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UNESCO's Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education

Timeline of the Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education

Timeline-of-UNESCO-conventions_EN_paint20210501_1604x1090

Regional Conventions

With the increasing global mobility in higher education since the1970s, UNESCO has adopted and effectuated the six regional conventions taking the regional nature of higher education into consideration. The six conventions, concerning the importance of recognizing learning experience equally and fairly in another State, aim to promote recognition of higher education qualification (including qualifications for admission, diplomas, degrees and certificates). The revision process of these conventions has taken place since the late 1990s. As of May 1 2021, 122 States have ratified one or more of these regional conventions, with more than half of the States ratifying multiple conventions.

Note: Convention titles in Japanese are listed only for those translated and published by the MEXT. (As of 1 May 2021)
Region Convention Title City of Adoption Date of Adoption Date of Entry into Force (Stipulating Article) Number of State Parties
Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean Mexico City 19 July 1974 14 June 1975
(Article 17)
19
Latin America and the Caribbean
(revised convention)
Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean Buenos Aires 13 July 2019 Not yet
(Article V.2)
2
States Bordering on the Mediterranean Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the Arab and European States Bordering on the Mediterranean Nice 17 December 1976 6 March 1978
(Article 18)
12
Arab States Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the Arab States Paris 22 December 1978 7 August 1981
(Article 18)
14
European Region Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe Region Paris 21 December 1979 19 February 1982
(Article 18)
46
European Region
(revised convention)
Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region Lisbon 5 December 1997 1 February 1999
(Article XI.2)
54
African States Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in the African States Arusha 5 December 1981 1 January 1983
(Article 18)
23
African States
(revised convention)
Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States Addis Ababa 12 December 2014 15 December 2019
(Article V.2)
12
Asia and the Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific
アジア太平洋地域における高等教育の学業、卒業証書及び学位の認定に関する地域条約(仮訳)
Bangkok 16 December 1983 23 December 1985
(Article 18)
21
Asia and the Pacific
(revised convention)
Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education
高等教育の資格の承認に関するアジア太平洋地域規約(和文テキスト[訳文])
Tokyo 26 November 2011 1 February 2018
(Article X.2)
12

Links to Related Websites

  1. ユネスコにおける高等教育の資格の承認に関する規約について (MEXT website)
  2. Conventions and recommendations in higher education (UNESCO website)

Global Convention

In response to further acceleration of globalization, the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education was adopted at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference on November 25, 2019. The Global Convention provides an inclusive global framework for the recognition of qualifications in higher education, and it aims to facilitate global mobility in higher education as well as to promote and strengthen international cooperation. While the Tokyo Convention and the Global Convention are mutually complementary and have many similarities, new provisions such as recognition of 'prior learning' and 'partial recognition' are included in the Global Convention. It requires 20 State Parties for the Global Convention to enter into force, and there are two State Parties (Norway and Nicaragua) as of May 1, 2021.

Note: Convention titles in Japanese are listed only for those translated and published by the MEXT. (As of 1 May 2021) 
Region Convention Title City of Adoption Date of Adoption Date of Entry into Force (Stipulating Article) Number of State Parties
Global Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education
高等教育の資格の承認に関する世界規約
Paris 25 November   2019 Not yet (Article XVIII) 2

Links to Related Websites and Leaflets

  1. Recognition of higher education qualifications (UNESCO website)
  2. Global Convention (APNNIC website)
  3. What is the Global Convention on Higher Education? (7 November 2019, UNESCO website)
  4. Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education (UNESCO website)
  5. Global Convention leaflet (Downloadable from UNESCO website)
  6. A practical guide to recognition: implementing the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education (Downloadable from UNESCO website)