Ukrainian National Qualifications Framework and its relation to EQF

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The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a common European reference framework that helps to understand, compare and recognize qualifications obtained in the European Union. It is primarily intended for EU member states, however there is also interest and demand among countries outside the Union.

Even before the military conflict in Ukraine, a large number of Ukrainian citizens were entering the labour markets of member countries. In order to increase the employability of skilled migrants, in 2010 Ukraine began to create its National Qualification Framework, inspired by the EQF. The final work was intensified by the events of spring 2022, when the need for professional employment for war refugees increased.

The referencing of the Ukrainian Qualification Framework to the EQF is important for several reasons. The main one remains the possibility for refugees to obtain qualified employment. However, the entry of European workers into the Ukrainian labour market will be no less important when the post-war reconstruction of the infrastructure begins. Ukrainian citizens returning after studying or even graduating in the EU will certainly also appreciate the benefit, whether they will continue their studies in Ukraine or look for a job. Last but not least, the assignment of both qualification frameworks will be an important integration tool, given that Ukraine is now officially an EU candidate.

The referencing process and the subsequent cooperation with the EQF Advisory Group showed that both frameworks, European and Ukrainian, stand on the same foundations. The Ukrainian framework includes all levels and all forms of education. It works with the concept of lifelong learning, recognizing non-formal and informal learning. It emphasizes an approach based on learning outcomes, working with descriptors that are described at a level comparable to other European countries (they are even more detailed compared to European descriptors). The Ukrainian framework also works with so-called partial and full qualifications. Especially at the tertiary level, the framework is already fully functional, while at the secondary level, work is progressing more slowly.

Great emphasis is placed on quality assurance, involvement of relevant stakeholders and digitization. Especially the last point, i.e. moving work and communication to the online space, is gaining importance at a time when millions of Ukrainian citizens are fleeing the war conflict to EU countries.

Ukraine's entry into the EQF Advisory Group in 2022 has opened the door to further cooperation and development, which can now be funded under the Erasmus+ programme. Cooperation in the field of vocational training and Europass activities is also being prepared.

Comparison of EQF levels, Ukrainian NQF levels and Ukrainian qualifications - scheme
March 2023

1) The alingment of Upprt Secondary Education at NQF level 4 is indicative. General secondary education is not part of the NQF at the moment.
Source:  Comparison report of the EQF and the Ukrainian NQF, European Training Foundation, European Union, 2023

“Comparison of the European Qualifications Framework and the Ukrainian National Qualifications Framework” is published on EQF/Europass website.