(This translation into English is of an informative nature. The official version is originally in Catalan.)
Pursuant to Royal Decree 309/2005, dated 18 March, granting universities competence to issue accreditation of foreign higher education degrees for Spanish postgraduate degrees, amendments have been made to Royal Decree 285/2004, dated 20 February, regulating the terms and conditions for accrediting and validating foreign higher education study programmes and degrees. Accordingly, regulations governing accreditation of foreign degrees have been brought in line with the new Spanish university education structure determined by Royal Decrees 55/2005 and 56/2005, both dated 21 January.
On 11 May 2005, the Academic and Coordination Committees attached to the University Coordination Board approved the criteria according to which this new area of competence is to be applied by universities with respect to both the documents that must be enclosed with applications and the credential model.
Moreover, Royal Decree 285/2004 mentioned above bestows authority on the university to validate foreign studies for Spanish university studies in part where the interested party wishes to carry on studying.
Pursuant to article 23 of this Royal Decree and article 36.1 of Organic Law 6/2001, dated 21 December, on Universities, the University Coordination Board has laid down the general criteria for validation of studies further to the resolution issued on 25 October 2004.
Once the criteria universities should apply when accrediting and validating foreign studies have been approved, it shall be necessary to approve a statutory regulation for these procedures within the University.
Chapter I. General provisions
Article 1. Purpose
This regulation governs:
a) The terms and procedure applicable for accreditation of foreign higher education degrees to:
- The current PhD undergraduate qualification and degree, while it is not replaced by the provisions of Royal Decree 56/2005, dated 21 January, regulating official postgraduate university studies.
- Official PhD and Master degrees regulated by Royal Decree 56/2005, dated 21 January, with the exception of the Master degrees referred to in article 8.3 of the aforementioned Royal Decree.
- The academic Master degree.
b) The terms and procedure for validating foreign studies for part of postgraduate studies at Pompeu Fabra University.
Article 2. Scope of application
This regulation applies to:
a) Accreditation of foreign higher education degrees, the teaching of which has been taken in higher education universities or institutions outside Spain.
b) Accreditation of foreign higher education degrees, the teaching of which has been taken in full or in part at centres which have been duly authorised by the Spanish administration.
c) Validation of foreign studies for part of postgraduate studies at Pompeu Fabra University.
Article 3. Exceptions
1. Accreditation cannot be granted for degrees obtained in accordance with foreign university systems in the case of:
a) Degrees and diplomas specific to the universities, which have been taught in line with article 34.3 of Organic Law 6/2001, dated 21 December, on Universities.
b) Spanish degrees whose syllabuses have expired or are not yet fully implemented in at least one Spanish university.
2. Accreditation or validation will not apply to the following foreign study programmes and degrees:
a) Those lacking an official academic validity in the home country.
b) Those pertaining to foreign study programmes which have been followed, in full or in part, in Spain when the centres lack the mandatory authorisation needed to teach the courses, or otherwise when the courses authorised by the foreign degree for which accreditation is sought are not effectively implemented at the foreign higher education institution or university at the time when the degree is issued, pursuant to the provisions of article 86 of Organic Law 6/2001, dated 21 December, on Universities. Nonetheless, whenever these circumstances merely affect part of the study programme pursued, the proportion of studies that does not fall into the above circumstance may be subject to validation when appropriate.
c) Degrees that have already been accredited in Spain or study programmes successfully completed in order to obtain such degrees and which have been used for validation in order to continue studies in Spain.
Chapter II. Accreditation
Article 4. Submission of applications
1. Proceedings begin by means of the submission of an application by the interested party which shall be addressed to the University rector. Said application should be submitted to the University registry or according to any of the means envisaged in Law 30/1992.
2. Applications must be prepared according to the model established by the University.
3. Applications for accreditation cannot be submitted to more than one university at the same time.
Article 5. Mandatory documentation
The following documents must be enclosed with applications:
a) A certificate attesting to the applicant's nationality (authenticated copy of the national ID document or passport).
b) An authenticated copy of the original degree with which accreditation is sought or of the certificate attesting to the issuance of the former.
c) An authenticated copy of the academic certificate for the study programme followed by the applicant in order to achieve the postgraduate degree, detailing the official duration of the study programme followed in academic years, the subjects followed, the number of study hours pertaining to each of them and the grades.
d) Applications for accreditation to a PhD degree must include a report detailing the dissertation drawn up. This report shall be drafted in Spanish or Catalan stating the members of the panel and the grade obtained, and a copy of the dissertation itself shall likewise be enclosed.
e) Certification attesting to payment of the amount set forth in article 10.
f) A statement of compliance declaring that the degree has not be accredited in Spain, that no application has been submitted to another university for accreditation of the same degree at the same time and that no validation has been granted for studies leading to the degree for which accreditation is being applied for with a view to pursuing studies in Spain.
