Fine-Tuning Recognition Processes: Challenges, Strategies, Tools


International Peer Learning Activity

Wednesday – Thursday, 26 – 27th April 2017

Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel, Athens


“Implementing agreed structural reforms is a prerequisite for the consolidation of the EHEA and, in the long run, for its success. A common degree structure and credit system, common quality assurance standards and guidelines, cooperation for mobility and joint programmes and degrees are the foundations of the EHEA. We will develop more effective policies for the recognition of credits gained abroad, of qualifications for academic and professional purposes, and of prior learning. Full and coherent implementation of agreed reforms at the national level requires shared ownership and commitment by policy makers and academic communities and stronger involvement of stakeholders. Non-implementation in some countries undermines the functioning and credibility of the whole EHEA. We need more precise measurement of performance as a basis for reporting from member countries. Through policy dialogue and exchange of good practice, we will provide targeted support to member countries experiencing difficulties in implementing the agreed goals and enable those who wish to go further to do so.”

Bologna Yerevan Communiqué 2015


The Directorate General for Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of Greece, together with its National Agency for Erasmus+, the State Scholarships Foundation (IKY), designed and are implementing the project GEAR (Greece Exploring Advanced Recognition in higher education) a project selected under the Restricted Call for Proposals 49/2015 of EACEA (Project number 577798-EPP-1-2016-1-EL-EPPKA3-BOLOGNA).

The project is strongly linked to the above-mentioned commitment of the Yerevan Communiqué, as well as to the one of Bucharest reminding the need for integrating the structural reforms that will enable a smooth and consolidated EHEA. Recognition is a corner stone for this consolidation. Mobility without obstacles is a national goal, as it constitutes a prerequisite for acquiring knowledge and access to quality higher education.

The main objective of the PLA is to present the results of an extensive survey on recognition processes and the use of recognition tools in Greek Higher Education Institutions, and how these affect the mobility of students and personnel. The survey was based on: (a) an e-questionnaire addressed to all 40 Greek HEIs, (b) an e-questionnaire addressed to all 480 academic Departments, (c) interviews with institutional stakeholders and experts, and (d) questionnaires addressed to a considerable sample of incoming and outgoing exchange students.

The preliminary report is already available online in the project’s website and will of course form the basis for the discussion during the PLA.

However, a broader perspective is needed in order to note down, compare and fine-tune systems and strategies. Thus, we urged peers from the EHEA to provide us with experiences, obstacles impeding recognition and best practices. This PLA will attempt to address issues such as:

  1. Which successful internationalisation strategies have countries implemented to increase mobility of students, as well as academic and administrative personnel?
  2. Which of the recognition tools and strategies are implemented in the higher education system: ECTS, Diploma Supplement, quality assessment, learning outcomes?
  3. Which are the processes for the recognition of foreign academic degrees in different countries (who is responsible, which are the preconditions for recognition, what recognition entails, how much time the process takes)?
  4. What are the most frequent challenges for a student being mobile?
  5. Are recognition tools enough to deal with global challenges and radically changing environments?

Upon registration, participants were urged to respond to the questions above, which will assist us in preparing the PLA.

There will also be two thematic sessions (a) on ECTS, Programs and Policies of Student Mobility; and (b) on Diploma Supplement and Degree Recognition.

The PLA will be held in the Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel at 19 – 25, Parthenonos str. right in the heart of historical Athens and is addressed to ministerial officials, policy makers and HEIs representatives and a diverse international audience of the BFUG, organizations and student representatives. Next to national attendees, we also warmly welcome participants from other countries of the EHEA, who would be willing to present any important development in the recognition processes and extensive mobility schemes.

This PLA is free of charge but participants will have to cover their travel and accommodation expenses due to the project’s budgetary restrictions. The whole event will be held in English without interpretation and is restricted to a limit of 36 participants. In the project’s website GEAR there will be regular updates on the agenda and practical information for the PLA.

They are also kindly invited to a dinner on the 25th April at 20:00 at the hotel lobby.