Reasons and/or requirements for establishing a qualification framework and quality assurance in the Asia-Pacific region include the following:
X The OECD/UNESCO Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education is pertinent to qualification recognition.
X A significant number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region have developed qualifications frameworks and quality assurance systems.
X National qualification frameworks are an essential step in qualification recognition.
X Some states do not have the mechanisms for recognising degrees through cross- border education and blended learning modes.
X There should be scope for countries to apply the principles of the Regional Convention to meet their own national circumstances.
He also emphasized that it is important to look at other regional conventions developed either before or since the drafting of the Asia-Pacific regional convention. Since there are already models for revised regional conventions, it is practicable to align regional conventions (in terms of structure, content and language use/terminology) with existing revised regional conventions. This alignment will help facilitate inter-regional transparency and portability. The most recent revision was made in 1997 in Europe - the Lisbon Convention. The Working Group can, thus, look at the revisions done for comparison and direction.
Davies mentioned that the Brisbane Process is a major initiative led by Australia that includes 52 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Its key goal is to remove barriers to student and academic mobility. Australia is pursuing the goal of an Asia-Pacific environment in which students can travel freely across the region, and professionals can work in different countries with their qualifications recognised. Davies informed the body that the development of the Brisbane Process and the review of the Regional Convention could complement each other. Thus, the review of the Regional Convention presents an ideal opportunity to develop a contemporary and effective legal framework that provides standards for the recognition of foreign qualifications.
Summary of Discussions on the Output of the Working Group
Based on the focused questions posed by Davies, the participants provided their comments, suggestions and recommendations for the revision of the Regional Convention as follows:
Ninth Session of the Regional Committee