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Higher Education Institution

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UNESCO Regions

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Holy See
Holy See

National Information Centres

Centro Internazionale per il Riconoscimento
International Center for Recognition (ICR)

Congregatio de Institutione Catholica

Piazza Pio XII, 3
00120 Vatican City

Phone: +39 06 69 88 41 67
Fax: +39 06 69 88 41 72
Web Site:
Contact person: Melanie Rosenbaum

National education bodies

Congregatio de Institutione Catholica
Congregation for Catholic Education

Congregazione per l'Educazione Cattolica

The Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study) is the Dicastery

 of the Roman Curia responsible for ecclesiastical studies (universities, faculties, institutes and other higher education institutions which have a direct link with the Congregation and form the Holy See's Higher Education System) or civil (Catholic Universities and associations established for academic purposes) that depend on physical or moral ecclesiastical persons (Bishop, Religious communities); all schools and pre-university level education institutions of any kind (except those that depend on the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and for the Evangelization of Peoples) that depend on Ecclesiastical authority.

Link(s): Italian, English

System of education

Higher Education of the Catholic Church

Ecclesiastical Institutions of Higher Education are regulated by a common academic legislation that applies worldwide and is based on the Code of Canon Law (CIC canons 815-821), the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, implementation Norms (Ordinationes), and particular Decrees of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

These institutions award academic degrees under the Authority of the Holy See.

The web site describes the nature of such institutions, legislation, academic relations and issued degrees.

Link(s): Italian, English

University education

Higher Education of the Catholic Church

The web site of Catholic Higher Education presents the University education delivered by the Higher Education Institutions belonging to the Holy See .

Link(s): Italian, English

Quality Assurance in Higher Education


The Holy See’s Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (AVEPRO), established by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI on 19 September 2007, is an institution connected to the Holy See, as provided by arts. 186 and 190-191 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.

The Agency’s duty is to promote and develop a culture of quality within the academic institutions that depend directly on the Holy See and ensure they possess internationally valid quality criteria.

AVEPRO’s activities are regulated by the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia christiana (15 April 1979) and it conforms to the European Standards and Guidelines, as well as other international agreements concerning rules and procedures for the evaluation of quality in higher education.

Post-secondary non-university education

Recognised higher education institutions

Database of Ecclesiastical Institutions and Faculties

The Database of Ecclesiastical Higher Education Institutions – being an authoritative list – includes all higher education institutions that have been erected, approved, or accredited by the Congregation for Catholic Education as part of the Holy See’s education system.

Link(s): Italian, English

Policies and procedures for the recognition of qualifications

International Center for Recognition (ICR)

Policies, procedures and recommendations for the recognition of qualifications.

Link(s): Italian, English

Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees

Recognition procedures for refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation

The Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, i.e. the Higher Education Act of the Holy See, requires in its article 32, § 3, that every Higher Education Institution has to foresee and implement procedures for evaluating qualifications in the cases of refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation who lack the normal documentation required.

Link(s): English

Qualifications Framework


Qualifications Framework of the Holy See

Quadro Nazionale delle Qualifiche della Santa Sede

Link(s): Italian, English

Self Evaluation Report

Diploma Supplement (DS) Information

Responsible organisation

Information on DS (legislation, template, chart, etc)

Obligation to issue a diploma supplement - legal basis.

The obligation for Holy See Higher Education Institutions to release a Diploma Supplement, or - as the Holy See Higher Education System extends over more than 80 countries and the Holy See has ratified several UNESCO recognition conventions (for Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa) - a similar document to this effect, with further information regarding the curriculum of studies completed, is stipulated in article 39 of the Norms of Application of the Congregation for Catholic Education for the Correct Implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium.

Link(s): English, Italian

Access to higher education

Access to Higher Education

The Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, i.e. the Higher Education Act of the Holy See, stipulates in its Article 32 with regard to access and admission the following: 
"§ 1. To enrol in a Faculty in order to obtain an academic degree, one must present that kind of study title which would be necessary to permit enrolment in a civil university of one’s own country or of the country where the Faculty is located.
§ 2. The Faculty, in its own Statutes, should determine what, besides what is contained in § 1 above, is needed for entrance into its course of study, including ancient and modern language requirements.
§ 3. The Faculty should also determine in its Statutes procedures for evaluating the ways to treat the cases of refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation who lack the normal documentation required."

Verification sources