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Council of Europe Recommendation on countering education fraud

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a Recommendation addressed to its 46 member States aimed at assisting them in combating fraud in the field of education in July 2022. The recommendation is the result of four years of work in the framework of the ETINED platform of the Council of Europe on ethics, integrity, and transparency in education.

The recommendation’s goal is to assist member States in countering education fraud and promoting and supporting ethics, transparency, and integrity in education, thereby assisting them in ensuring the right to education at all levels for all learners.


Beyond the evident relevance for the entire education community, the recommendation has a specific interest for ENIC-NARIC centres, Higher Education Institutions, National authorities, and all actors that at different level deal with recognition of qualifications for a number of reasons, among which:

  • it provides a shared definition of education fraud, different types of mills (diploma mills, essay mills), etc.;
  • it underlines the role of legislation in protecting relevant education terminology, as a way to counter all forms of misrepresentation by education fraud providers;
  • it stresses the need to guarantee integrity of professional qualifications, with a particular focus on regulated professions, as a way to protect basic rights of citizens;
  • one specific article focuses on the use of digital solutions, as a way to ensure the accessibility and integrity of data relating to students, qualifications and awards;
  • it affirms the need for data collection, evidence-based analysis, research and international cooperation in the field, with particular reference to the role that ENIC/NARIC centres can play, as national information centres on recognition of qualifications, as well as that of the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee and the ENIC/NARIC networks.


The recommendation is structured along four dimensions: prevention, prosecution, international cooperation, and monitoring. The rationale is that a European approach is required in order to create a comprehensive international instrument on countering education fraud and promoting ethics, transparency, and integrity in education.

The text makes six main recommendations to member States of the Council of Europe:

  • to promote quality education by eliminating education fraud;
  • to protect pupils, students, researchers, and staff at all levels of education from organisations and individuals engaged in selling (and advertising) fraudulent services; 
  • to provide support for the implementation of preventative and protective measures, as well as a culture of equality of opportunity at all levels and in all sectors of education and training and in the transition between these sectors; 
  • to monitor technological developments that could support new forms of fraud;
  • to facilitate international cooperation in the field; 
  • to support wide dissemination of the recommendation.

The appendix contains 17 articles, that encompass all the aspects of education fraud.

On the Council of Europe website are available the news and the text of the recommendation.


See also:

Quality in Higher Education