The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR)
The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR) is a project launched in 2017 by the Council of Europe to help Member States assess the qualifications of refugees who have been parted from their academic documents and facilitate their integration into the host country.
To help refugees continue their studies and work in their host country or other European countries, in 2017 the Council of Europe launched the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR) project in support for implementing article VII of the Lisbon Recognition Convention. It is based on a reliable methodology that appears in the Recommendation on Recognition of Qualifications Held by Refugees, Displaced Persons and Persons in a Refugee-like Situation adopted by the Committee of the Lisbon Recognition Convention in 2017.
The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees provides an assessment of academic systems based on an interview with the applicant and possibly on the academic documents they have. Other information related to the applicant’s professional experience or language skills are also mentioned. The passport is primarily aimed at refugees and asylum seekers who cannot access their documents or are unable to present all of them via the ENIC-NARIC France centre’s recognition process. It aims to help them integrate into the job market or continue their studies and thus help them to integrate into their host societies.
Each Party shall take all feasible and reasonable steps within the framework of its education system and in conformity with its constitutional, legal, and regulatory provisions to develop procedures designed to assess fairly and expeditiously whether refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation fulfil the relevant requirements for access to higher education, to further higher education programmes or to employment activities, even in cases in which the qualifications obtained in one of the Parties cannot be proven through documentary evidence.
In November 2019, France Éducation international hosted one of the assessment sessions for the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR). The ENIC-NARIC France centre is a partner of this project, alongside the ENIC-NARIC centres in Armenia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania and the ENIC centres in Canada, the UK and Bosnia.
In 2020, these EQPR sessions were held online because of the COVID-19 crisis. In order to combat the pandemic, the Council of Europe and the High Commissioner for Refugees encouraged States to employ refugee healthcare professionals. The ENIC-NARIC France centre took action to do this with two assessment sessions dedicated exclusively to qualifications obtained in the health sector.