THE PROCEDURE IN EUROACADEMY FOR ACCREDITATION OF PRIOR STUDIES AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING (APEL)

APPROVED by
Euroacademy Senate decision
of August 31, 2017

The procedure in EuroAcademy for accreditation of prior studies and experiential learning (APEL) is established based on the Statute of EuroAcademy clause 4.4.9 and Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act § 9 (4) 51) and in accordance with the Standard of Higher Education.

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. Accreditation of prior studies and experiential learning (hereinafter APEL) forms a part of the study organisation in EuroAcademy.
2. Definitions
2.1. formal education – formal education within the meaning of the Adult Education Act, which includes the general, vocational, and higher education system;
2.2. informal education – education which takes place in the context of leisure, interest and day-to-day activities and knowledge and experience acquired at the workplace;
2.3. non-formal education – continuing education within the meaning of the Adult Education Act, which is carried out on the basis of a curriculum outside the formal education for specific interest groups;
2.4. applicant – a student who applies for accreditation of prior learning or/and work experience in accordance with the APEL in the completion of the EuroAcademy curriculum.
3. In fulfilling the curricula of EuroAcademy the following can be taken into account:
3.1. study outcomes on the formal education completed in other higher educational establishments or educational institutions;
3.2. outcomes of non-formal educational studies;
3.3. outcomes of informal education and results obtained through work experience.
4. APEL enables assessment of the conformity of prior obtained knowledge, work experience and skills to the study objectives and study outcomes based on the curricula in EuroAcademy.
5. The APEL procedure prescribes that a decision regarding the compliance of prior studies and work experience is made on the basis of individual personal application.
6. The APEL procedure of EuroAcademy does not take into account study outcomes transferred onto an account of other educational institutions on the basis of APEL. The base for APEL application can exclusively be original performance.
7. APEL procedure does not apply to the transfer of study outcomes on students participating in a mobility course if the foreign studies or practice has been conducted during the execution of this curriculum and is fixed by the study agreement approved by the EuroAcademy.
8. In exceptional cases, the Senate of EuroAcademy may prescribe terms for proceeding the application for the application of APEL that differ from academic calendar.
9. The Senate of EuroAcademy may, on a proposal from the faculty council, establish additional conditions for the further completion of the courses selected by the applicant under the chosen curriculum.

II. APPLYING FOR APEL
10. Student has an opportunity to submit the application during the academic period, but as a rule not in the first and last semester.
11. The preparation, submission, processing, and evaluation of APEL applications takes place through the Study Information System (hereinafter SIS) of EuroAcademy two (2) times per academic year as following:
11.1. On autumn semester October 1st –15th;
11.2. On spring semester March 1st –15th.
12. The basis for conducting the APEL procedure is student’s proper application and necessary documents attached to the application in the PDF file format.
12.1. In case of APEL of formal education a diploma and diploma supplement attesting to the completion of a formal education in another establishment of higher education or an attested excerpt of student´s transcript of records, which specifies the title of the subject completed earlier, the volume of the subject (in ECTSs or hours) the result (a grade or a note on the positive performance), the date of performance and the name of the teacher.
12.2. The in-service training is attested on the basis of the respective certificate that states the subject, volume or duration, conductor of the studies (an institution or a person), confirmation of the right to conduct studies, programme and description of the content of the studies.
12.3. Work experience is attested on the basis of a certificate from the employer to the applicant, copy of the employment contract or the decree for appointment, description of the nature of the job or creative work. While attesting the work experience, application should be accompanied by the description of the professional work experience, self-assessment and the analysis of the obtained experience demonstrating its connection to the study outcomes in the application.
13. The translation of an original document issued in another language (also in a foreign country) must be notarised, and while applying to the accreditation of results in a formal education it must be approved by ENIC/ NARIC as being in compliance with the educational system of the Republic of Estonia.
13.1. Transferring results from a foreign higher education institution diploma must be presented with the academic statement. Diploma has to be recognised by ENIC/NARIC centre.
13.2. In the case of an incomplete higher education, the higher education institution where the transferable subject has been acquired must have the ENIC/NARIC Centre’s recognition.
13.3. The APEL commission will inquire into the ENIC/NARIC Centre for an appropriate inquiry.
14. The materials submitted for attesting earlier work experience must include:
14.1. an explanation of the relationship of work experience with the specialty to be acquired
14.2. an explanation of the suitability of the work experience for the objectives and study outcomes of the chosen curriculum;
14.3. portfolio that is presented in the specialties of art (interior architecture, fashion design) describes the nature of the work, presents the data and projects, photographs and other graphic material illustrating the results of the work (participation in exhibitions, competitions, references to catalogs or models, etc.).
15. Application must contain the name of the subject in Estonian and in English. In the case of a subject taught in Russian, the translation of the title of the subject must be given also as a translation into Estonian and English. In the case of a subject taught in English, the translation of the title of the subject into Estonian must be included. Without the Estonian and English translations of the title of the subject, the application will not be accepted.

