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Unlocking Italian Horizons Before You Pack: Securing Your UK Degree’s Declaration of Value for a Flourishing Future in Italy

by Michela de Julio
Legal Consultant and Official translator,
expert in recognition of academic and professional qualifications

If you are a UK graduate and planning to move to Italy, this article is for you!

Embarking on an academic journey in the United Kingdom can open a plethora of opportunities for Italian or international students, offering them a rigorous academic environment, fostering a realm of intellectual and professional development. Such an educational adventure equips students with a broad spectrum of skills, preparing them for a competitive global job market. Yet, the journey doesn’t end upon receiving that well-earned degree. For those contemplating a return to Italy or venturing there for new opportunities, transitioning with a UK degree comes with its own set of challenges and prospects.

This transition, rich with potential for career advancement and personal growth, necessitates a strategic approach to ensure your UK qualifications are recognised and valued in Italy’s distinct academic and professional landscapes. The essence of making this transition as smooth as possible hinges on securing the “Dichiarazione di Valore” (Declaration of Value) from the Italian Consulate in the UK. This crucial document acts as a bridge between your British educational achievements and the Italian system, enabling you to leverage your UK degree in pursuit of further education or career job opportunities in Italy.

This article is designed to be a comprehensive guide for UK graduates aiming to navigate the complexities of establishing a professional or academic base in Italy. It outlines the steps for obtaining the Declaration of Value, and provide insights into how it facilitates your integration into the Italian educational system or job market. By demystifying the process and highlighting essential considerations, my aim is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to embark on this exciting new chapter of your life with confidence. Whether your goal is to continue your studies, enter the professional world, or explore new academic horizons, understanding how to validate your UK degree in Italy is the first step towards achieving your aspirations.


a group of happy university students


The Value of a UK Degree in Italy

A UK degree is often regarded with high esteem in Italy, given the United Kingdom’s reputation for academic excellence. However, the value of this degree in the Italian job market or academia hinges significantly on the successful navigation of Italy’s recognition process. This process not only validates the academic credentials obtained abroad but also assesses the compatibility of the educational background with the requirements of the Italian system.

The initial stage in the recognition of a UK degree in Italy indeed involves obtaining the “Dichiarazione di Valore in Loco” (Declaration of Value), facilitated by the Italian consulate in the territorial consular district where the degree was awarded. The procedure to acquire the “Dichiarazione di Valore in Loco” requires engagement with one of three Italian consulates. The specific consulate is determined by the geographical location within the UK where the degree was awarded. Positioned in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester, these consulates cover separate regions, offering a distributed model that enhances the accessibility of consular services. This arrangement is designed to streamline the initial phase of the degree recognition process, making it more straightforward for applicants to commence their journey towards validating their UK qualifications in Italy.

This critical document serves as a preliminary endorsement of the foreign qualification, providing an official assessment of the university’s standing, the course content, and the study duration. However, it’s important to clarify that this declaration is not in itself the recognition but rather a necessary precursor to the subsequent, more comprehensive evaluation processes conducted within Italy by the local academic institutions. These processes are aimed at determining the full equivalence of the degree with Italian standards, particularly for those seeking to enter regulated professions. For such professions, including law, medicine, and engineering, candidates must navigate additional procedures, such as passing state examinations or fulfilling specific training requirements, to practise in Italy. This layered approach to recognition underscores the rigorous standards maintained within the Italian professional and academic environments, ensuring that foreign qualifications meet the high expectations of Italian institutions and regulatory bodies.

Furthermore, the journey towards the integration of a UK degree into the Italian context is multifaceted, extending beyond the procedural aspects of recognition. The strategic value of a UK degree in Italy is significantly enhanced by the holder’s ability to adeptly navigate these administrative processes and demonstrate the relevance and quality of their education. In practical terms, the successful recognition of a UK degree paves the way for access to employment opportunities, professional registration, and further academic pursuits within Italy. It reflects a commitment to upholding high educational and professional standards, facilitating the seamless integration of international talent into Italy’s workforce. Thus, while the “Dichiarazione di Valore in Loco” marks the commencement of this intricate process, the overarching objective is to ensure that individuals with UK degrees can fully contribute to and thrive within Italy’s academically rigorous and professionally demanding environment.


