The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Benelux countries) have signed an agreement with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (the Baltic States) on automatic, mutual recognition of higher education diplomas. continue studying or working in one of the six countries without administrative hassle about the level of their degree.
The convention is open to other countries or regions that meet the quality requirements for automatic mutual recognition of the level of diplomas, and now the Benelux and Baltic States are the only EU countries where bachelor and masters degrees, associate degrees, and doctoral degrees are automatically recognized. The treaty follows a letter of intent signed by the six countries at the end of 2019.
“This is a great step for students and higher education,” says Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education). “This is how we increase student mobility and this automatic recognition fits the open society that is the Netherlands and Dutch education.” Her Flemish colleague Ben Weyts: “It should be easier to do an extra study in another country or to accept a job from Spain to Finland, and everything in between.”
The Minister of Lithuania, Jurgita Šiugždinienė, points out that the six countries are at the forefront of Europe. “I firmly believe this is just the beginning,” she says. “I hope that this treaty will serve as a source of inspiration in a wider Europe and that other countries will be willing to follow suit and join.”
Graduates from higher education institutions sometimes have to go through lengthy and pricey procedures to have their diploma declared valid in another EU country. Automatic recognition also offers benefits for business and public authorities.