Recognition of joint degrees: a global challenge from European perspective

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1 Erasmus Mundus Joint Workshop: Recognition of Degrees and Joint Degrees Recognition of joint degrees: a global challenge from European perspective Prof. Andrejs Rauhvargers (Latvia) Chair, BFUG Working group on Recognition Ex-president of the Lisbon Recognition Convention

2 Questions to speaker: The work going on in the EHEA regarding recognition Erasmus Mundus courses are challenged when finding recognition solutions across their consortium countries 'Will this strange Erasmus Mundus degree have value for me?' Will it be recognised? - and that requires us to go beyond national recognition processes

3 Recognition issues Will the joint degree (or parts of it) be recognized: Between the partner institutions? In those countries where partner institutions are located? In third countries? There should be no additional problems for international recognition of joint degrees Trouble can rather come at home if national recognition of the joint degree is lacking

4 In Europe Academic and professional recognition is separated Lisbon Recognition Convention covers academic recognition and academic recognition for professional purposes EU directive(s) on professional recognition cover regulated professions ENIC/NARIC network of national recognition centres

5 Recognition in Europe is not just formality, it is positioning foreign credential in country's HE or employment systems Outcome of recognition doesn t depend on the quality of the foreign qualification alone Outcome depends on properties of the education system of origin, purpose, for which recognition is sought, properties of the host system

6 ETS 165 Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention Lisbon Recognition Convention (1997) Signed : 55 states incl. Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, USA Not signed: Greece Ratified: 52 (Not: Canada, USA, Tajikistan) Outside EU Lisbon Convention covers Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine Australia, Israel, New Zealand

7 Basic principles of the LRC Applicant has the right to fair recognition, Recognition of comparable level qualifications if no substantial differences are evident If there is a substantial difference, the burden of proof is on the recognition authority Mutual trust among states (based on QA) Information provision on educational systems and on individual qualifications But: are all HEIs aware and observe LRC?

8 Substantial differences in what? Old-fashioned approach comparing: duration of studies graduate s formal rights regarding further studies or employment, Comparing all elements of the programme Contemporary approach comparing learning outcomes, i.e. in what the holder knows, understands and what he/she can do Always in quality of programme

9 Where Lisbon Convention doesn t apply Asia Pacific Convention, Tokyo, Nov, 2011 (8 countries thus so far) Africa Region Convention, Arusha, 1981 Arab States Convention Paris, 1978 Latin America & Caribbean, Mexico City 1974 Mediterranean Region Convention, Nice, 1976 Older Conventions may not be too helpful outdated principles ASEM initiative bridging between Lisbon Convention and Tokyo Convention

10 Different traditions Europe at large, international treaties work, bilateral agreements are unnecessary North America not ratified LRC, bilateral agreements not traditional, recognition by universities or private credential evaluation companies (e.g. ECE, WES) Australia ratified LRC, are HEI aware In other world regions sometimes more emphasis on political agreements and less on deep analysis of credential has been observed Asia bilateral agreements often required, Tokyo convention is not widespread yet, other UNESCO countries can join Other world regions: outdated conventions, bilateral agreements, no systematic approach to recognition of degrees earned

11 2010/2011 % of HEIs involved in joint programmes % of HEIs awarding joint degrees

12 Legal issues in awarding joint degrees haven t changed No specific legislation = all national requirements should be met rules for national approval of programs (some countries), names and classification of programs, regulations for quality assurance, students are not always allowed to enrol at several institutions at a time, requirements for degree awarding

13 Most typical requirements for recognition of (foreign) joint degrees in Europe all parts of joint degree must be quality assured, all participating higher education institutions should be recognized ones, all parts of the JD belong to a national educational system Some countries also require that a similar program exists in their country

14 Council of Europe/ UNESCO Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees (2004): brings Join Degrees under the LRC, enacts the principle of substantial differences but also sets requirements: all parts of the program must be quality assured all consortium partners should be trustworthy institutions joint character of the program must be duly reflected

15 Before admission of students JD consortium members should make clear how the joint quality assurance will be organised That parts of studies at one consortium member will be recognized in others Whether in all consortium members legislation allows awarding of JD The planned procedure of issuing the JD certificate suits the legislation in all consortium countries)

16 New developments to improve recognition of joint degrees Recognise quality assurance results and decisions of EQAR-registered agencies on joint and double degree programmes. Examine national rules relating to joint programmes and degrees as a way to dismantle obstacles Review national legislation to fully comply with the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC) Promote the use of the European Recognition Area Manual to advance recognition practices Encourage applying LRC principles at recognition of JDs even if some consortium members are from states that are not parties of the LRC

17 Thanks for your attention!

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