What is the aim of the EAR project?

The EAR project aims to provide guidance and clarity on recognition practices across Europe and beyond. By creating a European recognition manual, all European countries will be able to share similar recognition practices, based on commonly agreed standards and guidelines. This will contribute to a more transparent European Higher Education Area.

Why has the EAR project been undertaken?

Most European countries have ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention since 1997 and thus share the same basic legal framework for the recognition of qualifications. Nevertheless, recognition practices vary substantially across Europe and amongst all the ENIC/NARIC offices which are the official source of information for recognition. The EAR project aims to address this lack of consistency in recognition practices across the member states in general and across the ENIC/NARIC offices specifically. The creation of a European recognition manual seeks to tackle these concerns by providing a practical reference for the daily work of people assessing and evaluating foreign credentials for recognition purposes.

Who is the recognition manual for?

The manual is aimed at credential evaluators working at ENIC/NARIC offices and admission staff of education providers that deal with international credentials. It will also be a valuable source of information for students or employees who wish to study or work abroad as it provides information about how their qualifications may be recognised abroad or when they come back.

When is the manual available?

The manual is due to be launched at the annual ENIC/NARIC meeting in June 2011. It will be available online and will be updated periodically, as feasible.

Is it obligatory for ENIC/NARIC offices to use this manual?

The manual will not be a compulsory reference tool for the ENIC/NARIC offices. However, the standards and content of the manual are based on the Recommendations of the Lisbon Recognition Convention which is the legal basis for the recognition of international qualifications in all the member states that have ratified the Convention.

Will there be any assurance in place to ensure it is being used?

There are eight ENIC/NARIC offices involved in the production and testing of the manual as well as the Lisbon Recognition Committee. These eight ENIC/NARIC offices have a great interest to encourage the use of the manual and continually disseminate it among fellow ENIC/NARIC offices.


What is a learning outcome?

A learning outcome is a statement in which a measurable outcome of a competence is described, with a clear link to the level of the competence. Learning outcomes are not properties of the student, but a means for the higher education institutions to measure if students have developed their competences to the required level. (source: http://www.core-project.eu/)

What is the Lisbon Recognition Convention?

The Lisbon Recognition Convention concerns the recognition of international credentials; it was developed by the Council of Europe and UNESCO and adopted by national representatives in Lisbon in 1997. Since then most European countries have ratified the Convention. The Lisbon Recognition Convention goes beyond Europe and a lot of countries outside Europe have signed and ratified it too. It is the legal basis for the recognition of qualifications and stipulates that a qualification has to be recognised in line with its original purpose and duration unless substantial differences can be proven by the host country.

For more information on the specificities of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, please see http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/highereducation/recognition/lrc_EN.asp.

What is the ENIC/NARIC network?

The ENIC network was established to implement the Lisbon Recognition Convention and, in general, to develop policy and practice for the recognition of qualifications by the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The ENIC Network cooperates closely with the NARIC Network of the European Union. The NARIC Network is an initiative of the European Commission and was established in 1984, aiming at improving recognition practices amongst the European Union, the EEA and Turkey. Both networks are made up of national information centres of the different member states and signatory countries. While the size and specific competence of the ENIC/NARIC offices may vary, they will generally provide information on:

  • the recognition of foreign diplomas, degrees and other qualifications;
  • education systems in both foreign countries and the ENIC’s own country;
  • opportunities for studying abroad, including information on loans and scholarships, as well as advice on practical questions related to mobility and equivalence.

For more information about the ENIC/NARIC network, please see http://www.enic-naric.net/index.aspx