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Dec. 07, 2020 Parties to the Tokyo Convention issued a statement on confronting COVID-19

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On November 11, 2020, a statement “Confronting COVID-19 by strengthening cooperation in qualifications recognition in the Asia-Pacific and beyond” by the State Parties to the Tokyo Convention was released.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented, wide-ranging and significant disruption to education, training and international mobility. Learning, teaching and work around the world have rapidly moved to remote forms, utilizing advances in technology and flexible approaches to ensure education continuity and to maintain quality outcomes. However, low- and lower-middle-income countries have not been able to provide specific support for vulnerable learners at risk of exclusion. In the Asia and Pacific region, more than 752 million learners, representing more than 85 per cent of the total student population, have been affected by temporary closure of schools.

Addressing these concerns, the State Parties to the Tokyo Convention confirmed in the statement that “the 2020s must not become a decade of lost opportunity for cross-border higher education.” They shared commitments to “protecting the rights of an individual to have their studies and qualifications recognized and/or assessed fairly and transparently, including those using non-traditional modes such as online and blended learning,” “strengthening information sharing and provision on qualifications and education systems amongst Parties, National Information Centers (NICs) and through the Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC),” and “sharing updated information and experiences about online learning and teaching, quality assurance arrangements, and recognition approaches and practices.”

The statement reiterates the role and value of the Tokyo Convention to minimize further disruption to all students and graduates through fair and transparent recognition of studies and qualifications.

Related links:

▶ News on UNESCO Bangkok website

▶ Full Statement on COVID-19 by Parties to the Tokyo Convention (UNESDOC Digital Library)

▶ Tokyo Convention parties want online learning recognized (University World News)

▶ What is the Tokyo Convention?