International HERE Seminar: Recognition – Implications for cross-border access to higher education and mobility


The Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) international Seminar focused on the recognition of academic and professional qualifications was held in Chisinau on June 10-11, 2019.

The event organised by the SPHRE Consortium and National Erasmus+ Office in Moldova in partnership with the Technical University of Moldova has gathered more than 70 international participants, members of the Higher Education Reform Experts community.

The topic of this Seminar was critically important for understanding the mechanisms of recognition, since without this no international mobility strategies can be considered viable, either at the system level or at the institutional level.

At the opening session have participated Mr. Viorel Bostan, Rector of the Technical University of Moldova, Mr. Fabien Schaeffer, Project Manager, Representative of EU Delegation to Moldova and Mr. Howard Davies, Academic Expert, member of the SPHERE Team.

During the two days of the Seminar, the participants were offered a review of the international recognition conventions, current recognition practice and the shift from ‘equivalence’ to ‘comparability’.  Aspects of the proposed introduction in Europe of automatic recognition, and other key components of the recognition of academic qualifications, such as credit recognition, recognition of prior learning, the evaluation of applicants – such as refugees – who lack formal documentation, and the digitisation of recognition instruments, notably the Diploma Supplement have represented discussion topics.

HEREs have also learned about the developments in the field of recognition of professional qualifications, where EU legislation is particularly relevant to pre-accession countries. In its relations with the wider world, the EU has begun to build into its trade deals mutual recognition agreements in professions such as accountancy and architecture. These aspects have important effects for curriculum design and quality assurance.

The University of Barcelona (Coordinator) and the European University Association (EUA) currently comprise the consortium ‘SPHERE’ (Support and Promotion for Higher Education Reform Experts), an initiative steered by the European Commission and implemented by its Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture. SPHERE is providing training and networking for Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) and National Erasmus+ Offices (NEOs) in countries neighbouring the EU between 2015- 2020.

More photos are available HERE.