Sunday, 1 April 2012

Successful Degree Recognition in Spain

After nearly a year I have finally been granted recognition of my Open University degree by the Spanish Ministry of Education. I'm telling the story here in the hope that it might be of use to others in the same situation.
scanned image of the official degree certificate from the Spanish ministry of education

It was a complicated process because many of the modules I studied in the 1990s have been retired and there is no definitive source of information. I was able to at compile a summary of each one from a diversity of sources:
  • Course module materials
  • An eBay sale listing
  • Records from the Open University library online
  • Other people's online CVs
  • Official OU Degree Supplement

The Degree Supplement was acceptable but the initial application was declined as there was insufficient detail about the content of each module. None of the other information was acceptable but I compiled it into a coherent an consistent document and the Open University forwarded it to the library who (very generously, I thought) checked it against the original course materials in the library. This saved me visiting the library myself, and the considerable cost of a journey to Milton Keynes and an overnight hotel stay there. Unfortunately the Spanish criteria are based on years of full.-time academic study, while OU modules are based on an estimate of the hours. Included an estimate of the years of study on the document that I submitted to the OU. The document was stamped by the OU to make it official and I had a sworn translation done at a cost of about €100. This was sufficient for the application to be accepted.

I applied for recognition as a named degree but without knowing what the requirements are. This was rejected and on seeing the requirements it was evident that there were several modules (asignaturas) that I did not have. If I'd had that information before I applied, I would have saved several months of delay. the rejection leter helpfully stated that I would be eligible for a diploma, which I believe is less than my degree but is an acceptable university-level academic qualification.

The staff at the Ministry of Education at the enquiries office on calle de Alcalá and the registry on calle de los Madrazo were very helpful and I did not have to wait more than five minutes.

Here are some of the online resources I consulted:

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