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European Degree Label Criteria

Work Package 2 of the EDLab project focused on mapping existing joint programmes and analysing the suitability and assessing the fulfilment of the proposed criteria and the barriers to their application.

The mapping exercise was carried out in two stages, based on two surveys.

The first of these was a mapping exercise by means of a survey launched in March 2023. It was designed to gather information on the joint programmes of all types offered by the participating Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and consisted of two parts: basic information about the responding institution followed by a series of questions concerning each of the joint programmes offered by the institution.

A total of 459 joint programmes were identified in this study based on the results provided by the 22 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) consulted, all of them partner universities in one of the four European Universities Alliances that form part of the EDLab project (Arqus, ENLIGHT, EUTOPIA and SEA-EU).

The second stage was a screening exercise to indicate the degree of fulfilment of the proposed criteria for the European degree label manifested for those joint programmes leading to a degree. It was based on another survey which asked joint programme coordinators to apply the criteria to their programmes. It was launched on 14th June 2023 and closed on 6th July 2023. The survey covered both the minimum requirements and the optional criteria and was divided into two separate questionnaires, one with the criteria for programmes at EQF levels 6 and 7, and another with those for EQF level 8. 143 responses were received at EQF levels 6 and 7 from 19 HEIs, and 12 responses were received at EQF level 8 from 5 HEIs, leading to a total of 155 responses.

The detailed results of the mapping and screening exercise can be found in the report 2.1.

Mapping and screening existing joint programmes
Suitability of the proposed criteria

The next stage of the work carried out was to establish the initial (pre-screening) applicability and suitability of the criteria for a European degree label as proposed in the project call and their status as compulsory/optional criteria. This was done by means of a survey carried out in May 2023 which received 139 responses from 22 institutions in 10 European countries. The survey asked respondents to identify the level of suitability of each of the criteria and invited them to add observations and proposals for improvement.


A discussion paper was produced based on the results of the survey.

Analysis and recommendations on the criteria

The final part of the work carried out in WP2 is a report which includes a qualitative analysis of the sustainability of the criteria and identification of barriers and recommendations for ensuring the possible implementation of the European degree label in the future.


The report draws on information obtained from several sources, including a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews with stakeholders; the second EDLab workshop and the results of the three surveys carried out (see above).


Focus groups and interviews


A series of in‐depth interviews and focus groups were carried out by the 13 partner HEIs in theEDLab project between 15th September and 30th November 2023. The target group for interviewees included joint programme coordinators, students and alumni, and senior management within the consortium institutions and beyond (QAAs, national authorities, associated partner universities). Each partner HEI was responsible for selecting participants and organising the related interviews and focus groups, while the Ministries and QAAs were approached by the coordinating partner university at national level for the four EDLab target countries (University of Granada – Spain; Nova University Lisbon – Portugal; University ofPadua – Italy and Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University ‐ France). The purpose of these encounters was to analyse the results of the screening procedure and surveys, gather feedback on the format of the criteria and identify barriers to their fulfilment. These interviews and focus groups were based on a guiding document prepared within WP2 to provide a common baseline for all the interviews and focus groups. The guiding document drew on the results reported in deliverables D2.1 and D2.2. A template for reporting the conclusions of each interview and focus group was also prepared. A total of 52 reports were received, corresponding to 30 in‐depth interviews and 22 focus groups with 115 interviewees.

Focus groups: Interviews guidelines

Focus groups: Interviews report template


2nd EDLab Workshop


Part of the 2nd EDLab Workshop held at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona on 11-12th January 2024. The discussions held during the workshop led to the adoption by the EDLab project team of some general considerations on key aspects related to the European degree label. These considerations have shaped the decisions taken regarding our recommendations for the criteria and the initial version of the accompanying guidelines that has been developed.


Our recommendations, along with our rationale for adopting them and a first draft version of the guidelines to accompany the criteria can be found in the final WP2 report, along with a glossary of terms which, during the work carried out in WP2, have been misunderstood, interpreted in different ways by different people, or refer to procedures or entities that are unfamiliar to some stakeholders. Finally, some considerations are offered with regard to the existing barriers to applying the criteria to joint programmes.


Analysis and Recommendations on the criteria

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