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Lisbon Recognition Convention 1997

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Overview: This convention concerned the recognition of qualifications in Higher Education in Europe. It aimed at affirming that degree holders from one of the UK member countries would be recognized, without qualifications, in any of the other signatory countries.

Signatories: The members of the Council of Europe met at this convention in Lisbon, 1997. In May 2003, the UK ratified the convention, which came into force in July 2003.

Mission, Goals, and Achievements: The Lisbon Summit's target is to place the EU at the forefront as a knowledge-based community by 2010.

  • Mutual Recognition of Qualifications. This convention promotes the mutual recognition, without discrimination, of qualifications among European countries. Those whose qualifications are thus recognized will have the same access to further study and use of an academic title, as do those from the country where recognition is sought. The institution making the assessment must demonstrate that an applicant does not meet its requirements for further study.
  • Diploma Supplement. All signatory countries were encouraged to have the Diploma Supplement issued to their students upon graduation. This document describes a qualification in a standard format that can be readily understood and compared. The Diploma Supplement also clarifies the qualification and shows how it fits into to its originating academic program.

The Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee has also recently adopted a Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees. Other methods were developed to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications internationally. These include the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), the Europass, and the Tuning Project.

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