New chapter on the Recognition of Prior Learning in Higher Education

The chapter ‘The Recognition of Prior Learning and Dutch Higher Education - At cross-purposes?’ by L. Cremonini in The Globalisation Challenge for European Higher Education – Convergence  and Diversity, Centres and Peripheries (Zgaga, P., Teichler, U. and Brennan, J (Eds.)) explores the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the Dutch context. Higher education is said to empower upward social mobility for people from lower social strata who cannot inherit privilege. However, sociological studies on stratification and mobility emphasise that education can also contribute to persistent inequality in educational opportunities between generations because of its unequal distribution across strata. Many countries have initiated policies to recognise prior and experiential learning to credit experiences acquired outside the classroom and enable otherwise ineligible individuals to access and complete higher education. But some question RPL’s ability to uphold the quality of the skills it purports to recognise and reward. By examining the case of the Netherlands this chapter considers how ‘recognising experience’ can contribute to reducing inequality in higher education while upholding its quality and benefits. 

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