A delegation with representatives of the Swedish Council for Higher Education visited the BQ-Portal on 1 February in order to get acquainted with the professional recognition in Germany. Since 2017 it is possible in Sweden to have your foreign professional credentials recognized. In Germany this legal right was introduced already in 2012. The Swedish Council for Higher Education is responsible for carrying out recognition procedures in Sweden and already uses the information available in the BQ-Portal in daily work. At the meeting, the Swedish guests learned how to find the information in the BQ-Portal, and found out, how the BQ-team carries out research on foreign VET systems and professional profiles.
Introducing KOFA and BQ-Portal
Together with the Competence Center for Securing a Skilled Workforce (KOFA), the BQ-Portal informed the Swedish delegation about the shortages of skilled workers in training occupations and importance of professional recognition for the German labor market. At the meeting, the German recognition procedure was presented and the role of the BQ-Portal in assisting the competent bodies in the recognition process was outlined.
Furthermore, the BQ-Team and the Swedish delegation discussed the challenges the competent bodies responsible for professional recognition are facing in both countries and tried to identify the possible solutions. The main focus of discussion was the way the BQ-Portal and the Swedish Council for Higher Education are carrying out research on the VET systems and professional profiles. However, it should be mentioned, that the recognition procedures in both countries differ fundamentally. While in Sweden it is being examined, which level in the Swedish education system the foreign professional qualification corresponds to, in Germany the competent bodies review whether the foreign professional qualification is equivalent to the German reference qualification.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education
The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) is a government agency whose responsibilities span across the education sector. UHR provides information prior to higher education studies, managing the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test, producing regulations, and coordinating the admission process to higher education. It develops and manages IT systems and electronic services for the education sector, facilitates international exchange and training across the entire educational spectrum. The agency is responsible for recognizing foreign qualifications and promoting widening participation and working for equal rights and opportunities in higher education.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education is responsible for carrying out recognition procedures in Sweden. These include foreign state-recognized higher education and initial and further training qualifications. UHR is Sweden’s ENIC-NARIC office. The department responsible for recognition procedures employs 85 educational experts in Stockholm from over 150 countries with fluency in 30 languages.