Skills beyond school

AHELO - The Norwegian perspective


Interview with Mr. Jan Levy, Counselor, Permanent Delegation of Norway to the OECD

Why is your country interested in AHELO?

Norway is in general supportive of actions to increase knowledge about learning outcomes at all levels. We realise the challenges in extending the international assessment to higher education, and are therefore in agreement with a study on the feasibility of such a survey. If successful, it will increase our knowledge of higher education institutions, and thus give additional tools for quality development.


What specific challenges does AHELO present to higher education in your country?

I would not think there are specific challenges in Norway. Such a survey will need the active collaboration from institutions and stakeholders in all countries taking part.


Do you think some institutions in your country are worried over a new assessment tool such as AHELO? What would you tell them?

We have been in contact with institutions who decided not to take part, mainly for reasons of capacity to execute the work. I think they still would like to see the results of the study, and on that basis consider future participation.


What could be the benefit of AHELO for your country, the institutions, the students and the employers?

The potential benefit would be increased knowledge on system and institutional quality, and possible guidance in future quality work at institutional level. For all stakeholders it would mean new information, supplementing existing information from rankings mainly based on data on research activities. One should also bear in mind that many decisions - both from students and from employers - regarding applications and candidates, are today taken on the basis of more or less anecdotal evidence.


What experience does your country bring to the assessment of HEI learning outcomes?

We intend to take part in the generic strand of the feasibility study, and I hope that we may contribute positively to the development of such a strand. Generic competences are more and more important, and play an important role in the curricula of the Norwegian higher education institutions.