Press Releases Belgian Presidency of the EU: Diploma mobility in the EU: having ambitions for our students

Belgian Presidency of the EU: Diploma mobility in the EU: having ambitions for our students

The informal meeting of higher education ministers took place at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on Thursday 29 February and Friday 1 March 2024. This was an opportunity to look at a key theme for European integration, i.e. student mobility leading to qualifications.

Student mobility is one of the most unifying projects for the European Union and its citizens. The Erasmus+ programme is still one of the most visible European projects for our young people, promoting personal development and helping students to enhance their skills. Over the years, various forums – such as the Bologna Process and the European Education Area developed at EU level – have addressed the subject, notably to improve transparency between our different education systems while at the same time contributing to their influence.

The Belgian Community Minister for Higher Education took advantage of the informal meeting to officially announce the ratification of the Treaty on the Automatic Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications by the Netherlands, recently added to the list of countries that have ratified it in their national legislation. Belgium, along with its Benelux partners since 2015, and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) since 2019, has embarked on a process of the automatic recognition of higher education diploma levels. With the completion of the ratification process, the treaty will take full effect on 1 May.

This has always been a key issue for the EU, which has set itself the target of increasing student learning mobility to at least 20% by the end of the decade. This ambitious goal will have implications for Member States’ diploma mobility, as the national realities of higher education systems vary, particularly in terms of the size and intake capacity of establishments, training provision, languages offered for study programmes, access costs, scholarships awarded, success criteria, etc.

The Belgian presidency therefore wanted to open up the dialogue and give everyone the opportunity to express their views on the policies put in place to encourage and support mobility, as well as on the difficulties they had encountered.

How should the mobility of tomorrow’s graduates be envisaged?
This informal meeting provided an opportunity to share best practices in the field of diploma mobility and consider possible courses of action at both national and European levels. Each Member State was asked to share its own experiences of two important issues:

• based on national characteristics, how do you see mobility today and in the future?
• what kind of European support could be envisaged to encourage accessible and sustainable mobility in the light of current and future initiatives?

“Student mobility was at the heart of our discussions. The exchange touched on a number of possible solutions, including deepening and perpetuating European alliances to boost the EU’s attractiveness on the international stage, Member States also expressed the desire to continue discussions on asymmetric mobility, in order to assure a sustainable and balanced mobility” concluded the Chairwoman of the informal meeting.

David Jordens, Spokesperson – porte-parole – woordvoerder

TEL: +32 478 92 09 37


Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Rue des Petits Carmes / Karmelietenstraat 15
Brussels 1000 – Belgium

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