Recognition of Qualifications

Faculty of architecture, students are discussing their designs, Lao People's Democratic Republic

©UNESCO/ASPnet/S. Phongvichith
Faculty of architecture, students are discussing their designs, Lao People's Democratic Republic

The 'recognition' of a foreign certificate, diploma or degree of higher education means its acceptance as a valid credential by the competent authorities in a Contracting State and the granting to its holder of rights enjoyed by persons who possess a national certificate, diploma or degree with which the foreign one is assessed as comparable. UNESCO’s activities in recognition are centered around its six Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications. These UNESCO conventions are legal agreements between countries agreeing to recognize academic qualifications issued by other countries that have ratified the same agreement.

UNESCO also has a Recommendation on the Recognition of Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education. UNESCO’s activities focus on supporting the implementation of Recognition Conventions, building the capacity of national competent recognition bodies, and promoting networking exchange information and good practice, disseminating knowledge, increasing the understanding of international developments to meet challenges and improving the professional expertise of their staff.

UNESCO also promotes links between recognition and quality assurance bodies, as a key element in determining whether a qualification meets basic quality requirements.

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