Michael Andersen and Christina Laugesen

Recognition of Prior Learning Within Formal Adult Education in Denmark

Michael Andersen, Christina Laugesen


The paper presents key findings of a study on recognition of prior learning (RPL) within adult education in Denmark. In 2007, a major reform extended the possibilities of RPL in adult education. Although some institutions have a relatively high level of RPL activity, the study reveals comprehensive barriers to using RPL across all education areas.

The most important barrier is lack of awareness, and institutions responsible for RPL to some extent fail to inform the public about RPL. But there are also a range of other barriers, for instance that many representatives of educational institutions find it difficult to connect skills development at enterprises with RPL in the formal education system.

Another important finding is that RPL is primarily used to give access to an institution’s own programs rather than other kinds of application. In addition to this, educational institutions find it difficult to see RPL as a profitable activity. Furthermore, there is resistance among some teachers to the principles of RPL. These findings indicate a range of challenges to strengthening the spread of RPL.

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