Are double degrees allowed in India


Recommendation of the Senate of the HRK dated February 15, 2005

Why double degrees and joint degrees?

Integrated courses of study, which are offered jointly by universities from different countries, and in particular courses of study that lead to double degrees, have a long tradition in Germany, primarily due to the special promotion of Franco-German cooperation [2]. In addition, they are increasingly becoming an important element of the European Higher Education Area.

At the Bologna follow-up conferences in Prague (2001) and Berlin (2003), the European education ministers explicitly advocated the creation of such programs. The European Commission is currently giving the idea additional impetus through its newly advertised ERASMUS Mundus program, which aims to promote outstanding European master’s programs offered by at least three universities in different countries. In view of the increasing importance of double degrees and joint degrees (GA) In June 2004 the Council of Europe adopted an additional document to the "Lisbon Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in Europe" of 1997, which contains recommendations for the recognition of joint degrees.

Incidentally, a study commissioned by the DAAD at the Institute of German Economy confirmed that graduates from double degree courses have particularly good chances on the German job market [3]. Against this background, many member universities of the HRK are also very interested in the development of double degrees and joint degrees, but there is uncertainty about the approach and implementation of such projects.

Why recommendations from the HRK on this subject?

In October 2000 the Senate of the HRK rejected the proposal to define a list of characteristics for "international study programs" because such standardization would restrict the freedom of universities. This issue is not affected by this recommendation. A study program that leads to a double degree or a joint degree has to meet much higher and more precise requirements than an "international" degree program. These requirements can be found in largely identical ways in the various funding calls, etc.

The present recommendations represent a synthesis of the requirements of DFH, DAAD and ERASMUS MUNDUS and also take into account the recommendations of a study by the EEA on this topic, the conclusions from the Joint Masters project of the EEA and the aforementioned additional document to the Lisbon Agreement on the recognition of joint projects Degrees. The HRK would like to use these recommendations to provide assistance to universities that are working on the development of double degrees or joint degrees.

What are double degrees and joint degrees?

Double degree or joint degree refers to a university degree that is awarded jointly by two universities on the basis of courses of study that have all or at least several of the following characteristics:

  • The courses are jointly developed and / or recognized by the participating universities
  • Students from one university study parts of the study program at the other university
  • The duration of the study visits at the two institutions are of comparable length
  • Study sections and exams taken at one university are automatically and fully recognized by the other university
  • University professors from one university also teach at the other university, work out the curriculum together and form joint commissions for admission and examinations

The difference between a double degree and a joint degree: The form of documentation

In principle, only one degree may be awarded for a scientific achievement. The specific character of the completed degree program must be made clear in the documentation:

  • Double degree: Each university issues a certificate, whereby both certificates are interlinked in such a way that they form a single certificate in terms of content
  • Joint degree: Both universities jointly issue a certificate.

Design of curricula, type of qualifications

Double diplomas / joint degrees can be developed in cooperation with universities around the world. However, if they are offered in the European Higher Education Area, it is advisable to take into account the principles developed so far within the framework of the Bologna Process:

  • Double diplomas / joint degrees should be awarded at the level of Bachelor's or Master's degrees
  • The curricula should be modular and use ECTS
  • Bachelor-level degrees should require 180-240 ECTS credits, and master-level degrees should require 60-120 ECTS credits.

Application, admission and exams

Prospective students should have the opportunity to apply for admission to a clearly defined program with common standards for admission, a common admission process and a common selection of applicants. Exams taken at one university are automatically and fully recognized at the other university.

Interlinking the contents of the study program

The study program should be developed jointly by university lecturers from both institutions so that the quality of the qualifications attested by the double diploma / joint degree is ensured.


The study program should include stays at both universities of comparable duration, if possible. Applicants must be clearly informed about the possible sequence or combination options at the time of application.

classroom language

One of the advantages of this type of study program is that students are usually given the opportunity to become familiar with two languages ​​of instruction. In order to actually make this advantage effective, it is advisable to anchor both languages ​​accordingly in the study program and also to regulate the final examination and thesis accordingly (e.g. writing the Bachelor / Master thesis in one language with a short summary in the other language ). In order to preserve and promote the linguistic and cultural diversity of the European Higher Education Area, the national languages ​​should only be completely replaced by English in exceptional cases.

Recognition, quality assurance

To facilitate recognition, these study programs should use ECTS. In addition, all graduates of such a program should receive a diploma supplement. The diploma supplement awarded in connection with a double diploma / joint degree should describe the components of the degree in detail and make it clear at which universities and / or in which study programs the different parts of the degree were obtained were.

From a state perspective (KMK), the recognition of double degrees has been guaranteed for many years. In March 2004, the KMK also determined that Section 18 (1) sentence 5 HRG, according to more detailed provisions of state law, allows degrees other than those listed in the HRG to be awarded on the basis of an agreement with a foreign university. In this respect, no concerns were raised against the awarding of joint degrees, for example within the framework of the ERASMUS Mundus program - provided that the participating institutions are universities or equivalent institutions in accordance with the respective state law and that it is sufficient Quality assurance guaranteed in accordance with the national regulations applicable to the universities of the participating countries.

