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Professional recognition

Database of regulated professions

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Legal documents

in HE


Academic recognition

 What is academic recognition?

To whom to apply for  academic recognition in Latvia?

To whom to apply for  academic recognition in other countries?

What are the Latvian and international legal documents for academic recognition?

What one can  do if recognition is denied?

Where to read more about academic recognition
              Brochure for recognition specialists                          pdf      MsWord

Where to get more information about Latvian higher education system?
              Information package  Higher education in Latvia -2002

Joint European Diploma Supplement



 What is academic recognition?

Academic recognition is the recognition of a foreign qualification
for the purpose of further studies.

In academic recognition the evaluators mainly seek to establish whether the applicant is capable of continuing studies in the chosen direction and at the chosen level.

In the following main cases one has to seek for academic recognition of the credentials earned in his /her previous studies:

- holding a degree/diploma of the home country and seeking
   admission in a further stage of studies in a foreign country;

- seeking admission for further studies at home country  after
  completing the   previous stage of studies abroad,

- moving from one foreign country to another to continue studies
    in the next stage study,

- returning to home institution after having completed a period of
  studies abroad

In principle, academic recognition is sought only  for admission to further studies. Some applicants however chose to receive a statement of academic recognition before seeking employment in such professions where recognition of a foreign degree/diploma, is not officially required (i.e. in non-regulated professions). This kind of recognition (academic recognition for professional purposes) helps employers to understand to which  home  country's qualification the foreign one in question can be compared.



 To whom to apply for academic recognition in Latvia?

The short answer is:

apply to the Academic Information Centre, receive its statement about your foreign degreee/diploma and present the statement to the higher education institution at which you want to study.

according to the article 11.1. of the Law on education:

- the final decision regarding the recognition of a foreign degree/diploma is taken by that higher education institution, in which the applicant is willing to contionue his/her studies. 

- the Law stipulates higher education institutions take their  decision upon advise of the Latvian Academic Information centre (Latvian member of the European recognition networks ENIC and NARIC). Academic Information centre assesses the foreign degree/diploma and issues a statement which serves as a recommendation for the higher education institutions and can be also presented to the potential employers in non-regulated professions.  

Contacts to Academic Information Centre:
Adress: Academic Information Centre, Valnu iela 2, office 210, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia,
Tel: (+371) 7225155
Fax: (+371) 721006
e-mail: laine@aic.lv





To whom to apply for academic recognition in other countries?

The short answer is:

apply to the institution at which you want to continue your studies
if you need information or assistance, contact that country's Academic recognition infomation centre
(we advise you to read the explanation below)


In most countries, like in Latvia, the final decision on academic recognition of a foreign degree/diploma is taken by that higher education institution at which the studies are going to be continued.

In many European countries (but not in all of them), before taking the decision, the institutions will send your diploma/degree certificate to that country's Academic Recognition Information centre to receive its advisory statement.

In some countries,  however, the Academic Recognition Information Centres do not deal with individual degrees/diplomas or individual applications - if this is the case,  you have to solve all the issues with  the higher education institution  only.

To find out the specific regulations and procedures of the academic recognition in the  country in question, it is always useful to consult the publications and webpages of the Academic Recognition Information Centres.

As regards Europe, North America, as well as Australia  contact details of the academic recognition information centre in a particular country, can be found from several sources:



What to do if academic recognition is denied?


First of all, if academic  recognition of applicant's  degree/diploma or study period is denied, according to the Article III.5. of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, the applicant has the right to appeal.

Thus, if the academic recognition of the applicant's foreign diploma is denied and the applicant  thinks that the decision violates the international legislation in the field of recognition, to which the country in question is bound, or the national legislation of  that country, it is advisable to appeal against the decision.

According to the Lisbon Convention, the applicant has the right to be informed about the recognition procedures, including the procedure of apppeal in the country in question. 

Alternative or partial recognition

According to the Council of Europe/ UNESCO Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications, "in the cases 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 applicants qualification is not recognised at the level of the host country's degree/diploma indicated by the applicant, but, instead, the comepetnt recognition authority can offer recognition of the applicant's qualification at the level of another host country's degree/diploma. In many cases that solves the problem - the applicant gains the possibility to continue studies in the host country, although in a programme different from the originally chosen one. 

Partial recognition means that instead of recognition of the applicant's foreign degree/diploma as a full host country's qualification, the competent authority offers the applicant to recognise his/her qualification as part of studies towards the qualification that he/she indicated. If this is a solution, the applicant can continue studies to complete the missing parts towards the first qualification and then continue studies towards the next one as desired.

Thus, if the full academic recognition of the applicant's qualification is rightly denied, it is worth to discuss with the competent authority the possibilities of alternative or partial recognition.