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Framework set to end awards confusion

The new system for linking different qualifications in Scotland, said to be an international ground-breaker, will soon become "a common language" for ending confusion over the relationship between different awards.

This was confidently predicted towards the end of last year by Andrew Cubie, who chairs the advisory committee for the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. He was speaking at a two-day conference in Glasgow which saw the launch of a national plan to implement it over the next three years.

Dr Cubie's confidence was shared by Iain Gray, the Lifelong Learning Minister, who announced a pound;1.5 million package to boost the development of the framework, seen as a cornerstone of the Executive's lifelong learning strategy which is due to be unveiled by the end of this month, The SCQF, which places qualifications at 12 different levels from Standard grade to postgraduate, is already used officially to describe school exam results. Standard grades 3-4 and Intermediate 1 passes are level 4 awards while Higher passes are on level 6, for example.

Mr Gray believes SCQF levels will also become the vocabulary of universities and colleges. It is to become the way public information issued by schools, further education, higher education and the Scottish Qualifications Authority will be referred to from 2004-05.

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