Croatia to Stop Recognising University Diplomas from Bosnia and Serbia?

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For many Croats studying in neighbouring countries, diplomas could become worthless in Croatia.

Ivica Katavić, the dean of the College for Economics, Entrepreneurship and Management Nikola Šubić Zrinski from Zagreb, which will soon open a new outpost in Županja in eastern Croatia, recently said there were indications that diplomas acquired in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina would no longer be valid in Croatia because they do not meet the required criteria, reports Glas Slavonije on April 24, 2018.

The allegation has been confirmed by the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education (AZVO). The Agency said that the recognition of foreign higher education qualifications (IVK) in Europe and in the EU member states is carried out according to the so-called Lisbon Convention.

“The recognition of IVK implies formal confirmation of the value of foreign higher education qualification. In the process of evaluating foreign higher education qualifications, we take into account the degree of acquired knowledge, skills and competences acquired through qualification, without comparing individual study programmes,” said the Agency.

In accordance with the applicable regulations, the AZVO conducts the IVK professional recognition process (for the purpose of accessing the labour market in Croatia for unregulated professions) and it is necessary to meet several criteria. Among them, the higher education qualification must be issued by an accredited higher education institution, and the higher education programme must be accredited by the competent accreditation body of that state.

In the event that all the above-mentioned recognition criteria are not fulfilled, the AZVO is not able to fully recognize foreign higher education qualifications, which is in accordance with international practice.

“The credibility of the competent accreditation body is important, that is, they must pass the relevant international evaluation, which unfortunately has not been the case with competent agencies for external quality assurance in higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia,” said the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education.

They explain that international accreditation of agencies, in addition to transparent and clear criteria for external evaluation of study programmes and institutions of higher education, represents a confirmation to employers, the education system, citizens and students that higher education institutions indeed meet quality standards and that their qualifications guarantee competencies for labour market and the possibility for further education.

“In addition to all the above, we emphasize the fact that the University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to confirm the quality of its study programmes and qualifications, has requested and passed an international process of accreditation of its components and study programmes, which was implemented by the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education, which is internationally accredited institution and is a full member of all relevant European associations of external quality assurance agencies,” said the Agency in its reply.

Based on all the above mentioned criteria and information available from competent international institutions, the AZVO makes a final decision on recognition of foreign higher education qualifications.

Translated from Glas Slavonije (reported by Marija Lešić Omerović).


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