Although clear progress is being made in facilitating international
mobility and the recognition of foreign credentials, recognition is given
within the framework of each education system and there do not exist degrees
or diplomas that are valid as such throughout Europe. Therefore, there are
not national qualifications that are automatically valid in different
countries, or with an international validity, without passing through a
national recognition procedure (more o less complicated according to different
national rules or according to specific treaties between countries).
Some qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate, which is an
internationally recognised secondary school diploma, may be recognised in many
countries, but this is an individual decision in each country.
At EU level, there is no automatic EU-wide recognition of academic
qualifications: people may therefore need to go through a
national procedure to get academic degrees recognised in another EU country.
Individual governments of EU countries remain responsible for their education
systems. There is the risk to confuse EU professional recognition procedures -
which are established according to the Directive 2005/36/EC - with academic recognition
procedures: through the Directive 2005/36/EC we have the opportunity to
recognise a specific license to practice a regulated profession among EU
countries, which is a different thing of an academic degree recognition
Also within the Bologna
Process, there are no automatic recognition procedures among countries
participating in this international process: taking part in the Bologna Process is a voluntary decision made by each
country and its higher education community to endorse the principles underlined
in the European Higher Education Area. The Bologna Process does not aim to
harmonise national educational systems but rather to provide tools to connect
them. The intention is to allow the diversity of national systems and
universities to be maintained while the European Higher Education Area improves
transparency between higher education systems, as well as implements tools to
facilitate recognition of degrees and academic qualifications, mobility, and
exchanges between institutions: there are not any automatic recognition
procedures but we have instruments which facilitate recognition.
Contact national information centres (see links to the right) for
information on recognition procedures available at national level and in order
to know the possibility and the correct procedure to recognise a qualification
in a specific country.
Make sure that your credential will be accepted by other institutions, by
professional bodies, or by potential employers as well.