Skills beyond school

AHELO Frequently Asked Questions


Is AHELO just another ranking?

No. The narrow range of criteria used in university rankings creates a distorted vision of educational success and fail to capture the essential elements of an education: teaching and learning.
In contrast, AHELO widens the scope of criteria and evaluates an education on a number of fronts, most of which are disregarded in rankings. This approach allows students and HEIs to set their own priorities, concentrate on their strengths, address their weaknesses, and plan their futures as they see fit.

Still, won’t it be possible to compare countries in terms of high-level skills?

No. Such a comparison would require assessing all, or a representative sample, of higher education institutions in each country.
Participation in AHELO is voluntary. Institutions are under no pressure from their governments. The OECD recognises that some countries may be unable to create the incentives for their institutions to take part, especially in an international study of this size. A mandated assessment might also produce an administrative response, rather than the spontaneous response from students and faculties, making it an ineffective tool for improvement.


When will a full-scale AHELO be up and running?

Depending on the results of the feasibility study, a full-scale AHELO could be launched by 2016.
Isn’t that a long time?
The development of instruments for large international assessments takes time – over 7 years in the case of the OECD Programme for an International Assessment of Adult Competencies – so the timeframe in which to develop a full-scale AHELO is within the norm. 

Who can join?

If your country has agreed to participate, your institution may be able to take part in the study.

Three to six countries will be involved in the various assessments of generic skills, engineering and economics, with about ten institutions from each country selected to take part. A list of participating countries is available here.