Higher Education and Research

Recognition issues and “easily readable and comparable degrees”

Here you can find information on recognition of degrees, the Diploma Supplement and other issues related to the introduction of “easily readable and comparable degrees”

The Bologna Declaration called for the introduction of “easily readable and comparable degrees”:

“…While affirming our support to the general principles laid down in the Sorbonne declaration, we engage in co-coordinating our policies to reach in the short term, and in any case within the first decade of the third millennium, the following objectives, which we consider to be of primary relevance in order to establish the European area of higher education and to promote the European system of higher education world-wide:
Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, also through the implementation of the Diploma Supplement, in order to promote European citizens employability and the international
Competitiveness of the European higher education system. …”

The Prague Communiqué states:

“ … Ministers strongly encouraged universities and other higher education institutions to take full advantage of existing national legislation and European tools aimed at facilitating academic and professional recognition of course units, degrees and other awards, so that citizens can effectively use their qualifications, competencies and skills throughout the European Higher Education Area. Ministers called upon existing organisations and networks such as NARIC and ENIC to promote, at institutional, national and European level, simple, efficient and fair recognition reflecting the underlying diversity of qualifications. …“

In Berlin, the importance of the Lisbon Recognition Convention was underlined and all countries urged to make full use of the Diploma Supplement:

“ … Ministers underline the importance of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, which should be ratified by all countries participating in the Bologna Process, and call on the ENIC and NARIC networks along with the competent National Authorities to further the implementation of the Convention.
They set the objective that every student graduating as from 2005 should receive the Diploma Supplement automatically and free of charge. It should be issued in a widely spoken European language.
They appeal to institutions and employers to make full use of the Diploma Supplement, so as to take advantage of the improved transparency and flexibility of the higher education degree systems, for fostering employability and facilitating academic recognition for further studies. …”

Only one official Bologna event was organised on the topic of recognition of degrees. This was the seminar organised by the Council of Europe and Portuguese Ministry of Education, on the 5th anniversary of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, in April 2002 in Lisbon. The results and recommendations from the seminar can be found here, as well as the other issues related to the Lisbon Recognition Convention (other regional conventions, subsidiary texts etc).

However, through the work of the ENIC-NARIC network and Lisbon Convention Committee, as well as some other networks and organisations, a lot has been done in this field. Please check some of the documents listed below as well as related issues, such as: ECTS, two-cycle system and qualifications framework, mobility, lifelong learning, transnational education, quality assurance, joint degrees and the Bruges-Copenhagen process.