III. PROCEEDING OF THE APEL APPLICATION
16. Applicant prepares the APEL application in SIS, supplements it with the required documents and confirms it for submission to the APEL commission.
17. Upon submission of an application, the Study Department shall verify the compliance of the application with the following requirements:
17.1. application is submitted within the deadline;
17.2. application contains all the required documents;
17.3. attached documents are in the PDF file format;
17.4. the titles of the subjects have proper translations into Estonian and English;
17.5. the applicant does not have a tuition fee debt at the date of filing.
18. An eligible application will be processed through SIS.
19. If the application appears unqualified, the Study Department shall, at the latest by the due date of the beginning of the session of the APEL committee specified in clause 20.2 of this Procedure, propose through SIS to eliminate the deficiencies in the application. Application which deficiencies are corrected within the deadline will be processed. Application that still has deficiencies by the end of the given deadline will not be accepted.
20. APEL Committee
20.1. APEL committee is formed by the Rector’s order and includes the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, the Deans or faculty representatives appointed by the Dean, representative of the Study Department, who are guided by the rules of procedure approved by the commission. The secretary of the APEL committee is the head of the Study Department.
20.2. APEL committee sessions take place by faculties from November 1st to 10th and April 1st to 10th. At each session present must be a representative of the Faculty corresponding to the curriculum corresponding the application, the Vice-Rector for Studies, and a representative of the Study Department.
20.3. The APEL Commission of EuroAcademy assesses the suitability of the materials submitted by the applicant based on the objectives and study outcomes of the specialty and curriculum acquired and decides whether or not to accept the application. The Commission may, if necessary, include outside experts.
20.4. The assessment is based on an integrated approach to the competences acquired through different forms of learning (formal, non-formal, informal) and their effectiveness in achieving study outcomes.
20.5. The APEL commission has the right to apply additional assessment methods – request practical tasks, interviews or assessments of the applicant in some other way (e.g. portfolio, trial task, observation, test in justified cases).
20.6. As a rule, the APEL commission announces its decisions during the period specified in clause 20.2. If necessary, the Commission may ask the applicant to provide supplementing documentation or explanations, including explanations regarding the assessment systems that were in force in the other higher education institution, according to which the grade will be justified with the assessment system in EuroAcademy.
20.7. The decision of the APEL commission is registered officially in the presence of all members of the committee shown in the clause 20.2.
21. APEL application procedure in SIS.
21.1. Applicant submits a formal and appropriate application through SIS and confirms it.
21.2. The Study Department verifies the compliance of the application with the requirements.
21.3. In the event of any deficiencies in the application, the Study Department informs the applicant of these deficiencies through SIS and provides a deadline for their elimination.
21.4. Applicant corrects the deficiencies in the application and confirms the application.
21.5. A corresponding application is reviewed by the member of the APEL committee from the faculty, (hereinafter the faculty representative), who verifies the relevance and the adequacy of the levels of learning, study results, study load and translations of the title of the subject. Translations of the titles of the subjects entered by the applicant are included directly into the academic statement of the diploma.
21.6. A representative of the faculty enters into SIS the decision to fully or partially satisfy the application or refuse to grant it or to amend the application.
21.6.1. Upon amendment of the application, the faculty representative informs the applicant through SIS of the need for amending the application and gives specific instructions for amending the application.
21.6.2. After the application has been amended, applicant confirms the application again in SIS. Subsequently, the faculty representative enters into SIS the decision about to fully or partially satisfy the application or refusal.
21.7. After the decision of the faculty representative recorded in SIS the application is reviewed by the Vice Rector and records the decision to fully or partially satisfy the application or refuse it.
21.8. After that, the final decision of the APEL commission will be entered into SIS in the presence of the representative of the faculty, the Vice-Rector and the representative of the Study Department.
21.9. In the event of a divergence of the opinions of the members of the committee, an external expert or Rector will be included in the assessment of the application. In the event of equal division of opposing opinions, the opinion of the expert or the Rector is decisive.
22. The Rector’s decree on the APEL
22.1. Based on the decision of the APEL commission, the Study Department prepares a draft of the Rector’s decree, which reflects all applications for the APEL in the given application round, indicating the applied, accounted and / or uncalled credits.
22.2. In the draft decree, Accounting Department shows the amount of the tuition fee payable counted per each applicant.
22.3. Rector signs the decree within three (3) working days from the submission of the order.
22.4. On the basis of the Rector’s decree, the Study Department will credit the credits calculated on the basis of the APEL in the student’s study programme and on the completion of the curriculum.
22.5. A copy of the Rector’s decree is maintained at the Study Department.

