Academic recognition

Academic recognition is the recognition of a foreign education qualification (certificate, diploma, degree etc) issued by an educational institution or another competent authority for the purpose of further studies or to use an academic title, and recognition of periods of study. Academic recognition also applies to the purpose of employment or other activities where a certain level of education or academic degree is required.

In principle, academic recognition is sought only for access to further studies. Applicants, however, choose to receive a statement of academic recognition before seeking employment in the professions that is not regulated. This kind of recognition (academic recognition for professional purposes) helps employers to understand what home country’s qualification can be compared to the foreign one.

Required documents for the evaluation of a foreign qualification:

  • application for the assessment of a foreign educational qualification. Application form in EstonianEnglish or Russian (all forms are fillable on PC; download the file, if needed. For Mac users, please use Adobe Acrobat Reader);
  • personal identity document;
  • original diploma/certificate or a certified copy (eg. by notary, educational institution, or other competent authority);
  • original official transcript, Diploma Supplement and/or other additional documents or their certified copies;
  • authorised translations of the educational documents and supplements into Estonian, English or Russian. The Estonian ENIC/NARIC accepts documents in Estonian, English, Finnish, Swedish, French, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian languages without translation. In some cases the Estonian ENIC/NARIC may accept documents in other languages without translation as well.
  • When seeking evaluation for a higher education qualification, documents with supplements attesting to previous education, beginning with the first post-secondary qualification, should be attached.

Submission of documents for assessment:

  • Electronically by sending scanned documents by e-mail to Upon submission of documents electronically, the files must have been scanned in colour to PDF format, the recommended image resolution is 600×600 dpi.
  • Submit original documents or their certified copies in person at our office (we shall make copies, you will get back your documents immediately). Our office is located at  Tõnismägi 11 in Tallinn and our visiting hours are: Mon, Wed, Fri 9.00-12.00 and Tue, Thu 14.00-17.00.

Application processing deadlines

The Estonian ENIC/NARIC shall provide a written evaluation statement within 30 days, counted from the time all the necessary documents have been supplied. In case of delays in processing, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the reasons for the delay.

Application processing fees

The assessment of foreign educational credentials by the Estonian ENIC/NARIC is free of charge.

Government of the Republic of Estonia Regulation No 120 of 6 June 2005 “Correspondence of qualifications issued in Republic of Estonia and qualifications issued in former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics prior to 20 August 1991″

Government of the Republic of Estonia Regulation No 89 of 6 April 2006 “Criteria and Procedures for Assessment and Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications and for Use of Title of Qualification Granted in Foreign Education System”

Recognition tools and networks


International legal instruments for academic recognition:

Lisbon Recognition Convention

Monitoring of the Implementation of Article VII of the Lisbon Recognition Convention [PDF], 2019

Monitoring the Implementation of the Lisbon Recognition Convention [PDF], 2016

The Convention Committee has adopted the following documents:

Guidelines for National Online Information Systems [PDF], June 2019

Recommendation on Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees, Displaced Persons and Persons in a Refugee-like Situation and Explanatory Memorandum [PDF], November 2017

Recommendation on the Use of Qualifications Frameworks in the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications and Explanatory Memorandum [PDF], June 2013

Revised Code of Good Practice in the Provision of Transnational Education [PDF], June 2007

Joint ENIC/NARIC Charter of Activities and Services [PDF], June 2004

Revised Recommendation Recognition Joint Degrees [PDF], 2004, revised 2016

Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications and Explanatory Memorandum [PDF], 2001, revised 2010





European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a learner-centred system for credit accumulation and transfer, based on the principle of transparency of learning, teaching and assessment processes. Its objective is to facilitate planning, delivery and evaluation of study programmes and student mobility by recognising learning achievements and qualifications and periods of learning. You can find more information on ECTS here.

ECTS Users’ Guide

Diploma Supplement   

The Diploma Supplement (DS) is a document accompanying a higher education diploma, providing a standardised description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies completed by its holder. You can find more information on Diploma Supplement here.

Qualifications Framework

Qualifications Frameworks

Automatic recognition in Baltic countires

Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Estonia, the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the automatic recognition of qualifications concerning higher education (text of the agreement in Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and English; in force as of 7 January 2019)

Information on recognised higher education institutions, qualifications and accredited programmes in Latvia and Lithuania can be found at:

Prior to the conclusion of the agreement, a two-year project called AURBELL (Automatic Recognition between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) took place between the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian ENIC/NARICs. The main aim of the AURBELL project was to analyse the legislation and practices of recognition in the Baltic countries. Within the project a comparative study report “Automatic recognition between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania” was developed. You can find more information about the AURBELL project at the websit of the Latvian EVIC/NARIC.

Article VII of the Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (the Lisbon Recognition Convention) on the recognition of qualifications held by refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation (hereinafter refugees) stipulate that each Party to the Convention shall take feasible and reasonable steps within the framework of its education system and conformity with its legal provisions to develop procedures designed to assess refugees’ qualifications, even in cases in which the qualifications obtained cannot be proven through documentary evidence.

The refugees always cannot present any educational document, or cannot present complete documentation to proof educational background. In 2016, the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee adopted a subsidiary text to the Convention entitled Recommendation on Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees, Displaced Persons and Persons in a Refugee-like Situation and Explanatory Memorandum on the purpose to advice countries in the European region on how to proceed and develop the systems on assessment and recognition of refugees’ qualifications if the qualifications cannot be adequately documented.

On the basis of the above mentioned recommendation, the Estonian Government amended the Regulation on Criteria and Procedures for Assessment and Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications and for Use of Title of Qualification Granted in Foreign Education System. Article 81 of this document regulates the assessment and recognition of refugees’ qualifications in Estonia.

The competent body for assessment of inadequately documented qualifications is the Estonian ENIC/NARIC. Prior to assessment of a qualification, the Estonian ENIC/NARIC creates a Background Paper, which give an authoritative description of the qualification or period of study applicant is considered likely to have obtained or completed with all available documents and supporting evidence. The Background Paper includes information about the educational institution, programme and qualification and giving information about the comparison of the qualification in the Estonian education system. The Background Paper itself is not a recognition decision, but is information and advice for higher education institutions and employers in Estonia for further recognition procedure. Final recognition decision will be made by a higher education institution or employer.

The Background Paper with a comparison will be issued within 60 days from the date of application, and is issued free of charge.

In case a refugee qualification can be fully documented, the qualification will be assessed and the procedure follows in accordance with the regular procedure established to applicants.

Application for the assessment of a foreign educational qualification and for background paper

Last updated: 17.11.2021