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home > European (or international) degree
European (or international) degree

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 procedure.

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.

Further information

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.