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ENIC-NARIC France centre: recognition of degrees and qualifications of Ukrainian refugees in France

Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting exodus of the Ukrainian population in 2022, the ENIC-NARIC France centre, affiliated with France Éducation international, has stepped up its actions and institutional partnerships to support public policies on welcoming displaced people fleeing Ukraine. The centre handles applications for certificates for refugees and people in similar situations – free of charge, as a priority and in a flexible manner. It is also an active member of several working groups whose goal is to improve qualification recognition procedures and compliance with Article VII of the Lisbon Recognition Convention.


Sharing experience on the Ukrainian education system

Since 11 March 2022, at the request of several French ministries, the ENIC-NARIC France centre has been engaged in the matter and has shared its experience on Ukraine all the while delivering expert advice to help spread information across French institutions. At the same time, the ENIC-NARIC France centre has been asked to be involved – and continues to be – in various international initiatives to help displaced population from Ukraine.

Since May 2023, the ENIC-NARIC France centre has shared its knowledge about the Ukrainian education system and provided assistance as part of the EU project “Improving the assessment, recognition and validation of skills and qualifications for refugees from Ukraine in France”, funded by the European Commission through the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) programme[1]. The project is led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in partnership with the Department of Integration and Access to Nationality (DIAN) of the French Ministry of the Interior.

First meeting of the Steering Committee

After several interviews and discussions, including with experts from the ENIC-NARIC France centre who handle applications for the recognition of Ukrainian qualifications and degrees, the team in charge of the project prepared two documents that presented the stakeholders and initiatives in France, and compared the French and Ukrainian qualification systems based on the information and knowledge shared.

In light of this situation, on 4 July 2023 the ENIC-NARIC France centre took part in the first meeting of the project’s steering committee, held at the OECD headquarters, alongside representatives of other committee members: the European Commission, the French Ministry of the Interior, and the French Ministry of Labour.   

This first meeting focused on preparing a national symposium that would bring together the French stakeholders, which ultimately took place at the OECD headquarters on 8 September 2023. The ENIC-NARIC France centre shared its experience at this symposium, during the first panel on the French stakeholders and initiatives involved in the recognition of foreign qualifications, with a focus on the beneficiaries of temporary protection from Ukraine.

Ever-increasing demand

Between January and June 2023, the ENIC-NARIC France centre received 1,668 applications for the recognition of Ukrainian qualifications, 90% of which were filed by refugees, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of subsidiary and/or temporary protection. This number bears witness to the steady increase, by 34.6% in total, in the applications filed by Ukrainians between 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. By the end of the year, Ukraine is likely to be among the top four countries as regards the overall number of expert cases closed. Since 2022, Ukraine is the country with the most applications filed by refugees processed by the ENIC-NARIC France centre.

[1] The Technical Support Instrument (TSI) is an EU programme that provides tailor-made technical expertise to EU Member States to design and implement reforms in various fields.