CouncilEurope

Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region

(ETS No. 165)

Open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, the member States of the UNESCO Europe Region, any other signatory, contracting State or party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe and/or to the UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe Region, which have been invited to the Diplomatic Conference entrusted with the adoption of this Convention, in Lisbon, on 11 April 1997.

Entry into force : 1 February 1999.

Summary of the treaty

The Convention has been jointly drafted by the Council of Europe and UNESCO. It is designed to streamline the legal framework at European level and to replace in the long run six conventions adopted in this matter by the Council of Europe or UNESCO.

The Convention aims to facilitate the recognition of qualifications granted in one Party in another Party. It provides that requests should be assessed in a fair manner and within a reasonable time. The recognition can only be refused if the qualification is substantially different from that of the host country - and the onus is on its educational institution to prove that it is.

Each State, the Holy See or the European Union inform either depository of the Convention of the authorities which are competent to make different categories of decisions in recognition cases.

Two bodies, namely the Committee of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region and the European Network of National Information Centres on Academic Mobility and Recognition (the ENIC Network) are to oversee, promote and facilitate the implementation of the Convention.

The Committee is responsible for promoting the application of the Convention and overseeing its implementation. To this end, it can adopt, by a majority of the Parties, recommendations, declarations, protocols and models of good practice to guide the competent authorities of the Parties. Before making its decisions, the Committee seeks the opinion of the ENIC Network. As for ENIC Network, it upholds and assists the practical implementation of the Convention by the competent national authorities.