Today’s learners are increasingly taking advantage of more flexible and non-formal learning opportunities through a variety of Open Educational Practices (OEP), such as self-motivated study, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Although these non-formal learning opportunities are often created by teachers in higher education, there is no formal link with the institution. Furthermore, for many people formal higher education remaining unaffordable and inaccessible. The VM-Pass project believes that this non-formal learning has value, and deserves formal recognition.
The project’s mission is to give non-formal learning achievements meaning within the formal education system. The project will create an innovative “learning passport”, a standard template where non-formal learning, assessment and accreditation can be documented such that it may count as prior qualification for higher education.
The innovative VM-Pass learning passport will open up learning, especially for disadvantaged groups and lifelong learners, by offering learners easier access to accredited higher education. The passport will help learners control their learning pathways, with flexible and tailored learning in an accessible form.
Within higher education, the project will promote OEP, along with collaboration and mutual trust, rather than competition, between institutions. It will promote the creation of networks and European partnerships, both locally and across countries, especially in the creation of flexible learning pathways and non-formal learning. The project should accelerate innovation in learning, through openness, leading to an improvement in the overall efficiency and quality of education. Ultimately, it should lead to improved sustainability of universal higher education through a digital educational marketplace.