CouncilEurope

European Convention on the Equivalence of Periods of University Study

Paris, 15.XII.1956

Parties to the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (ETS No. 165) undertook to abstain from becoming a Party to this Convention to which they are not already a Party (see Article XI.4 of ETS No. 165).

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The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

Having regard to the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities, signed in Paris on the 11th December 1953;

Having regard to the European Cultural Convention, signed in Paris on the 19th December 1954;

Considering that an important contribution would be made to European understanding if a larger number of students, among others students of modern languages, could spend a period of study abroad and if examinations passed and courses taken by such students during the period of study could be recognised by the home university;

Considering further that the recognition of periods of study spent abroad would contribute to the solution of the problem raised by the shortage of highly qualified scientists,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

  1. For the purposes of the present Convention, Contracting Parties shall be divided into categories according to whether the authority competent to deal with matters pertaining to equivalences in their territories is:
    1. the State;
    2. the university;
    3. the State or university as the case may be.

    Each Contracting Party shall inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe which is the competent authority in its territory to deal with matters pertaining to equivalences.

  2. The term "universities" shall denote:
    1. universities, and
    2. institutions regarded as being similar in character to universities by the Contracting Party in whose territory they are situated.

Article 2

  1. Contracting Parties falling within category a of Article 1, paragraph 1, shall recognise a period of study spent by a student of modern languages in a university of another member country of the Council of Europe as equivalent to a similar period spent in his home university provided that the authorities of the first-mentioned university have issued to such a student a certificate attesting that he has completed the said period of study to their satisfaction.
  2. The length of the period of study referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be determined by the competent authorities of the Contracting Party concerned.

Article 3

Contracting Parties falling within category a of Article 1, paragraph 1, shall consider the means to be adopted in order to recognise a period of study spent in a university of another member country of the Council of Europe by students of disciplines other than modern languages and especially by students of pure and applied sciences.

Article 4

Contracting Parties falling within category a of Article 1, paragraph 1, shall endeavour to determine, by means of unilateral or bilateral arrangements, the conditions under which an examination passed or a course taken by a student during a period of study in a university of another member country of the Council of Europe may be considered as equivalent to a similar examination passed or a course taken by a student in his home university.

Article 5

Contracting Parties falling within category b of Article 1, paragraph 1, shall transmit the text of the present Convention to the authorities of the universities situated in their territories and shall encourage the favourable consideration and application by them of the principles mentioned in Articles 2, 3 and 4 above.

Article 6

Contracting Parties falling within category c of Article 1, paragraph 1, shall apply the provisions of Articles 2, 3 and 4 in respect of those universities for which the State is the competent authority in the matters dealt with in this Convention, and shall apply the provisions of Article 5 in respect of those universities which are themselves the competent authorities in these matters.

Article 7

Each Contracting Party shall, within a year of the coming into force of the present Convention, furnish the Secretary General of the Council of Europe with a written statement on the measures taken to implement Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Article 8

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall communicate to the other Contracting Parties the information received from each of them in accordance with Article 7 and shall keep the Committee of Ministers informed of the progress made in the implementation of this Convention.

Article 9

  1. The present Convention shall be open to the signature of the members of the Council of Europe. It shall be ratified. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
  2. The Convention shall come into force as soon as three instruments of ratification have been deposited.
  3. As regards any signatory ratifying subsequently, the Convention shall come into force at the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification.
  4. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify all the members of the Council of Europe of the entry into force of the Convention, the names of the Contracting Parties which have ratified it and the deposit of all instruments of ratification which may be effected subsequently.
  5. Any Contracting Party may specify the territories to which the provisions of the present Convention shall apply by addressing to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe a declaration which shall be communicated by the latter to all the other Contracting Parties.

Article 10

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may invite any State which is not a member of the Council to accede to the present Convention. Any State so invited may accede by depositing its instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council, who shall notify all the Contracting Parties thereof. Any acceding State shall be considered a member country of the Council of Europe for the purposes of the present Convention. As regards any acceding State, the present Convention shall come into force on the date of the deposit of its instrument of accession.

In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorised thereto by their respective governments, have signed the present Convention.

Done at Paris, this 15th day of December 1956, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General shall transmit certified copies to each of the signatory and acceding governments.