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JOINT DEGREES The Experience of the ENIC and NARIC Networks Dr. E. Stephen Hunt Manager, USNEI and President, ENIC Network ECA Team II Conference Joint.

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Presentation on theme: "JOINT DEGREES The Experience of the ENIC and NARIC Networks Dr. E. Stephen Hunt Manager, USNEI and President, ENIC Network ECA Team II Conference Joint."— Presentation transcript:

1 JOINT DEGREES The Experience of the ENIC and NARIC Networks Dr. E. Stephen Hunt Manager, USNEI and President, ENIC Network ECA Team II Conference Joint Programmes: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen? Graz, Austria, 10-11 June, 2010

2 I. A Bit About the ENICs and NARICs The ENICs and NARICs include all of the countries that are members of the European Cultural Convention (Council of Europe) and/or the UNESCO European Region. The European Network of Information Centres (ENIC Network) comprises every country – 57 of them to date. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC Network) comprise only the EU Member States and Candidates, plus members of the European Economic Area (EEA) – 32 countries. Thus, 25 countries within the ENIC Network are not bound by the policies, laws or regulations of the EU! Nevertheless, we have all - since 1997 - forged a successful partnership of information-sharing and work on recognition practices. Our key documents and recommendations are now the standard models used by UNESCO throughout the world.

3 II. The Key ENIC/NARIC Documents All ENIC/NARIC work and policy is based on the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), one of the 6 UNESCO regional recognition conventions. The LRC was created on 11 April 1997 in Lisbon, Portugal and entered into force on 1 February 1999. It consists of the treaty itself plus the Explanatory Report. You may locate the LRC, Explanatory Report and all other documents at: The ENIC/NARIC Networks have the authority and responsibility to produce recommendations concerning how to implement the letter and spirit of the LRC. These documents are called Subsidiary Texts and are approved by the LRC Convention Committee, which is comprised of all ratifying countries.

4 III. The Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees This Recommendation is an approved Subsidiary Text of the LRC. It was adopted on 9 June 2004 at Strasbourg, France. We shall quickly review the essential elements of this Recommendation. –Definition of a Joint Degree –Applicability –Special Considerations

5 IV. ENIC/NARIC Definition of a Joint Degree A higher education qualification issued jointly by at least two or more higher education institutions or jointly by one or more higher education institutions and other awarding bodies, on the basis of a study programme developed and/or provided jointly by the higher education institutions, possibly also in cooperation with other institutions. The Recommendation notes that joint degrees may be awarded as: a. a joint diploma in addition to one or more national diplomas; b.a joint diploma issued by the institutions offering the study programme in question without being accompanied by any national diploma; or or more national diplomas issued officially as the only attestation of the joint qualification in question. THESE ARE ALL PERMISSABLE VARIATIONS

6 V. Applicability of the Procedures for Joint Degrees The authority for the Recommendation stems from Article X.2.5 of the LRC, which concerns the recognition of qualifications by countries other than the one in which the qualification was earned. However, the Recommendation explicitly states that it is applicable to: Joint Degrees earned in institutions belonging to two or more national systems; And Joint Degrees earned in two or more institutions belonging to the same national system.

7 VI. Special Considerations for Recognizing Joint Degrees Joint Degrees should be recognized unless a substantial difference can be demonstrated between the joint degree being considered and a comparable national qualification in the host system. The greatest possible flexibility should be used in considering the recognition of joint degrees where these exist. States Party to the LRC should remove any legislation that is adverse to the existence or recognition of joint degrees. Recognition of joint degrees may be made contingent on the satisfaction of transparency and quality assurance requirements by all institutions, organizations or programmes involved in the joint degree under consideration, without exception. European (EU/EEA/Bologna) joint degree programmes should be expressed in ECTS credits and use the Diploma Supplement. The joint degree DS should clearly describe all parts of the degree, including the institutions and programmes involved.

8 What is Meant by Quality Assurance and Transparency Quality Assurance means that the institution and/or programme is recognized by the competent authority(ies) of the home system as being a legitimate part of that system. This usually means accreditation by a recognized accrediting agency or comparable official recognition. Transparency means that the institution(s) and programme(s) willingly provide students, other institutions, employers and credential evaluators sufficient information to assess and make decisions, either via public information, on request, or both. In Joint Degrees and programmes this quality assurance and transparency is expected of every participating institution, group and programme.

9 Quality Assurance Issues Specific to Joint Degrees It is imperative for quality assurance bodies responsible for the institutions participating in joint degree programmes to coordinate their work, domestically and across borders. Provision should be made for the QA bodies to note the approval of joint degree programmes and institutions on their respective databases, as well as jointly, in order to assist in recognition. QA bodies should work with the ENIC/NARIC Networks and others to press for revisions of any national legislation, regulations or policies that inhibit either the accreditation or recognition of legitimate joint degree programmes.

10 Issues Specific to Europe vis à vis Global Joint Degrees European QA bodies, policymakers and evaluators should not require that other systems and their institutions and programmes adopt specific EC Directives or other intra-European policies such as ECTS, DS, etc. in order to participate in, or gain recognition for, joint degrees and programmes. Europeans can and should legitimately demand appropriate national QA and transparency for non-European joint degrees and should insist on addressing relevant issues for non-European institutions participating with European joint degree programmes. Appropriate models for how non-European/European cooperation in developing and implementing joint degree programmes can work included the EU-U.S. Atlantis Programme, EU-Canada and similar cooperative programmes with Asia-Pacific countries.

11 Thank You!

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