Article 6. Additional documentation
The examining body may if deemed necessary call for other documents in order to certify the equivalence between education leading to the achievement of the foreign degree put forward and the education needed in order to achieve the Spanish degree for which accreditation is sought. If applicable, this shall include programmes for subjects detailing the content and extent to which subjects were followed or academic documentation certifying that the studies required for admission to the study programme, followed in order to obtain the degree being put forward for accreditation, have been successfully completed in their entirety.
Article 7. Documentation requirements
Documents issued abroad must meet the following requirements:
a) They should be official and issued by the pertinent authorities, in accordance with the legal system of the country in question.
b) The documents must be submitted in an authenticated form using the appropriate diplomatic procedure or, if applicable, authenticated with the apostille of the Hague Convention. This requirement does not apply to documents issued by authorities of EU Member States or signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
c) If applicable, documents must be enclosed with the respective sworn translation into Spanish or Catalan. It will not be necessary to enclose a sworn translation of the copy of the PhD dissertation that should be enclosed with the application for accreditation for a PhD degree, or indeed of additional documents required by the examining body.
Article 8. Provision of authenticated copies
Documentation shall be authenticated upon the delivery of the application at the Pompeu Fabra University registry. To this end, the interested parties shall provide the originals along with a photocopy which, once authenticated, shall remain in the file while the originals will be returned to the interested party straight away. If the application is submitted to a state or autonomous regional administration registry, authentication of original documents shall be conducted at the respective registry. If documents are submitted to offices pertaining to the Correos postal service or diplomatic representations or consular offices in Spain, authentication shall be conducted by a notary public.
Article 9. Verification of documents
In the event of any doubt being cast over the authenticity, validity or content of documents provided, the examining body is empowered to effect all the steps needed to verify the documents and may also address the issuing authority in order to validate any dubious circumstances.
Article 10. Cost
1. The interested party will be required to pay the sum for initiation of accreditation proceedings as approved by the competent body. Supporting documents for this payment will be necessary in order for the transcript to be processed.
2. Payment shall be made into the current account opened with the banking institution, both of which are stated on the application template, by means of a payment at the bank, by money order or wire transfer.
When payment is made at a bank, the application must carry the banking institution's stamp in the area set aside for that purpose and the amount paid must be stated, both of which constitute proof of payment. Lack of proof will result in the application not being processed, unless payment is made by money order or wire transfer.
When payment is made by money order or wire transfer, it is necessary for the applicant's name to figure as the sender, who shall attach the deposit slip to the application.
3. Under no circumstances may payment of this amount replace the step whereby applications are submitted to the University according to the manner set forth in article 4.
Article 11. Examination of the procedure
Examination of procedures shall be carried out ex officio by the Academic Management Service and is subject to the provisions set out within Law 30/1992, dated 26 November, on the Regulation of the Public Administrations and General Administrative Procedures.
Article 12. Reports
1. A resolution regarding accreditation shall be adopted following a reasoned report from the committee in charge of official postgraduate affairs.
2. The committee may call for technical reports to be provided if necessary in order to draw up its motion.
3. The rector can appoint technical committees according to areas of knowledge in order to examine applications and provide information on them.
Article 13. Criteria for accreditation for a degree
1. Resolutions regarding accreditation of foreign higher education degrees to Spanish postgraduate degrees must be adopted in consideration of the education followed by the student and shall take into consideration:
a) Correspondence between academic levels required for admission to studies leading to the achievement of the foreign degree and those for admission to the Spanish degree.
b) The duration and teaching hours of the period of education needed in order to achieve the foreign degree for which accreditation is sought.
c) Correspondence between academic levels for the foreign degree and the Spanish degree to which accreditation is being applied for.
d) The educational content followed in order to achieve the foreign degree.
2. When education for the Spanish degree is aligned on account of EC directives, accreditation requires fulfilment of the terms set forth in the respective directives.
