UN treaty on qualifications recognition enters into force
Por Brendan O’Malley
The Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education came into force on Sunday 5 March, becoming the first legally binding United Nations instrument on higher education, fostering international mobility and opening up increased opportunities for students and qualification holders worldwide. It marks a decisive turning point on the road to more inclusive and equitable higher education and a world where students can easily move around and across borders to pursue their studies.
Adopted at the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019, the Global Convention complements the five UNESCO regional conventions on the recognition of higher education qualifications and is designed to strengthen international cooperation in higher education and foster trust and confidence in the quality and reliability of qualifications through the promotion of integrity and ethical practices.
The minimum required number of states ratifying the convention for it to come into force was met when the 19th and 20th states, Iceland and Andorra, deposited their instruments of ratification on 5 December 2022. Some big destination countries for students are among those that have signed up so far, including France, Japan, the United Kingdom and most recently Australia.
Passing the required number of ratifications is also a landmark achievement under UNESCO’s efforts to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda encapsulated in UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, led by Stefania Giannini, the most senior UN official in education. The former Italian minister for education, universities and research has been UNESCO’s assistant director-general for education for the past five years.
A specified objective of the convention is to “promote, through the recognition of qualifications, inclusive and equitable access to quality higher education and support lifelong learning opportunities for all, including refugees and displaced persons”.
University World News spoke to Giannini about the impact the Global Convention will have in providing a framework for achieving fair, transparent recognition of higher education qualifications across borders and the difference that will make to higher education worldwide.
Read full interview in University World News. The Global Window on Higher Education