IV. EVALUATION AND RECOGNITION OF THE APEL OUTCOMES
23. The APEL committee assesses the conformity of the study outcomes of the transmitted subject, in-service training or experience to the study outcomes of the subject.
24. The knowledge and skills previously acquired by the APEL applicant must be active. The APEL assessor or the commission has the right to control the applicant’s level of knowledge and skills preservation through interview, test or other assignment.
25. When accrediting the higher education (formal education) results (based on the decision of the APEL commission) the title of the subject acquired in another educational institution in Estonian and English language, date of the performance, results obtained, the name of the educational institution and the teaching staff shall be entered onto the student’s transcript of records.
26. When accrediting the results of non-formal education (non-formal education) the grade or result “passed”, the date of issue of the original document, the name of the facilitator shall be entered onto the student’s transcript of records.
27. When accrediting previous professional experience and other informal learning, the result “passed”, the date of the decision and the name of the evaluator shall be entered onto the student’s transcript of records.
28. In the absence or non-adaptation of the description of the assessment system, the result “passed” shall be entered onto the transcript of records.
29. In case the applicant does not agree with the decision of the APEL committee, the applicant has the right to appeal within one week to the Rector’s name. Contestation of decisions related to APEL shall be made in accordance with the procedure established by the EuroAcademy study organisation regulations and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
30. As a rule, the APEL commission decides within one month after the period of the sessions specified in clause 20.2 of this Procedure.

V. LIMITATIONS OF APEL
31. The knowledge acquired earlier is valid and relevant. The period between the earlier completion of the subject which is submitted for APEL and submission of the APEL application should, as a general rule, not be longer than two nominal periods of the curriculum.
32. The scope of the knowledge acquired earlier is suitable. The volume of the subject completed earlier must be larger or equal to the volume of the subject in the curriculum of EuroAcademy.
33. The earlier learning or experience can be accredited as a specialty subject, elective subject or course of liberty only within the limits of volume prescribed in the curriculum.
34. The following cannot be transferred under the APEL procedure:
34.1. degree papers defended elsewhere, final exam results or master’s theses;
34.2. internship conducted in another institution;
34.3. a term paper or a project that is a prerequisite for the transfer to the next academic year.
35. The elective subjects applied through APEL must be supportive towards the educational objectives of the respective curriculum. The professional experience cannot be transferred to elective subjects.
36. The courses of liberty can generally be transferred only during the penultimate semester. Only formal education subjects can be used to replace the courses of liberty. Workplace experience and non-formal and informal education cannot be transferred to the courses of liberty.
37. In a case when student has a certain module in the curriculum completed, to add additional subjects beyond the module’s volume to this module is prohibited.
38. Subjects of the first level of higher education cannot be transferred to the second level of higher education.
39. Subjects of the second level in the higher education may be transferred to the first level of higher education only in the case of the suitability of the volume and the study outcomes of the subject or as a course of liberty.

VI. FEE FOR CONDUCTING THE APEL PROCEEDING
40. The fee for reviewing, evaluating, and accrediting previously obtained grades in accordance with the APEL is confirmed and changed by the management board of the NPO Eesti Euroinfo Ühing through the procedures for the payment of tuition fees and study service fees.
41. When accrediting the results of non-formal education, informal education and professional experience in the assessment procedure of APEL into practical work or subject credits, EuroAcademy does not reimburse the tuition fee for credit points and the processing fee shall not be taken into account.
42. If the APEL application is submitted during the last semester, the tuition fee will not be reimbursed and the processing fee will not be applied.
43. In the case of tuition fee debt, the APEL application will not be processed.

VII. QUALITY ASSURANCE OF APEL PROCEEDING
44. EuroAcademy provides applicants of APEL with the following:
44.1. the availability of the necessary information and regulations;
44.2. general advice, including technical consultation compiling the request in SIS;
44.3. if necessary, accompanying during the proceedings.
45. If necessary, EuroAcademy supports requesting additional information and provides legal aid free of charge.
46. Coordination of APEL falls within the competence of the Study Department in co-operation with faculty and curriculum leaders.
47. Supervision over the performance of the APEL procedure and making proposals for amendments to the procedure if necessary is the competence of the Academic Vice-Rector.
48. The APEL commission shall be composed of representatives of the faculty and experts.

VIII. FINAL PROVISIONS AND LIABILITIES
49. This APEL procedure complements Chapter VI of the Study Regulations of the EuroAcademy as a stand-alone document.
50. Supervision over the implementation of the APEL procedure and resolving disputes concerning the decisions of the APEL commission is carried out by the Rector.
51. The EuroAcademy procedure for recognition of prior learning and work experience (RPLWE) approved by the decision of the Senate of June 26, 2014, is repealed.
52. The APR procedure is approved by the decision of the Senate of EuroAcademy from August 31, 2017 and will enter into force on September 1st, 2017.