The Journey Back Home: Embracing Challenges and Opportunities

Heading or Returning to Italy with a UK degree presents a unique set of hurdles, primarily due to the need to navigate the Italian bureaucratic system to gain formal recognition of your academic qualifications. This process is not only about valorising your educational background but also about unlocking the doors to career opportunities in Italy. The Italian educational system requires non-Italian degrees to be formally recognised, a process that ensures your qualifications are evaluated and accepted within the Italian job market and academic circles.


Understanding the Dichiarazione di Valore

At the heart of this recognition process are two pivotal documents: the Dichiarazione di Valore and the Attestato di Comparabilità e Verifica (Statement of Comparability and Verification) from CIMEA (Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence). These documents play a crucial role in attesting to the authenticity and equivalence of your foreign degree in relation to the Bologna Process cycles and the levels of the European Qualifications Framework, thus facilitating your integration into the Italian professional and academic spheres.

The Dichiarazione di Valore, issued by Italian diplomatic-consular representations abroad, provides a detailed description of your academic journey, validating your degree according to the educational system of the country of origin. Meanwhile, the CIMEA’s Statement of Comparability offers a direct evaluation of your degree’s compatibility with the Italian higher education framework, further easing your academic and professional integration in Italy.


The Legal and Documentary Requirements

For those wishing to move to Italy or return there with a UK degree in their pocket, it’s important to know that to use it and have it recognised so that it holds value in the Italian education system, it is essential to prepare specific documentation before departing from the UK. Indeed, it will be necessary to request the right documents such as the diploma, diploma supplement, transcript, and a letter of completion confirmation from your university. However, these documents, to have legal value and be accepted in Italy for the purposes of the recognition process, must be verified and authenticated by a British notary and subsequently also legalised with the Hague Apostille. In the United Kingdom, it is required that an authentic copy of an academic title be issued by a Notary Public, namely an authorised public official, who, in the exercise of his competencies, will first issue the authenticated copy, accompanied by a formal record containing the declaration of conformity, to verify the authenticity and truthfulness of the title at the competent academic authority. This verification process is an essential requirement for the subsequent issuance of the Declaration of Value by the Italian consular diplomatic authorities present on British territory. The signature affixed by the Notary will be apostilled by the competent government authority identified in the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), for all countries adhering to the Hague Convention of 1961. According to the consular provisions reported on the website of the Consulate of London, it is expected that “the verified and authenticated copy of the original academic title, legalised by means of an Apostille from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office FCDO, is verified and authentic only through a British Notary Public who practices in the United Kingdom, who must proceed to verify the British titles/certificates at universities/colleges/schools/examining boards, in addition to ascertaining that the institution in question is accredited, and to confirm it in the notarial certificate statement. An example of wording that must contain the notarial attestation: ‘I also certify that the degree is authentic and that I, the notary, have proceeded to verify the same at the reference institution.’ This statement can be in English or Italian.


Official translations of your academic documents

One of the fundamental steps before sending the documentation to the consulate to obtain the declaration of value is to have the diploma translated by a professional translator, in order to avoid errors or inappropriate language.

Certified official translation as accurate renditions of original academic qualifications or degrees can be performed in the country where these credentials were issued. In many countries, this certification can be done through the consular or diplomatic authorities’ relevant offices, where allowed, or by an officially registered translator with public authorities or lists in the country of operation, such as judicial bodies or government ministries. The translator is required to affix their official stamp and signature to the translated document. Subsequently, this document must be legalised by the consulate with jurisdiction over the area or by the authority designated to apply the Apostille, in the case of countries party to the Hague Convention.

