1. The present Recommendation is adopted within the framework of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and applies to the Parties of this Convention. The principles and practices described in this Recommendation can, however, also equally well be applied to the recognition of qualifications issued in other countries or under transnational education arrangements, to the recognition of joint degrees and to the recognition of qualifications in countries other than those party to the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
  2. In view of the wide diversity of higher education institutions and of the developments in transnational education, the status of a qualification cannot be established without taking into account the status of the institution and/or programme through which the qualification was awarded.
  3. The competent recognition authorities should seek to establish whether the higher education institution belongs to the higher education system of a given country. In the case of qualifications awarded by higher education institutions established through transnational arrangements, the competent recognition authorities should analyse these arrangements on the basis of the principles stipulated in the UNESCO/Council of Europe Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education and in the Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees.
  4. Competent recognition authorities should be encouraged to focus on the learning outcomes, as well as the quality of the programme and to consider its duration as merely one indication of the level of achievement reached at the end of the programme. The assessment process should acknowledge that recognition of prior learning, credit transfer, different forms of access to higher education, joint degrees and life-long learning will all shorten the duration of some academic qualifications without diminishing the learning outcomes and a decision not to grant recognition should not be motivated by duration alone.