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

Activities Japan Overseas

The Fourth Session of the Tokyo Convention Committee was held online in conjunction with the Second Plenary of the Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC) from 30 November to 2 December 2022. NIC-Japan participated in the meetings 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 co-hosted by China, the President of the Bureau, and UNESCO Bangkok, and were held also in conjunction with the 17th Session of the Committee of the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific, the predecessor of the Tokyo Convention. Participants included State Parties to the Conventions and non-State Parties from Southeast Asia and Central Asia. In total, there were more than 100 delegates from 24 countries.

At the Committee meeting, UNESCO Bangkok reported the progress made since the last meeting, including an increase in the number of countries coming closer to ratifying the Convention, information shared among the regional conventions through meetings and workshops, and capacity building activities regarding recognition of qualifications in Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and other countries.

Moreover, presentations were made by State Parties on the roles and objectives of the Committee and APNNIC in implementing the Tokyo Convention, and on the connection between the Tokyo Convention and the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education, which is expected to enter into force in 2023, enhancing common understanding among the State Parties.

At the APNNIC plenary, during the session on developing and strengthening APNNIC, China, Mongolia, and Korea shared how their NIC models operate. In China, three institutions involved in the recognition of degrees and academic credentials are undertaking the role of NIC, and the digitalization of qualification recognition is progressing significantly, partly due to the spread of COVID-19. Mongolia has officially established its NIC in July 2022. In Korea, policy on the criteria for courses that can award degrees through online studies only have been established, and new initiatives for qualification recognition for refugees are underway. Participants asked questions and raised issues, and a lively exchange of information took place.

In a panel session introducing the efforts of State Parties toward fair recognition of micro-credentials, Australia introduced the practical guidelines defining micro-credentials and establishment of digital platforms for micro-credentials, and Prof. Mori, the Executive Director of NIC-Japan, spoke as one of the panelists, presenting her views on the categorization of micro-credential in Japan and its relation to the national qualification frameworks.

At the end of the meeting, the next Bureau of the Committee and APNNIC was elected, and it was confirmed that the activities will continue under the leadership of Australia as the new president.

Related Websites:
▶ Report of the Meeting (Link to UNESCO Bangkok website)