Higher Education and Research


Within the framework of the Council of Europe member states adopt conventions or agreements. These documents are legally binding for the states that ratify them.

Lisbon Recognition Convention 

In the field of higher education the most important Convention is the Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European region that was adopted and opened for signatures in Lisbon on April 11 1997, hence the name Lisbon Recognition Convention. The Convention was developed jointly by Council of Europe and UNESCO. UNESCO has similar conventions for other world regions as well.

The Convention deals with procedures of recognition of degrees and parts of study in the European countries. The procedures for recognising full degrees, parts of study, pre-tertiary education, qualifications of refugees or internally displaced persons are explained here.

Here you can find full text of the Convention and the explanatory report, links to the versions in French, Russian and Spanish, as well as the continuously updated list of signatures and ratifications. To find out more on this Convention and its implications, please visit the section of the website dedicated only to the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the ENIC network. There you will also find our “Lisboa for pedestrians” guide for beginners in this field.

Subsidiary texts to the Lisbon Recognition Convention, adopted by the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee

Earlier conventions

The Convention was preceded by several other conventions dealing with recognition of qualifications or similar matters, which will in due time all be replaced by the Lisbon Recognition Convention. These conventions are: