The Third Session of the Tokyo Convention Committee held in conjunction with the First Plenary of the Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC)

Activities Japan Overseas

The Third Session of the Tokyo Convention Committee was held online in conjunction with the First Plenary of the Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC) from 14th (Thursday) to 15th (Friday) October 2021. NIC-Japan participated in the meeting as a member of APNNIC.

The Tokyo Convention Committee is the body composed of representatives of the Parties to the "Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (known as the Tokyo Convention)" to oversee, promote, and facilitate the implementation of the Tokyo Convention. The Committee meeting will be held annually for five years from the first meeting held within a year of the entry into force of the Convention, and at least every three years thereafter. (Articles 9.1, 9.2)
APNNIC is a network of national information centers (NICs) established under the Tokyo Convention to uphold and assist the practical implementation of the Convention, and it shall meet annually in plenary session. (Article 9.3)

Both meetings were originally scheduled to be held in Kanazawa in October 2020, hosted by Japan. However, they had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are now held online. The Committee meeting was chaired by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan, and the APNNIC plenary was chaired by Dr. Hotta, the Executive Director of NIC-Japan.
Participants included State Parties to the Convention and non-State Parties from Southeast Asia and Central Asia. In total, there were about 70 attendants from 19 states.

At the Committee meeting, UNESCO Bangkok reported the progress made since the Tokyo Convention entered into force, including new ratifications to the Convention, information shared closely despite remote work environments, cooperation with networks in the European region (ENIC-NARIC), online seminars with Arab states, and capacity building activities in the Asian states.

Moreover, there were reports on the situation of each State Party regarding online and blended learning becoming widespread than ever before as a countermeasure against the spread of COVID-19. Issues related to quality assurance and efforts toward fair recognition of qualifications obtained through online and blended learning based on the Tokyo Convention and the Global Convention were discussed.

It was also reported that several states around the world are working towards ratification of the "Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education," and that it is becoming closer to entering into force.

At the plenary session of APNNIC, progress of the APNNIC since its establishment was reported including launch of the APNNIC portal website, and a lively discussion took place regarding future activities and proposals for further development of the network.

The next Bureau of the Committee and APNNIC (appointment from October 2021 through late 2022) was elected at the end of each meeting, and it was confirmed that the activities will continue under the leadership of China as the new president.