Conference theme:

The Lisbon Recognition Convention (1997) and the Bologna Declaration (1999) were notable steps toward academic recognition of qualifications and competencies acquired elsewhere. However, several substantial obstacles have remained up to this day, especially for migrants coming from outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). 

Here are some of the questions that will be addressed and discussed together with experts, students, and graduates from Europe and beyond, civil society organizations, and policymakers during the event:

  • How can third-country nationals, including refugees, have optimal opportunities in European higher education?
  • What can universities, student organizations, policymakers, civil society, and other stakeholders do to enable inclusive study paths?
  • How can competencies and qualifications be assessed and valorized for access to higher education or to employment activities even when documentary evidence is lacking?

As one of the partners of this initiative, The UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Migration at the University of Lapland, focuses on immigration to and from the North. Dr. Nafisa Yeasmin, the lead of the Thematic Network on Arctic Migration is the contact person of MaxiPacEU for Finland.

The Arctic cities are shrinking, and sustainability factors of Arctic communities are under threat. For ensuring our hope to be identified, valorization of new knowledge will be one of the facets that can delineate our security to keep our Arctic identities. This event will strengthen our understanding that sustaining a diverse society requires the continuous practice of equity and social justice. An inclusive society has the power to shape convincing relationships between and beyond communities through practicing a collective sense of care, i.e., “taking and giving”. 

“Diversity is our new ordinary - respect for diversity and keeping diverse relationships are linked with uniformity, equality, and ethical aspects that reinforce the concept of societal behavior”— as Professor Satu Uusiautti, the Vice-Rector for Education at the University of Lapland puts it.

Hence, recognizing diverse skills and knowledge of people for strengthening community well-being and determining social justice necessitates prerequisites and initiatives of Higher Education Institutes. Such as those to valorize diverse competencies of immigrants along with international students acquired from elsewhere or outside the EU. Thus, the recognition of any accomplishment further persuades immigrants to build sustainable connections within the mainstream community where they belong.

According to Dr. Yeasmin, "an academic recognition of previously acquired competencies and qualifications contrive hope among immigrants for sensing belongingness. This recognition enhances possibilities for immigrants in the host society. This is not only the process of identifying immigrants’ educational culture of their country of origin, but also accepting someone´s existence and identity in a respective European host society. Thus, the assessment process of the competencies and qualifications of immigrants has a sustainable value for building mutual trust and reciprocity between immigrants and social institutions in the host society".

Rectors from four different European universities are attending this event in Brussels.

Read the event program in the file attached.