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Council of Europe Working party on Refugee qualifications

 "Background paper"
(presentation of "background paper" as a tool for assessment of   qualifications held by refugees
for the seminar in Strasburg
15-16 Nov 1999
by Mr. Erwin Malfroy, NARIC-Flanders)

 

Please be sure to have read "Draft guidelines for credential evaluators" first

 Introduction
The Background Paper
Example of Overview
Checklist

Introduction

Recognition bodies consider missing documents as the most important problem experienced when dealing with refugee applicants. Credential evaluators are also concerned with the related problem of verifying documents.

Often the degree was retained at or had not yet been issued by the higher education institution at the time of departure. Sometimes documents are destroyed in a war. Afterwards it is quite impossible to obtain documents or a legalisation from authorities in the refugee producing country.

Next to suggested measures like special examinations, interviews, sworn statements, competence tests, the use of supporting evidence and a provisional recognition for employment, the Working Party wants to raise the idea of a Background Paper.

 The Background Paper

The Background Paper intents to be a tool

  • for the credential evaluator to reconstruct the educational background of the refugee in order to facilitate the (future) assessment
  • for the refugee to affirm his or her academic achievements towards other evaluating bodies, like universities and employers, in order to gain access to further studies or an appropriate job.

The Background Paper itself is not an evaluation, but a reliable describing reconstruction of the academic achievements linked with the available documents and supporting evidence.

The Background Paper is a twofold paper:

  1. Overview of the claimed educational background with the available documents and supporting evidence
  2. Checklist, based upon the Diploma Supplement model, that can be used by the credential evaluator to add more relevant information

 

Example of overview

Educational Background
Qualification Evidence
Secondary education diploma
Higher education-first degree Student ID
  + transcript of 1st year
Higher education-second degree No educational documents, but
  teacher statement
  + employment contract

 

 Checklist

This checklist is a working model.
Some items may not be appropriate.

The credential evaluator should be aware that the checklist is meant to be an extra aid for future employers and for the refugee in order to get his/her life back on track. It is certainly not an extra way to increase the bureaucracy burden of the refugee.

 

1 INFORMATION IDENTIFYING THE HOLDER OF THE QUALIFICATION

1.1 Family name(s):

1.2 Given name(s) or maiden name:

1.3 Date of birth (day/month/year):

  1. INFORMATION on the educational background and achievements
  2. 2.1 Name of qualification and title conferred (in original language):

    2.2 Main field(s) of study for the qualification:

    2.3 Name and status of awarding institution + previous names (in original language):

    2.4 Name and status of institution administering studies (if different from 2.3 and in original language):

    2.5 Language(s) of instruction/examination:

  3. INFORMATION ON THE LEVEL OF THE QUALIFICATION
  4. 3.1 Level of qualification:

    1. Official length of programme:
    2. Access requirements(s)
  5. INFORMATION ON THE CONTENTS AND RESULTS GAINED
    1. Mode of study:
    2. Programme requirements:
    3. Programme details: (e.g. modules or units studied), and the individual grades/marks/credits obtained:
    4. Grading scheme and, if available, grade distribution guidance:
    5. Overall classification of the qualification (in original language):
  6. INFORMATION ON THE FUNCTION OF THE QUALIFICATION
    1. Access to further study:
    2. Professional status (if applicable):
  7. INFORMATION ON INCOMPLETE STUDIES
  8. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  9. which is found relevant by the credential evaluator

  10. USED SOURCES
  11. RECOGNITION PROCEDURES

Legal text

 

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