There is no automatic worldwide or even European-wide recognition of academic diplomas. You may therefore need to go through a national procedure to get your academic degree or diploma recognised in another country, if you seek admission to a further course of study there. If you already know that you will eventually want to pursue further studies in a different country, check before you start whether your diploma will be recognised there.
Individual governments of EU countries remain responsible for their education systems and are free to apply their own rules, including whether or not to recognise academic qualifications obtained elsewhere.
Get your degree “compared”
In most cases, you can obtain a “statement of comparability” of your university degree, stating how it compares to the diplomas delivered in the EU country you are moving to. To do so, contact the ENIC/NARIC centre in the country where you would like your diplomas assessed for “comparability”.
This could be your home country if you return home after your studies, or another EU country if you move there for work
or further study. Depending on the country where your diplomas are assessed and the purpose of the assessment, the ENIC/NARIC centre will either evaluate them itself, or transfer them to the competent authority.
Before the assessment, make sure you check:
- how much the service will cost (if there is a fee)
- how long the assessment will take – it could be several weeks to several months depending on the country, the purpose, and the complexity of your file
- what type of document you will get as a result – it could be a full equivalency,
or a comparative report
- what you can do if you disagree with the assessment (how to appeal)
If you provide documents in the Europass format your degree can be more easily compared and recognised.
This section concerns the recognition of academic qualifications. A different set of EU rules govern the recognition of professional qualifications in other EU countries – that is, degrees giving access to a profession, such as nursing or the law.
What is a regulated profession
As a general rule, a profession is regulated if you have to hold a specific degree to access the profession, sit special exams such as state exams and/or register with a professional body before you can practise it.
If your profession is regulated in the EU country where you want to practise, you may need to apply to get your professional qualification recognised there.
Regulated professions differ across the EU. Check the regulated professions database to find out if your profession is regulated in the EU country you are moving to.
Homologisation is the approving a foreign degree in another country is to enable that person to work in the other country under equal conditions with respect to a person who has obtained the degree at a local university. It should be remembered that the number of foreign graduates already practicing in many countries has not stopped growing, and it is very common to be treated, for example, by a doctor who has completed his studies in another country.
Is homologating the same as validating a foreign title?
They are terms that can be confusing, since they are related, but they are not really the same. Approving a degree means giving recognition to studies that have been carried out abroad in order to develop a profession under the same conditions as your own country. However, validating some studies implies recognizing them to give continuity to them in the country.
Every country has its own rules, regulations and procedures, so you should find out how to do this in your own country. As an example let us look at one specific country,Spain.
How does Spain work?
In Spain, the homologation of higher education qualifications is carried out at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. First of all, it must be verified that the university degree is included in the list of regulated professions, Royal Decree 967/2014 comprehensively collects all diplomas and professions. The procedures can be started online through “Access to the online service”. You must create a user account in this same link explains how to do it.
In many recruitment cases it is not necessary to present an approval of the diploma, especially in private companies and for certain professions, in which your original title and a translation may be enough for your candidacy to be taken into consideration for a position. But in certain professions, especially those governed by professional associations (architecture, law, medicine, …) and for positions in the public administration it is necessary to be in possession of the homologation to complete the selection and recruitment procedures.
How long does the process take?
As it is a bureaucratic process, you have to have some patience when approving a degree in Spain, delays can become common. The approval process can be done in person, which means that we have to spend several hours requesting the process personally. In any case, as we have pointed out, it is a procedure that can be carried out online, which simplifies and speeds up the approval process. It is also always highly recommended to know what are all the requirements that are needed in advance. To get an idea of what can be prolonged in time, homologate a title in Spain comes to suppose about 6 months or more, and can go up to 14 months.
How much does it cost to certify a degree in Spain?
The price of the homologation of a university degree in Spain is just over 160 euros, as established by Law 15/2014, of September 16, on the rationalization of the Public Sector. To pay it, it is necessary to fill in form 079 at any collaborating bank.
Kathrin completed a university degree in Germany. She then moved to France to pursue a postgraduate degree, but found that the French authorities did not
recognise her diploma, requesting that she obtain a document certifying her
qualifications from a French university. After discussion with a French university, she was able to get her degree recognised as equivalent to a “licence” in the French system – a type of diploma obtained there after only 3 years of study, and which she felt covered much less ground than the studies she had already completed in Germany. Nonetheless, she had to pursue 2 further years of undergraduate study in the French system before she could apply for the postgraduate course she wanted there.
Swiss School of Business Research is an accredited school with the education
authorities in Switzerland. Switzerland signed the Bologna Accord, an agreement between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications, in 1999 and diploma title and core content are aligned.
There is a few exceptions in certain fields, as an example medicine, Law and
Accounting is country specific and you normally need a bridge or to pass a certain exam to get equivalency.
Every country has its own rules, regulations and procedures, so you should find out how to do this in your own country. In many countries this is a long slow process taking up to a year.
Swiss education does have a good reputation worldwide and the majority of most positions it is not necessary to present an approval of the diploma, especially inprivate companies and for certain professions, in which your original title and a
translation may be enough for your candidacy to be taken into consideration for a position.