Created on 31 October 2017

The Nordic Council of Ministers, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) organized a Conference on the Revised Reykjavik Declaration. The conference hold on 12 October at the premises of NOKUT. The conference was organized as part of an ongoing initiative under Norway’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Oslo the Nordic Approach on RecognitionGuests of this Conference were the representatives of the Centre for Information and Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education and National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education of Japan (NIAD-QE)

The Nordic Declaration on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education – the Reykjavik Declaration was revised in 2016. This conference highlighted best practice in recognition and facilitating mobility in the Nordic countries. The Nordic declaration has been seen in the context of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the coming UNESCO Global Recognition Convention.

After the welcome speeches the UNESCO's work on the Global Recognition Convention was presented. The UNESCO appointed a Committee from 23 experts from all UNESCO regions who met four times in last two years and endorsed the preliminary draft of Convention. The Committee has ensured that there is no conflict between this preliminary draft and the existing revised regional regognition conventions. The prelimnary draft text is stronger and more forward learning than the regional conventions. Global Reconvention Convention takes into account that qualifications from different regions need differentiated assessment . By the time the Global Recognition Convention enters into force, all regional conventions will be updated and in coherence with the Global Convention. They will remain together with thier subsidiary documents.

After this, a global look at twenty years of the Lisbon Recognition Convention were presented. It was highlighted that, and until 1997 the equivalence was sought, there was a lack of information provision, contact points and information centres, no regulations of recognition and transparent assessment of qualifications. After     53 countries ratified the Convention applicants are entitled to a fair recognition, recognition procedures are transparent, coherent and reliable, applicant have a right to appeal, qualifications are recognize until substantial differences can be shown, Infromation centres have been established and worked together.

In the conference, several ongoing Nordic projects that follow the Nordic goals of automatic recognition were presented. A result from a mapping study was presented. Even though the countries at an overall level have organized the recognition system in a similar manner, there are still major differences between the mandates of the recognition bodies and the organization of the recognition process. Big difference is also in the number of regulated professions. Norway and Island have some medical specializations while Finland has few teacher professions. The Nordic-Baltic admission manual is Also presented. It is a transparency and recognition tool for admissions officers in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The manual aims to present guidance on recognition of higher education qualifications and to provide a basis for more automatic and smooth recognition of qualifications from the Nordic-Baltic region. It is regulary updated and more information can be found at An Erasmus+ Key Action 3 project ORION was also presented. The main objective of the Project is moving from an input based recognition to output based recognition. This means more flexible and modern recognition regime in line with international development and new recognition tools.

At the end of the Conference, a panel discussion was held. Panel members pointed out that automatic recognition is not possible, but at regional level many good things can be done and that educations hould be based on Bologna process and not on the rating which some higher education institutions have.