Recognition of education and qualifications from Ukraine

NOKUT has many years of experience evaluating education and qualifications from Ukraine, but not everyone needs a recognition of their education in order to work in Norway.

Stack of books on gray, Ukraine
Stack of books on gray, Ukraine

Refugees from Ukraine who apply for protection in Norway will receive temporary collective protection for one year. This means that settlement in municipalities can happen far sooner than when following the regular, individual asylum application process. This also means that Ukrainian refugees may apply for jobs immediately upon arrival.

NOKUT’s recognition procedures

Most professions in Norway are not regulated by law, which means that it is not requird to fulfil any minimum requirements in order to use a professional title or practice the profession in question. Moreover, there is no legal requirement to have your education recognized. Still, NOKUT’s general recognition of higher education or higher tertiary vocational education may be of help when applying for jobs, or for employers who are considering hiring someone with foreign qualifications. NOKUT has recognition procedures for several levels of education and training: foreign vocational education and training (craft or journeyman’s certificates), foreign tertiary vocational education (vocational education that builds on secondary education programmes) and higher education (bachelor, master and Ph.D.).

However, some professions are regulated by law, which means that authorization or professional recognition is required in order to practice the profession. Applications for recognition are handled by 17 different competent authorities, each responsible for a certain profession or group of professions.

NOKUT is the competent authority for the recognition of teachers in schools and heads of kindergarten/educational supervisors in kindergarten with qualifications from abroad. These professions are regulated, and anyone with a professional qualification from abroad who wants a permanent position in one of these professions in Norway must first apply for recognition. However, it is possible to work in temporary positions without recognition, in which case it is the employer (municipality or school) who will assess the necessary competence for a position.

Education and qualifications from Ukraine

Until further notice, NOKUT will continue to process applications for recognition of education and qualifications from Ukraine according to established routines. We will also assist higher education institutions with questions related to the assessment of Ukrainian education in connection with admission to higher education.

NOKUT has years of experience with recognition of education and qualifications from Ukraine. Norway and Ukraine are part of the same European recognition family. NOKUT has also participated in international projects with the aim to support the development of our Ukrainian sister office. NOKUT is therefore well suited to assessing applications for recognition of Ukrainian education and qualifications.

NOKUT also maintains a country database, with a separate entry for Ukraine (in Norwegian only). On this page, there is a description of the educational system of Ukraine, and information on how NOKUT recognizes Ukrainian education and qualifications.

NOKUT normally requires that documents on higher education issued in Ukraine are apostilled under the current rules set by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. As a consequence of the war, it is currently not possible for Ukrainian applicants to obtain an apostille on educational documents from Ukraine. NOKUT has therefore suspended the apostille requirement when assessing Ukrainian education and qualifications until further notice.

Until the outbreak of the war, it was possible to access Ukraine’s comprehensive online database for verifying educational documents from both higher education, as well as tertiary vocational education. The database also includes information on the accreditation status of educational programmes. As a result of the war, the database has been periodically inaccessible, but at the time of writing, it is online and available. However, NOKUT has access to other, international databases with similar information, and has also accumulated thorough competence on Ukrainian education throughout the years.

Recognition procedures for refugees

NOKUT also has ample experience with assessing the competencies of refugees with educational documentation that cannot be verified. NOKUT’s UVD-procedure is a recognition procedure for applicants with foreign education at the level of university/university college, who cannot be granted general recognition due to missing, insufficient or unverifiable documentation. This procedure is targeted towards refugees and persons in a refugee-like situation. Unlike NOKUT’s other document-based recognition procedures, the UVD-procedure is limited to persons who have a residence permit in Norway, and who possess sufficient language proficiency in English, Norwegian or another Scandinavian language.

NOKUT has also played a central role in the development and implementation of the European Qualification Passport for Refugees. This is a standardized document that describes the refugee’s highest completed qualification, work experience and language proficiency based on available documentation, self-registered information and a structured interview. The purpose is to provide a better starting point for accessing the labour market or pursue further education; improve language competencies; or apply for professional recognition or authorization when necessary.

The idea behind the Qualifications Passport arose during the refugee crisis of 2015, when there was a need to assess the competencies of the many refugees who arrived in Norway. The passport is meant as a common European document, so that refugees will not have to map their qualifications again if they move across borders. This method can also be used to assess the competencies and qualifications of Ukrainian refugees coming to Norway. One difference between the situation in 2015 and today’s crisis, is that in 2015 NOKUT had relatively little experience with recognition of Syrian qualifications, whereas we have had much more experience assessing Ukrainian qualifications throughout the years.

Even if NOKUT and Norway have been in the forefront of developing the Qualifications Passport, it is not used in connection with admission to higher education. For this to happen, legislative change is necessary.

Automatic recognition

NOKUT offers automatic recognition of some qualifications from selected countries. Automatic recognition is a standardized statement describing the Norwegian degree to which a foreign degree may be equated. The document can be used without having to apply for recognition or upload documents for assessment. It is not, however, a recognition procedure and involves no assessment of your ID and academic qualifications. NOKUT is currently working on including Ukrainian qualifications into this system, and they will be available within short time. This will make it far easier for Ukrainians to use their qualifications in the labour market.

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