Recently, a 2017 review of the institutions applying to join the Mutual Learning Outcome Accreditation Alliance (hereafter Alliance) was successfully concluded.

The review was organised by the Credit Bank of the Open University of China (OUC). Eighteen institutions including Beijing Polytechnic College, Jiangnan University, and China Property Management Institute have been approved by the expert panel to officially join the Alliance, along with 36 learning outcomes.

The 18 institutions that have joined the Alliance this time include 14 higher vocational institutions in which demonstrative higher vocational colleges account for 70%, one 211 (top) university, and three national industry associations. These institutions bring to the Alliance 36 degree and non-degree learning outcomes, of which 29 are degree-education learning outcomes and seven are non-degree education learning outcomes, covering 11 disciplines (industries) and categories. The OUC Credit Bank brought together 34 experts from industries, disciplines, credit banks, certificate issuing organisations, and representatives of the Alliance to carry out an in-depth review of the application materials and learning outcomes for each institution. This is also the first time that the Credit Bank has conducted this kind of review work for institutions applying for joining the Alliance and is an essential part of constructing a quality assurance system for the Credit Bank, which is of great significance in improving credibility, and building a long-term review mechanism and expert team.

The Mutual Learning Outcome Accreditation Alliance is the first open and cooperative organisation engaged in the joint promotion of mutual learning outcome accreditation and transfer. It is guided by the Ministry of Education (MOE) with lifelong learning as its leading concept. The founding of the Alliance was jointly initiated by the OUC together with five local open universities and the Information Classified Security Protection Evaluation Center (CSPEC) of the Ministry of Public Security and another five ministries and industries in July 2016. Since it was founded, the Alliance has positively explored a mechanism and model for learning outcome accreditation, accumulation and transfer that caters to China-specific conditions according to the internationally recognised “learning outcome framework + standard” technical path. To date, the Alliance has 30 institutional members and 250 accepted learning outcomes. It has developed about 1,000 accreditation units and 30 transfer regulations, creating an initial impact in China. The Alliance will continue to extensively incorporate more members, broaden its platform, and deepen and extend the extent of cooperation on the foundation of constantly improved operational mechanisms, in order to positively explore the construction of a national qualification framework system and national credit bank.

By Li Lingqun, OUC