the field of validation and recognition) among different countries, and to identify elements of the process that are successful in a variety of contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-350
Number of pages17
JournalBaltic Journal of Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 18 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Experiential learning
  • Learning
  • Learning styles
  • Lifelong learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management

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