Flemish diplomas to be recognised across the Baltic states

Summary

A new agreement between governments in Belgium and the Baltic states will smooth the way for people who want to work or study abroad

Automatic recognition

Working or studying in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be much easier in future, thanks to an agreement that means Belgian higher education diplomas will be automatically accepted across the Baltic states. The same openness applies to people with Baltic qualifications who want to work or study here.

“This is a stepping stone towards the automatic recognition of Flemish diplomas throughout Europe,” said education minister Ben Weyts, who signed the agreement last week.

Diplomas from higher education institutions in Belgium are already recognised across the Benelux countries. A similar system operates among Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, so the new agreement unites the mutual recognition systems in the two blocs.

Automatic recognition avoids a lot of administrative hassle and costs for people who want to study or work in another country. “It’s good news for Flemish students, our higher education institutions and our companies,” said Weyts.

Other countries or regions will be able to join the partnership in future. Meanwhile, the education ministers from the Benelux and the Baltic States are working on a multilateral treaty to further deepen co-operation, the government said.

Lithuanian links

Last week also saw Flanders and Lithuania update their bilateral collaboration, with a new work programme running up to 2023. This introduces a new focus on biotechnology, with Flanders Bio and Life Sciences Baltics planning to expand their existing co-operation, and new possibilities to bring Dutch language learning to Lithuanian universities.

Meanwhile, when the Lithuanian city of Kaunas is a European Capital of Culture in 2022, the city of Kortrijk will collaborate in its themes of design and modernist architecture.

Photo: Flanders’ and Wallonia’s education ministers sign the agreement with the Baltic bloc
©Courtesy Benelux.int