International credential evaluation tips from the EAIE Academy in Tallinn

International credential evaluation tips from the EAIE Academy in Tallinn

Today is the final day of the Autumn EAIE Academy in Tallinn. It has been a very fruitful and dynamic week for the participants, with eight hands-on courses and four vibrant networking events providing them with lots of tips and advice as well as networking opportunities. This week, participants discussed subjects ranging from advising international students to website management and creating promotional materials. This final Autumn Academy blog post highlights takeaways from the two courses on credential evaluation.

In the ‘How to overcome the challenges of foreign credential evaluation’ course,  André Hesselbäck, Senior Officer at Uppsala University, Sweden and Marijke Blom-Westrik, Senior Credential Evaluator at Nuffic, the Netherlands, presented a variety of educational systems, gave tips on how to spot fraud and discussed in detail the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), its principles and the recognition procedure associated with it. The LRC or Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region is the international convention of the Council of Europe and UNESCO aims to ensure fair recognition of qualifications, academic mobility and transparent procedures and criteria.

How to make your assessment procedure of foreign credentials “Lisbon-proof”?

Step 1: Application

  • Have standardised information on procedures & criteria
  • Have standardised application forms
  • Inform applicant of receipt of application and the amount of time normally required to process evaluation
  • Check file for required documents; request additional documents if necessary

Step 2: Verification

If in doubt, verify the authenticity of the documents

  • Contact awarding institution or the Ministry of Education
  • Request to see originals

Step 3: Assessment criteria & procedures

Take into account the purpose of the evaluation, prior evaluations of the same qualification to ensure consistency in recognition practice, relevant educational legislation, status of evaluating body and information resources. Here are the assessment criteria:

  • Purpose of the qualification in home country
  • Status of foreign institution/programme
  • Duration / study load
  • Admissions requirements
  • Content
  • Structure
  • Learning outcomes and competencies
  • Quality of institution and programme

Step 4: Outcome of the assessment

  • Status of the assessment: recognition decision and advice to competent authority
  • Full recognition: no substantial differences
  • Partial or non-recognition: substantial differences, in which case recognition authority should provide reasons why full recognition was not granted, suggestions for alternative forms of recognition and information on the appeal procedure.

Update on the latest Russian Educational Standards: use of credits

In the ‘International credential evaluation: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus’ course, Gunnar Vaht, Head of the Estonian Academic Recognition Information Centre (Estonian ENIC/NARIC) and Ann Koenig, Associate Director of Credential Evaluation with AACRAO International Education Services, USA, gave an update on the latest Russian Educational Standards:

“The latest ‘Federal State Educational Standards’ (FSES) in the Russian Federation express student workload in terms of ‘credits’, replacing ‘hours’ as the workload unit for bachelor, specialist and master programmes. The FSES are the outlines of curricular structure and content mandated for use at all levels of education throughout the Russian Federation. The development of a credit system in Russian higher education was first approved in 2002. Credits have been introduced gradually since then, but are mandated as the workload unit in the new FSES. The Russian ENIC, the National Information Center on Academic Recognition and Mobility, reports that the rollout of the new credit-based FSES will take place incrementally over the next several years. Current students will complete their programmes under the FSES in force when they matriculated, and will receive a diploma and diploma addendum (transcript) in the state standard format of 2012. Students who begin studies under the new credit-based FSES will receive a newly-formatted diploma supplement that will show credits. Check the Russian ENIC website under Russian Education System for information reflecting the new FSES. Under ‘Diplomas/Qualifications Samples’ you will find samples of all academic documents awarded at all levels since the Soviet era. The new diploma supplements will be uploaded to the ENIC website in the near future.”

If you were at the EAIE Academy in Tallinn, share below more takeaways that you’ve gained. Follow #EAIEAcademy on Twitter for an overview of the discussions and check out our Facebook page to see some great photos from the event!