The current Syrian refugee exodus to Europe has created an urgent need for European societies to implement faster integration methods, to reduce the risk of social and economic alienation. Since the latest refugee wave includes more highly educated people, higher education institutions might serve as a strong inclusion instrument to integrate them into local communities. Norway has established a novel recognition procedure for persons without verifiable documentation. This study introduces this new methodology to policymakers and discusses its limitations, to enlarge scholarly debate on creating a joint European framework for recognizing prior qualifications. The study adopted a qualitative methodology, with a descriptive account of data derived from interviews with NOKUT officers. The findings highlight an urgent need in Europe to start an initiative for establishing a joint European qualification passport, which would be very useful due to the transferability of recognition decisions across European countries.

DOI: 10.1111/imig.12664
ISSN: 0020-7985