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Brexit and the recognition of qualifications

Current issues Recognition of qualifications
Impacts of a no-deal Brexit on recognition of UK qualifications by the Finnish National Agency for Education
A Brexit puzzle

The Finnish National Agency for Education makes decisions on the recognition of professional qualifications and comparability of foreign higher education degrees and studies. Regarding qualifications gained in the United Kingdom, decisions are made on both the recognition of professional qualifications and the comparability of higher education degrees and studies.

The Act on the recognition of professional qualifications (1384/2015) is applied to the recognition of professional qualifications, whereas the Act on eligibility for public posts provided by higher education studies completed abroad (1385/2015) is applied to the comparability of foreign higher education degrees and studies.

Recognition of professional qualifications

The Act on the recognition of professional qualifications is applied to the decision if the applicant is an EU or EEA citizen and has gained a professional qualification in such fields as teacher training, early childhood education and care, or fire and rescue services in another EU or EEA member state. This Act does not apply if the application concerns eligibility for positions for which a Master of Laws degree is required.

Impacts of a no-deal Brexit

The Act on the recognition of professional qualifications may still be applied to recognising professional qualifications gained in the United Kingdom after Brexit, provided that the applicant

  • has gained the professional qualifications for a profession referred to above in the UK before the date on which the UK leaves the EU, and
  • is an EU or EEA citizen at the time the decision is made on their application, or has a document which entitles them to being treated as an EU or EEA citizen.

In other situations, the Act on eligibility for public posts provided by higher education studies completed abroad may be applied to decisions on higher education degrees or studies.

Recognition of higher education degrees and studies as comparable to certain studies

The Finnish National Agency for Education applies the Act on eligibility for public posts provided by higher education studies completed abroad to its decision provided that

  • the application concerns eligibility for a position for which the statutory requirement is a higher education degree, or a higher education degree of a certain level; or
  • the application concerns eligibility for a post or a position for which the statutory requirement is completing a certain degree or study module, and the Act on the recognition of professional qualifications cannot be applied.

Impacts of a no-deal Brexit

A no-deal Brexit will have no impact on decisions made under the Act on eligibility for public posts provided by higher education studies completed abroad. Decisions on recognising higher education degrees and studies completed in the United Kingdom as comparable to certain studies under this Act may also be made after the Brexit date.

Further information:

email: recognition (a) oph.fi