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Checklist for processing applications for recognition

Here is an overview of important points in the process from an application is received until consideration of the application is completed.

What does the applicant wish to have considered? Should the application have been sent somewhere else? You can find out by checking the list of regulated professions.

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Most institutions have their own procedures stipulating what requirements must be met before an application can be considered. Have you received all the documents you need? You can check NOKUT's documentation requirements here.

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  • Is the education recognised in the country where the applicant studied? You can check this by using one of the available sources. Here are some suggestions for sources you can use.
  • Is the education at the same level as Norwegian higher education? Check the GSU list to see what requirements apply to education from different countries.
  • There are some countries for which NOKUT cannot grant general recognition of education because we are unable to satisfactorily verify documents from these countries. This applies to Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia. Should the applicant be referred to, for example, the recognition procedure for persons without verifiable documentation?
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There are four main types of false documents:

  1. Fabricated documents from a non-existing higher education institution ('diploma mill', fake university, 'mailbox university'): Documents from institutions that only exist on paper or online. They have no actual premises or teaching staff, and offer no actual education. Belford University is an example of a fake university.
  2. Fabricated documents that purport to be from an existing higher education institution: documents that are presented as genuine diplomas or transcripts of grades from an existing university. Created by the applicant or by professional forgers.
  3. Authentic documents that the applicant has attempted to alter: for example, the applicant can have altered his/her grade to appear to be a better candidate than he/she actually is. The applicant may also have borrowed a certificate from someone who has taken an education and inserted his/her own name to make it look as if the candidate has taken the education.
  4. Authentic documents with incorrect contents: Authentic certificate forms or transcripts of grades where the applicant has had incorrect information entered. The applicant could, for example, have bribed a member of the administrative staff at the higher education institution, or had incorrect information entered in authentic forms stolen from the institution.

Type 1 can be uncovered by checking whether the higher education institution exists. Here are some suggestions for sources you can use. You can find an example of how to proceed to uncover the other types of forgery in the PDF document How to Obtain Authentic International Academic Credentials.

More about false academic credentials and qualifications

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NOKUT assesses foreign education on the basis of the criteria for general recognition of foreign education. We can recognise foreign education that is equivalent to an accredited Norwegian university college graduate, bachelor's or master's degree. We can also recognise foreign education that is equivalent to an accredited Norwegian PhD.

Universities and university colleges

It is up to the Norwegian higher education institutions to decide what foreign education can be granted specific recognition as part of a Norwegian degree, and whether courses taken abroad can form the basis for exemption from courses in a Norwegian study programme. The higher education institutions are not bound by NOKUT's general recognition decisions.

NOKUT's country database (only in Norwegian)
NOKUT's criteria
World Higher Education Database

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