Equivalences non obligatoires

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FAQ

What is the purpose of an academic recognition (équivalence)?

A recognition of a foreign higher education degree by the Service de la reconnaissance académique et professionnelle des diplômes étrangers can help you if you are looking for a job. 

It is essential if the employer is a public body or a public funded institution and require a recognition to  a specific degree (e.g. master civil engineering, bachelor in accounting) or to a certain study level (master or bachelor). 

A recognition to a specific academic degree is compulsory for exercising regulated professions, if the foreign degree does not fall under the scope of the European directive 2005/36/CE.

Regarding the non-regulated professions, private employers are completely free to hire you without recognition decision. However, they can also require the recognition of your degree (specific or level recognition).  

 

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I have a European degree, do I still need to apply for a recognition?

If you wish to practise a regulated profession, and you are a national of a member state of the European Economic Area and you are a fully qualified professional, you can request the application of the directive 2005/36/CE on the recognition of professional qualifications from the competent body without needing academic recognition (equivalence) of your certificate.

If you need a recognition but you cannot benefit from the application of the above-mentioned directive, you need to apply for the equivalence of your certificate to a specific academic degree or equivalence of study level, according to the job you are interested in.

Note :

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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Which documents do I have to supply in order to submit an application?

The documents to be supplied depend on the type of recognition (specific academic degree or study level recognition). 

Before sending it, please contact our department. 

Remark : refugees and beneficiaries of the subsidiary protection are exempted of fees.

 

 

 

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How long does the academic recognition procedure (equivalence) take and how much does it cost?

 Remark : refugees and beneficiaries of the subsidiary protection are exempted of fees.

 

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Should I apply for an academic recognition of my higher education in order to continue my studies in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation?

No. Our higher education institutions are competent to decide on the course programme you are admissible for. They can valorize your credits for such admission. 

Except if you wish to enroll to studies leading to : 

 

  • The “agrégation” (upper secondary education teacher training degree);
  • Specialised bachelor in university colleges (Hautes Ecoles) (e.g. for nursing, a specialisation in paediatrics).

 

In those two particular cases, an academic recognition of your higher degree is compulsory. Please contact us for more information. 

 

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Should I apply for an academic recognition of my higher education in order to access to a complementary master or a PhD?

No, based on articles 112 and 115 of the decree of 7 November 2013 defining the landscape of higher education and the academic organisation of studies, the university is competent to valorize your academic background in order to admit you.

 

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Is the university competent to issue equivalences for professional purposes too?

Yes, based on article 92 of the decree of 7 November 2013 defining the landscape of higher education and the academic organisation of studies, the university is competent to decide on the academic recognition to the PhD degree.

 

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Do I have to provide the academic recognition of my foreign certificate of higher secondary education (e.g. French baccalauréat) to access to higher education?

It is an access condition for higher education (art 107, section 1, 7° of the Decree of 7 November 2013 defining the  higher education landscape and the academic organisation of studies), but other possibilities are also considered by the same legal text.

 

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Can I deposit my application file during a visit?

No. Visits have only an informative purpose. Application files will be not accepted.

 

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Are the Belgian municipalities still authorised to deliver certified copies?

The municipalities continue to issue certified copies when requested, which is the case for equivalences, the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation meeting that requirement (decree of 5 May 2006 suppressing the obligation to submit certified copies of documents, where article 1 § 2 states that the suppression of the obligation to submit a certified copy does not concern the departments in charge of equivalences).

 

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Can I get my documentation back after the procedure?

Yes. Please send us our request by written and we will send you back our documentation by registered letter. 

 

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