With more than 36,000 requests for comparability statements and more than 40,000 requests for information, the increase in the activity of the Recognition of Foreign Qualifications Department was confirmed in 2019, after growing consequently for several years.
In order to handle the activity, France Éducation international relies on a specialised multicultural and multilingual team, which has recently been reorganised to guarantee the highest quality service.
The major trends of 2019
Although the largest share of requests has come from Maghreb countries for several years, we observe in 2019 an increasing demand for recognition of foreign qualifications from French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa (+ 20% compared to 2018). The most represented countries are Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroun, and, to a lesser extent, Gabon, Benin and Mali.
The requests mainly concern secondary school qualifications. Regular contacts with the authorities of these countries allow the ENIC-NARIC1 France centre to efficiently handle the files and thus encourage graduate mobility.
The centre received more than 36,000 requests for comparability statements over the year, an increase of 27% compared to 2018. Nearly 4,000 files were processed free of charge as part of the support for refugees.
Cultural diversity as the team's main asset
The main asset of the team at the ENIC-NARIC France centre is undeniably its cultural diversity. The team consists of around twenty people speaking fourteen languages2 and representing at least an equal number of nationalities. Beyond the academic knowledge of languages, team members often have an intimate history with the languages they use every day for work. It is either their mother tongue, a language learned at school or university, or language skills learned “in the field” during a professional experience abroad.
Team members often have a master’s degree in the field of Education Sciences, International Relations or Languages. They have developed unique skills in France in terms of information research and knowledge on French and foreign qualifications as well as education systems.
In order to increase in efficiency and cope with the growth of its activity, the department underwent an internal reorganisation in 2019. An administrative unit has been created to handle information requests and various administrative and financial tasks. The two processing units cover each a geographical area and mainly focus on issuing comparability statements for foreign qualifications.
Did you know?
The Recognition of Foreign Qualifications Department - ENIC-NARIC France centre has a dual status: in addition to being a France Éducation international department, it also belongs to an international network of 55 centres in 54 countries, created and coordinated by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. The centre contributes to the implementation of France’s political commitments in favour of international mobility and the construction of a European Higher Education Area. To achieve this, it benefits from calls for proposals with European funding which enable it to structure and strengthen its action in partnership with its European counterparts. By informing holders of foreign diplomas on the recognition of their academic background, the department plays a major role in the integration of migrants in France. By answering information requests from the ENIC-NARIC network and other foreign institutions on French qualifications, it also works on a better understanding of France’s education system around the world.
 ENIC-NARIC European Network of Information Centres - National Academic Recognition Information Centres
 Besides French: German, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Farsi, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Swedish.