Applying for recognition of diplomas (Baccalauréat/Matura)

This page was last modified on 11-07-2016

Under certain conditions, recognition of equivalency may be granted for secondary school leaving certificates/diplomas (general, technical and vocational) obtained abroad.

Applications for recognition of equivalency are subject to the payment of a compulsory fee, the amount of which varies depending on the country in which the certificate/diploma was obtained.

Forms / Online services

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Who is concerned

So-called "academic" recognition of diplomas applies to the following categories of persons:

  • holders of a Baccalauréat- or Matura-type diploma who wish to pursue higher-education or university studies in Luxembourg;
  • holders of a Baccalauréat- or Matura-type diploma who wish to enter the employment market;
  • holders of other general, technical and vocational secondary school leaving diplomas.

Prerequisites

Conditions for countries that are signatories to the Paris and/or Lisbon Conventions

Recognition may be granted for school-leaving certificates/diplomas after examination of the file by the competent departments, and if the following criteria are met:

  • the diploma must have been awarded in recognition of the successful completion of at least 12 consecutive years of schooling;
  • the certificate/diploma must enable access to higher-education or university studies in the country of origin.

Supporting documentation is required for certificates/diplomas that do not specify such access.

The certificates/diplomas of countries that are signatories to the Council of Europe Lisbon/Paris conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas are taken into consideration.

Mutual recognition of diplomas applies in the following countries (current list):

  • Member States of the European Council: Albania, Germany, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldavia, Montenegro, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine;
  • Non-Member States of the European Council: Australia, Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, New-Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, Holy See (Vatican City).

The recognition of a foreign certificate/diploma is not automatic, but is decided on a case-by-case basis. In the recognition procedure, a distinction is made between, on the one hand, certificates/diplomas from a country that has signed the Paris and Lisbon Conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas and, on the other hand, diplomas from third countries that have not signed the Paris and/or Lisbon Conventions. This distinction entails specific conditions and procedures for establishing equivalencies.

Special conditions for holders of diplomas from third countries (i.e., countries that are not signatories to the Paris and/or Lisbon Conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas)

In addition to the conditions required for the countries that have signed the Paris and/or Lisbon Conventions, equivalency to a Luxembourg secondary school leaving diploma—be it for general, technical and/or technician studies—awarded in a country that has not signed the conventions will only be recognised in the following cases:

  • if the candidate holds a diploma awarded by an institute of higher education recognised by and located in a Member State of the European Union (EU), in recognition of the successful completion of at least 3 years of study (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits) or;
  • if the candidate can produce proof of enrolment (formal) for higher-education studies in an EU Member State, and if the diploma meets the following criteria: the diploma examinations must have covered at least 2 languages (including French or German), as well as the following areas:
    • humanities and social sciences;
    • natural sciences;
    • mathematics;
    • technology;
    • fine arts and music;
  • if the candidate holds a diploma awarded by an institute of higher education recognised by a third country, in recognition of at least 3 years of study (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits), and if they can produce:
    • a level B2 language certificate for Luxembourgish, French or German under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or;
    • proof of 3 years of study of 1 of the 3 aforementioned languages during the course of their studies, or;
    • a certificate attesting that Luxembourgish, French or German was taken at the secondary school leaving examination.

Specific conditions for holders of the International Baccalaureate (IBO)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma is recognised as an equivalent of the Luxembourg secondary school leaving diploma if, in addition to the criteria set by the International Baccalaureate Organisation in Geneva, the following conditions are met:

  1. the International Baccalaureate examinations must cover:
    1. two languages (group 1: language A1, group 2: language A2);
    2. one subject from each of the following discipline groups:
      • group 3 "individuals and society": including history, geography, economics, philosophy, psychology, business and management;
      • group 4 "experimental sciences": including biology, chemistry, physics;
    3. group 5 "mathematics and computer science": mathematical studies, mathematics, supplementary mathematics, computer science;
    4. and one of the following:
      • group 6 "arts": including visual arts, music, theatre and film; or
      • a second subject from groups 1 to 5.
      The nomenclature of the "groups" is that used by the International Baccalaureate Organisation in Geneva.
  2. of the 2 languages mentioned under point 1.a, at least 1 must be French, or English, or German;
  3. at least 3 subjects must be studied at the higher level (HL), and the others at the standard level (SL);
  4. in order to obtain the IB diploma, the candidate must meet all the conditions set by the internal rules of the International Baccalaureate;
  5. the student's education must span at least 12 years of primary and secondary studies;
  6. during their studies, the student must have completed a study cycle of 4 years in a foreign language other than the 2 languages mentioned in point 1.a.

The International Baccalaureate diploma may moreover be recognised as equivalent to the Luxembourg secondary school leaving diploma in the conditions provided for in Article 4.1 of the Grand-Duchy Regulation of 27 October 2006 in execution of Article 4 of the amended Law of 18 June 1969 on higher education and the accreditation of foreign higher education titles and diplomas.

