NOKUT’s Qualifications Passport for Refugees

– NOKUT has carried out a successful pilot project with the intention of testing the new method for evaluation of refugees’ qualifications – NOKUTs Qualifications Passport for Refugees. The method, on which the pilot project is based, corresponds to the proposal made by NOKUT and UK NARIC for a European Qualifications Passport for Refugees. The method was presented to the European Commission and other international organizations in September 2015, says Terje Mørland, Director General at NOKUT.

The proposed European Qualifications Passport for Refugees is based on the legacy of the Nansen Passport for Refugees from 1922. Its aim is to establish a multinational, quality assured framework in Europe for the recognition of refugees’ competence. Issuing a qualifications passport may ensure the refugees a document that can be utilized across European national borders.

– Such a document could be admissible in several countries, and may help other national recognizing authorities save time and resources, says Stig Arne Skjerven, Director of Foreign Education at NOKUT.

– During the pilot project period, a total of 20 qualifications passports for refugees were issued. NOKUT’s Qualifications Passport for Refugees is a standardized statement made by NOKUT. It contains information about the applicant’s highest completed qualification, work experience and language proficiency, in addition to advice and guidance about the road ahead. The document includes information on the documentation that formed the basis for the individual assessment. NOKUT’s Qualifications Passport for Refugees is valid for a limited time, three years from the date of issue. Within this timeframe, applicants will have the opportunity to find employment or continue with further studies, improve their language proficiency or, if necessary, apply for formal recognition or authorization, explains Skjerven.

The methodology used for the evaluation of this group of applicants is based on elements developed through NOKUT’s UVD-procedure, as well as our proposal on a European Qualifications Passport for Refugees. The method is a combination of the evaluation of available documentation, and a structured interview with the applicant carried out by NOKUT’s experienced case officers. Based on the experiences gained from the pilot project, it has been concluded that the model of recognition tested is readily implementable and highly efficient in the current situation. NOKUT will therefore continue issuing NOKUT’s Qualifications Passport for Refugees throughout 2016.

– We have gained many positive experiences through this project and hope that these experiences will be adapted into further work with this group of applicants. It is also our hope that it may give inspiration to international organizations such as European Commission, Council of Europe, UNESCO, as well as the ENIC-NARIC-network, concludes Terje Mørland, Director General at NOKUT.

Read the report NOKUT’s Qualifications Passport for Refugees (pdf)


  • Mørland, Terje; Skjerven, Stig Arne (2016) A European qualifications passport for refugees. University World News, 01 April 2016 Issue No:407
  • Skjerven, Stig Arne; Malgina, Marina; Kallevig, Joachim Gumus (2016) "European Qualifications Passport for Refugees: A multi-national approach on recognition of refugees’ qualifications". IAU Horizons, May 2016, Vol. 21, No. 3
  • Skjerven, Stig Arne; Malgina Marina (2015) The Norwegian Response to Refugee Crisis. EAIE blog series
  • NOKUTs kvalifikasjonspass for flyktninger
  • Proposal initially sent to the European Commision

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