In their 2003 Berlin meeting, the Ministers of Education of the member and candidate countries of the European Union set the objective that starting from 2005 students graduating from institutions of higher education should receive a Diploma Supplement.1 This document is to be issued in a widely spoken European language and provided free of charge.
Bilkent University started issuing a Diploma Supplement in English along with each diploma in the 2005-2006 academic year. This document is provided free of charge with all associate, bachelors and masters level diplomas.
The full use of the Diploma Supplement by institutions and employers is encouraged as “it provides the advantage of improved transparency and flexibility of the higher education degree systems, for fostering employability and facilitating academic recognition for further studies.”1
The Diploma Supplement is a standardized document with eight sections. Its preamble states the following:
The Diploma Supplement follows the model developed by the European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO-CEPES. The purpose of the supplement is to provide sufficient independent data to improve the international “transparency” and fair academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates, etc.). It is designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the individual named on the original qualification to which this supplement is appended. It should be free from any valuejudgments, equivalence statements or suggestions about recognition. Information in all sections should be provided. Where information is not provided, an explanation should give the reason why.
The Diploma Supplement is produced according to a template that has been developed and tested by the European Commission, the European Council, and UNESCO-CEPES. This template forms the basis for the one adopted by the Higher Education Council of Turkey and is used by Bilkent University.
Diploma Supplement Samples
1. Berlin Communiqué of Ministers responsible for Higher Education, September 2003 (Bologna Process)