Transnational Qualifications Framework for Commonwealth Small States Approved

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Members of the Transnational Qualifications Framework (TQF) Management Committee announced the completion of the review of The Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) TQF. The Open University of Malaysia hosted a meeting during the first week of March to finalise the review of the TQF, the referencing of National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs) against the TQF and approve the registration of six VUSSC programmes on the TQF.

The announcement of the completed TQF will provide small states with more up-to-date procedures and guidelines and a referencing tool for alignment of qualifications to the TQF. The TQF will function as a translation device making qualifications more readable, which in turn, will help learners and workers move between countries or change jobs. It is a key aim of the TQF to contribute to creating a workforce in small states that is mobile and flexible.

The management committee is made up of six individuals who were elected by the national representatives of Ministries of Education and national qualifications agencies. During the meetings, TQF members also nominated a new Chairperson, Mr. Franz Gertze, the CEO of the Namibian Qualifications Authority and two new members Ms. Edel Cassar, the CEO of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education and Mr. Lemalu Lafi, Senior Educational Assessment Specialist for Accreditation of the Secretariat of the Pacific Board for Education Quality.

“The time has come for the small states to take the responsibility for the implementation of the TQF and to make sure that it does not remain just a publication,” said COL’s Education Specialist responsible for VUSSC, John Lesperance. “I urge everybody to ensure finalisation of the TQF referencing tool for VUSSC which is yet another milestone in its development. VUSSC TQF partners must promote the principle of the referencing of the TQF.”

The TQF was created upon the recommendation of education ministers and was developed in partnership with the 32 VUSSC members, comprising of National Quality Assurance Agencies (NQAAs) National Qualifications Authorities (NQAs) and was facilitated by COL.



The Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) is a network initiated by and built on the support of Ministers of Education of developing small states of the Commonwealth. It is committed to the collaborative development of open content resources for education, training and capacity building, and the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to broaden access to education.

VUSSC has developed a Transnational Qualifications Framework (TQF) – a widely recognised system for accreditation for VUSSC courses that will help establish credibility and facilitate the movement of courses and learners between states. A committee of representatives from six small states of the Commonwealth has developed a TQF Implementation Plan that is being forwarded to Ministers of Education in all VUSSC member states for endorsement.

On 3 March 2015 the TQF management committee approved the registration of the following six VUSSC programmes in the TQF:

  1. Bachelor in Business and Entrepreneurship
  2. BSc (Hons) Business Entrepreneurship)
  3. Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture in Small States
  4. Certificate in Tour Guiding
  5. BSc in Environmental Science
  6. Master in Educational Leadership

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