Impact of Brexit for DBA programs

General questions
  • Posted by Tobias on 09/11/18 4:44pm


    I am currently looking into different DBA programs that seem suitable to me (in terms of cost, general structure, renowned university etc.).

    However, some very basic questions keep me busy at the moment: How could the upcoming Brexit impact DBA programs? How will DBA degrees of british universities be recognized in Germany once GB is not part of the EU (or even not part of EWR anymore) anymore? How will this affect the legal acceptance of the dregree itself (still a "Dr."?)

    At the moment it somehow prevents me from applying for a DBA program since I just feel too uncertain about what is going to happen in the near future.

    What is your personal opinion (and explanation) on how this all will evolve over the next couple of months?


  • Posted by thomas.graf on 09/12/18 11:38am

    Hi Tobias,

    as to my best knowledge, German institutions accept a foreign degree if this degree is officially recognized in the state of the institution that grants the degree.

    If, for instance, a country such as England officialy recognizes a degree from an institution in that country - this is the case for all state universities, for example - then German institutions recognize the degree as well.

    This procedure seems to be independent of whether the respective country belongs to the European Union or not. Therefore, the Brexit should not affect the recognition of a DBA in Germany as long as the degree has been granted from an insitution officially recognized in the UK.

    If you want to double-check, please contact the KMK - just send and email and they will certainly answer.

    Best wishes,
    Thomas from the DBA Compass

    By Thomas Graf

  • Posted by Tobias on 09/12/18 1:29pm

    Hi Thomas,

    thanks for your answer. I agree to what you said. However, I think we have to differentiate between the recognition of the degree itself and the way the holder of the degree is allowed to use the academic degree according to legal restrictions.

    I did some research and here are my results:

    According to the decision of the KMK from 2000 and 2001, foreign university degrees may be awarded in the form in which they were awarded as well as by stating the awarding university. The only prerequisite for this is that the degree has been awarded by a higher education institution recognised in the country of origin and on the basis of a higher education degree recognised there following a successful examination.

    This is basically what you just explained.

    Moreover, higher education degrees from member states of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), the European University Institute of Florence and the Pontifical Institutes of Higher Education in Florence, on the other hand, can be awarded without a designation of origin. Doctoral degrees from these countries can even be carried on your business card as a normal "Dr." without any further additions.

    As a consequence of the Brexit the following seems to be reasonable:

    If the Brexit not only results in withdrawal from the EU, but also in withdrawal from the EEA, the academic degrees of British universities no longer fall within the scope of the exceptions to simplified management. Whether withdrawal from the EU inevitably results in withdrawal from the EEA is not uniformly answered in jurisprudence. The British government around Theresa May seems to assume this in any case, so that it is probably discussed in the context of the withdrawal negotiations.

    Should the Brexit be accompanied by an EEA withdrawal of the British, the addition in brackets would become due (e.g. DBA (London)).

    On the other hand, the different management of a British doctorate would be much more noticeable. Instead of the previous "Dr." without an addition, only the "Ph.D. (London School of Economics)" would be permissible. Also the registration in the identity card or passport would then no longer be possible, since according to the jurisdiction of the Federal Administrative Court (Urt. v. 13.12.1988, Az. 1 C 54/86) this is only permissible, as far as the title may be used without addition.

    This brings me to the following conclusion, assuming that GB will leave EU and EEA:

    • The degree itself is still recognized as a doctoral degree
    • However, you would not be able to simply use "DBA" or "Dr." anymore as long as there is no special agreement between EU and GB

    Do you agree with that?


    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 10/02/18 10:49am

      Dear Tobias,

      I finally received an answer from the KMK and it looks as if you are right.

      "Die Führung eines ausländischen Doktorgrades in der Form .Dr." ist in Deutschland generell nicht möglich. Ausnahmen hiervon sind jedoch in den "Begünstigenden Regelungen zur Führung ausländischer
      Hochschulgrade" ( Beschluesse der KMKl20150626 KMK-Beschluss Beguenstigende Regelungen.pdf) definiert. So können z.B. Doktorgrade aus Mitgliedstaaten der EU unter den dort formulierten Bedingungen in Deutschland in der Form .Dr." geführt werden.

      Ohne Austrittsabkommen, Übergangsfristen oder anderen Regelungen, welche die Gradführung betreffen, träfen die Bestimmungen der begünstigenden Regelungen zur Gradführung nicht mehr auf britische Hochschulgrade zu, da GB dann weder Mitglied der EU noch des EWR sein wird. Britische Grade, die nach dem Austritt erworben werden, könnten dann nur noch in ihrer Originalform bzw. gebräuchlichen Abkürzung inkl. Herkunftsbezeichnung in Deutschland geführt werden. Nur, ob es dazu kommt, ist derzeit nicht absehbar."

      Best regards,

      By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by thomas.graf on 01/31/19 12:08pm

      Hi Tobias,

      please have a look at mour new article published today on the DBA, the Dr, and the Brexit.

      Best regards,

      By Thomas Graf
      Author of the MIM eBook

  • Posted by Amin on 09/22/18 7:16am

    Hi Tobias,

    I'm in the same situation like you. I had a few British Universities in mind for a DBA program but with the upcoming Brexit I'm likely deciding for MSM now (Maastricht School of Management). I'm interested to hear your opinion about MSM.


  • Posted by Tobias on 10/20/19 11:20am

    Hi all,

    there is some news on that:

    Overall, I think that's very good news for everyone thinking about a DBA.