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International Cooperation

Diploma Supplement (DS)

The Diploma Supplement (Diploma Supplement - DS) is a certification attached to a higher education diploma describing the nature, the level, the context and the status of the studies successfully completed. Furthermore the Diploma Supplement provides transparency as well as facilitates the academic and professional recognition of the qualifications.

The Trieste Music Conservatory issues to every student the Diploma Supplement, automatically and free of charge, as a supplement to the diploma of each academic degree under the new system. It contains the main information about the curriculum accomplished in order to achieve the qualification. Moreover the certification is in Italian and English, in accordance with the international form implemented by the Italian legislation.

Example 1

Example 2

The Music Conservatory Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste was awarded the "DS Label 2009-2013" by the European Union.

This award - granted to European academic institutions such as universities, academies and conservatories - will allow the students of the Tartini Music Conservatory to be given the recognition of the musical studies accomplished in Trieste, wherever they choose to carry on their further education and or carry out their occupation.

The "DS label" is an honorary award given by the European Agency- says the director Massimo Parovel- In short it means that the final certification issued by the Tartini Music Conservatory to all the students who have attended to the advanced courses under the new system, three-year and two years, is complete, consistent and compliant with the European standards. This makes it possible a full recognition of the document for the continuation of studies as well as the professional marketability in all the European institutions, according to the ECTS system of accumulation and recognition of credits. Hence the Conservatory will be able to boast this award, which is a fundamental guarantee for our students  enrolled in the new system and a further, important reason to apply for the Trieste Music Conservatory, also for foreign students."

The award ceremony was held on 11 June  2009, in Brussels.  Jan Figel, of the European Commission, and Odile Quintin, the General Director of the Education and Culture sector of the European Union, who are the leading authorities in the field of the European Culture, attended to it.


 The Diploma Supplement and the Bologna Process

The idea of the Diploma Supplement (DS)  belongs to a project supported by the Intergovernmental European Regional Committee of UNESCO in 1986, with the aim of improving the international recognition of the academic qualifications.

An explicit commitment to the adoption of the DS was expressed at the Lisbon Convention (Council of Europe - UNESCO. Convention about the recognition of the higher education qualifications in the European region - Lisbon, 11 April 1997).

The joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education, elaborated in Bologna in 1999 concerning the adoption of a common system of securities, mentions the DS as a crucial tool to facilitate the readability and comparability.

The commitment was reiterated in the subsequent meetings of the ministers up to the last one, which was held in Berlin in 2003. At that time the commitment was further refined: "The Ministers's aim is that every student, graduated since 2005, get automatically the Diploma Supplement, free of charge. The DS should be issued in a widely spoken European language. Furthermore they strongly recommend institutions and employers to boost the use of the DS. This in order to benefit from the improved transparency and flexibility in the system of the higher education's securities and promote the employability of all the graduates as well as to facilitate their academic recognition for further studies.


See the European Commission's website


The Diploma Supplement: form and contents

The DS is a supplementary certification of the official title achieved at the end of a course of studies at a university or another institution of higher education. The document provides a description of the nature, the level, the context, the content and the status of the studies successfully completed by the student according to a standardized 8-points form, which stems from the initiative of the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES.


1.Personal data identifiers

2. Information Identifying the qualification

3.Information on the level of the qualification ( cycle, official legth, access requirements

4.Information on the contents and results acquired

5.Information on the context in which the qualification is usable (access to further study, professional status)

6. additional information

7.Certification of the supplement

8. Information on the national higher educational system of the country where the qualification has been attributed.

The DS is a certification including only official data regarding the student's career, with the exception of discretional assessments, equivalence statements or suggestions about recognition.


The Diploma Supplement and the Italian legislation AFAM

The Presidential Decree 212/2005 realized the need to issue the qualifications in addition with the "Diploma Supplement" that corresponds to the form of the European Diploma Supplement: “ The institutions issue a certification as a supplement to the diploma of every qualification. According to the forms acquired by the European countries, the document attests the main references concerning the curriculum attended by the student to obtain his qualification (article 10/5). 


The Diploma supplement and the mobility

An increasing number of students, graduates, professionals, citizens move among between different countries asking for adequate recognition of their qualifications. The only original certification does not provide sufficient information and it is extremely difficult to assess the level and the content of a qualification without any adequate and detailed information. There are many barriers to the recognition such as:

- the general lack of accurate information

- the terminology not easy to understand

- the possible misunderstanding of the foreign qualifications

- Prejudices against unknown titles

The DS makes the qualifications more "transparent" integrating it with the description of the curriculum effectively accomplished as well as the information on the national higher educational system according to a common shape. Moreover it follows the increasingly rapid evolution of the qualifications, valuing the contents of the new educational offer of universities and their autonomy as well. It promotes the students' mobility, their access to further studies and lifelong learning. And it facilitates the knowledge and the evaluation of the new academic qualifications by the employers. What is more, it makes easier the academic and professional recognition of the Italian qualifications abroad and the free international circulation of our graduates.