It is important to note that translations executed abroad must be directly attested by the executing translator, incorporating the mandated oath formula, the translator’s professional stamp as a registered expert with public authorities, and their personal signature. This signature then needs to be legalised by Italian consular offices or, for Hague Convention signatories, accompanied by an Apostille from the relevant authority. All translations must explicitly specify the nature of the document and the quantity of pages translated. Stamps from the foreign translator and any necessary legalisations or stamps from Italian courts must be clearly affixed.

When a foreign country does not provide official translators, individuals can turn to Italian consular offices for help with certifying the accuracy of translations. Nevertheless, it is essential to be aware that certain consular offices, such as the Consulate of London, limit their translation certification services. Specifically, they certify only the diploma certificate for inclusion in the Declaration of Value, not other documents. For additional documents like the Diploma supplement, transcripts, letters of award, and syllabi, the certification must be carried out by an official appointed translator in the presence of a public Notary. The Notary’s signature on these documents must then be legalised by the relevant consular authority or, for countries that are part of the Hague Convention, by the office tasked with issuing the Apostille.

Alternatively, these documents may be translated and sworn by an officially recognised Italian translator at an Italian court, which obviates the need for an Apostille on the translation.


The Importance of the Declaration of Value

The Dichiarazione di Valore is indispensable in the administrative procedure for the validation and equivalence of foreign qualifications in Italy. While it is essentially informative and does not imply a formal recognition of the title it refers to, its significance cannot be understated. It is exclusively issued by Italian consular authorities in the country where the academic or professional title was obtained, serving as the primary certification of the value of a qualification earned within a different educational system.

This document plays a pivotal role in evaluating the equivalence of academic degrees, as competent authorities conduct a thorough examination of educational programs, comparing foreign studies with their Italian counterparts. The Dichiarazione di Valore enriches this analysis by providing additional information crucial for a comprehensive evaluation, ensuring that each qualification is considered with fairness and transparency.

The Declaration of Value goes beyond a mere attestation of authenticity; it delves into the legal value of the qualification, providing Italian authorities with a clear and detailed context to facilitate the process of equivalence or recognition. This includes a description of the educational system of the country where the qualification was obtained, levels of education comparable in Italy, and the duration of studies, among other relevant information.


Drafted in Italian, the Declaration of Value acts as a bridge between the educational system of the country of origin of the qualification and the Italian one, allowing academic institutions and professional bodies to understand and correctly evaluate the qualification according to national standards. In this way, holders of foreign qualifications can pursue higher education or access professional opportunities in Italy, having adequately demonstrated the value and authenticity of their qualifications.


The DV can vary depending on the documented qualification and also with respect to the consular authority issuing it, typically including essential information on the educational qualification such as:

  1. A statement of value by the consular diplomatic representation, with details on the ECTS credits obtained (if applicable) and the duration of the attended course;
  2. The authority by which the qualification was issued;
  3. The educational institution at which the courses were completed or attended;
  4. A confirmation that the issuing institution is officially recognized within the education system of the issuing country.
  5. An authenticated copy of the diploma, signed by the head of the educational institution.
  6. A brief description of the academic/scholastic/professional training system relevant to the issued qualification, including the degree level achieved for access to higher education courses.
  7. An officially certified translation of the qualification by the Consulate.
  8. Details of the diploma holder.
  9. The date of issuance of the qualification.
  10. The registration protocol number.
  11. The field, specialization, and description of the course of study.
  12. The duration of the study programme.
  13. The overall final exam average.
  14. The grading system in the country of issuance according to the officially recognized education system.
  15. Any qualifications possibly obtained for professional practice at the end of the studies.
  16. A brief description of the national education system of reference.
  17. The holder’s data.


Why Requesting the Declaration of Value is Important

The Declaration of Value is an essential instrument within the process of recognising a foreign qualification, aimed at those who wish to utilise their skills within Italy. It serves various purposes ranging from equivalence for admission to further cycles of study in Italy, enrolment in doctoral programmes, formal recognition through the rector’s decree of the qualification, to accreditation for practicing regulated professions. Among the most significant purposes are:

  • The assessment of equivalence or informal recognition of the qualification for the continuation of academic studies in Italy.
  • Access to doctoral courses at Italian institutions, facilitated by scholarships or public selections.
  • The academic attestation of the qualification through the rector’s decree, as a process of equivalence.
  • The informal validation of the qualification for participation in public selections, also an unformalised procedure.
  • Professional qualification to practice regulated professions in Italy or to join the relevant professional orders, if the acquired qualification allows it.

