The NARIC network aims at improving academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study in the Member States of the European Union (EU) countries, the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Turkey. The network is an initiative of the European Commission and was created in 1984. NARICs provide a way to compare academic qualifications.
Each higher education system has a designated national centre. Its main purpose is to assist in promoting the mobility of students, teachers and researchers by providing authoritative advice and information concerning the academic recognition of qualifications and periods of study undertaken in other higher education systems. Although their purposes are similar, the status and scope of work of NARICs does differ. In most European countries, higher education institutions make their own decision regarding the recognition of foreign qualifications and credits (or periods of study). NARICs therefore play an important role in advising these institutions. The main users of the service provided by NARICs are higher education institutions, students and their advisers, parents, teachers and prospective employers.
The NARICs were designated by the Ministries of Education in the respective countries, but the status and the scope of work of individual NARICs may differ. In the majority of States, institutions of higher education are autonomous, taking their own decisions on the admission of foreign students and the exemption of parts of courses of study programmes that students may be granted on the basis of education undertaken abroad. As a result, most NARICs do not take a decision, but offer on request information and advice on foreign education systems and qualifications.
- Lisbon Recognition Convention - The international treaty that governs recognition in the broad European area
- ENIC Network - The wider UNESCO/Council of Europe network for the same purpose.