Costs

Applications for recognition of Baccalaureate-/Matura-type secondary school leaving diplomas are subject to the payment of a fee in the amount of:

  • EUR 75 for diplomas awarded by a country that is a signatory to the Paris and Lisbon Conventions;
  • EUR 75 for diplomas awarded by an European school (European baccalaureate);
  • EUR 125 for diplomas awarded by a country that is not a signatory to the Paris and Lisbon Conventions;
  • EUR 125 for diplomas awarded by the IBO (international baccalaureate).
The fee is payable by bank transfer to the postal cheque account of the Luxembourg Land Registration and Estates Department (Administration de l'enregistrement et des domaines):
IBAN LU13 1111 0011 4679 0000,
BIC code: CCPLLULL
Reference: Taxe reconnaissance des diplômes (Diploma recognition fee), MENJE, applicant's name, date of application

Proof of payment must be included with the application. The fee must be paid for the application to be processed, but payment does not mean that recognition will be granted. For each application, the conditions for obtaining recognition of equivalency must be met.

If recognition of equivalency is denied, the fee will not be reimbursed.
A copy of the certificate of equivalency may be issued upon payment of a fee in the amount of EUR 10.

How to proceed

Application procedure

Applications for recognition of equivalency must be submitted by post to the Department for the recognition of diplomas (Service de la reconnaissance des diplômes) of the Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth (Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la jeunesse – MEN).

Composition of the application for certificates/diplomas from countries that signed the Paris and/or Lisbon Convention on the mutual recognition of diplomas

The application must include the following documents:

  • a written request mentioning the reason for submitting the application;
  • a Curriculum Vitae showing, among other information, their school curriculum and their date and place of birth;
  • a copy of a currently valid identity document (ID card, passport, residence permit);
  • a copy of their diplomas/certificates;
  • proof of payment of the fee.

All copies of certificates/diplomas and identity documents issued by third countries to the EU must be certified by an approved authority (communal administration, embassy or consulate).

Composition of the application for certificates/diplomas from third countries

In this case, the certificates/diplomas are awarded by countries that have not signed the Paris and/or Lisbon Conventions on the mutual recognition of diplomas, that is all the countries not mentioned in the previous list.

The following must be included with the application:

  • a written request mentioning the reason for submitting the application;
  • a Curriculum Vitae showing, among other information, their school curriculum and their date and place of birth;
  • a copy of a currently valid identity document (ID card, passport, residence permit);
  • a copy of their diplomas/certificates;
  • a residence certificate attesting residence in one of the EU Member States;
  • only for beneficiaries of international protection status: a document certifying that the applicant was granted this status in Luxembourg;
  • proof of payment of the fee.

Applicants must also include:

  • a certificate/diploma attesting to the successful completion of at least 3 years of higher education or university studies in an EU Member State; or
  • proof of enrolment in a higher education establishment or university in an EU Member State, as well as the list of the subjects taken for the secondary school leaving diploma (e.g. transcript of grades); or
  • a diploma awarded by a higher education establishment recognised by a third country, in recognition of the successful completion of a higher education study cycle of at least three years (bac+3, 180 ECTS credits) together with:
    • a level B2 language certificate for Luxembourgish, French or German under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or;
    • proof of completion of 3 years of study of one of the 3 aforementioned languages in the course of their schooling, or;
    • a certificate attesting that either Luxembourgish, French or German was one of the subjects taken for the secondary school leaving exam.

All copies of certificates/diplomas and identity documents issued by third countries to the EU must be certified by an approved authority (communal administration, embassy or consulate).

Translations of documents

The documents must be in one of the 3 official languages of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (French, Luxembourgish or German), or in English, or translated into one of these languages by a sworn translator (traducteur assermenté) established in Luxembourg.

The translator's stamp must be affixed partly on the translation and partly on the document provided for translation. Each document must be signed by the translator. In the absence of this stamp, a document certifying the translator’s sworn status must be submitted with the application (for example, a copy of the translator's certificate of registration on the list of experts, translators and interpreters).

If necessary, the applicant may be asked for additional information.

Processing the application

The applicant will receive a response between the second and sixth week following the receipt of their complete application by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse). This interval starts from the date on which the complete application is received by the Department for the recognition of diplomas.

If the application is incomplete, a letter will be sent to the applicant indicating the missing items that need to be provided for the application to be processed.

For urgent cases, and pending the processing of the file, it is recommended that applicants also apply for recognition of level of education, since that procedure will allow their application to be processed more rapidly.

If the applicant does not provide the requested items to the MEN within 3 years of receiving the letter requesting further information, the application for recognition will lapse and a new application will need to be filed.

The applicant may, with the help of a lawyer, file a judicial appeal with the administrative tribunal in Luxembourg against the decision taken by the MEN.

More information can be provided by the Department for the recognition of diplomas (email: reconnaissance@men.lu).

Applying for duplicates

A fee of EUR 10 will be charged for each duplicate of a recognition of equivalency certificate.

The fee must be paid by transfer to the following Postal Check Account:
IBAN LU13 1111 0011 4679 0000
BIC code: CCPLLULL
Reference: Taxe reconnaissance des diplômes (Diploma recognition fee), MENJE, applicant's name, date of application

Who to contact

Ministry of Education, Children and Youth
18-20, montée de la Pétrusse
L-2327 - Luxembourg
Postal box L-2926 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247-85910
Fax: (+352) 247-85933
Email reconnaissance@men.lu

Opening hours
Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 11.30 and from 14.00 to 17.00