Aims for automatic recognition of higher education in the Nordic countries

‘Easier and more effective reciprocal recognition of each country’s education should be possible in the near future. We must avoid unnecessary double work.’

NOKUT’s Director General Terje Mørland was crystal clear in his opening speech to the Conference on the Revised Reykjavik Declaration: The Nordic Approach on Recognition in Oslo on 12 October. Representatives from recognition authorities and higher education institutions in the five Nordic countries met to discuss the best way to follow up the Revised Reykjavik Declaration.

From left: Andrea Lundgren, Cecilia George, Gunnar Vaht, Stig Arne Skjerven, Terje Mørland, Una Strand Vidarsdottir, Einar Meier, Hanne Holden Halmrast and Mats Lindstedt.

‘Automatic recognition of qualifications between the five Nordic countries must be put in place. This could provide more efficient and consistent recognition processes’, continued Mørland, adding that ‘another goal for Nordic cooperation is that recognition authorities must be able to use recognition decisions made by another Nordic country in their own case processing to avoid unnecessary double work.’

A recent survey of recognition and authorization schemes in the Nordic countries, undertaken by Rambøll Management Consulting on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers, also points to a need for closer Nordic cooperation. Based on the survey findings, the report recommends that the Nordic countries should cooperate more closely to make it easier for migrants to use their competencies and education. Read the summary in English

Strong Nordic Cooperation

‘Nordic cooperation is strong and we are moving toward automatic recognition in the Nordic region’, said Director of Foreign Education Stig Arne Skjerven in his presentation.

‘In general, we need to make Nordic cooperation in the field of recognition better known. We must also work to further develop the good Nordic cooperation between the Nordic ENIC-NARIC offices (NORRIC), by connecting this work closer to the Nordic Council of Ministers’, Skjerven continued.

In the conference, several ongoing Nordic projects that pursue the Nordic goals of automatic recognition were presented. One such project is the Erasmus+ funded ORION project (link), led by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Science and NOKUT. Another is the recently completed project on a joint Nordic-Baltic manual for admission to higher education.

The conference was organized by NOKUT as part of an ongoing initiative under Norway’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Nordic Council of Ministers

Download the presentations from the conference

Nordic Declaration on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education: The Reykjavik Declaration (Revised 2016)

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