The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR) held an extraordinary Project Co-ordination Group meeting on March 24 to discuss common actions to undertake in connection with the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Ms Kateryna Suprun, Acting Head of Expert Group on Digital Transformation of Education and Science in the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, gave an account of the situation and presented measures and tools to support information exchange on the current situation of higher education in Ukraine. She stated that “it is important to support the continuity of education for Ukrainian refugees, and in this regard the EQPR could be a very interesting tool”.
The 13 countries  currently participating in the project as well as the UNHCR noted that the relevance and importance of this project is sadly increasing. Mr Kosmas Papavlassopoulos, from the Hellenic ENIC-NARIC, pointed out that “it would have been best if we did not need it in this sad situation, but because of the EQPR project we now have the experience and the knowledge to move forward”.
Several possible emergency measures to be implemented by the project in support of Ukrainian refugees were discussed during the meeting, including:
- Online training on how to evaluate Ukrainian credentials for EQPR evaluators, colleagues from ENIC-NARIC networks, novice evaluators and higher education institutions will take place on 29 March 2022.
- A Task force on qualifications from Ukraine will be set up to systematize and share relevant information with the community of credential evaluators in Europe and beyond.
- A new cycle of training sessions on the EQPR methodology will be organised for credential evaluators, to strengthen capacities and expand the pool of trained evaluators that can take part in the EQPR assessment process.
- On-site and online evaluation sessions in countries receiving refugees from Ukraine may also take place whenever the need arises.
- The EQPR self-assessment questionnaire and relevant information documents will be translated into Ukrainian.
Implemented by the Council of Europe since 2017, the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees enables refugees and asylum seekers to have their qualifications assessed even in the absence of full documentation. The EQPR helps refugees and asylum seekers to enter further studies or to seek employment. It eliminates unnecessary and repeated further assessments of the same qualifications in other European countries if and when the EQPR holder moves.