European Council reaffirms commitment to automatic mutual recognition


The European Council has reaffirmed its commitment to make automatic mutual recognition in education and training a reality by 2025.

The 2018 Council Recommendation required member states to have arrangements in place by 2025 for the automatic recognition of higher education qualifications and periods of study abroad, and to have progressed arrangements for recognition in upper secondary education including in VET.

Further steps outlined for the effective implementation have been elaborated, including continued fostering of mutual trust and transparency across the European Higher Education Area. The involvement of all relevant actors, such as higher education institutions, NARICs, quality assurance agencies and EQF National Coordination Points, can play a key role in these efforts, including in training, information provision, monitoring, and the development of national guidance.

Irish people travelling overseas for further study, research and employment can share confidence with people from other jurisdictions, that qualifications on the NFQ at one level can be automatically recognised for access to a programme leading to an award at the next, without prejudice to specific admission requirements.

The Conclusions specifically encourage cross sectoral work so that mobility among and between VET and HE can be enhanced, including with the recognition of prior learning, thus supporting the development of better mobility opportunities.