ECA is one of the project partners in the EU funded project Focus on Institutional Automatic Recognition (FAIR).  By exploring the practical implementation of automatic recognition of qualifications, the project team builds further on the work of the Pathfinder Group on Automatic Recognition.  The project aims for faster and more consistent recognition decisions, thereby improving the mobility of students in the EU and EHEA.

In FAIR various actors work together to gain experience at national and European level with the implementation of automatic recognition of qualifications. These are the Ministries of Education, ENIC-NARICs and 23 institutions from Italy, Spain, Germany , Croatia, Belgium and the Netherlands. FAIR is coordinated by EP Nuffic at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Education.


In FAIR higher education institutions will first undertake a’ baseline assessment’ of their recognition procedures based on predefined indicators. After introducing elements of automatic recognition in these procedures, the procedure will again be measured using the same indicators. In this way, the project seeks to determine the impact of automatic recognition. The results will be used for (inter) national recommendations and implementation activities.

To ensure an objective outcome, the trials will be accompanied by an ‘Evaluation Body’: the European University Association (EUA). The final recommendations will also be reviewed by a ‘critical friend’ of the project. ECA has a connecting role in the project, namely to ensure that the activities are in line with the latest developments in quality assurance. 

European Standards & Guidelines

FAIR is for the participating institutions also an opportunity to screen their recognition procedures in preparation for a new standard in the Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) which will probably be adopted by the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan in May 2015. This standard implies that institutions should consistently apply pre-defined and published regulations with regard to recognition and QA agencies should take this into account in QA procedures.

Budget and kick off

FAIR is funded from Erasmus + Key Activity 3 (Policy Experimentation ) and has a budget of € 600,000 , of which 75 % is paid by the European Commission.  The kick-off of the project took place on January 20th in the EYE in Amsterdam.



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