Verification of transnational providers

If transnational education is provided through distance learning, credential evaluators should verify the status of the institution providing the distance learning and/or distance learning programme through which the qualification was awarded.

In the case of qualifications awarded by higher education institutions established through transnational arrangements, credential evaluators should analyse these arrangements on the basis of the principles stipulated in the "Revised Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education" June 2007 and in the Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education.

Competent recognition authorities should recognise qualifications and credits from transnational providers as long as the following conditions are met:

Recognition may of course be denied if there are legitimate grounds based on other factors.

Assessment of qualifications

Credential evaluators should assess qualifications issued through transnational educational programmes, complying with the provisions of the Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education and of the Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education, in accordance with the stipulations of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Recommendation on procedures and criteria for the assessment of foreign qualifications.

Competent recognition authorities should refuse to recognise qualifications or credits from diploma mill providers and institutions accredited by bogus accrediting agencies, known as “Accreditation Mills”.

When assessing qualifications obtained through transnational education it is recommended to check:

  • the status (i.e. recognised or accredited) of the institutions involved in the transnational education programme and/or the status of the programme leading to the qualification.
  • whether the transnational arrangements - through which the transnational education programme was established - comply with the legislation in both receiving (host) and sending (home) countries:
    • is an institution providing a transnational programme (e.g. through a branch campus abroad, distance education or any other form) allowed to do so according to its national legislation;
    • in the case of non-collaborative arrangements - is the transnational provider permitted to operate in the receiving (host) country. This could include various types of permission including operation as a foreign provider, operation as a private provider, or even (in some cases) a form of recognition or accreditation;
    • in the case of collaborative arrangements - is the partner institution in the host country authorised to provide programmes at a given level of education and is it authorised to enter into transnational arrangements;
    • has the quality of the transnational education programme been monitored? If yes, by whom? Is the quality of the programme (academic quality and standards, teaching staff, teaching, awards, academic workload) offered through transnational arrangements comparable to the quality of traditional programmes offered by the institution awarding the degree?

    Example 1: qualification awarded by a recognised foreign provider

    Example 2: qualification awarded by a recognised institution upon completion of a non- recognised foreign programme

    Example 3: qualification awarded by a recognised institution upon completion of a programme delivered by its international campus