The Government has approved this Tuesday a Royal Decree to “update and modernize” the requirements and procedures for requests for homologation and equivalence of foreign degrees within a maximum period of six months. The Council of Ministers has given the green light to the reform a year and a half after the Ministry of Universities presented the draft of the regulation that establishes the new conditions and procedure so that foreign professionals can homologate their careers.
The Government spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, has argued that the “objective” of the regulations is to “attract talent” which is “indispensable for economic development and the new production model in our country”.
“It is about making the administration more agile, simplifying some procedures, incorporating digital technologies for the management of files and, therefore, improving administrative management to respond to a government objective that is to attract talent to serve to the development of a new production model in our country”, he pointed out at a press conference.
Creation of a commission
Among the main problems identified by those affected by the delays in the homologation and equivalence procedures are non-compliance with deadlines, lack of communication and deficiencies in the computer system, as well as the demands and obstacles that exist depending on each career. university.
To combat these problems, the Royal Decree proposes the “creation of the Committee for the Technical Analysis of Approvals and Declarations of Equivalence (CATHDE)”, which “will formulate the resolution proposal within two months and may adopt general measures” in the processes. The commission “will be made up of thirteen people —three from the General Secretariat of Universities, three from the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA), four Deans or Directors of University Schools, four chosen from among university professors— and It will be renewed every three years, designated by the prior agreement of the Council of Universities”.
In addition, “you may request reports on knowledge and skills from ANECA and university professors or experts in the professional field of the degree”. It also details that “a proposal from the Commission will not be necessary in the case of a degree issued by a university in a country that forms part of the European Higher Education Area or if there is a general measure.”
Another obstacle that is sought to be resolved is the lack of responses during the homologation process, one of the main claims of those affected, who do not have a way to check the status of their processing. In this sense, the Royal Decree establishes the complete digitization of the procedure through the electronic headquarters associated with the ministry, which should facilitate the process and should allow professionals to carry out the follow-up from any device with an internet connection.
The agreement is to deliver homologations and equivalencies within a maximum period of six months. The standard establishes for this compliance that each one of the procedures of the homologation process and declaration of equivalence have maximum terms, which as a whole should not take more time than indicated. Beneficiaries of international protection due to a massive influx of displaced persons (the case of Ukrainians) are also taken into account, who may substitute the required documentation for a responsible statement.
This Royal Decree repeals RD/967 of 2014, which currently has thousands of professionals with studies abroad waiting for their degrees to be processed for years. The rule will enter into force after its publication in the Official State Gazette.