Equivalences non obligatoires


Request for academic recognition (equivalence) of your degree

Recognition to a specific academic degree

If you wish to apply for an academic recognition (équivalence) of your foreign degree to a specific academic degree (e.g. : Master in economic sciences), you must constitute a file that will be submitted for advice to an appropriate expert body. 

This body of experts analyses every file individually. It means that there is no automatic recognition, even for European degrees (1) (2). 

As regards academic recognition, the following criteria are at least considered:


  1. the studies must have been realised in a foreign higher education institution fully recognised by the competent authorities in charge of higher education in this country. The study programme has also to be nationally accredited by those authorities;
  2. the legal duration of the studies followed must at least be the same than the legal duration of the studies to obtain the corresponding certificate issued in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation;
  3. for most study fields, the existence of a thesis;


If the body of experts issues a negative advice regarding equivalence to a specific academic degree, a study level recognition (associate, Bachelor or Master) is in addition examined. 

In terms delays, once all the requested documents are submitted by the applicant, the service has legally 4 months to submit the file to the competent consultative body and 40 days to inform the applicant about the decision. 

The fee for this procedure amounts to 200€ (or 150€ for degrees issued in a country benefitting from public aid to development (APD)). 

Recognition of study level (associate degree, Bachelor, Master)

It is possible to apply directly for a study level recognition


Delays and costs are identical to those mentioned in the procedure for specific recognition.


Except in the 2 following cases for which there is no longer submission to a consultative body :


  • degree delivered in a country of the European Economic Area after the implementation of the Bologna process;
  • degree falling under pre-existing jurisprudence (positive evaluations of similar cases).


In these 2 cases, the level recognition decision will be issued within a maximum period of 2 months and costs 65€.



Remark : Refugees and beneficiaries of the subsidy protection are exempted from the procedure fees whatever the type of elected recognition procedure (recognition to a specific degree or study level). 

(1) The so-called Lisbon convention of 1997 sets the general principles on the recognition of foreign higher education degrees in the European region in the sense of the UNESCO (i.e. broader than theEuropean Union). This Convention does not imply automatic recognition of degrees in the European region. 

Concerning the Bologna Process, it should be underlined that this one is an inter-governmental co-operation process started in 1999 on a voluntary basis, that initially aimed to harmonise the structural aspects of higher education systems in Europe (i.e. broader than the European Union), in order to establish the European Area for higher education in 2010. Therefore, the Bologna process does not imply automatic recognition of degrees in the European region either. It should be noted that higher education, including the recognition of foreign degrees, remains the exclusive competence of the Member States of the European Union


(2) Following the decision of May 18th 2015 of the Benelux Ministers Committee concerning  the mutual automatic generic recognition of the level of higher education certificates, completed on the January 25th 2018, the holders of a Dutch or Luxembourgish degree of level 5,6,7 and 8 of the European Qualification Framework no longer need to proceed with the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to request the recognition of level of that degree, provided that the Dutch or Luxembourg degree is recognised by the competent Dutch or Luxembourg authorities. 
The above decision only applies to the recognition of degree level and not a specific academic degree such as a bachelor or master degree in economic sciences. 

The degrees entitled to this decision are the followings :

  1. For the Netherlands :
    Level 5 : getuischrift associate degree;
    Level 6 : getuigschrift bachelor ;
    Level 7 : getuigschrift master ;
    Level 8 : the degree of doctor , delivered after the oral defense of a thesis
  2. For the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg :
    Level 5 : brevet de technicien supérieur et le diplôme d’études supérieures générales ;
    Level 6 : degree of bachelor ;
    Level 7 : degree of master ;
    Level 8 : degree of docteur, delivered after the oral defense of a thesis

The corresponding training levels in Wallonia-Brussels Federation are respectively :
level 5 : Brevet d’Enseignement Supérieur
level 6 : Bachelier
level 7 : Master
level 8 : Docteur

Please note that only the degrees recognised by the competent Dutch and Luxembourgish authorities will be entitled to this automatic recognition.
For any information regarding the recognised institutions and programmes, please contact the ENIC-NARIC centres of the 3 Benelux countries: www.enic-naric.net

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