Higher Education and Research

The Conference underlined once again the central role that recognition plays within the Bologna Process, not so much as a technical element but as a central function within the European Higher Education Area. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the number of representatives from ministries in charge of Higher education was relatively low.

One of the central questions treated during the conference is how to promote the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention within Higher Education establishments in their recognition practices. One of the possible answers is to include “recognition” in the list of Quality Assurance criteria.

Several ENIC NARIC centres, under the leading role of the Dutch centre NUFFIC, have developed a manual to promote a “European Recognition Area” and good practices. This manual should be available at the end of 2011

Some countries had made the choice to include recognition in their legal frameworks. There was a fear that this could bring about an overly legal approach to the recognition of qualifications. This aspect should be further reflected upon as its consequences could make the recognition process more difficult, even if it would offer a possibility of appeal on decisions.

The issue of recognition in a global context was addressed, in particular the specific role that UNESCO should play in this field, especially by supporting the development of the Regional Convention on Recognition of Qualifications.