Higher Education and Research

The ENIC Network

The European Network of National Information Centres on academic recognition and mobility

The Council of Europe and UNESCO established the ENIC Network in 1994 in order to develop joint policy and practice in all European countries for the recognition of qualifications.

In addition to that, the ENIC Network plays a key role in the implementation of the Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in the European Region adopted in Lisbon on 11 April 1997.

The Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES jointly provide the Secretariat for the ENIC Network. The ENIC Network cooperates closely with the NARIC Network of the European Union. The Secretariat for the NARIC Network is provided by the European Commission/Directorate General for Education and Culture.

Composition and Mission

The Network is made up of the national information centres of the States party to the European Cultural Convention or the UNESCO Europe Region. An ENIC is a body set up by the national authorities. While the size and specific competence of ENIC may vary, they will generally provide information on:

  • the recognition of foreign diplomas, degrees and other qualifications;
  • education systems in both foreign countries and the ENIC's own country;
  • opportunities for studying abroad, including information on loans and scholarships, as well as advice on practical questions related to mobility and equivalence.

The ENIC's principal target groups are: students, parents, employers, universities and other higher education institutions, ministries responsible for higher education, other interested persons and organisations.

Relationship to the NARIC Network

The NARIC Network is similar to the ENIC Network but is supported by the European Commission. In most countries members of the European Union (or acceding to it soon) a NARIC is at the same time an ENIC, however in other countries in Europe there are only ENICs. The two networks cooperate very closely, both through the annual meetings (see below) and through developing the joint website. On the website you can find relevant information on systems of higher education as well as contact information of all of the information centres.

In June 2004 the two networks adopted the Joint ENIC NARIC Charter which was approved by the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee.

Having in mind also the connection between recognition issues and quality assurance the ENIC/NARIC Networks are closely cooperating with ENQA – the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

Annual meeting and working structure

Representatives of the ENIC and NARIC Networks meet once a year to discuss problems in European academic recognition and mobility. Between network meetings, ad hoc working parties deal with specific areas. The network also plays an important role in exchanging information between the ENICs/NARICs. The ENIC Bureau meets twice or three times a year. Similar goes for the NARIC Advisory Board.

Within the ENIC Network, a number of policy and information issues are prepared by Working Parties, which submit their proposals to the annual Network meetings.

Topics considered by working parties presently include Electronic Information, while the Working Party on the Development of Information Strategies concluded its work in June 2004.
For more info on the working of these two working parties, please click here.