2. Suggestions on the policies of credit transfer

2.1 Provide policy support for credit transfer through related national laws and regulations

It is suggested that the state ensure the legitimate development of credit transfer in higher education in China by way of legislation. For operation details, the Lifelong Education Law of South Korea and School Education Law of Japan can serve as a reference24. Such special legal provisions would bolster the legitimacy of credit transfer.

2.2 Establish a special agency to guide and coordinate credit transfer in China

Credit transfer involves all kinds of educational institutions, and involves learners in the domains of regular higher education, vocational education and adult education. It is beyond the reach of one or several institutions to formulate a framework of credit transfer covering and accommodating all educational domains. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a dedicated, independent coordination agency to thoroughly investigate the demands of all departments and stakeholders and formulate policies for credit transfer that are applicable on a large scale. Only in this way can we truly achieve resource sharing, mobility for teachers and students, and the promotion of societal lifelong learning.

The agency should have the appropriate level of administrative power and research capability, and be able to guide and coordinate credit transfer of various types and levels in China.

2.3 Develop standards and systems for systematic credit transfer

The benefits of credit transfer are fully revealed only after it has transitioned from pilot case study to a widely applied system. Though there are some pertinent explorations at present in China, a sound standard for credit transfer has not yet been developed. According to international experience in this respect, the prerequisite for credit transfer is equivalence of learning results. That is to say, credit transfer becomes feasible only when two courses whose credits are mutually recognized are equivalent or similar in studying time, course content and assessment/evaluation scoring level. Only under such conditions can the credits acquired for a certain course be transferred to the target school when a student transfers from one school to another, or can credits be recognized by the student’s original school upon returning from cross-institution courses. To realize all different types of credit transfer, it is necessary for the state to develop a unified standard. The EU Higher Education Qualification Framework and the Standardized Course System of the Republic of Korea can serve as references.

At the same time, procedures and systems related to credit transfer need to be formulated taking into account China's actual situation in regard to college entrance and school registration management, thereby ensuring the reliability and credibility of credit transfer.


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