Stating the Obvious: The European Qualifications Framework is not a Neutral Evidence-Based Policy Tool

Jul. 30, 2010

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 9 Number 3, p. 304‑316. (2010).

In European Union policy documents, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is described as a neutral tool embedded in an evidence-based policy process. Its purpose is to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications in the European Union.

The goal of this paper is to denaturalize the EQF discourse through a discursive reading of the EQF policy and a review of research on national qualifications frameworks in a number of primarily Anglo-Saxon countries.

The argument may seem obvious: the EQF policy is not neutral (policies never are), nor is there evidence to substantiate the claim that the EQF is a case of policy learning from ‘good practice’.

Updated: Jan. 23, 2011