Attended the UK NARIC GlobalEd Forum


Staff members from the National Information Center for Academic Recognition Japan (NIC-Japan) attended the UK NARIC GlobalEd Forum, which was held in an online format from November 30 to December 10, 2020.

UK NARIC* is the UK's National Information Centre (NIC), which provides its members with information on the assessment of foreign qualifications and the education systems of over 200 countries worldwide. NIC-Japan has been a member of UK NARIC since 2014. In previous years, UK NARIC held its annual forum face-to-face. However, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 forum was held online. According to the organizers, approximately 17,000 people from 62 countries participated in the forum.

Experts from the United Kingdom, Australia, India, China, and other countries took the stage to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from their respective perspectives. Further, they addressed prospects concerning a wide range of topics related to the internationalization of education, including the recognition of foreign qualifications, cross-border education, and the recruitment of international students.

During the forum, experts commented that although the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis for the education sector, it also presents an opportunity to shift from face-to-face education to a new way of education using online technology. However, it was also stressed that for this change to be successful, qualifications obtained through so-called "non-traditional learning," such as online education, must be treated appropriately.

The need for the recognition of qualifications obtained through such non-traditional learning has been emphasized in the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (The Tokyo Convention) and related documents**. These aim to form a framework for the mutual recognition and assessment of higher education qualifications in the Asia-Pacific region. The importance of this issue was reaffirmed through the forum, especially regarding education during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-COVID-19 education.

(*) On March 1, 2021, the UK NARIC agency title has changed to UK ENIC.

(**) For instance, the Statement on COVID-19 by Parties to the Tokyo Convention compiled by UNESCO in November last year emphasizes the needs of education in the era of the new coronavirus. Specifically, it highlights the need to ensure that the studies and qualifications of students and graduates whose learning has been disrupted are recognized, including qualifications obtained through non-traditional modes such as online education.