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Promotion of Academic Mobility

In the past decade the field of higher education in Asia and the Pacific region has changed and expanded rapidly – become more dynamic, diverse and complex with more and more private and foreign providers entering the field. At the same time, the region has also seen a significant and sharp increase in intra-regional student exchange with China, South Korea and Japan emerging as popular education destinations as well as the biggest senders of students.

Although these are positive trends and changes that contribute to increased regional solidarity, integration and development, they also make assessment of quality, accreditation and the recognition of qualifications increasingly difficult and complicated.

The Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (the AP Convention) is one of six UNESCO Conventions that promote the mutual recognition of studies, diplomas and degrees in higher education that aim to encourage greater academic mobility, quality assurance and availability of information on higher education institutions in the region.

The AP Convention is an important tool in strengthening the region’s development potentials and enhancing the quality of cross-border higher education and is intended to function as a platform from which increased cooperation between countries and institutions in the region can take place.

The Higher Education Program at UNESCO Bangkok is working to increase awareness of the AP Convention and to help Member States move forward in the ratification process by facilitating dialogue and information sharing. This includes organising conferences, workshops and seminars at which Member States are given the opportunity to share issues, concerns and best practices.

In particular, APEID’s Higher Education Program is responsible for organising a regional committee meeting on the AP Convention every two years. You can read more about the 12th Session of this Committee here.

UNESCO Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications

With UNESCO’s initiative, six regional conventions on mutual recognition of studies, diplomas and degrees in higher education have been adopted since 1973. The conventions promote international cooperation in higher education and aim to reduce obstacles to the mobility of students by a mutual recognition of degrees and qualifications between the countries that have ratified them.

In recent years, many of the conventions have been updated to reflect the changing nature of Higher Education brought on by globalisation and the internationalisation of education. The work towards establishing a global convention is also under way.

You can read more about the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education here.