Uncertainty in university degree equivalencies
Non-equivalence of professional qualifications
University exchanges, as well as the high degree of mobility which is a feature of certain professions, demand a system of international equivalences of qualifications. Such a system does not exist. In practice the training of persons from different countries possessing the same qualifications (often with the same name) exhibit the widest disparities. In the case of various professions, the qualifications for entry have often been developed haphazardly, so that it is a matter of chance and of definition whether practical experience is essential before membership is granted in another country. The movement of a person possessing a qualification is thus normally restricted to countries which will accept his qualification; if he is obliged to move to a country which does not accept his qualifications, he may be forced to take up a job below his educational level.
Within the EEC/EU, some professionals (hairdressers, midwives, cemetery directors) have Community-wide recognition and mobility, while other professionals (architects, accountants, opticians) cannot move from one EEC/EU country to another and expect their degrees to be recognized. Attempts to rectify this inequality have met with little success due to the inevitable high costs and bureaucratic tie-ups involved.
Requirements for diplomas are not the same from country to country, thus the quality of services are unequal as well. Within countries, citizens can be reasonably sure that practising professionals have at least met governmental standards and thus will perform their services to a regulated minimum quality; this would not be so readily enforceable if many different diploma sources were recognized. Attempts to make diplomas and degrees equivalent would be too costly, time consuming, difficult to administer, and might even produce little effect (as evidenced by the doctor's directive which agreed upon bilateral movement, but resulting in less than 1000 of the EEC/EU's 600,000 doctors choosing to move abroad).