HEAR, HEAR….

Progress with adopting the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) rather contracts with that made in the MIAP programme. The HEAR has been trialled in a number of institutions and is now being piloted in a total of thirty HEIs. Those involved in the initial pilot are now scaling up use of the record in their institutions. With nearly a quarter of institutions involved and with support from the National Union of Students it is likely that the HEAR will become something that is universally adopted across the sector in a fairly short timeframe as a de facto standard if not formally adopted.

There remain some questions. It is not clear whether the HEAR will be an authenticated document or whether it will remain within the student records database to be drawn on as part of a graduate’s transcript. It is not yet clear how information on extra curricula activities can be verified. As yet, there does not appear to be any standardisation in the way the HEAR has been implemented across the sector. It is important that this is established quickly in order to prevent every institution developing their own solution (or worse, every institution paying their software supplier separately to develop a solution).

UCISA is working with the JISC to look to move to a standard solution and to engage with suppliers to develop it. Although the benefits have not been completely established for the institution (there is some doubt as to whether is reduces or adds work) an accredited achievement record should be of benefit to the graduate. There is also the question of how the HEAR interfaces with MIAP’s personal learning record. It seems that implementation of the HEAR has built up a sufficient head of steam that it will be achieved within a couple of years. Whether MIAP will follow it through to successful implementation across the sector is a moot point.

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