Assessment methods and criteria

Read about the principles underlying the Agency's assessment of foreign qualifications.

Level assessment and equivalence assessment

When an application for an assessment is submitted, the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education will normally make an assessment of the level of a completed foreign educational programme compared with levels in the Danish educational structure (level assessment).

A level assessment compares a completed foreign educational programme with a Danish educational level. The assessment is an overall comparison of the learning outcomes of which the foreign educational programme and the Danish educational programme respectively are an expression, and it is consequently not a comparison of the individual subjects of the educational programmes.

In cases in which the agency regards this as relevant, the agency will make an assessment of foreign qualifications in relation to a given Danish educational programme (equivalence assessment). An equivalence assessment normally includes an assessment of the supplementary subjects and practical training periods needed to equate an individual's foreign qualifications with a given Danish qualification. An equivalence assessment is typically based on a consultation of an educational institution.

Assessment criteria

The assessment normally includes the following criteria:

  1. Whether the educational programme or the study periods have been recognised in the home country.

  2. When the educational programme or the study periods were completed.

  3. The admission requirements of the educational programme or the study periods, more specifically whether the admission requirements for the foreign educational programme correspond to the admission requirements that apply to a corresponding Danish educational programme and whether the entry qualification is comparable in terms of length and level.

  4. The length of the educational programme or the study periods, more specifically whether the duration of the educational programme is comparable to the duration of a corresponding Danish educational programme.

  5. The purposes of the educational programme or the study periods.

  6. The structure and academic content of the educational programme or the study periods, including: What is the academic content seen in relation to a corresponding Danish educational programme? Does it include subjects that are not academically relevant? Does it include an independent project or dissertation? What is the extent of this and how much time has been allocated for this part of the educational programme? Is the educational programme research based or not?

  7. The relationship between theory and practice in the educational programme or the study periods.

  8. Previous assessments made by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education (previously Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation, Danish Agency for International Education/CIRIUS or CVUU) or others.


Substantial differences

If substantial differences are ascertained between the foreign qualification and a comparable Danish qualification, this will be included in the assessment of the foreign qualification. This applies in, for example, the following cases:

  • If the previous education (the admission basis) is shorter or is assessed as being at a lower level than the level required for admission to a corresponding educational programme in Denmark, the first year(s) of the subsequent study programme of higher education will normally be assessed as being on a level with a Danish entry qualification.

  • If the foreign educational programme has not been research based, it will normally not be compared with a Danish university degree, but with an intermediate study programme of higher education, also where the foreign qualification is a foreign bachelor degree that has been acquired at a university.


Learning outcomes

In accordance with the existing legislation, an assessment from the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education must be based on the learning outcomes of which the foreign qualifications are an expression. In an assessment of learning outcomes, decisive importance is attached to the learning outcomes of the educational programmes rather than to the manner in which the learning outcomes are achieved.

This emphasises that it is possible to acquire the same learning outcomes in relation to work and education in a foreign educational programme as in a Danish educational programme even though the content and structure of the educational programmes may be different.


International guidelines

The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education bases its assessments on the principles and criteria laid down in the Lisbon Convention (ratified by Denmark in 2003) and the Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications and Periods of Study.


See also:

last modified Jan 05, 2017