On 10 July 2013, the Parliament of Flanders (Belgium) amended legislation allowing the government of Flanders wide competences to regulate the recognition of foreign degrees. The government can now draw up regulations to declare either the level of a foreign degree equivalent to the Flemish degrees (Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degree) or to fully recognise the foreign degree. .
Level equivalency refers to for example the fact that a foreign Bachelor degree is equivalent to a Flemish Bachelor degree, thus without referring to the subject or discipline. The preconditions for level equivalency are:
- A quality assurance system in line with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area. This quality assurance system needs to demonstrate in a verifiable way that the learning outcomes are achieved; and
- A higher education degree structure in line with that of the European Higher Education Area and integrated in a (sub)national qualifications framework.
This qualifications framework needs to be (1) in line with the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area adopted at the Bergen meeting of ministers responsible for higher education in May 2005 and (2) is required to have been internationally reviewed as compatible.