Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
Academic recognition refers to determining the academic value of a qualification, i.e. it determines whether the foreign qualification meets the general academic requirements for a similar qualification in Lithuania.
The procedure of the recognition of foreign qualifications at SMK is performed following the Guidelines of the Procedure for Assessment of Education and Qualifications Concerning Higher Education and Acquired under Educational Programmes of Foreign States and International Organizations for those applying to study at SMK.
The Order of Admission of Citizens of Foreign Countries to the SMK University of Applied Sciences Admission to SMK is regulated by the Order of Admission of Citizens of Foreign Countries to the SMK University of Applied Sciences (Approved by 21-10-2021 Order No. V(21)-0054 of the Director).
Foreign academic qualification documents, complying with the general and specific requirements for academic recognition of foreign qualifications does not guarantee admission to SMK. Additionally, specific requirements for the holder of a foreign qualification seeking access to a specific study programme are being applied. Specific requirements are related to the different study programmes and intend to access subject-specific knowledge of an applicant.
Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) performs the role of an external supervisor of the process. The Centre monitors decisions concerning academic recognition of foreign qualifications made by SMK as well as provides methodological assistance and recommendations.
Academic recognition is carried out in accordance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention and its subsidiary documents. Additional information is available here.
The principles of the Convention have been transferred into the Guidelines of the Procedure for Academic Recognition of SMK. The Guidelines have been prepared according to the Resolution of Government of Lithuania on Approval of Description of the Procedure for Recognition of Education and Qualifications Concerning Higher Education and Acquired under Educational Programmes of Foreign States and International Organizations (dated 29 February 2012, No 212) and the Order of the Director of the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) on the Methodology For Assessment of Education and Qualifications Concerning Higher Education and Acquired Under Educational Programmes of Foreign States and International Organizations (dated 28 May 2012, No V-48).
Procedure and Requirements for Documents, Fees
An applicant (candidate) submits one application for admission to studies at SMK and an assessment and recognition of a qualification:
- Candidates applying to the study programmes in the English language check information here.
The following documents have to be submitted with an application:
- A document certifying a foreign qualification or other equivalent documents (Diploma or degree certificate, if the final diploma is yet to be issued, please include a provisional certification, which confirms the fact of your graduation and provides the title of your qualification in the original language);
- An appendix (appendices) to the document certifying a foreign qualification or other equivalent documents (The academic transcript, records of grades, or a similar document has to be in the original language. It should list all the subjects, grades, and credits and/or hours. For some countries, it is required for the academic transcript to be sent directly to our office from the educational institution. Logins from the electronic examination systems can be submitted in the initial stage if the appendix (appendices) to the document certifying a foreign qualification is not issued at the time of document submission);
- A document certifying the change of name and/or surname if the documents of education are issued in a different name and/or surname;
- Other documents (if any) required for the objective assessment of qualification, certifying another education acquired by the applicant, explaining the acquired qualifications or the submitted documents of education;
- Depending on the preferred study programme(s), additional documents may be required (for example, a certificate of the knowledge of the English language); however, they are not directly related to the assessment and recognition of qualification.
- All scans must be made from original documents (i.e. NOT copies), be in full colour and also be clear and legible. Any scans that do not meet such requirements will be disregarded.
All documents issued in languages other than English, Russian or Lithuanian should be supplemented with an official translation. Documents issued in English, Russian or Lithuanian do not require a translation.
Foreign qualifications that are undocumented or partially documented might be assessed according to the principles and steps of the assessment procedure provided by SKVC for undocumented persons.
Note – Requirements for submission of documents may vary by country. For more information, please see Country Specific Requirements.
Note – The application will not be processed if the submitted documents are suspected to be fraudulent. SMK keeps the right to ask for original documents by mail if questions arise regarding scans of submitted documents.
By submitting the application, applicant confirms that documents submitted are correct, truthful and complete and that SMK can verify the authenticity and accuracy of the provided documents. SMK might contact the document issuing authority and/or national ENIC/NARIC (SKVC) centre for more information about the presented qualification.
The procedure of academic recognition is free of charge. The SMK will not cover any costs related to the submission of the required documentation.
Country specific requirements for documents
The following qualifications are recognized automatically without any additional procedures:
- the European Baccalaureate Diploma
- Estonian and Latvian qualifications concerning higher education awarded from 2019
More information on automatic recognition can be found here.
Information for refugees from Ukraine – here.
Criteria and Decisions
The academic value of a foreign qualification is assessed by comparing the foreign qualification with a similar same level qualification awarded in Lithuania according to the following criteria:
- quality, which refers to:
- whether the institution and/or programme has been properly quality assured at the time of your studies (for example, properly accredited and/or recognised by the national authorities)
- whether your grades are sufficient for the required purpose;
- profile, which refers to the orientation of the programme (academically and/or professionally oriented, general and/or specialised, etc.);
- contents, which refers to the structure of your programme, such as presence of periods of practice and/or final thesis, etc.;
- workload, which refers to the provisioned workload of the programme;
- learning outcomes, which refer to the knowledge and competences associated with the qualification.
The decisions of academic recognition:
- To recognize a foreign qualification. In this case, approval of academic recognition is not issued to the applicant and the examination of his/her application for admission to study under the selected study programme(s) continues; the fact of recognition is recorded in the decision regarding the admission to studies at SMK;
- To recognize a foreign qualification and grant the holder of the qualification the right to be admitted only to the study programmes of a certain field (group of study fields). The decision is presented to the applicant and he/she is offered the possibilities of studies at SMK corresponding to his/her qualification, if any;
- To recognize a foreign qualification only with additional requirements (examination(s), additional courses, studies, etc.) that have to be met by the holder of the qualification. The decision and its reasons are presented to the applicant and he/she is offered the possibilities to meet the additional requirements at the SMK, if any. If the applicant meets the requirements specified in the decision, this fact is recorded in SMK qualification recognition register and the examination of his/her application for admission to SMK continues;
- Not to recognize a foreign qualification. The negative decision and its reasons are presented to the applicant.
Applications are reviewed within one calendar month. If all of the required documents have been submitted and SMK has sufficient information, decision is also issued within this one calendar month.
If the provided information is insufficient, applicant will be notified about this through online admission system and by e-mail and the processing of the application will be suspended until the required documents are received and/or information is provided.
If the requested documents and/or information are not received within 3 months, the processing of the application will be terminated. An applicant may reapply at any time, but it is required to resubmit a complete documentation package.
The obligation to submit all of the documents necessary for recognition rests with the applicant.
Right to appeal
Only recognition decision can be appealed.
If the candidate did not meet the general or special requirements for admission to SMK study programmes, this decision cannot be appealed. Before applying for studies, candidates are advised to make sure that their documents meet all the requirements (consult with International studies managers).
The submission and examination of appeals for academic recognition:
An applicant who does not agree with the decision of SMK on the academic recognition of a foreign qualification may, within 14 calendar days from the receipt of the decision, appeal to the Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications Concerning Higher Education Appeal Committee under the Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. A signed appeal should be filed within 14 days from the receipt of a decision. The appeal should include an explanation as to why the decision is contested, a valid form of identification, and all the supporting documentation.
Appeals regarding academic recognition must be submitted to:
Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education
Address: A. Goštauto st. 12, LT-01108, Vilnius, Lithuania
If you have any specific questions in regard to the academic recognition, please contact the SMK International Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly consult with the International Study Managers:
International Studies Manager
+370 601 74901
International Studies Manager
+370 685 54597