Therefore, the Declaration of Value acts as a cornerstone for the administrative validation process of the qualification, intending to articulate the prestige and legitimacy of the qualification obtained abroad. To move towards the official recognition of a qualification, admission to state competitions, or obtaining a license for regulated professions, the submission of this document, along with supplementary documentation, becomes crucial at the designated Italian authorities. This includes universities for foreign academic qualifications and doctoral recognitions, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for competitions, and the ministries responsible for professional recognitions.


The Statement of Comparability and Verification of CIMEA and the Declaration of Value: A Synergistic Approach

The question of whether the CIMEA’s Certificate of Comparability can replace the Dichiarazione di Valore is common among clients seeking recognition of foreign academic titles. Both documents are indispensable and synergistic, essential for ensuring a comprehensive and detailed examination by the administrative entity. Most Italian universities require the submission of both documents, underscoring their importance in the recognition process. These documents provide a complete picture of the foreign degree, highlighting its authenticity, legal recognition (Dichiarazione di Valore), and academic equivalence with the Italian education system (Attestato di Comparabilità).

Although the Statement of Comparability and the Declaration of Value are both key elements in the process of evaluating qualifications obtained abroad, it is essential to recognize their distinct functionalities. The Certificate of Comparability, issued by CIMEA, primarily focuses on the academic analysis of the qualification, aiming to establish its equivalence with Italian academic criteria and confirming its authority as a diploma issued by an institution recognized by the national education system. In contrast, the Declaration of Value focuses on verifying the authenticity and legal value of the qualification, serving as a critical step for its official acceptance in Italy. This distinction is crucial for Italian universities, which, to conduct a thorough examination, typically require both documents to endorse the recognition of a foreign qualification.

The distinction between CIMEA’s Certificate of Comparability and the Declaration of Value extends beyond their individual applications, significantly influencing the process of recognizing international academic qualifications in Italy. While the Certificate of Comparability facilitates the academic assimilation of the qualification, laying the groundwork for a fair and informed judgment, the Declaration of Value anchors the validation process within a robust legal framework. Together, these documents bridge the gap between different international educational systems and the Italian one, thus promoting academic mobility and highlighting the universal importance of education.


Let’s explore the distinct features of these documents:

Nature and Purpose

The Certificate of Comparability, issued by CIMEA, is dedicated to providing a detailed examination of the equivalence of a foreign-acquired academic qualification with the Italian educational landscape. This analysis focuses on academic equivalence, examining the level, duration, and disciplinary area of the foreign qualification in relation to Italian criteria. On the other hand, the Declaration of Value, issued by Italian diplomatic-consular representations abroad, certifies the authenticity of an academic qualification and validates its legal recognition in the country of origin. This document outlines a legal and academic context for the qualification, enriched with details on the issuing institution and its correspondence with the Italian education system.

Role of Both Certifications in the Recognition Process

The CIMEA Statement of Comparability facilitates the academic interpretation of the qualification, assisting Italian institutions in evaluating the value and rank of the foreign qualification within the national education system. Conversely, the Declaration of Value acts as a legal link, attesting to the legitimacy of the foreign qualification, a fundamental aspect for procedures extending beyond the academic realm, such as participation in public competitions or admission to professional registers.


Despite their differences, both documents are complementary in the evaluation process of foreign qualifications. Their synergy is manifested in providing a comprehensive picture of the foreign qualification, on one hand highlighting its authenticity and legal recognition (DV), and on the other emphasizing its academic equivalence with the Italian education system (Certificate of Comparability).

