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Tenth Session of the Regional Committee Meeting for the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific

Manila, Philippines. May 6−8, 2009

Since 1975, UNESCO has initiated six regional conventions on mutual recognition of degrees, diplomas and studies in Latin America and the Caribbean (1975), in the Mediterranean States (1976), the Arab States (1978), Europe (1979), Africa (1981), Asia and the Pacific (1983). These regional conventions are legally binding instruments which aim at promoting and facilitation academic mobility. At present, more than 130 countries have ratified one or more of the six regional conventions.

In recent years, there have been significant shifts in higher education development with an accrued focus of the international community on quality assurance and accreditation, as well as increased acknowledgement of the importance of a fair recognition of qualifications in a more globalized world.

To respond to new developments in higher education, a number of these regional conventions have either undergone or is undergoing revision. The 1979 Europe Convention was the first one to be revised resulting in the 1997 Lisbon Recognition Convention. Currently, the 1981 Arusha Convention in Africa, the 1978 Arab States Convention, as well as the 1983 Asia‐Pacific Regional Convention are undergoing revision.

The Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific was adopted in Bangkok in 1983. A total of 21 countries have ratified the regional convention and the most recently one being Indonesia which ratified in October 2007. Since adoption of the Convention, the Regional Committee has been meeting bi‐annually and examining periodic reports from state‐parties on the progress and difficulties in applying the Convention. At the 8th Session of the Regional Committee which was held in Kunming, China in 2005, it was agreed that a working group should be formed to revise or amend some parts of the Convention taking into account the many challenges of cross‐border education.

Since then a Working Group has been established to work on the draft of the revised Convention through on‐line discussion and face‐to‐face meetings which were held in conjunction with the 9th Session of the Regional Committee Meeting in Republic of Korea, in May, 2007 and in Bangkok, Thailand in April, 2008. Finally the Working Group has produced a draft of the revised Regional Convention.

Now on the invitation from the Commission of Higher Education, Philippines to host the Tenth Session, the Meeting was held in Manila, Philippines. The Tenth Session focussed on the finalizing the draft ofhe revised of Convention and discussion on the future plan and strategy to proceed with the revision process.

Meeting Documents


Recognition  of  Higher  Education  Qualifications  in  the  Asia-­Pacific Workshop

At a meeting of Asia-Pacific Education Ministers hosted by Australia in 2006, ministers and senior officials representing 27 countries met to discuss actions to strengthen relations in the broader Asia-Pacific region and to increase the international mobility of students and academics, concluding in the release of the Brisbane Communiqué 2006.

The Ministers agreed to collaborate on a number of issues, including quality assurance frameworks for the region linked to international standards; recognition of educational and professional qualifications; common competency-based standards for teachers, particularly in science and mathematics; and development of means to recognise common technical skills across the region. Further information on this meeting can be found at

To facilitate the progress of quality assurance frameworks in the region, a workshop was held in Chiba, Japan in February 2008 to develop a set of quality assurance principles, available at, in conjunction with the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Quality Assurance Network.

To further recognise educational and professional qualifications in the region, a regional meeting and workshop was held (6-7 May, 2009) in conjunction with the 10th Session of the Regional Committee Meeting for the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas, and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific (8 May 2009), in Manila, Philippines.  The workshop was co-organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Bangkok, Thailand; the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines and the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

Meeting Objectives:
The objectives of the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications in the Asia-Pacific Region Workshop were to address the issues of regional qualification recognition, development of national qualification frameworks (including the concept of a regional framework) and quality assurance. To achieve this, simultaneous workshop were held to address the recommendations from the scoping study, Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications across the Brisbane Communiqué Region, developed through the 2006 Asia-Pacific Education Minister’s meeting,

Those recommendations were:

  • Establish National Information Centres
  • Build regional capacity
  • Promote regional awareness and cooperation
  • Support the development of national qualification frameworks


Workshop Documents


Opening Ceremony

  • Gwang-jo Kim, Director UNESCO Bangkok
    Opening Remarks (pdf, 280kb)

  • Nona S. Ricafort, Commissioner, CHED and Chairperson, 10th Regional Committee Meeting on the Recognition of Degrees, Diplomas and Studies in Higher Education
    Opening Address (pdf, 430kb)

  • Molly Lee, APEID Co-ordinator, UNESCO Bangkok
    Welcome Address (pdf, 270kb)

  • H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
    Keynote Address (pdf, 390kb)


Plenary Presentations


Closing Ceremony

  • Preciosa S. Soliven, Secretary General, UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines
    Closing Remarks (pdf, 460kb)