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Can degrees be transferred across countries?

This is rather a complex question. In short, a large number of accredited degrees are recognized in many countries. Ensuring that your degree program is accredited by an internationally recognized body is the best thing you can do if you are planning on transferring your degree to another country to work.

In addition to this, remember that the particular company you choose to work for can also impact the ease with which you can move to work in another country. In order to facilitate international recognition of degrees, the IEA (International Engineering Alliance) has been formed. This Alliance comprises the Washington Accord (recognizing 4 year B.Eng. Degrees for Professional Engineers), the Sydney Accord (for 3 year B.Tech. degrees for Technologists) and the Dublin Accord (Diplomas for Technicians).

Member countries of these accords have demonstrated substantially equivalent degree qualifications, and thus these qualifications are transferrable between these countries (and sometimes into others, as well). A few other organizations, such as the Bologna Accord in Europe and the APEC in the Pacific, have similar agreements and accept each other’s member’s degrees.

More and more countries are recognizing the benefits of having an accrediting body, and are striving to meet the requirements necessary to become a member of one of these accords. Most universities have a process in place for the assessment of their degrees. Graduates with degrees from unknown universities generally have to go through an assessment process to evaluate their qualification for equivalence to the qualification of that country. This is rather a laborious process of evaluating the curriculum, course content and projects and designs, and a face to face interview with peers. It is thus important for graduates moving to other countries with degrees from unknown universities to have with them all the necessary documentation for the evaluation of their qualification.

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