Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
On this page, you will find information about what constitutes recognition of prior learning, how it is validated and how recognition of prior learning can be used for admission requirements/access or credit transfer.
What is recognition of prior learning?
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is the collective actual knowledge that a person has; it can be formal, non-formal and/or informal.
Formal knowledge is acquired via the formal education system and results in degree and/or educational certificates which are quality-assured by public authorities. Non-formal knowledge is acquired through deliberate learning, but not regulated by laws and provisions in the same way as formal knowledge. Informal knowledge is, in turn, unintended and unorganised learning. Informal learning happens for example in the home, in the workplace or in leisure time.
- meet general entry requirements
- meet specific entry requirements for a particular course or programme
- enable credit transfer of courses and course components (shorter period of study).
Lund University’s process for validation of recognition of prior learning
Lund University has a process for validation of recognition of prior learning for both entry requirements and credit transfer. The scope for getting prior learning validated for entry requirements or credit transfer is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance.
- Assessment of RPL for general entry requirements is managed by the Admissions Office and, in most cases, decisions are taken by the Admissions Board.
- Assessment of RPL for specific entry requirements is decided by the Admissions Office in consultation with the department or faculty concerned.
- Assessment of RPL for credit transfer is done by the department offering the course or programme specified in the application for credit transfer of RPL. The case is managed by an officer tasked with RPL matters at the Degree Office and a decision is taken according to delegation rules.
Below follows a more detailed description of how the University handles these matters.
Validation of recognition of prior learning
Validation is a process that entails a structured assessment, evaluation, documentation and recognition of knowledge and skills that a person possesses, regardless of how they have been acquired.
Validation coordinator – a university-wide resource
As of 2021, a position for a validation coordinator has been established at the Admissions Office. The validation coordinator is a university-wide resource for the validation of recognition of prior learning.
The validation coordinator has a dedicated email address to which prospective and currently enrolled students, as well as employees at departments and faculties, can turn with questions concerning recognition of prior learning. The validation coordinator is also an entry point for external agents and can refer questions concerning validation to other divisions within the University and to other higher education institutions.
You will find the contact details for the University’s validation coordinator under Contact.
Entry requirements determine whether a person can be admitted to a course and/or programme which requires the person to have certain prior knowledge. In order to meet the entry requirements through recognition of prior learning, the applicant must submit an application no later than the regular application deadline. This applies for both general entry requirements and specific entry requirements. A new application must be sent in each time a person wishes to apply for a course or programme, even if they have applied previously.
All applications for validation of recognition of prior learning (referred to as ‟reko”, the Swedish abbreviation) for entry requirements are managed by a reko officer at the Admissions Office. The Faculty of Engineering (LTH) has its own officers who process LTH’s reko cases. In a first review of applications, those that are not valid for Lund University are discarded. For the remaining applications, the officer may request complementary information.
The cases which are to be decided by the Presiding Committee of the Admissions Board are prepared by the reko officer before a presentation to the Presiding Committee. The cases regarding specific entry requirements are sent to the department concerned for a decision and justification (the employee responsible can view submitted documents/the case in NyA). The applicants are then notified via the admissions notification on universityadmissions.se.
Remember that those who meet the formal entry requirements cannot apply for recognition of prior learning – in other words it cannot be used to raise an applicant’s level of qualifications.
- University entrance qualification from upper secondary school or municipal adult education at upper secondary school level
- Vocational diploma from upper secondary school or municipal adult education at upper secondary school level and at least an E grade in the courses in Swedish or Swedish as a second language and English required for a university entrance qualification from upper secondary school
- Final grades from upper secondary school from 2010 and later
- Final grades from upper secondary school before 2010
- Final grades from municipal adult education from 2010 and later
- Final grades from municipal adult education before 2010
- Final school grades
- Intermediate year grades
- Waldorf school
- Folk high school
- Collective grade documents from municipal adult education before 2010
- Resident in Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway and meeting the local entry requirements for higher education
- In possession of an upper secondary school education from another country, if the education meets the entry requirements for higher education in that country
- Pursuant to older provisions, meets the general entry requirements for higher education or education that starts on the foundation level (e.g. second cycle education, special courses, other forms of schooling)
- A pass on the type of entry exam specified in the ordinance (2018:1510) on experimentation with a higher education admission exam.
Applications for validation of prior learning for entry requirements are to consist of an application form from universityadmissions.se and an account of knowledge where the student carefully describes the knowledge and skills they wish to submit for assessment. Thus, it is not sufficient merely to send in the form and a certificate of employment.
Qualification for supplementary teacher training
In 2021, the higher education institutions that offer supplementary teacher training (KPU) received government funding for the purpose of validating prior learning for qualification/entry to supplementary teacher training.
The validation work at Lund University is being conducted as a project with Malmö University and other higher education institutions in the region. The project involves the University determining how an individual’s previous experience is to be validated and how to develop validation methods so that more people can be admitted to the programme. The project will be concluded in March 2022.
The project manager’s contact details are available under Contact.
Students at Lund University can apply for credit transfer based on prior learning (reko) corresponding to a course or course component within their study programme. If the assessment shows that the student has knowledge equivalent to the learning outcomes on the course/course component, their period of study may be shortened.
Students apply for credit transfer of prior learning within their study programme via a central organisation to the Degree Office/prior learning. Exceptions are students from LTH and the Faculty of Medicine who are instead to apply at their own faculty.
The application is to contain the form “Application for credit transfer of prior learning”, a self-evaluation and any certificates proving the prior learning. Sometimes, interviews and written tests may need to be conducted to assess the student’s knowledge.
For applications for credit transfer of prior learning that come in via the central organisation, a reko officer for credit transfer at the Degree Office provides administrative support throughout the application process. This means that the officer guides applicants through the process, compiles documentation for decisions, communicates decisions/rejections to applicants, transfers credits in Ladok in case of approval and registers each case. However, assessment of applicants’ prior learning is done by subject specialists at the department concerned and decisions are taken according to the delegation rules. The reko officer’s contact persons at the departments are the directors of first and second cycle studies.
Support material for assessors and decision-makers
Special Ladok manuals are available to support those assessing and taking decisions on matters of credit transfer of prior learning. There are also process charts showing how application cases are to be processed, as well as document templates for approval, partial approval and rejection that can be used in decision-making.
Remember that you need to log in with your username and password to access the material in LU Box.
For questions about validation of prior learning:
validering [at] stu [dot] lu [dot] se
Sölvegatan 29 B, Lund
For questions about credit transfer of prior learning:
tillgodoraknande-reko [at] stu [dot] lu [dot] se
Sölvegatan 29 B, Lund
For questions about the supplementary teacher training (KPU) project:
monica [dot] wendel [at] stu [dot] lu [dot] se