The European Area of Recognition project (EAR), which has been steered by ACA’s founding member Nuffic, has recently presented one of the key results of its outstanding work supported by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO, namely a practical manual for fair recognition of qualifications. The EAR manual is a new and innovative tool: based on the Lisbon Recognition Convention and its subsidiary texts of qualifications, it incorporates all relevant recommendations, studies and earlier project results on recognition and sets out clear and uniform standards and guidelines on all aspects of the international recognition.
The manual consists of sixteen chapters with topics such as substantial differences, qualification frameworks, learning outcomes and accreditation. It includes flow-charts, recommendations, practical examples and useful links. It also contains a schematic outline of the recommended procedure for the assessment of foreign qualifications, a glossary, an overview of relevant publications and sources, and an index. This manual is primarily meant to be a reference tool for recognition offices in Europe. However, it will also have multiple uses beyond that audience, serving as a starting point for policy makers working to review and improve national regulations, as a manual for credential evaluators and as an informative resource for foreign students, higher education institutions and other stakeholders.
As a next step, Nuffic is launching a series of follow-up activities involving the training of networks in using the EAR manual and keeping the manual up to date (EAR2 project). Development and dissemination of a recognition manual for European higher education institutions (the EAR-HEI project) will also take place.