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NextGen: HN news

Engaging with Higher Education

From the initial consultation on the future of HNs in 2018 to the current pilots, our partners in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have played a key collaborative role in the development of the Next Generation of HN qualifications. 

HEI representatives are involved both in the detailed development work – through participation in the NextGen: HN Qualification Design Teams – as well providing strategic direction through NextGen: HN Articulation, Progression and Grading Advisory Group. This group includes representation from senior partners in Further Education and Higher Education, and offers advice, guidance and feedback to ensure the qualifications offer effective articulation and progression pathways.  

Others involved in the advisory group include Scotland’s Community of Access and Participation Practitioners (SCAPP) and National Access and Widening Participation Managers Group, UCAS and Student Participation in Quality Scotland (Sparqs). 

We have also recently become a member of the Joint Articulation Group, made up of Colleges Scotland and University Scotland representatives – another positive step in our work on articulation for NextGen: HN. 

NextGen: HN qualifications themselves also identify opportunities for learners to progress into further learning, or employment. The Educator Guide for each qualification includes a section on articulation/progression and identifies potential progression pathways including Higher Education. 

As part of the evaluation process, we measure how well the qualifications increase these opportunities for learners and support successful progression into further learning or employment. 

In terms of the information we provide to HEI partners, the articulation and progression, and grading pages areas of our website are the key sources of information, detailing ongoing work and recent developments in these areas.  

We also recently provided HEI partners with access to our NextGen: HN Digital Publishing pages, which contain unit specifications, Educator Guides and Grading Packs for the pilot qualifications.

This is supported by ongoing engagement and events, such as HEI showcase events held in 2022-23 to update on progress being made at subject-level across NextGen: HN prototype qualifications and the range of resources available. We have continued to explore issues around grading, national articulation and meta skills with the HEI sector over the past 18 months. 

We have also provided NextGen: HN pilot centres with subject-specific information to support articulation and progression conversations, and ensure articulation arrangements can be developed and maintained. 

David McShane, Policy & Research Manager, said: “We have ensured that the NextGen: HN qualifications are innovative, creative, dynamic, flexible and resilient, and serve as key enablers to both further study and work.   

“The opportunity to enter employment or to progress along the SCQF framework into further college or University study, has long been widely recognised as one of the key strengths of SQA’s Higher National provision. 

In NextGen: HN, those opportunities for articulation and progression will be protected and enhanced, to maximise learners’ choices.”