On 3 August, in Vilnius, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport of Lithuania Algirdas Monkevičius and the Minister of Higher Education and Science of Poland Wojciech Murdzek signed an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Poland on mutual recognition of qualifications concerning higher education and periods of study. The Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) also contributed to the preparation of this agreement.
The agreement facilitates mutual recognition of partial studies, secondary and higher education qualifications as well as science degrees awarded by recognised institutions belonging to the education systems of Lithuania and Poland. It also sets out the conditions and documents for access to further higher education.
This agreement is an update of the agreement signed between Lithuania and Poland in 2005, taking into account the changes that have taken place over the past fifteen years in the education systems and qualifications provided by both countries.
The list of qualifications awarded in Lithuania and Poland and tables of comparability have been updated, while the comprehensive and constantly changing list of higher education institutions of both countries has been left out. Furthermore, the agreement includes updated terminology and provisions allowing greater flexibility in reviewing and updating the agreement.
It is important that the new agreement provides for recognition of Professional Bachelor degrees awarded in Lithuania. This qualification has been provided in Lithuania since 2006. In addition, information on Lithuanian institutions performing academic recognition has been updated. Since 2012, academic recognition in Lithuania can be performed not only by the SKVC, but also by higher education institutions licensed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. Currently, 10 Lithuanian universities have such a right.
The validity of the new agreement is ten years. This period can be automatically extended. The agreement shall enter into force when the two Parties have notified each other of the completion of the procedures necessary for that purpose.
The preamble to the agreement mentions Council Recommendation of 26 November 2018 on promoting automatic mutual recognition of higher education and upper secondary education and training qualifications and the outcomes of learning periods abroad. It is therefore expected that the agreement will be supplemented in the future by a provision on the automatic recognition of national qualifications, thus simplifying the academic recognition of both countries' qualifications.
SKVC has so far recognized over a thousand Polish secondary and higher education qualifications, the holders of which came to Lithuania to study or work. This year, SKVC received 21 applications for academic recognition of qualifications awarded in Poland.