There are different legal foundations depending on the particular recognition purpose and country of origin. In Europe applies the Lisbon Recognition Convention (Council of Europe/UNESCO):
- Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, 11/04/1997
For countries that have not yet ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention, the following conventions of the Council of Europe apply (if these have been ratified by the respective country):
- European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities, 11/12/1953
- European Convention on the Equivalence of University Study, 15/12/1956
- European Convention on the Academic Recognition of University Qualifications, 14/12/1959
- European Convention on the General Equivalence of Periods of University Study, 06/11/1990
Universities are responsible for recognition aiming at undergraduate and postgraduate admission as well as transfer of periods of study and examination outcomes.
The use of academic titles is regulated by Länder law on higher education. Information is provided by the ministries of science in the respective Länder.
Germany has signed agreements on the recognition of academic qualifications and the transfer of periods of study and examination outcomes (equivalency agreements) with many countries.
These agreements facilitate mobility for continuing undergraduate studies or getting admission to postgraduate studies abroad. Professional Recognition is normally not included.
The Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) prepares these agreements in collaboration with the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Federal Government and the Länder. It is involved in negotiations and monitors the implementation of the outcomes.
Existing equivalency agreements can be found under 'Publications and Decisions'.