Italian universities, to ensure a complete and accurate examination, often require both documents. This bilateral approach helps to overcome bureaucratic barriers and facilitate the integration of international students, ensuring that the foreign qualification is not only authentic and legally recognized but also comparable in terms of academic standards with Italian qualifications.


Legal Framework and Recognition Process

The legal framework governing the recognition of foreign degrees in Italy is anchored in both national and international regulations. Post-Brexit, the UK’s academic degrees continue to be recognised in Italy, but the process now requires additional steps for validation. The Dichiarazione di Valore plays a pivotal role in this context, serving as a bridge between the two educational systems.

For individuals seeking to continue their academic pursuits in Italy, whether through further education or research positions, the Dichiarazione di Valore is indispensable. It facilitates the admission process to Italian universities and research institutes, ensuring that UK degrees are accurately assessed and recognized. This document also plays a crucial role for those interested in doctoral programs or academic positions, where the validation of foreign academic credentials is a prerequisite.


Professional Integration: Navigating Regulatory Landscapes

The integration into the Italian professional landscape, especially for regulated professions, requires a thorough understanding of the specific recognition processes applicable to each field. The Dichiarazione di Valore, in conjunction with the Attestato di Comparabilità CIMEA, provides a comprehensive evaluation of the foreign degree against the Italian professional standards. For professions such as engineering, medicine, law, and architecture, which are tightly regulated in Italy, these documents are critical in validating foreign qualifications and facilitating entry into the professional registers.

The process of obtaining a Dichiarazione di Valore and navigating the equivalence procedures not only validates academic achievements but also significantly enhances employability in the Italian job market. Employers in Italy value the diversity of experience and the breadth of knowledge that international qualifications bring. The formal recognition of these qualifications ensures that candidates can compete on equal footing with their Italian-educated counterparts, thereby broadening their career prospects.


A Strategic Approach to Recognition

For UK graduates looking to return to Italy, understanding and navigating the process of obtaining the Dichiarazione di Valore and the Attestato di Comparabilità CIMEA is the first step towards ensuring the recognition of your academic qualifications. These documents are crucial for integrating into the Italian academic and professional landscape, offering a bridge between your foreign academic journey and your future in Italy. By following this guide, you are well on your way.

Certainly, further expanding on the topic involves delving deeper into the intricacies of transitioning from a UK graduate to establishing a professional or academic foundation in Italy, with a particular emphasis on the importance of the Dichiarazione di Valore and navigating the bureaucratic and legal landscapes.

In conclusion, transitioning from a UK graduate to a professional or academic role in Italy requires a strategic approach to recognition, underscored by a thorough understanding of the legal and bureaucratic processes involved. The Dichiarazione di Valore and the Attestato di Comparabilità CIMEA are not mere administrative hurdles but are instrumental in bridging the gap between foreign academic achievements and Italian professional standards. By meticulously preparing for and navigating this process, UK graduates can unlock a wealth of opportunities in Italy, leveraging their international education to enhance their career trajectories and academic pursuits. This journey, while complex, is immensely rewarding, offering a pathway to professional growth and cultural enrichment in Italy’s vibrant academic and professional landscape.

Within this framework, MMW Europe Ltd emerges as an indispensable strategic ally, collaboratively engaging with Italian consular representations globally to deliver flawless assistance in the preparation and submission of the essential documentation for the Declaration of Value, regardless of your location. Our cadre of exceptionally skilled professionals excels in steering through the intricacies of the application process, prioritizing the meticulous presentation of your qualifications. Whether your ambitions lie in furthering your education in Italy, securing prominent professional roles, or affirming your academic achievements, MMW Europe Ltd pledges comprehensive support at every juncture. We commit to ensuring your documentation precisely aligns with the stringent standards demanded by Italian consular authorities. Leveraging our profound expertise stands as your assurance of a seamless and efficacious journey towards obtaining the Declaration of Value, thus unlocking opportunities within Italy and beyond with unparalleled ease and confidence.

If you’re grappling with the application for the Declaration of Value and the recognition of your qualification in Italy, I can help! Please write to me at