This is the recognition of diplomas, qualifications or parts of study programmes of a (domestic or foreign) educational institution by another educational institution. Such recognition is usually considered as the basis for acceptance for further study at the second institution or as recognition allowing a certain type of exception from an obligation to repeat a study of some parts of the programme.
Academic recognition is characterised by a detailed comparison of the study plans, the result of which is subsequently a decision as to whether the education acquired abroad is equivalent to the education provided in the Czech Republic.
In the Czech system of law, the recognition of education is regulated for elementary, secondary and higher professional education in Section 108 of Act No. 561/2004 Coll., On Preschool, Elementary, Secondary, Higher Vocational and Other Education (Education Act) and in its executory Decree No. 12/2005 Coll., of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic on the conditions of recognising the equivalence and validity of certificates issued by foreign schools.
The validity of documents is essentially determined by regional authorities (the MEYS then decides on the validity of foreign certificates issued by foreign schools with an educational programme implemented in agreement with the MEYS; the Ministry of Interior decides on the validity and issues a certificate of recognition of equivalence in the area of the activity of the police and fire prevention).
The Education Act allows for two possible procedures of validation. If an international agreement exists on the mutual recognition of equivalence of documents on education, a certificate is issued. If there is not an international agreement on the mutual recognition of equivalence of documents, a decision is issued. The situation may arise when the regional authorities determine within the validation procedure that the content and scope of education in the foreign school significantly differ from a similar framework education programme in the Czech Republic, in which case the request is denied. If the content and scope of education in the foreign school differ partially or the content and scope of the subject matter are not evident from the foreign certificate, the regional authorities will prescribe a validation examination (the conditions of whose organisation are set in the above-mentioned Decree of the MEYS). If the applicant fails the validation examination, the regional authorities will also deny the request for validation.
In principle, the recognition of foreign higher education is decided on by public higher education institutions in accordance with Sections 89 and 90 of Act No. 111/1998 Coll., On Higher Education Institutions and On Alterations and Amendments of Certain Acts (Higher Education Act). The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will issue a certificate of recognition of education only if it was acquired in a state with which an agreement on the recognition of document equivalence (or on education document recognition) has been concluded and the ministry is authorised by this agreement to recognise a document, or if some doubt exists as to which public higher education institution implements a study programme of similar content and is thus appurtenant to decide on recognition. If the area of military science is concerned, recognition is determined by the Ministry of Defence in accordance with Section 95, Subsection 9 of the Higher Education Act; in the area of security services, recognition is determined by the Ministry of Interior.
Bilateral international agreements on the mutual recognition of equivalence of documents on education attained and documents on granting scientific degrees and titles have been concluded with Bulgaria (No. 43/1983 Coll.), Hungary (No. 92/2005 Coll.I.A.), Poland (No. 104/2006 Coll.I.A.), Slovakia (No. 33/2001 Coll.I.A.), Slovenia (No. 52/2000 Coll.I.A.; considered as valid for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina), and certain successor states of the former USSR (123/1973 Coll.).
Recognition (validation) is not required in the case of professional courses (e.g. masseur, cosmetician etc.) acquired abroad, because they not declare the level of education attained.
Contacts and useful links
Mgr. Michaela Burdková
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
118 12 Prague 1
tel.: 234 811 703
Centre for Higher Education Studies