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UNESCO Regions

home > Educational systems (country profiles and other tools)
Educational systems (country profiles and other tools)

No two education systems are alike. This is why there are different structures, typology of institutions, qualifications and recognition procedures in each country: one element (i.e. qualification, institution, structure) that exists in an educational system of one country may not exist in another. Furthermore, a qualification or an institution may have similar names, but have a different meaning and nature within different national higher education systems. As a consequence, it is essential to know the unique elements of different educational systems in order to be able to evaluate a foreign qualification or to understand the level and the nature of a study programme abroad.


There are two main typologies of information sources on higher education systems:

  • official sources, created by the authorities within a country to officially present their system and
  • international sources, created by different organisations/institutions (at national/sub-national or international levels) in order to collect information on different higher education systems.

Official sources of information

In order to obtain verified and official information on national higher education systems, the first source of information is the national competent authority in charge of the higher education sector (i.e. Ministry of Education, Council of HED, etc.).

ENIC-NARIC centres created and maintain their respective Country Page (see the list of countries on the right column) up-to-date with official information on:

- National Information Centres

- National education bodies- System of education
- University education
- Quality Assurance in Higher Education
- Post-secondary non-university education
- Recognised higher education institutions
- Policies and procedures for the recognition of qualifications

- Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees

- Qualifications Framework
- Diploma Supplement Information

Under the UNESCO Regions section of this website (Europe and North America; Asia and the Pacific; Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Arab States and Mediterranean Region) the Country List section provides information on national competent authorities in charge of higher education issues for most countries.

International sources of information

Considering that some official information is available only in respective national languages, which are often not accessible for the general public, some international organisations, networks, credential evaluation services and ENIC-NARIC centres have created different sources of information (i.e. databases, country profiles, etc.) in order to present different elements of national higher education systems. The majority of those international sources are created to answer national needs, which sometimes includes information influenced by the point of view of the national institution who created it. 

Non-exhaustive list of international information sources (available free of charge)

EU Commission: Eurypedia - The European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems

EACEA - Overview of the Higher Education Systems in Erasmus+ Partner Countries

Definition of Regions

World Higher Education Database

ANABIN Database (DE)

APARNET - The Asia Pacific Academic Recognition (Country Reports) 

Alberta International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) - Education Overview Guides

CICIC - Country Education Profiles (EN, FR)

CIMEA - Banca dati dei sistemi universitari (IT)

CIMEA - MAGNA CUM LAUDE: A Worldwide database of University Grading Systems

NAFSA - Guide to Educational Systems Around the World

Nordic National Recognition Information Centres (NORRIC) - Countries and regions (Study Visits) (SE, EN)

NUFFIC - Country modules (EN, NL)

Organisation de Estados Iberoamericanos (Sistemas Educativos Nacionales) (ES) 

QQI – International Qualifications Database (EN)

Swedish NARIC Portal for Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (SE)