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ASHE representatives participated in the meetings for two new international projects implemented within ERASMUS+ programme – RENSA and ISOBAQ – in June and July 2016. The meetings were held in Amsterdam and Cheltenham.

The project Recognition of Non-Country Specific Awards – RENSA – is managed by UK NARIC,  while the project Information System on pre-Bologna Academic Qualifications – ISOBAQ – is led by Bulgarian NARIC centre.

ASHE is a partner in both projects, working in RENSA project together with colleagues from Malta, Ireland and Lithuania and with colleagues from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania in ISABAQ project. 

RENSA project

The aim of the RENSA project is the further development and sharing of good practice and information to support fair and, as appropriate, consistent recognition of non-country specific qualifications. In the context of this project, “non-country specific” awards are defined as those which are wholly international, and do not form part of any one national education system. These may include, but are not limited to long-standing qualifications offered by international awarding bodies and increasingly, nationally recognised awarding bodies offering customised international awards which fall outside of the remit of the national regulator. Whilst the European Area of Recognition (EAR) manual provides some helpful chapters that could be adapted and applied in the evaluation of such international credentials (such as the Non-Recognised but Legitimate Institutions chapter), in practice there are no dedicated guidelines of good practice for the evaluation of non-country specific qualifications nor a clear means of sharing and saving examples of recognition decisions taken by NARICs.

ISOBAQ project

The objective of the ISOBAQ project is to create and provide to the NARIC network one more recognition tool for enhancing the visibility, comparability, transparency and trust-based fair recognition, which would promote mobility in the field of education and employment. This will be achieved by putting into place of an online information system (OIS) containing as much as possible structured information about the existing national legislation and levelling of the existing pre-Bologna HE qualifications towards the current national HE qualifications, the corresponding NQFs and the Bologna cycles. Such a structured information source could be used for bridging where possible the pre-Bologna HE qualifications towards EQF which would enrich its nature a helpful tool for comparison, assessment, fair recognition and transparency, having in mind the lack of/ insufficient information about national levelling and status of this type of HE qualifications. The participating centres will contribute with national details on the legislation concerning their pre-Bologna HE qualifications in the aspects specified above and as a result would benefit from such a structured source both as sending (in terms of origin) authorities and as receiving (recognition) authorities. Samples of the pre-Bologna HE qualifications in question would add value to the final online information system. The added value and benefits will be effective for the whole NARIC network and their ENIC counterparts, which are a primary target group. The project will have immediate impact to enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the ENIC-NARIC network to the extent of the participating partner centres, yet its open nature will allow further joining and networking of other partner centres with hard-to-be-found national information on their pre-Bologna HE qualifications, which is a logical follow-up beyond the end of the project.