The theory tested in the FAIR project is: “The implementation of elements of automatic recognition will lead to better institutional recognition procedures”. From this theory, the FAIR project aimed to improve recognition of foreign qualifications at 22 higher education institutions in Europe.

Between January 2015 and June 2017 these institutions streamlined their recognition procedures concerning the selection and admission of international students. The outcomes were used to make concrete recommendations on improving recognition procedures. Not just at the 22 participating institutions, but in the 6 countries involved and at European level as well.


The methodology for this project was a straightforward ‘before and after’ comparison, executed in 2 trials.

In the first trial, a baseline assessment was made of the recognition procedures of 22 institutions. After this trial, the ENIC-NARICs analyzed the outcomes and recommended on the implementation of elements of automatic recognition to each of the higher education institutions.

After this, the impact of these changes in the recognition procedures was measured in a second trial.
The progress between trial 1 and 2 was measured through an assessment form with pre-set indicators, that was completed by the 22 higher education institutions in both trials.

Funding and partners

FAIR was funded under Erasmus+ Key Action 3 'Policy Experimentation'. FAIR was one of the first eight projects to be selected under this programme.

FAIR has stakeholders at 3 levels:

  • Ministries of Education, responsible for recognition policies and (adaptations of) national recognition structures.
  • ENIC-NARICs, with their expertise as national information centres on recognition issues, and national Rectors’ Conferences;
  • Higher education institutions, that will conduct the field trials.

Outcomes and publications

Below you will find the main outcomes of the FAIR project.

Final report

The FAIR report is essential reading for anyone dealing with the improvement of recognition procedures in the European Higher Education Area.

It provides a unique insight into the day-to-day recognition practice at higher education institutions and the impact of national recognition structures on recognition processes at large. It goes beyond existing descriptions of national procedures (TRENDS, Bologna Stocktaking) and sheds new light on how to further improve the recognition of foreign qualifications in Europe.

FAIR report (1.82 MB)

Other publications

Factsheet FAIR project (355.98 kB)

FAIR reports trial 1 (3.17 MB)‌ (zip file)

FAIR reports trial 2 (1.20 MB)‌ (zip file)

The FAIR 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 Mr Bas Wegewijs through our contact form, or our general telephone number.

Contact details

Useful links

For more information about fair recognition procedures, please check:

The STREAM Training and Good Practice Platform

The European recognition manual (second edition)

Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

EU disclaimer

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.