D., physicist Carl Mc Bride (pictured left) decided to leave his native Britain to gain some research experience in Spain. To be eligible for permanent positions in Spain, scientists with foreign titles need to have their diplomas recognised as equivalent to Spanish ones, a process which, in the past, could take a very long time.All went well during his postdoc in Madrid--so well, in fact, that in a competition for an assistant professorship he ranked first. But, thanks to a nudge from the European Commission and a Spanish law passed last March, the process seems to have become much quicker and easier--although only time will tell whether the problem has been solved. After that, he says, "I had to develop my career, learn new techniques, and publish, and there were some very good people in Madrid." So in 2000, he started a postdoc in the Department of Chemical Physics at the (assistant professor) in his department in early 2004.
The process of matches foreign diplomas with Spanish ones and provides access to a university, whether to study or get a permanent job.
" Professional recognition," on the other hand, acknowledges the competence of degree holders to practice a profession in Spain and is usually required outside of universities.
Since arriving in Spain, says Mc Bride, he has "tried twice to get through the process of homologation." But before the new law, it was a complex process; in order to have a Ph. homologated, it was necessary to get preceding university degrees homologated first.
This involved gathering many certified documents and detailed information on the courses and having them translated into Spanish.
"The first time, I had to stop the process because they wanted documents that I could not obtain," says Mc Bride--documents that indicated the number of hours for each course and individual final-exam results.
Four years later, Mc Bride decided to give it another go, but that time "was a disaster as well," he says, because he didn't want to part with his diplomas."I didn’t wish to give them the originals, as they keep them for a long time.Without them, I couldn’t apply for other opportunities.They then refused to even start the process." With no homologation in sight, Mc Bride decided to take the case to court, a procedure, he knew, that could take up to 3 years."At the same time, I was giving classes, as a doctor, in the very same university.On my university ID card, it says ‘doctor,’ and [the ID card] is signed by the vice-rector.