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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.7Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation

Last update: 27 November 2023

Since Liechtenstein, due to its small size, cannot provide a comprehensive education and school system on all levels mobility, agreements exist in particular with neighbouring countries.

Since 1974 there is an agreement with Switzerland to check and recognize the Liechtenstein Matura by the same criteria as in Switzerland. Since 1978, agreements with Switzerland on participation in the education programmes of secondary and vocational schools exist. By joining the "inter-cantonal agreement on Higher Education" in 1981, the equalisation of students from Liechtenstein and Swiss students is guaranteed and within this the compensation for students from Liechtenstein regulated.

Already since 1977 respectively 1983 there is an agreement with Austria on the admission of graduates of the Liechtenstein Gymnasium to Austrian universities. Other agreements in the field of equivalence and recognition followed and concerning current developments in higher education of both countries got summarized and complemented in the "agreement on equivalencies in the field of qualifications and higher education" in 1997.

In higher education, Liechtenstein participates in the Bologna Process, which aims to ensure transparency and mobility on national and international level in order to strengthen the educational location and its competitiveness.

Concerning vocational secondary schools and tertiary vocational education there are cooperations with neighboring countries, especially Switzerland, too. In summer 1999, Liechtenstein joined the "Intercantonal Fachschul agreement" to ensure the access and admission for students from Liechtenstein.

By joining the Regional School Agreement EDK-Ost (RSA) the access and the financial support of the cantons for programmes on tertiary level (training and further training of pedagogical universities of EDK-Ost for already trained teachers) got regulated. Within this regional school agreement the admission (with the agreed conditions) of students from neighboring Swiss cantons to the vocational baccalaureate school Liechtenstein is ensured as well.

Bologna prozess

Concerning higher education Liechtenstein takes part in the Bologna process. Bologna aims to ensure transparency and mobility on national and international level in order to strengthen its educational location and competitiveness.

In 1994, Liechtenstein joined the UNESCO convention about the recognition of higher education studies, university certificates and academic degrees in Europe. Since 1997 Liechtenstein is a member of the common convention of the Council of Europe and UNESCO, the so-called, Lisbon convention". On basis of this convention the members try to create conditions for flexibility concerning studies in higher education (enrollment, recognition of studies abroad and diplomas, grants) and to foster non-discrimination of foreign students.

With signing the Bologna declaration in 1999 Liechtenstein agreed to take part in the joint process of creating a consistent higher education system and therefore to take over the decisions of all subsequent conferences too.

The measures introduced within the Bologna reform are stated in the „law from the 25th of November, 2004 about higher education (higher education law; HSG)“ and therefore apply for all public and private higher education institutions. The introduction of the Bologna instruments (ECTS, levels, Diploma supplement) could be, also due to its smallness, quickly implemented.

With the decision for the development of the NQ. FL-HS Liechtenstein followed in 2008 also the obligation from the Bergen Conference (2005) to develop national qualification frames which are compatible with the general qualification frame for the European higher education system (Bologna). Especially for a small state like Liechtenstein with a high rate in academic and professional  cross-border mobility, recognition of the respective education are of great importance.

The National Information Centre for academic and Professional Recognition (NARIC, Liechtenstein) consults individuals as well as institutions in questions connected with academic recognition. The respective higher education institution decides on the admission to a study programme.

EU education programme

Since the entry to EEA in 1995, Liechtenstein takes part in the EU-educational programmes SOKRATES and LEONARDO. Due to the merging of Sokrates and Leonardo, agreed by the EU commission, to the joint "programme of lifelong learning" (in 2007-2013) a reorganisation took place and the Agency for International Education Affairs (AIBA) was founded. 

The EEA-finance mechanism, called EEA Grants, helps to reduce the economic and social imbalance within Europe. Trough EEA Grants the competitiveness of weaker states in Europe is fostered and new trading partners are gained in the medium term for the EEA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Liechtenstein’s main focus is on education. The programme partners in the donor countries are Rannis for Iceland, AIBA for Liechtenstein and SIU for Norway. Furthermore AIBA attends and plans also other regional and international projects in the educational area (e. g. , Worldskills, EEA Grants)