Higher education institutions granted right to evaluate academic degrees and education documents issued abroad

(14.07.2022.)

On Thursday, 14 July, the Saeima supported in the third and final reading amendments to the Law on Higher Education Institutions and the Education Law, granting specific higher education institutions the right to evaluate academic degrees and education documents issued abroad, issuing a certificate if the holder of the education document is planning to commence or continue studies in Latvia.

The higher education institutions meeting the qualification requirements determined by the Cabinet of Ministers will be able to carry out the evaluation and issue a certificate if the education document is issued from 1 January 2016 in a European Union or European Economic Area member state and the Swiss Confederation, and the holder of the education document has submitted an application to study in the respective higher education institution. A list of other countries the education documents of which may be evaluated by these higher education institutions will be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to the summary of the Draft Law, the right to examine the relevant education documents and diplomas is only granted to those higher education institutions that have had long-term international cooperation in academic work, acquired experience in working with foreign students, a trustworthy student selection process, qualified personnel, and appropriate facilities, equipment and capacity. The qualification requirements for higher education institutions to be granted this right as well as the procedure of granting this right shall be established by the Cabinet. The conditions under which a higher education institution shall lose this right will also be established.

In Latvia, the examination of academic degrees and education documents obtained abroad is currently carried out by the Academic Information Centre. However, the decision on the recognition of the education document, based on the certificate issued by the Academic Information Centre, is currently made by the higher education institution where the holder of the education document wishes to commence or continue their studies.

As stated in the summary of the Draft Law, granting this right to competent higher education institutions will allow for a more effective evaluation of the submitted higher education documents and possibly enable quicker decision-making on the applicant’s commencement or continuation of their studies. The evaluation of education documents will also apply to the citizens and non-citizens of Latvia if they have obtained education in the countries stipulated in the Draft Law, but wish to commence or continue their studies in Latvia.

In case the applicant decides to commence or continue their studies in another higher education institution, the certificate issued by the initial higher education institution shall be valid.

 

Saeima Press Service

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