NOKUT Awarded for Work with Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications

NOKUT’s Toolkit for Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications has won one award and has been nominated for one more. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme.

NOKUT’s work with recognition of refugees’ qualifications is receiving international acknowledgement. The project Toolkit for Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications has won the Sepmeyer Award for Excellence in Credential Evaluation Research. The project is also nominated for a PIEoneer Award.

“NOKUT is a leading force in the development of methodologies for evaluating refugees’ educational and training background. Our work and experience with the Qualifications Passport for Refugees has been a central premise in the development. It is nice that our work is getting this recognition", says Director General of NOKUT, Terje Mørland.

NOKUT has the honour of being the first ever winner of the Sepmeyer Award for Excellence in Credential Evaluation Research. The award is presented by the American credentials evaluation service International Education Resarch Foundation (IERF). The annual award is established in celebration of IERF’s 50th anniversary and is named after one of its two founders, Inez Sepmeyer.

Furthermore, NOKUT are one of six finalists for the Championing Diversity Award at the PIEoneer Awards. The higher education online magazine PIE News presents the annual award. It celebrates innovation and achievement in international education. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony, being held in London on 19th September.

A Common European Approach for Recognition of Qualifications

“The Toolkit makes recognition of refugees’ qualifications easier, both for the applicant and the evaluator. We have received positive feedback on its usability, and the project is referred to as best practice in the appendix to the Lisbon Recognition Convention”, explains Marina Malgina, Project Leader for Toolkit and Head of Section for Interview-based Procedures at NOKUT.

The Toolkit has been developed as a part of an Erasmus+ project (2016–2018), led by NOKUT. With basis in NOKUT’s long experience within the field and in cooperation with our ENIC-NARIC partners ArmENIC (Armenia)CIEP (France)CIMEA (Italy)NUFFIC (the Netherlands)UK NARIC (UK)UHR (Sweden) and KMK (Germany)., we have contributed to developing a common European practice for recognition of refugees’ qualifications.

NOKUT will follow up the Toolkit project with a new project, named REACT – Refugees and Recognition (2018–2020), which also is funded through the Erasmus+ programme. The aim is to develop and adapt the toolkit to the needs of higher education institutions that wish to develop systematic approaches to the assessment of qualifications held by refugees.

“As a consequence of the refugees’ crisis in 2015, NOKUT started the devolvement of a special evaluation scheme for refugees who cannot document their education. The work has led to the development of a European Qualifications Passport for Refugees by the Council of Europe, and we are now contributing in the development of UNESCO’s global qualification passport”, says Mørland.

Not the First Award for NOKUT

This is not the first time NOKUT’s work with recognition of refugees’ qualifications has been honoured with awards. In 2017, NOKUT co-workers won the EAIE’s Bo Gregersen Award for Best Practice, and in 2018 NOKUT was nominated for the PIOneer of the year award.

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