Phase 2 of AHELO is out of the starting gate


With 17 countries and economies now participating, fieldwork is underway in almost all of them. Some late joiners will soon catch up as all data must be gathered by end June 2012. The field testing of the economics, engineering, generic skills and contextual data involves around two hundred students per institution in up to ten higher education institutions per country.

There has been international agreement on frameworks and instruments. Based on the feasibility study findings to date, there are genuine and sound indications that much of AHELO is feasible. An interim feasibility report has now been released, which shows that:

  • It is possible to define and agree on discipline-specific learning outcomes internationally, as proven by the development and international validation of the Economics and Engineering Assessment Frameworks and instruments.


  • In terms of developing tests that can be applied cross-nationally, cross-culturally and cross-linguistically, there is evidence that the AHELO tests for generic skills, economic and engineering have been translated, adapted and verified independently to international standards in a transparent process and completed in all participating countries.


  • The fieldwork phase, which is currently underway, shall provide more insights into test adaptation and translation, as well as other issues related to the feasibility of sampling students and faculties, participation rates, test systems, scoring etc.

Next steps:

In November 2012, the OECD will receive the final feasibility study results as to whether or not it is feasible to test students across cultures and languages. An OECD Report will be issued in December 2012 to report the results and findings. The findings will also be discussed at a conference entitled, “Skills for life: Can we test students globally, and how?” to be held on 14-15 March 2013 in Utrecht (Netherlands). During this conference, broader lessons, implications and ways to take these findings forward will also be debated.



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