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EPALE

Plateforme électronique pour l'éducation et la formation des adultes en Europe

 
 
Posted by Raúl Linuesa Montero on 19/11/2019 - 16:25

Recognition foreign education, homologation, accreditation

Recognition of foreign education

 

In order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, entitled “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, the recognition of foreign education plays a major role.

The “homologation” process, also known as accreditation, represents the official recognition of foreign (academic) qualifications in another country. Homologation is mostly important and relevant for liberal professions such as doctors, lawyers, architects or other licensed professionals, and for non-EU citizens. This homologation process in Spain can be complex and laborious. In Spain, another process of recognition called “professional recognition”, is easier and free of charge, for European Union citizens (for diplomas obtained in eligible countries).

The recognition of education for refugees or immigrants can be very difficult as it is depending on several criteria such as the country of origin; the type of degree the person holds; the level of documentation and ability a person has to prove its educational or professional background; or if there are agreements between the country of origin and the country of destination.

Therefore, recognition process of previous education or profession might vary a lot among European countries. The Lisbon Convention (1997) established international standards for the recognition of refugee qualifications in order to encourage a flexible approach to the recognition of qualifications held by refugees or displaced persons (Council of Europe, 1997). Indeed, through an ongoing project of the Council of Europe, it has been promoted a document, the “European Qualifications Framework for Refugees”, to assess the level of education, professional experience and language proficiency of refugees who do not have the necessary documents to prove that they have been granted asylum.

If the person is lacking papers and documentation to prove its education or previous professional experience, other recognition methods could be suggested as alternative, such as recognition of competencies (skills and knowledge assessment and evaluation); or testimonials (also called “witness statements”).

 

Please participate to this debate by responding and discussing the following questions:

  • Is there a homologation process in your countries? If so, how does it work?
  • To what extent do you think it would be practical to facilitate the accreditation/homologation process across European countries?
  • What do you think of other methods of recognition in other to facilitate and accelerate the integration process of refugees?

Sources:

 

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  • Portrait de Benedetto Dabbicco
    The term equivalence means the equivalence of a foreign qualification, artistic or musical, to a corresponding Italian title; the comparative analysis of the qualification takes into account the academic nature, the foreign institution that issued the qualification, the duration of the completed studies, the analytical disciplinary contents. This evaluation of the title has the purpose of verifying if it corresponds in detail for level and contents to a similar Italian title so as to be able to define it equivalent and giving it the same legal "weight", defining it as "equivalent".

    ECTS credits, European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, makes teaching and learning more transparent and facilitates the recognition of studies (formal and non-formal). The system is used across Europe for credit transfer (student mobility) and credit accumulation towards a degree. It also informs curriculum design and education quality assurance. Credit transfer and accumulation are helped by the use of the ECTS key documents (course catalogue, learning agreement, and transcript of records) as well as the Diploma Supplement. ECTS can feed into recognition decisions about academic quality and education accreditation. These decisions, however, remain the responsibility of the competent authorities: professors involved in student exchange, university admission officers, recognition advisory centers, ministry officials or employers. The EQF - European Qualifications Framework will make the current official validation (homologation) procedures unnecessary in most cases when the education quality and training is provided according to the ECTS guidelines.

    There is a difference between destination and first arrival/transition countries with regard to development and focus of the integration policy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads “Higher Education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit” (UDHR, 1948) yet access to higher education for refugees who come to Europe having obtained qualifications which ought to allow them to commence or continue their degrees is troublesome due to inefficient or non-existent recognition mechanisms. There are significant barriers of time, lengthy procedures and lack of adequate support and guidance that successfully prevent refugees from pursuing their academic degrees, despite the existing legal basis that guarantees all displaced persons, refugees, asylum seekers or persons in a refugee-like situation the right to education, and adequate support mechanisms to successfully complete it.