Implementation of the Lisbon Convention in Italy

The “Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region”, was ratified in Italy with Law n.148 of 11 July, 2002: “Ratification and execution of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, completed in Lisbon, 11 April, 1997, and regulations for adaptation in national law”.


The responsibility for foreign qualification recognition for academic purposes in Italy has been passed on to the Higher Education Institutions, who must reach a decision within 90 days, as established by Article 3 of Law n.148 of 11 July 2002. On the subject of timelines relating to recognition procedures, Article 48 comma 2 of the Presidential Decree n.394 of 31 August, 1999 is also relevant.


It is possible to appeal a decision that withholds academic recognition as established by Article 48 comma 3 of the Presidential Decree n.394 of 31 August, 1999: “Regulation containing rules of implementation of the consolidated law of the dispositions concerning the control over immigration and rules on the condition of foreigners, as regulated by Article 1, comma 6, of the legislative decree n. 286 of 25 July, 1998”.


For more specific information concerning the procedures of foreign academic qualification recognition currently being applied in Italy, kindly read the Academic recognition section.


As established by Articles 39 and 43, comma 2, paragraph c) of the Legislative decree n. 286 of 25 July, 1998, equal treatment for Italian citizens and foreigners for access to higher education is guaranteed, as well as the prohibition of any form of discrimination for any reason.


By applying Article VI.5 of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, Italy regulates recognition of academic qualifications issued by foreign universities operating in Italian territory, subordinating the possibility of access to recognition procedures to a procedure of accreditation specific to the foreign institution, as established by Decree n. 214 of 26 April, 2004: “Regulation containing criteria and procedures for foreign institutes of higher education operating in Italy with a view to recognition of the qualification issued by them (implementation of Article 4 of Law n.148 of 11 July, 2002)”.


The recognition of qualifications for non academic purposes is, on the other hand, regulated by the Presidential Decree n. 189 of 30 July, 2009: “Regulation concerning academic qualification recognition, as regulated by Article 5 of Law n. 148 of 11 July, 2002”. For more specific information concerning the procedures of foreign qualification recognition for non-academic purposes, kindly read the Non-academic recognition section.


Italy has also implemented what has been established by Article VII of the Convention as regards refugee qualification recognition, stipulating article 26 comma 3a of the Legislative Decree 251/2007, as modified by the content of Legislative decree n. 18 of 21 February, 2014. For more specific information concerning the procedures of Refugee academic qualification recognition and existing services in Italy, kindly read the Refugee qualification recognition section.


Applying Article IX.2 of the Convention, Italy has entrusted CIMEA – Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence with the task of conducting the activities of National Information Centre concerning the qualification recognition procedures applied in Italy, the Italian higher education system and existing qualifications on a national level. For more specific information kindly read the National information centre section.

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