European Treaty Series - No. 15

European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities *

Paris, 11.XII.1953

The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Considering that one of the objects of the Council of Europe is to pursue a policy of common action in cultural and scientific matters;

Considering that this object would be furthered by making the intellectual resources of members freely available to European youth;

Considering that the university constitutes one of the principal sources of the intellectual activity of a country;

Considering that students who have successfully completed their secondary school education in the territory of one member should be afforded all possible facilities to enter a university of their choice in the territory of other members;

Considering that such facilities, which are also desirable in the interests of freedom of movement from country to country, require the equivalence of diplomas leading to admission to universities,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

1Each Contracting Party shall recognise for the purpose of admission to the universities situated in its territory, admission to which is subject to State control, the equivalence of those diplomas awarded in the territory of each other Contracting Party which constitute a requisite qualification for admission to similar institutions in the country in which these diplomas were awarded.

2Admission to any university shall be subject to the availability of places.

3Each Contracting Party reserves the right not to apply the provisions of paragraph 1 to its own nationals.




(*)Parties to the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (ETS No. 165) undertook to abstain from becoming a Party to this Convention to which they are not already a Party (see Article XI.4 of ETS No. 165).

4Where admission to universities situated in the territory of a Contracting Party is outside the control of the State, that Contracting Party shall transmit the text of this Convention to the universities concerned and use its best endeavours to obtain the acceptance by the latter of the principles stated in the preceding paragraphs.

Article 2

Each Contracting Party shall, within a year of the coming into force of this Convention, provide the Secretary General of the Council of Europe with a written statement of the measures taken to implement the previous article.

Article 3

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall communicate to the other Contracting Parties the information received from each of them in accordance with Article 2 above and shall keep the Committee of Ministers informed of the progress made in the implementation of this Convention.

Article 4

For the purpose of this Convention:

athe term "diploma" shall mean any diploma, certificate or other qualification, in whatever form it may be awarded or recorded, which entitles the holder or the person concerned to apply for admission to a university;

bthe term "universities" shall mean:


iiinstitutions regarded as being similar in character to universities by the Contracting Party in whose territory they are situated.

Article 5

1This Convention shall be open to the signature of the members of the Council of Europe. It shall be ratified. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2The Convention shall come into force as soon as three instruments of ratification have been deposited.

3As regards any signatory ratifying subsequently, the Convention shall come into force at the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification.

4The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify all the members of the Council of Europe of the entry into force of the Convention, the names of the Contracting Parties which have ratified it, and the deposit of all instruments of ratification which may be effected subsequently.

Article 6

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may invite any State which is not a member of the Council to accede to this Convention. Any State so invited may accede by depositing its instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council, who shall notify all the Contracting Parties thereof. As regards any acceding State, this Convention shall come into force on the date of the deposit of its instrument of accession.


In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed the present Convention.

Done at Paris, this 11th day of December 1953, in English and French, both texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General shall transmit certified copies to each of the signatories.

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