Recognition tools for higher education institutions

CIMEA supplies helpful information to Italian higher education institutions, and in general to bodies responsible for foreign qualification recognition in Italy, aimed at understanding the nature, the level and the characteristics of the single qualifications, the current rules in the referenced foreign system and to verify the status of a higher education institution operating in a foreign country.
Two different categories of information sources about higher education systems exist:

  • national or primary sources: created by national institutions of the relevant country that present their system in an official manner;
  • international or secondary sources: created for various purposes by other bodies (international organizations or other countries) to describe the various higher education systems of different countries in an unofficial manner.

For information about foreign qualification evaluation procedure also consult the CIMEA publication Guidelines for recognition of foreign qualifications in Italy.
In the Publications and databases section other useful tools for qualification recognition and for understanding foreign higher education systems are available.

National sources

To obtain official information on the status of an institution, on the elements and the nature of a foreign qualification or on the structure of a foreign higher education system, the authorities of the relevant foreign country responsible for such sectors should be contacted directly.

In certain countries National academic recognition information centres exist, that supply information on the relevant foreign system.

The better-structured Information Centres can be found in the 55 countries adhering to the ENIC-NARIC networks: a list of these countries and the relative Information Centres can be found on this website:

Also on the ENIC-NARIC website, information is provided on the authorities of every country in the world that foresee higher education and training, divided into UNESCO regions: Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mediterranean Region.

Every country also publishes lists of recognised/accredited institutions on a national level. These lists can usually be found on the websites of the ministries that overlook the higher education sector or inside the websites of agencies that evaluate the quality of a given system. The lists of the official institutions of the 55 countries that adhere can be found on the ENIC-NARIC website.

For further information on recognised/accredited institutions consult:

International sources

Given that some systems do not maintain internet sites in English or in other widely spoken languages, some countries and certain international organizations have created lists and databases of institutions and higher education systems to verify and understand the specific elements of each country in this sector.

CIMEA has created the University systems database, as a useful tool to obtain information on the different elements of a foreign higher education system on the part of all those bodies that need to evaluate foreign qualifications in Italy.

The better-known International sources are listed below:

CIMEA - Banca dati dei sistemi universitari (IT)


EU Commission: Eurypedia - The European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems (EN)

EACEA - Overview of the Higher Education Systems in the Tempus Partner Countries (EN)

UNESCO - Portal to Recognised Higher Education Institutions (EN)

UNESCO - International Bureau of Education (Country Dossiers) (EN)

IAU - World Higher Education Map (EN)

ANABIN Database (DE)

CICIC - Country Education Profiles (EN, FR)

IQAS Alberta - International Education Guides (EN)

NAFSA - Online Guide to Education Systems Around the World (EN)

Nordic National Recognition Information Centres (NORRIC) - Countries and regions - Study Visits (SE, EN)

EP-NUFFIC - Country modules (EN, NL)

Organisation de Estados Iberoamericanos - Sistemas Educativos Nacionales (ES)

WES Canada – Country list (EN)

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