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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National qualifications framework


2.Organisation and governance

2.5National qualifications framework

Last update: 27 November 2023

National qualification framework for higher education (NQFL-HS)

By signing the Bologna declaration in 1999 Liechtenstein promised to participate in the process of creating a unified European framework for higher education until 2010.

The new version of the Higher Education Law of 2004 included the regulations introduced within the Bologna framework. This process resulted in binding rules for all public and private institutions of higher education. Because of the small size of Liechtenstein the introduction of the Bologna instruments (ECTS, levels, diploma supplement) could be rather quickly implemented.

With the decision to develop a national framework of qualifications Liechtenstein followed the obligations of the Bergen Conference (2005) to create the necessary conditions to be compatible with a comprehensive European framework of qualifications (Bologna system). For a small state like Liechtenstein which displays a high degree of academic and cross-border mobility such measures for a better recognition of educational qualifications are of great importance.

In 2011 a Higher Education Ordinance was passed regulating the National Framework of Qualifications corresponding to the Higher Education Law; the same ordinance organises the accreditation procedures and the relevant quality standards for institutions and study programmes, as well as the access without baccalaureate (sur-dossier), the programmes for continuing education and training, the procedure for the recognition of foreign qualifications, and the protection of titles and grades.

In 2013 the National Framework of Qualifications for higher education in Liechtenstein (NQFL-HS) became operative.

National qualification framework for vocational and professional education (NQFL-BB)

With the resolution in 2011 the government laid the base for the national qualification framework. The order for developing the NQFL was to set up a complete qualification framework for the Liechtenstein education system.

In December 2017 the government accepted the NQFL and adopted an ordinance for its implementation. The ordinance for the national qualification framework entered into force as from 1st January 2018.

Liechtenstein decided to classify its professional education and higher education certificates within a national qualification framework. Within the different levels knowhow, skills and competencies of person with certain certificates are defined. Through this the educational offerings can be better matched with the needs of the job market on one hand and on the other hand transparency and comparability are brought on a higher level. These are important criteria for a international industry, non-productive and education location as Liechtenstein.

The NQFL consists of eight levels. To show the equality of professional and higher education the y-form was chosen that makes the permeability between the two sections very visible. As because the school part within the dual professional education has to be done in Switzerland the classification of a professional qualification to a certain level in the national qualification framework of Liechtenstein can be set up with the support of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). Therefore the national qualification framework and its implementation were strongly attached to Switzerland.