Academic recognition

Art. 2 of Law 148 of 2002 establishes that:


Universities and Higher Education Institutions are nominated as the competent bodies for the recognition of cycles and study periods abroad and of foreign qualifications, with a view to


  1. access to higher education
  2. furthering of university studies,
  3. and attainment of Italian university qualifications,

and they will issue decrees within the scope of their autonomy and in conformity with the respective legislation, except for specific sectoral bilateral agreements.


These procedures, therefore, are directly performed by Higher Education Institutions (Universities or AFAMs).

Procedure for the evaluation of final foreign upper secondary school leaving qualifications for access to first cycle programmes (Laurea or Diploma Accademico di primo livello). Such a procedure does not transform a foreign upper secondary school qualification into an Italian qualification, but allows entry to first cycle programmes if the foreign qualification manifests all the following characteristics:

  1. official final secondary school leaving certificate from the relevant foreign system;
  2. qualification that allows entry to comparable first cycle programme (ex. academic) in the relevant foreign system; 
  3. qualification obtained after an itinerary of at least 12 years of schooling; 
  4. in the case where a national test or final exam is necessary to enter a higher education institution, then such a request is also mandatory for entry to Italian programme.

For certain final foreign upper secondary school qualifications, specific requirements are needed. The list of such qualifications and the added requirements are defined inside Attachment 1 of the Procedures for entry of foreign students requiring visas to courses of higher education in 2016-2017.


Information on enrollment in courses and on the documents to be presented is directly supplied by Italian higher education institutions.

Procedure for the evaluation of final foreign first and second cycle qualifications for access to second (ex. Laurea Magistrale) and third (ex. Dottorato di ricerca) cycle programmes. Such a procedure does not transform a foreign qualification into an Italian qualification, but allows entry to second and third cycle programmes if the foreign qualification manifests all the following characteristics:


  1. official first or second cycle qualification respectively of relevant foreign higher system, awarded by official institution of foreign higher education system;
  2. qualification that allows entry to comparable second or third cycle programme in the relevant foreign higher education system;
  3. qualification that presents corresponding elements of kind and academic discipline as the Italian qualification required for entry (such as the academic nature or research elements).

These requirements hold for all students with foreign qualifications, independently of their nationality, both for qualifications awarded in European Union (EU) countries and in those non-EU.


Information on en
rollment in programmes and on the documents to be presented is directly supplied by Italian higher education institutions.

Procedure of evaluation of  final foreign first and second cycle qualification for the acquisition of a corresponding final Italian qualification of first or second cycle respectively. This procedure has the goal of awarding a final Italian qualification, namely having legal value in our system.


Historically this procedure was described using the term “equipollenza”, even if Law 148/2002 does not use this term any longer. In addition, Art. 9 of Law 148/2002 repealed the previous equivalence procedure: (Art. 9: The second and third commas of Article 170 and Article 332 of the unified code of the laws governing higher education have been repealed, referring to Royal Decree n. 1592, of 31 August, 1933).


The evaluation of a foreign qualification for this purpose may lead to different results:


a) the award of the corresponding Italian qualification without the request of sitting further exams or presenting final thesis (direct recognition); such a procedure is identified with the term “direct recognition” or “direct nostrification” (these cases are very rare);

b) the request to sit further exams/obtain further credits and /or present final thesis in order to fill the gaps of the part of the curriculum not covered by the foreign qualification, in order to award the corresponding Italian qualification; this procedure is identified with the term “course abbreviation”.


In order to satisfy a request for the award of the corresponding Italian qualification, the foreign qualification must respect all the following characteristics:


  1. be an official first or second cycle qualification respectively of relevant foreign higher education system, awarded by an official institution of the foreign higher education system;
  2. allow entry to comparable second or third cycle programmes in the relevant foreign higher education system;
  3. present corresponding elements of nature and academic discipline as the Italian qualification required for entry (number of credits, duration, the academic nature and/or research elements, etc.);
  4. an Italian qualification must exist which is comparable to the foreign qualification, both in type and in academic subject.

These requirements hold for all students with foreign qualifications, independently of their nationality, both for qualifications awarded in European Union (EU) countries and in those non-EU.


Information on enrollment in courses and on the documents to be presented is directly supplied by Italian higher education institutions.

Under certain circumstances, PhD qualifications awarded by foreign universities may be recognised as equal to the Italian Research Doctorate as established by Art. 74 of the Presidential Decree n. 382/80, but the competent body is the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), which considers the advice of the CUN (National University Council).


For information on the requirements to be held with a view to access such a recognition procedure and on the documentation to be attached to the request, contact the relevant ministerial office:


Ministero dell’istruzione, università e ricerca (MIUR)
Direzione Generale per lo Studente, lo sviluppo e l’internazionalizzazione della formazione superiore – Uff. VI
Via Michele Carcani, 61 – 00153 Romae-mail:
e-mail: dgsinfs.ufficio6@miur.it

tel. +39 06.58497061


For further information, to identify the documentation to be presented and to download the request form, kindly click on the following MIUR webpage
:

http://www.miur.gov.it/documents/20182/0/Equipollenza_Dottorato_ricerca_dpr382.pdf/f5ff98ae-ddff-4166-a822-83ef1b57c7f0

The Ministerial Decree 1 September 2016, n. 662 defines the table of correspondence between the Italian and foreign academic positions.

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