Introduction

INTRODUCTION

What is the EAR manual

This manual has been developed as part of the European Area of Recognition Project (EAR). It contains standards and guidelines on all aspects of the recognition of foreign qualifications and aims to provide the credential evaluators from the European National Information Centres network and National Academic Recognition and Information Centres network (www.enic-naric.net) with a practical tool to assist them in their daily recognition work.

Target groups of the EAR manual

Although the manual is in the first place meant for the credential evaluators of the ENIC/NARIC networks, the manual makes the recognition procedures transparent to all stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in recognition: credential evaluators, higher education institutions, students and policy officers.

Aim of the EAR manual

In general the EAR manual aims to create more clarity regarding recognition practices in all European countries and to contribute to a joint recognition area of higher education, in which all European countries practice a similar methodology in the recognition of qualifications, based on commonly agreed standards and guidelines. A more harmonised and transparent recognition practice is essential for the quality of student mobility in Europe and plays as such a key role in the European Higher Education Area. This is also true for the global dimension of the Bologna Process, for which the recognition of qualifications has been identified as a key area of co-operation.

Structure of the EAR manual

The first chapter is a schematic outline of the recognition procedure. The following 16 chapters cover a particular recognition topic and follow the order of the recognition procedure outlined in the first chapter. These 16 chapters are all structured similarly. Each of the chapters starts with a summary of the recommendations in a flow chart, followed by an introduction of the topic. The core of each chapter is the recommendation on how to deal with the topic, with illustrations and examples where applicable. At the end of each chapter the sources of the recommendation are provided, including the relevant Articles of the Criteria and Procedures of the LRC and for some topics a reference for further reading. The manual also includes a glossary of terms and a list of the sources used in this manual.