The Baltic Assembly and the Benelux Parliament have dealt with the issues regarding academic recognition in the Baltic-Benelux area for years. Mutual recognition of higher education diplomas in the Baltic states and Benelux countries is one of the priorities between the Baltic Assembly and the Benelux Parliament for 2019-2021. Currently, the Baltic states and the Benelux countries have signed an agreement on the mutual automatic recognition of higher education qualifications, and that is an important step in deepening the cooperation between the countries.
Signing accord on automatic recognition of higher education degrees
In a bid to foster cooperation and learning mobility, the Baltic and the Benelux countries have signed a six-party agreement on the mutual automatic recognition of higher education qualifications. Such an agreement between regions concerning higher education is unique in Europe and therefore serves as an example for automatic recognition across Europe.
Automatic recognition simplifies access to master's studies and doctoral studies in the Netherlands and Belgium, which are the main destinations for people who go to study in the Benelux countries or Baltic countries. Close cooperation between the academic recognition information centers ENIC/NARIC of both regions has helped achieve the automatic recognition, the spokespeople said.
Before preparing the agreement, the higher education reforms of all six countries were analyzed, including the quality assurance and transparency of evaluating and recognizing qualifications. The analyses confirmed that the higher education systems of the Baltic and the Benelux countries are in conformity with the principles and the model of the European higher education area, the systems are comparable and there are no considerable differences between them. Becoming a contracting party shows the quality and reliability of the country's higher education system.
Other countries of the European higher education area can join the agreement in the future if they have ratified the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, they have a reliable system of quality assurance and their degrees and diplomas are related to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning.
Source: LETA News
The Agreement is signed between the Kingdom of Belgium, represented by the Flemish Government, the Government of the French Community, the Government of the German-speaking Community, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Based on the agreement, higher education qualifications will be recognized automatically, without any additional procedures.
On 7 January 2019, the Baltic states Agreement on the Automatic Academic Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications entered into force. The decisions of the Benelux Committee of Ministers in 2015 and 2018 provided for the automatic mutual recognition of higher education degrees at the general level throughout the Benelux community. On 8 November 2019, the Ministers of Education of the Baltic and Benelux countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of an agreement for the automatic recognition of higher education qualifications.
In order to facilitate the automatic mutual recognition of higher education and secondary education and training qualifications, and the results of periods of study abroad, the Council of the European Union on 26 November 2018 called on the EU Member States to take appropriate action to achieve automatic recognition of higher education qualifications by 2025.