The question of cross-border quality assurance is at the moment the most difficult aspect in the preparation of double degree programs and in particular joint degrees, which are not even permitted in a large number of European countries according to the current legal situation. At the Berlin Conference in September 2003, the European education ministers commissioned various European organizations to draw up proposals for common standards and guidelines for cross-border quality assurance in European cooperation and promised to adapt their own higher education legislation to the requirements of double degrees and joint degrees if necessary .

In anticipation of accepted and functioning European procedures, a pragmatic approach to the individual case is recommended. This means that the German university must ensure that the planned program is accredited by the German side, while the partner university must ensure that the quality assurance requirements applicable in their country are taken into account. The German university should inform itself about the accreditation and quality standards in the partner country and pay particular attention to the clarification of the question of whether the awarding of double degrees and in particular joint degrees is even permissible in the partner country.

10 golden rules for developing programs that lead to joint degrees [4]

1. Be clear about your motivation

Before creating a new GA program, you should be clear about the following questions: Does the program fill a gap at national or European / international level? Is a GA program the most suitable form for this? What is the expected academic added value?

2. Choose your partners carefully

Partner universities can be selected in a number of ways and the decision can lead to very important consequences that go well beyond the original reasons for introducing the program. Good communication and mutual trust are essential prerequisites for the development of common learning goals and standards as well as for the recognition of the study phases at the partner university. How similar or how different should the partner universities be in order to achieve optimal effects in the program?

3. Together with your partner, develop clear objectives for the GA program and for the learning objectives to be achieved by the students

In order to keep the program balanced, the objectives should be worked out together. This also leads to a stronger identification with the program when participating in a program developed by the partner university. A curriculum tailored to the specific purpose is required.

4. Secure the necessary institutional support for the program

Full institutional support from both universities from the start is essential if the program is to have a long-term future. As an absolute minimum, letters from the university directors should be exchanged in which the specific obligations of the respective university for the success of the program are set out, especially with regard to the required teaching staff and financial support. This letter should be renewed at regular intervals.

5. Ensure that sufficient academic and administrative staff are available for the program

The workload should not rest solely on the shoulders of a dedicated small group. The inclusion of a larger group of people from the university will strengthen the institutional commitment. Since the mobility of the university professors involved is an essential element of a double degree program, plan for the corresponding absences and the impact on normal study programs. Also consider the potential repercussions if one of the key players in the dual diploma program were to change jobs. Would the institutional commitment continue? If not, this indicates that the program's staffing base is too narrow for sustainable program development.

6. Make sure that there is a sustainable funding plan for the program

This planning should not only take into account resource management at the individual university, but also the funding of the program as a whole. The whole program stands or falls with the question of sustainable financing. The importance of this aspect cannot be overestimated.

7. Make sure information about the program is easily accessible

At both universities, prospective students should be provided with comparable information. Electronic delivery guarantees easy access and easy updating. The websites and brochures should not only contain information about the content of the program, application and admission modalities, but also information about the expected mobility (accommodation options at the partner university) etc. as well as a clear explanation of the double diploma to be awarded. The needs of financially disadvantaged and physically handicapped students should also be taken into account.

8. Plan enough meetings with the partners

Developing a double degree program takes a long time. A sufficient number of joint meetings between the partners for the joint development of ideas and joint assessment of the coherence of the curriculum should be foreseen. Make sure that there is agreement on the desired learning objectives, the use of ECTS (including the value of a credit) and the award of the Diploma Supplement. If there are any doubts about the correct use of these tools, ensure that appropriate learning processes take place and the necessary information is made available.

9. Develop a common language strategy for the GA program and encourage learning of the local language (s)

The organizers of the program must make arrangements with regard to the language (s) of instruction and give students the opportunity to improve their foreign language skills during their studies. Linguistic aspects should not be treated as secondary to the curriculum design, but should be the focus of considerations from the start. The linguistic preparation for stays at the partner university is a good opportunity to involve other colleagues and departments at the university in the program.

10. Define clear responsibilities between the partners

A clear division of tasks and responsibilities is essential for the program to function properly. It is not necessary for both partner universities to be equally involved in all parts of the program. A division of responsibilities allows the partners to bring their specific strengths to use. A clear division of labor helps to avoid duplication of work and to save time and money. It can be helpful to set up a joint program committee to distribute and coordinate tasks.


[1] The term "double diploma" is used in this text to represent other degrees offered and awarded by more than two universities. "Joint Degrees" are translated as "Joint Degrees".
[2] See the funding programs of the Franco-German university, but also those of the DAAD for double degree programs with selected other countries
[3] See, "International double degrees",
[4] Based on the recommendations formulated in the final report of the EUA on their Joint Masters Project.