including hands-on report and interview with Stig Arne Skjerven, Director of Foreign Education at NOKUT
In Norway, as elsewhere, the challenge has been to evaluate the foreign credentials of international talents. In order to manage the 8,000 applications per year, the country has established a general recognition procedure for persons holding a foreign higher education that allows a decision on the equivalence of foreign degrees with Norwegian degrees within two months. However, Norwegian companies that want to employ a person with foreign qualifications, often required even faster answers. In particular, since the rising number of recognition applications increased the risk of a lengthened evaluation process, Norway searched for a new approach to support companies. What happens if a company has found a suitable foreign applicant, who has not yet received or applied for a general recognition? How can these companies be provided with an evaluation in a timely fashion? Since 2014, in Norway, the answer to these questions has a name: Turbo evaluation. The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) offers this evaluation. As a rule of thumb, NOKUT carries out a non-binding evaluation free of charge within five working days. Employers can request the Turbo evaluation via E-Mail, attaching the candidate’s personal and professional information and his or her educational certificates.
Implementation of the model
A Turbo evaluation can be carried out when a company has evaluated the job appli cations and selected a potential candidate for the position of a non-regulated profession. Sometimes, employers request a Turbo eval uation of the entirety higher education documents of a person who is already hired, leading to higher salaries and better career opportunities for the candidate in question. While the procedure is not legally binding, the online process guarantees employers that the higher education degrees of the candidate in question are equivalent to those of the Nor wegian counterparts. NOKUT provides a written estimation including three elements: Whether the education is accredited in the country in question; whether the foreign education is equivalent to a Norwegian degree in the Norwegian education system and, finally, the subject of the degree. The Turbo evaluation is based on a limited set of information about the personal background of the candidate, the university/college along with the study programme he or she attended. Apart from an authorisation form signed by the candidate in order to consent to the evaluation, the translated educational documents and transcripts for the entire course of studies (e.g. for the respective bachelor‘s, master‘s and Ph.D. programmes) have to be included in the e-mail to NOKUT. Documents in a number of other languages (e.g. Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, German, Polish and Farsi) can normally be submitted without translation, depending on the language skills of the employees working at NOKUT.
The Turbo evaluation combines speed and high evaluation standards, as the evaluation is executed by experienced case officers who are credited evaluators and part of the overall recognition structure in Norway. As a result, the evaluation has been turned into credible advice based on years of in-depth experience with the matter at hand.
Target Groups for Transfer:
National and International Policy Makers, Ministries
The Turbo Evaluation in a Nutshell:
Norway‘s Turbo evaluation enables a company to hire a person who has not yet obtained a general recognition for her or his foreign educational credentials with foreign educational documents.
NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, find more information here) is an independent expert unit under the Ministry of Education and Research. The board of NOKUT is the agency‘s supreme governing body.