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The Tokyo Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education and NIC Network of the Asia-Pacific Region (APNNIC)

What is the Tokyo Convention?

The Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (known as the "Tokyo Convention") aims to facilitate international mobility of students and academics in higher education in the Asia-Pacific region by setting a framework of collaboration amongst the State Parties on mutual and fair recognition of higher education. The Parties should take adequate measures for the development and maintenance of national information centers (NIC) that will provide higher education information of the respective country (Article VIII.3). Japan acceded in December 2017, and the Convention entered into force in February 2018.

As of May 1, 2021, there are 12 State Parties to the Convention: Australia, China, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Holy See, Mongolia, Turkey, Fiji, Russian Federation, Afghanistan, and Armenia (in chronological order).

State Parties of the Tokyo Convention(As of April 1, 2021)

States Date of Deposit of Instrument Type of Instrument National Information Centre (NIC)
Australia/オーストラリア 2014 JUL 17 Ratification/批准 Australian Government Department of Education
China/中国 2014 JUL 17 Approval/承認 China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC)
Overseas Academic Credential Evaluation Center, Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE)
China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC)
New Zealand/ニュージーランド 2017 AUG 1 Accession/加入 The New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA)
National Education Information Centre (NEIC)
Japan/日本 2017 DEC 6 Accession/加入 高等教育資格承認情報センター
National Information Center for Academic Recognition Japan
(NIC-Japan)
Republic of Korea/韓国 2017 DEC 19 Ratification/批准 Korea Academic Recognition Information Center (KARIC)
Holy See/バチカン 2018 JUL 18 Ratification/批准 Congregazione per l'Educazione Cattolica
Mongolia/モンゴル 2019 MAR 19 Approval/承認 Mongolian National Council for Education Accreditation (MNCEA)
Turkey/トルコ 2019 APR 3 Accession/加入 Council of Higher Education/Department of Recognition and Equivalence Services - ENIC-NARIC Turkey
Fiji/フィジー 2020 AUG 27
(enter into force on 2020 OCT 1)
Accession/加入 Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC)
Russian Federation/ロシア 2020 NOV 27
(enter into force on 2021 JAN 1)
Accession/加入 Main State Center for Education Evaluation
Afghanistan/アフガニスタン 2020 DEC 7
(enter into force on 2021 FEB 1)
Accession/加入 Foreign Document Evaluation and Equivalence Directorate
Armenia/アルメニア (enter into force on 2021 MAY 1)   Armenian National Information Center for Academic Recognition and Mobility (ARMENIC)

 Secretariat  UNESCO Bangkok, the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education

Background and Progress of the Tokyo Convention

2020.11.11 Published "Confronting COVID-19 by strengthening cooperation in qualifications recognition in the Asia-Pacific and beyond: statement on COVID-19 by Parties to the Tokyo Convention"
2019.9.19 The second session of the Tokyo Convention Committee was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
2018.10.18 The first session of the Tokyo Convention Committee was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2018.2.1 The Convention came into force after having been ratified by the required five Member States.
2011.11.26 The 1983 Bangkok Convention was updated and the revised convention was adopted at an International Conference of States in Tokyo, Japan.
1993.11.13 UNESCO Recommendation on the Recognition of Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education was adopted at the twenty-seventh session of the General Conference of the UNESCO meeting in Paris.
1983.12.16 Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific was adopted in Bangkok.

APNNIC: Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres

The Tokyo Convention stipulates that "a network of national information centres on academic mobility and recognition shall be established and shall uphold and assist the practical implementation of this Convention by the competent recognition authorities" (Article IX.3), in addition to the establishment of the Committee which oversees, promotes and facilitates the implementation of the Convention (Article IX.1). In accordance with this Article, the Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres (APNNIC) was established at the Second Session of the Tokyo Convention Committee in September 2019. The State Parties signed the inaugural statement at the launch ceremony, and NIC-Japan has joined the network representing Japan.

In November 2020, the APNNIC portal, which provides free and authoritative information on the recognition of qualifications to help facilitate physical or virtual mobility of students and academics, was launched and a virtual launch meeting was held online. The main menu includes: the outline of the Tokyo Convention and APNNIC; education systems of the State Parties (including higher education qualifications, statistics, quality assurance of higher education, links to lists of higher education institutions, and student mobility trends and policies); news and events; and outline of other regional and global conventions.

Related News and Websites

  1. APNNIC Portal
  2. Building capacity for evidence-informed policies in higher education (UNESCO Bangkok, February 4, 2021)
  3. Virtual Launch of the APNNIC Portal (CHESICC, November 18, 2020)
  4. Promoting fair recognition of qualifications in Asia-Pacific (UNESCO Bangkok, October 12, 2020)