If you are awarded an academic degree after completing a course at a higher education institution, you will also receive a Diploma Supplement. This is an additional document standardised at European level and issued in German and English, which describes in simple terms the course and qualification, their content and their level.
How a Diploma Supplement works
A Diploma Supplement will
- Promote transparency in higher education.
- Help explain and promote understanding about the constant changes in qualification requirements and education systems.
- Promote mobility and therefore also access to education, training and lifelong learning.
- Make academic and professional recognition easier and therefore be useful for individuals, employers and educational institutions.
- Help people make informed assessments of qualifications.
- Make it more attractive for students to acquire qualifications.
A Diploma Supplement won’t
- Act as a CV
- Replace the original proof of qualification or transcript
- Guarantee automatic recognition of a degree
The birth of the Diploma Supplement
At European level
- The Diploma Supplement was developed between 1996 and 1998 on the basis of preliminary work by UNESCO and the Council of Europe in a joint working group with the European Commission. This comprised over 70 different institutions (including higher education institutions, ENIC/NARIC and social partners). Graz University of Technology participated in the working group on behalf of Austria.
- The working group made the following recommendations which universities can still use for guidance:
- It would be beneficial if Supplements were issued automatically.
- Supplements should be produced in a unified format throughout Europe, according to the basic structure we have established.
- Supplements may be used for any qualification and any subject, and by any type of establishment of any size.
- ECTS credits should be listed in Supplements.
- Supplements may be issued in more than one language.
- An international template for the Diploma Supplement was developed.
- The Diploma Supplement has now been introduced in most countries in the European Higher Education Area, and some countries issue them universally.
- The Diploma Supplement is now known as the Europass Diploma Supplement (Europass Diplomzusatz). This is an important part of Europass, the transparency initiative for documents valid throughout Europe.
Implementation in Austria
- In the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention), participating countries undertake to promote the use of the Diploma Supplement (Article IX.3). Austria has ratified this Convention.
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