Qualifications frameworks describe the qualifications of an education system and how they interlink.
National qualifications frameworks describe what learners should know, understand and be able to do on the basis of a given qualification as well as how learners can move from one qualification to another within a system.
National qualifications frameworks are developed to be compatible with the overarching framework of qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, which was adopted in 2005 and consists of three cycles (e.g. bachelor, master, doctorate). The overarching framework makes recognition of qualifications easier since specific qualifications can be related to a common framework.
For more details read the 2005 background report and visit the section about qualifications frameworks in the European Higher Education Area in 2007-2009. This section contains important information on qualifications frameworks, which have become an essential instrument in developing the European Higher Education Area, and provides updates on relevant events and developments at European, regional or national level.
For more information on the third cycle, read our section on doctoral education in 2007-2009.