NOKUT introduces automatic recognition of bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Poland and Lithuania

NOKUT scheme for automatic recognition foreign qualifications is extended to include Polish and Lithuanian degrees.

Since the summer of 2018, NOKUT has piloted a voluntary scheme for automatic recognition of higher education qualifications from the Nordic countries. The scheme is now being extended to graduates from Poland and Lithuania who have a degree corresponding to a Norwegian bachelor's or doctoral degree. Master's degrees are not yet included in the scheme, as the two countries have several types of master's degrees that are not so easily comparable to Norwegian ones.

Automatic recognition means that applicants can download a document from NOKUT's website that shows that their qualification is automatically recognised in Norway. The document confirms that the level and scope of the qualification is comparable to a Norwegian degree, without the need to apply to NOKUT for a formal decision. This gives the applicant immediate clarification of the status of their qualification in Norway, which can be useful when applying for a job or further study.

Successful results so far

The results of the automatic recognition scheme for Nordic qualifications have so far been positive. Fewer people from these countries apply for a formal recognition decision, as many applicants have opted to download the automatic confirmation instead.

“Since we started last summer, the number of applications from the Nordic countries has gone down by 35 per cent, without any special promotion of the scheme. This tells us that the scheme is working well”, says NOKUT's CEO Terje Mørland.

Poland and Lithuania are among the countries with the highest number of applicants for recognition of higher education. Applications from these countries make up 15 per cent of the total number of applications to NOKUT. About half of these will be eligible for the automatic recognition scheme.

“We will eventually expand this scheme to more countries. At the same time, we are continuing to digitalise our application processes and improve our information on who needs to apply and how to do it. Our goal is to give an immediate answer to as many applicants as possible. And applications that still require manual processing will be processed significantly faster than today”, says Mørland.

In line with European objectives

The higher education ministers from the 48 countries participating in the Bologna Process have adopted a common goal of automatic recognition of comparable degrees within the European Higher Education Area. The EU has also launched a similar initiative to ensure automatic mutual recognition between member countries of higher education qualifications, upper secondary education diplomas and the outcomes of learning periods abroad.

With the latest expansion of the scheme, Norway is on good course. It is a strategic priority for NOKUT to continue the development of automatic recognition of higher education.

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