What is Academic Recognition, When and Who grants it?
Academic recognition is recognition of foreign qualification with the purpose of continuing the studies. During the process of academic recognition the evaluation specialist attempts to decide whether the applicant may continue the studies in the selected direction and at the given education level. Academic recognition of foreign qualifications may be sought in the following main cases:
- You have Armenian qualification/diploma and wish to continue your education in other country;
- You have foreign qualification/diploma and wish to continue your education in Armenia;
- You are moving from one foreign country to another to continue your education in the next cycle;
- You are returning to the main university after accomplishing one period of study in a foreign country.
Academic recognition is mainly sought with the purpose of continuing the education. However, it is proved that some applicants prefer to get academic recognition document before seeking a job in case of the professions not requiring official recognition (non-regulated professions). Such recognition, for professional purpose, helps contractor to understand the compatibility of the given foreign qualification with the local similar qualification.
For receiving academic recognition you may apply to the National Information Centre for Academic Recognition and Mobility and submit obtained official document to the higher educational institution where you prefer to continue your education. The final recognition is conducted by the HEI where the applicant wants to continue his/her education. The HEI, in adopting the decision, should take into account the advice of NICARM which is the Armenian representative of the international ENIC/NARIC net. NICARM evaluates the foreign qualification and prepares a document which serves as a letter of guarantee for HEI as well as it may be presented to the future contractor in case non-regulated professions.
If you are abroad, you should apply to the HEI which you have chosen for your further education for the academic recognition of your qualification. If you need some information or assistance, you may apply to the National Information Centers for Academic Recognition – ENIC/NARIC network member organization (it is recommended to read the explanations attached below).
In the majority of the countries, just like in Armenia, the final decision on the foreign recognition is adopted by a HEI where the applicant should continue the education. In several European countries (not in all) the HEI, prior to making the decision, will send your diploma/certificate to the National Information Centers for Academic Recognition of its country to receive advise on the particular studies.
In some countries National Information Centers for Academic Recognition do not consider individual diploma/qualification cases. In such case you should settle the matter with the HEI only.
You can get information and consultation about special regulations and procedures as well as about the education system of the given country visiting the website of the National Information Centers for Academic Recognition.
The details referring the National Information Centers for Academic Recognition of Europe, Northern America as well as Australia may be found in different sources, in particular from:
- ENIC/NARIC International Informational website;
- International organizations websites;
- European Union website;
- UNESCO website;
- European Commission website, etc.
Rejection of Academic Recognition
In some cases recognition of diploma/qualification of an applicant may be rejected. Pursuant to Article III.5 of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, each applicant whose qualification recognition is rejected shall have right to appeal the rejection decision.
Therefore, if applicant’s foreign qualification is rejected and he/she thinks that the decision violates the legislation of the international recognition or the given country, it is recommended to appeal the decision.
Pursuant to the Lisbon Convention each applicant has the right to receive full information about the recognition regulations and procedures operating in the given country.
Alternative or Partial Recognition
Pursuant to the European Council/UNESCO Recommendation on Foreign Qualifications Assessment Procedures and Standards “where the recognition cannot be granted in accordance with the applicant’s request, alternative or partial recognition should be considered”.
Alternative recognition means that the foreign qualification of applicant in the hosting country cannot be recognized at the same level as sought, rather, the competent recognition body may offer recognition at another comparable level of qualification/degree. In most cases this enables to solve the issue and applicant may continue his/her education in other profession after meeting some additional requirements.
Partial recognition means that the hosting country cannot fully recognize the foreign qualification of applicant, and the competent recognition body may offer recognition of a part of the education. If this solution is acceptable, then applicant, filling the difference between the education programs, may continue the studies in the next cycle in the chosen direction.
Thus, if the full recognition of applicant qualification is fairly rejected, it is expedient to discuss the opportunities of the partial or alternative recognition with the competent body.