Article 14. Criteria for accreditation for an academic degree
Resolutions regarding accreditation of foreign higher education degrees to Spanish postgraduate degrees must be adopted taking into consideration:
a) Correspondence between academic levels required for admission to studies leading to the achievement of the foreign degree and those for admission to the respective Spanish undergraduate degree.
b) The duration and teaching hours of the period of education needed in order to achieve the foreign degree with which accreditation is sought.
c) Correspondence between academic levels of studies leading to the achievement of the foreign degree and the respective Spanish undergraduate degree for which accreditation is being applied.
Article 15. Accreditation of official higher education degrees issued in EC Member States
Whenever an application is being submitted for accreditation of a degree pertaining to education followed in accordance with systems established in EU Member States for a Spanish undergraduate degree, a resolution on accreditation shall solely take into consideration the criterion set out in section c) of article 14.
Article 16. Exceptions to the need for a report
The rector may issue a resolution without the need to request a report under the following circumstances:
a) When any of the circumstances for exclusion set out in article 3 are applicable.
b) When a resolution has been issued on accreditation of a similar foreign higher education degree beforehand.
c) When any of the grounds set out in article 71.1 of Law 30/1992, dated 26 November, on the Regulation of the Public Administrations and General Administrative Procedures are applicable.
Article 17. Resolution
The rector shall adopt a reasoned resolution approving or rejecting the accreditation applied for. The decision will be notified to the interested party.
Article 18. Period
1. The period for issuing resolutions and notifying the resolution in the procedure is set at six months counting from the time when the application is received at the University registry.
2. A lack of an express resolution within the period stated will make it possible to deem that the application for accreditation has been denied.
Article 19. Credentials
1. A resolution in favour of the requested accreditation is certified by means of the pertinent credential issued by the rector in Catalan and Spanish, in accordance with the model determined by the University Coordination Board.
2. Prior to its issuance, the University should notify the Sub-Directorate General for Degrees, Validations and Accreditations of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science so it may be recorded in the specific section of the National Registry on Degrees. The University will keep a register of all credentials issued.
3. As of the date on which it is granted and the respective credential is issued, accreditation bestows on the foreign degree the same effects as applicable to the Spanish academic undergraduate qualification or degree for which it is accredited throughout Spain in accordance with current legislation.
4. Accreditation for a postgraduate degree shall under no circumstances imply the accreditation or acknowledgment of the foreign undergraduate degree or an equivalent academic level possessed by the interested party.
Chapter III. Validation
Article 20. Studies subject to validation
1. Students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies at Pompeu Fabra University can apply for validation for part of their foreign studies when:
a) The studies followed in accordance with a foreign system have not been completed with the achievement of the respective degree.
b) The studies have been completed with the achievement of the foreign degree and the interested party has not applied for accreditation of said degree for an official Spanish university degree.
c) Having applied for accreditation of the foreign degree, when said accreditation has been denied, provided the decision was not based on one of the reasons set out in article 3 of this regulation.
2. These studies may not be subject to validation whenever any of the circumstances set out in article 3 of this regulation is applicable, whether or not studies have concluded with the achievement of the degree.
Article 21. Criteria
1. Subjects passed within a syllabus leading to a foreign higher education degree may be subject to validation when the content and teaching hours of those subjects are equivalent to those of the respective subjects included within a syllabus leading to the achievement of an official Pompeu Fabra University postgraduate degree.
2. Validated subjects shall have equivalence in points pertaining to the grade obtained in the home institution.
Article 22. Price
1. The interested party will be required to pay the sum for initiation of validation proceedings as approved by the competent body. Supporting documents for this payment will be necessary in order for the transcript to be processed.
2. Payment shall be made in accordance with the procedure set out in section 2 of article 10 of these regulations.
3. Under no circumstances may payment of this amount replace the step whereby applications are submitted to the University.
Article 23. Documentation
1. The following documents must be enclosed with applications for validation:
a) An academic transcript showing the subjects, the number of credits and the grade achieved.
b) Documents certifying the content of the course subject to validation, duly stamped by the respective institution.
c) A photocopy of programmes for the subjects followed, duly stamped by the respective institution.
d) Certification of payment for the sum stated in article 22.
e) A statement of compliance declaring that one of the circumstances set out in article 20.1 is applicable.
2. Documents issued abroad must meet the requirements set forth in article 7 of this regulation.
Article 24. Resolution
1. It is incumbent on the committee in charge of postgraduate affairs to issue a resolution on validation of foreign higher education university studies to enable the interested party to pursue postgraduate studies at Pompeu Fabra University.
2. The validation granted will be incorporated into the transcript of the interested party when he registers for the subject validated.