I-Comply is a 2-year project that started in May 2019 to tackle the challenges of insufficient compliance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention (hereinafter: LRC) as highlighted in the Bologna Implementation Report 2018. The project builds further on findings and recommendations of work previously undertaken, notably the FAIR project.
The project consists of two tracks:
- The review of the national infrastructures of 5 countries (Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine) against the LRC, followed by the implementation of identified actions to achieve compliance.
- A total of 3 Peer Learning Activities (PLA’s).
All outcomes will be published in a final report and further discussed in a European Exploitation Seminar. This Seminar will be made available to ENIC-NARICs and other relevant stakeholders in recognition, notably Higher Education Institutions.
What is the Lisbon Recognition Convention?
The LRC is an international binding treaty on the recognition of foreign qualifications. It was drafted in 1997 by the Council of Europe and UNESCO to facilitate and promote fair recognition among Parties of the Convention. Read more on the website of the Council of Europe.
The consortium has chosen a 4 tier structure that allows for efficient and clear cooperation and decision processes. It also aims to ensure sufficient quality checks and balances in the execution of the project. Below you can find a description of the 4 tiers:
- The coordinator is the Ministry of Education of the Netherlands. They have the final responsibility for the project. They will supervise that the project is implemented according to plan and the main milestones are achieved.
- The project manager is Nuffic. They are responsible for the day-to-day management of the project, including the logistic and administrative organization of the PLA’s.
- The project partners are Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine. They coordinate the implementation of activities to improve their national setting and provide peer counselling. They contribute to the content of the PLA’s.
- The 4 members of the Steering Group are Denmark, France, Estonia, Norway. They provide strategic advice to the project manager and the project team. The Steering Group also functions as a board of advice to the project team in case of disputes on content-related issues.
I-Comply is funded under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 ‘Support to Policy Reform’. This Key Action covers any type of activity aimed at supporting and facilitating the modernisation of education and training systems. The projects under this call are specifically intended to support the work of the EHEA Peer Support Group 2 (LRC compliant recognition practices).
An important aspect of the methodology is measuring progress of the implemented actions. The indicators for measuring progress are set by using scorecards, roadmaps and establishing of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Each of the 5 project team members, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine, draft a Scorecard.
These Scorecards are a self-evaluation of the current state of legal and practical compliance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention in each country. The document covers 6 areas:
- The competencies of authorities
- Assessment criteria and procedures
- Information provision and transparency
- The national ENIC-NARIC centre
- Implementation of ESG Standard 1.4
- Implementation of a general section in which topics that were not covered by the aforementioned areas can be discussed.
Based on the completed Scorecard, each partner reviews their answers against existing good practice and identifies:
- what needs to change in their national situation to achieve full compliance with the LRC.
- the measures needed how to achieve this change, including the time frame.
Next, each project partner formulates concrete goals and the actions to achieve compliance with the LRC in the 6 areas. This will be described in a roadmap, providing a step to step activity plan.
The actions described in the roadmap that fall within the implementation period of the project serve as the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
The completed Scorecard and Roadmaps will be peer reviewed by the project partners.
Peer support is a key element of this call and ingrained in the methodology of the project. Different levels of peer support are organized to achieve the projects’ objectives: peer learning, peer review and peer counselling.
- Peer learning is organized as part of 3 Peer Learning Activity (PLA) events (see Outcomes and Publications below).
- Peer review is a crucial element in drafting the Scorecards. That's because they are self-evaluations, and turning the Scorecards into Roadmaps with achievable KPI’s.
- Peer counselling between the members of the project team is used to support implementation of measures for improvement in the 5 countries. In practice, this means that the implementation of the plans as outlined in the Roadmaps, is systematically monitored by the consortium during periodic project meetings.
At the end of the project, the progress will be measured by comparing the actions implemented against the key performance indicators established at the start of the project.
The final element of the methodology is the exploitation of the project outcomes far beyond the project team. The key action to achieve this is the organization of a European Exploitation Seminar to further discuss outcomes and recommendations with a wider audience. This seminar will be online in order to make it accessible to as many interested stakeholders in the EHEA as possible.
Outcomes and Publications
PLA 1 – Venice, Italy
The objective of this PLA is to identify and design models of good practice to structurally support LRC compliant recognition practices in higher education institutions (HEIs) from a national level. Therefore, different examples will be presented and next discussed by the approximately 25 participants from ENIC-NARICs and other relevant stakeholders such as HEIs, accreditation organizations and student bodies.
PLA 2 – Kyiv, Ukraine
The main objective of the second PLA is on the topic of automatic recognition, and aims to identify the major obstacles to automatic recognition and to provide concrete strategies for national authorities in the EHEA to move forward on the matter.
Read the agenda.
PLA 3 – Warsaw, Poland
The objective of the final PLA is to improve access to higher education for refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation.
The agenda and outcomes will be published here in due course.
The project outcomes are exploited in a European Exploitation Seminar. This seminar will be online in order to make the seminar accessible to as many interested stakeholders in the EHEA as possible.
More information about the seminar will be published Autumn 2020.
The I-Comply Project Consortium consists of the following partners:
- A project team consisting of ENIC-NARIC offices.
- A Steering Group of experts from 4 different countries.
- The Ministries of Education of the Netherlands and Ukraine.
The project team (ENIC-NARIC offices):
The Steering Group:
The Ministries of education of:
The Netherlands (co-ordinator)
Contacts and useful links
The I-Comply project is coordinated by Nuffic on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Do you have any questions? Please contact Ms Jenneke Lokhoff or Ms Katrien Bardoel through our contact form, or our general telephone number.
For more information about the ENIC-Naric centres and compliance with the Lisbon Convention, please check:
Any communication or publication related to the action, made by the beneficiaries jointly or individually in any form and using any means, shall indicate that it reflects only the author's view and that the Agency and the Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.