Qualifications that correspond to level 5 of the European qualifications framework (EQF) appeal to learners as they open up prospects on several fronts - immediate employment, career advancement, and further learning.
At the same time, their focus on advanced technical and managerial skills makes them valuable to employers. These qualifications are typically associated with short-cycle higher education programmes. Yet about 50% of qualifications at EQF level 5 are found elsewhere: in initial and continuing vocational education and training, in general education, or even entirely outside the formal education and training system. The close examination provided in Cedefop’s recent publication Qualifications at level 5: progressing in a career or to higher education indicates the true weight of these qualifications in the labour market. It also demonstrates how policy-makers can use the EQF to improve education and training subsystems, and strengthens links between them. In particular, it can help policy-makers determine whether their own qualifications landscape lacks options which combine labour-market and higher education appeal. They can thus use level 5 as a platform for developing new qualifications, as is already happening in several European countries.