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Higher Education Series


Broadly speaking, the information provided by ENICs and NARICs would seem to fit into one of two categories:


Needs system information

Needs inf. on individual qualifications

Receives information

Provides information

Public authorities



X (on foreign education)

X (on own education system)

Quality assurance agencies





HEIs and bodies





Individual holders of qualifications





Employers and professional organizations








X (on foreign education)

X (on own education system)

10. I want to know more about the ENICs and NARICs

Question to ask

Why you should ask

Who you should ask

Is the credential evaluation service I plan to use competent and reliable?

You need to be sure that the credential assessment service you are planning to use is going to give you a document that will be recognised. Countries often have quality assurance, recognition or accreditation mechanisms to regulate the provision of credential assessment services.

ENIC/NARIC; government authorities, national ministry responsible for education

Is the credential evaluation document I am preparing to obtain the document I need?

Before you proceed to have your credential assessed for comparability, you need to make sure that this assessment is the one you need: higher education institutions, for example, often do their own assessment and will not use assessment done elsewhere.

ENIC/NARIC; higher education institution; professional regulatory agency; professional or trade association; employer

Is the institution where I want to study accredited/recognised?

You need to be sure that your credential will be accepted by other institutions, by professional bodies, or by potential employers. Also, credential evaluation services will automatically check this when you submit your qualifications for assessment.

ENIC/NARIC; National Ministry responsible for education

The institution I plan to attend claims to be accredited/
recognized. What does it mean, and how can I confirm its legal status.

Accreditation and recognition mean different things in different countries and contexts. Some accrediting bodies are themselves not approved or legitimate, or may be accepted in one country, but not in another. This institution’s claim may mean nothing or may even, in the case of non-serious institutions, be fraudulent.

ENIC/NARIC; National Ministry responsible for education

Will the study program I intend to enrol in, abroad or through distance education, be recognised when I return home to continue my studies?

If you do not confirm this before you enrol, you may waste time and money

Your home institution

Will the training I intend to obtain abroad or through distance education be recognised when I return home to work?

If you do not confirm this before you go, you may waste time and money.

The appropriate vocational or professional association; career information services; national employment centres; ENIC/NARIC

How long in advance should I begin the admission procedures to the foreign institution I plan to attend?

The process may be more complex and take longer than you expect. If you start too late, you may not be able to complete the procedures in time.

The admitting institution; the foreign visa office; your own ministry of foreign affairs; ENIC/NARIC

Is the occupation I want to practice abroad regulated or not in that country?

Procedures and requirements will differ depending on whether and how your chosen occupation is regulated

Employer; regulatory bodies; ENIC/NARIC

How much will it cost me to study abroad?

Tuition fees vary from country to country. In some countries, foreign students pay higher tuition fees than national students. You must also take into consideration the average cost of living in the country.

Receiving institution; ENIC/NARIC

Are there EU programs that will facilitate my study and career projects abroad?

You may be entitled to or benefit from EU programs designed to promote or facilitate mobility within member States

ENIC/NARIC; European Commission

Are there programs that could offer financial support for my study abroad

Many national organizations, as well as some international programs, offer financial support. Rules, regulations and eligibility vary considerably

ENIC/NARIC, national grants commissions, national mobility agencies (e.g. DAAD), European Commission (for EU programs), Nordic Council of Ministers (Nordic and Nordic-Baltic-Northwest Russia programs), CEEPUS Office (Austria and Central and South East Europe)

Can I take my student loan and scholarship abroad?

Some countries allow students to take their national scholarship and loans for study abroad; special conditions may apply

National loan and grants body, ENIC/NARIC, student advisor at your institution

If I feel that the assessment made of my credentials is unfair, can I appeal the decision?

Conventions and national regulations protect the rights of individuals against wrongful treatment. You may have grounds to appeal a decision. Appeals procedures and deadlines may vary from country to country; in general terms, you should act as soon as possible.

ENIC/NARIC; national government authorities; consumer protection agencies

1 Both presentations are included in the book published on the basis of the seminar: Sjur Bergan (ed.): Recognition Issues in the Bologna Process (Strasbourg 2003: Council of Europe Publishing).

2 The Eletronic Core information on Recognition (ELCORE) working group has been developing and maintaining the enic-naric.net website & listserv since 2000. Canada, Lithuania and Norway are the core members of the group, in which the Council of Europe, the Euroeapn Commission and UNESCO/CEPES also participate. The United Kingdom participated in the group until autumn 2003.

3 Meaning the level at which one enters a building in the United States, but the floor above in the United Kingdom, where entry level is referred to as the ground floor.

4 Defined as “a legal entity, or that part of a legal entity, that conducts accrediting activities through voluntary, non-Federal peer review and makes decisions concerning the accreditation or preaccreditation status of institutions, programs, or both.”

5 In this context, “national” is shorthand for qualifications issued in the framework of the higher education system within which the ENIC/NARIC operates.

6 Possibly also programs, but there seems to be some movement, for reasons of cost and efficiency, away from program assessment toward institutional assessment.