Focus on Automatic Institutional Recognition (2015-2017)

Recognition is one of the key action lines in the fulfillment of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Most EHEA countries have officially committed to align their recognition processes to the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention in 1997, and since then, important recognition tools have been developed such as the Diploma Supplement, ECTS, and qualification frameworks. The implementation of the 3-cycle system (Bachelor, Master, PhD) was also intended to contribute to transparency and facilitate recognition.

Despite the progress made, obstacles to the smooth implementation of a fit-for-purpose recognition procedure in the EHEA still exist.

The project started on 1 January 2015 and lasted until 30 April 2017.

To access the final report, please click here.

For further information on EUA’s role in the FAIR project please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

erasmus plus flagFAIR is funded under Erasmus + Key Action 3 – Support for policy reform - Prospective initiatives. European policy experimentations in the fields of Education and Training, and Youth: trans-national cooperation for the implementation of innovative policies under the leadership of high-level public authorities.

Related documents

  • Project objectives and methodology

    The main objective of the FAIR project was to support partner higher education institutions in identifying and subsequently overcoming obstacles in the implementation of automatic recognition. The project partners tested and applied the principles and practices outlined in the Pathfinder Group on Automatic recognition and in the European Recognition Manual for Higher Education Institutions (EAR HEI manual).

    Higher education institutions participating in the FAIR project was part of an exercise that was carried out in two steps (first and second trial). During the trials higher education institutions were asked to provide information on the internal procedures they apply when processing applications for recognition of academic qualifications, quantitative data on the applications as well as information on the recognition decision taken by the institution.

    The first trial took place at the beginning of the project in 2015 and served as 'baseline assessment' of the recognition procedures. The second trial took place in 2016 after the institutions will have implemented the recommendations by ENIC-NARICs resulting from the first trial, and provided the data for the impact assessment. It thus measured potential improvements in the institutional recognition processes.

    The role of EUA within the FAIR project was to act as an “Evaluation Body”: EUA guided higher education institutions before and during the trials and carried out an assessment of the institutional recognition practices in each institution. At the end of the second trial, EUA produced an overarching report providing an analysis of the new recognition procedures and the impact they have had: progress made, lessons learned, good practices and challenges encountered. The EUA baseline and impact assessment reports served as basis for the work of the ENIC/NARICs, which elaborated a set of recommendations on how to implement automatic recognition at national and European levels.

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