BENELUX diplomas

Certain higher education diplomas awarded in Belgium and the Netherlands benefit from automatic academic recognition in Luxembourg (Decisions of the Benelux Committee of Ministers M(2015)3 and M(2018)1).

This means that: 

  • holders of the relevant diplomas are exempted from any administrative procedure aiming at academic recognition throughout the Benelux member States. In Luxembourg, this exemption includes the application for registration in the register of formal higher education qualifications;
  • the academic level of the diplomas covered by the Benelux Decisions, as defined by the competent authorities of the issuing country, is automatically recognised at the same level within the Luxembourg Qualifications Framework – cadre luxembourgeois des qualifications (CLQ). This is made possible by the alignment of the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg qualifications frameworks with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), which acts as a translation tool (e.g. level 6 of the Dutch Qualifications Framework (NLQF) = level 6 of the EQF = level 6 of the CLQ);
  • holders of the relevant diplomas have the right to use the academic title following their name and as written on the final diploma. The field of study/specialisation may be translated (e.g.: [name of holder], Master of Arts in History).

As a vehicle for European integration, the automatic recognition aims to simplify administrative procedures for holders of higher education diplomas, thereby facilitating the cross-border mobility of students and workers. Thus, in Luxembourg, registration of the diplomas covered by automatic recognition in the register of formal higher education qualifications is no longer required to take part in the recruitment tests for the higher careers in the civil service.

Relevant diplomas and corresponding levels of the Luxembourg Qualifications Framework (CLQ)

Only those Belgian and Dutch diplomas are covered by automatic academic recognition, which:

  1. are awarded by a higher education institution recognised by the competent authorities in the country of issue;
  2. and are awarded after completion of a higher education initial training study programme recognised by the competent authorities in the country of issue;
  3. and have been included by the competent authorities in the Decisions establishing automatic recognition.

Flemish Community of Belgium

French Community of Belgium

German-speaking Community of Belgium





diploma van gegradueerde 1

graad van gegradueerde 1

brevet d’enseignement supérieur 

not applicable

getuigschrift associate degree


brevet de technicien supérieur

diplôme d’études supérieures générales


graad van bachelor

grade académique de bachelier

Diplom Bachelor

getuigschrift bachelor

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


diplôme de bachelor


graad van master

grade académique de master

not applicable

getuigschrift master

Master of Arts

Master of Science


diplôme de master


graad van doctor

grade académique de docteur 2

not applicable

Doctor 3

Doctor of Philosophy 3


grade de docteur

diplôme d'études spécialisées en médecine


1 the degrees of gegradueerde issued before the academic year 2004-2005 correspond to the current degree of bachelor (see section ‘Old’ Academic Degrees).

2 concerned are the third-cycle diplomas awarded by a recognised university of the French Community of Belgium and obtained after defending a thesis in accordance with Article 71(2) of the Décret de la Communauté française du 7 novembre 2013 définissant le paysage de l'enseignement supérieur et l'organisation académique des études.

3 the diplomas referred to in Article 7.18(1) of the Law known as Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek (together with the annex to that law).

Please note: 

  • Some of the ‘old’ academic degrees which benefit from official correspondence with one of the above degrees are also covered by automatic recognition (see the section ‘Old’ Academic Degrees).
  • Doctoral/PhD diplomas: These are diplomas awarded after defending a thesis. The terms “doctor - docteur” or “doctorate - doctorat” alone do not automatically imply recognition at level 8 of the CLQ. Only the academic level as defined by the competent authorities of the issuing State applies.
  • Diplomas awarded in the context of social promotion education – enseignement de promotion socialeprior to the implementation of the Bologna Process are not covered by the Benelux Decisions.

Recognised training institutions

All diplomas listed in the table above and awarded by higher education institutions listed on the following sites are automatically recognised:

‘Old’ Academic Degrees

In the course of the Bologna Process aimed at harmonising the structures of the European higher education systems, the reorganisation of the respective study cycles and academic degrees created the need to make – where possible – the ‘old’ degrees legally correspond to the new ones. Where such formal correspondence has been determined by the competent authorities for an ‘old’ higher education degree, and where the new degree concerned is included in the Benelux Decisions M(2015)3 and M(2018)1, the ‘old’ degree is automatically recognised at the CLQ level of the new degree.

(e.g.: The ‘old’ Belgian degree of Licencié en sociologie, issued by universities, is subject to a legal correspondence with the new Master en sociologie, which in turn is automatically recognised at level 7 of the CLQ. Therefore, the degree of Licencié en sociologie is automatically recognised at level 7 of the CLQ)

Flemish Community of Belgium

  • Codex Hoger Onderwijs van 20 december 2013, Art. II.377, Art. II.378
  • Besluit van de Vlaamse Regering van 17 Sept. 2004
  • For a list summarising the formal correspondences between 'old' and new higher education degrees, please refer to the website of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training.

French Community of Belgium

German-speaking Community of Belgium

  • Not applicable


Diplomas not covered by automatic recognition

The Benelux Decisions M(2015)3 and M(2018)1 refer only to higher education diplomas awarded after initial training study programmes. As a result, some academic degrees, and in particular the specialisation degrees, are omitted from automatic recognition. The exclusion of a diploma from automatic recognition does not, however, in itself exclude the possibility of recognition through the normal procedure for registration in the Register of formal higher education qualifications.

The list below gives indicative evidence of academic qualifications not covered by the Benelux Decisions M(2015)3 and M(2018)1:

  • Flemish Community of Belgium
    Schakelprogramma, bachelor na bachelor (ba-na-ba), master na master (ma-na-ma), postgraduaat
  • French Community of Belgium 
    Grade de spécialisation, Bachelier de spécialisation, Master complémentaire, Master de spécialisation

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