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Sep. 28, 2022 Japan Joins the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education

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On 13 September 2022, in Paris, Japan joined the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education (known as the “Global Convention”) by the Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO depositing its instrument of acceptance with the Director-General of UNESCO.

Since the 1970s, due to the rapid increase in the international mobility of students and researchers, UNESCO has adopted six regional conventions aimed at facilitating the recognition of higher education qualifications, recognizing the importance of equitable and fair treatment of learning experiences in other countries. Japan signed the Tokyo Convention for the Asia-Pacific region in 2017, which entered into force in 2018.

In response to the further development of globalization that 6 million students are studying abroad worldwide, the Global Convention was adopted at the 40th UNESCO General Conference in 2019 with the aim of achieving synergy in cooperation with these regional conventions. Starting with Norway in June 2020, states in Europe, Africa, Central America, and the Middle East have already ratified the Convention, with Japan being the 17th State Party and the first in the Asia-Pacific region. The Convention will enter into force three months after the deposit of the 20th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

The Global Convention not only establishes universal principles for fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory recognition of qualifications giving access to higher education, but also facilitates the recognition of qualifications earned by partial studies, prior learning, and non-traditional learning modes, as well as the recognition of refugees and displaced persons lacking documentary evidence.

Upon the Convention’s entry into force, NIC-Japan, as a National Information Center (NIC) under the Global Convention, will continue providing information contributing to the recognition of higher education qualifications and responding to inquiries, just as it does for the Tokyo Convention.

The Global Convention (excerpt)
Article VIII.3 Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national information centre or similar entities to provide access to relevant, accurate and up-to-date information about its higher-education system.

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<Related Pages>
UNESCO's Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education
The Tokyo Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education and NIC Network of the Asia-Pacific Region (APNNIC)