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Term Definition

Formal acknowledgement of (i) individual academic or professional qualifications; (ii) programmes of a higher education institution; and/or (iii) quality assurance agencies, by a competent recognition authority that acknowledges certain standards and/or values with respect to special purposes that indicate the consequences of recognition. Recognition is usually of a cross-institutional and/or cross-border nature. As regards recognition of individual qualifications, learning experiences (e.g., degrees, diplomas, or periods of study) are validated with a view to facilitating the access of holders to educational and/or employment activities. Here, at least two kinds of recognition, those for academic and those for professional purposes, should be distinguished.

Programme recognition generally refers to the recognition of a specific programme of study of one higher education institution by another. It functions on the basis of a peer-acknowledgement procedure and is meant to allow a student to engage in continued study at the latter institution or to exempt him or her from re-studying subjects and materials which are not significantly different in different higher education institutions. With regard to institutions, recognition refers to the acknowledgement of quality assurance agencies or accrediting organizations, deemed to be trustful, efficient, and accountable institutions of quality assurance, following particular recognition standards set by the competent (usually foreign) recognition authorities. 

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