Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Ahelo Will Fail to Launch, Says OECD Director

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Ahelo Will Fail to Launch, Says OECD Director

Article excerpt

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development believes that its project to measure student learning outcomes around the world - billed as a university equivalent of its Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) tests for schools - could have gone ahead if the UK had signed up.

Andreas Schleicher, the OECD's director for education and skills, confirmed to Times Higher Education that the Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes project would not be launched at present.

Mr Schleicher said that "resistance" to Ahelo "particularly from elite institutions, is very high". He continued: "There is an insufficient number of governments, at this point, [who are] willing to take this on.

"The fact that Britain, which was very interested in Ahelo, then also shied back, has had an impact on other countries."

Greg Clark, the Westminster government's former universities and science minister, chaired a meeting of nations interested in Ahelo in February, where plans to move to a "main study" were discussed following the completion of a feasibility study.

But in July, after the OECD asked member nations to say whether they would support a full project, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that England would not take part. …

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