Facilitating College and University Transfer in the European Higher Education Area and Beyond: The Case of Fanshawe College's Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology

Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology
A. Mitchell
L. Trotter
W. Wilson
R. Walmsley
Reference Number
Ontario's provincial government recognizes college to university transfer as increasingly important. The challenge that Ontario faces is that its college and university systems were created as binary structures, with insufficient credit transfer opportunities for college students who wish to access universities with appropriate advanced standing. This paper discusses Fanshawe College's consequent attempt to create new pathways for its students within the European Higher Education Area, whose Bologna Process provides an integrated credit transfer system that is theoretically very open to student mobility. This unique project is intended to act as an exemplar for other Ontario colleges seeking similar solutions, and to support an articulation agreement between Fanshawe's Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology and a Building Sciences Master's program at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. This paper discusses the significance of Fanshawe's project and of relevant international legislation that governs the European system. It describes the two key European transfer and mobility tools: the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and the Diploma Supplement. It considers challenges facing the recognition of an Ontario Advanced Diploma in Europe, especially whether this qualification could be equivalent to a European first cycle qualification (a bachelor's). It then maps the Ontario Advanced Diploma and the Provincial Standards for an Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology to the two overarching European frameworks; this mapping supports the conclusion that the Ontario qualification can legitimately equate with a European bachelor's. Finally, it provides concrete recommendations for realizing the potential of this project.