X Added Value of a Multilateral Convention
The Group compared the general principles and good practices of multilateral conventions that have created favourable policy atmospheres for student mobility. An example is the European Bologna Process, which created the European Higher EducationArea. The development of tools such as the Diploma Supplement, introduced by UNESCO and adopted in the Lisbon Convention, is one such example of how multilateral conventions assist Member States to participate fully in the process.
X Regional Specificity
The Group also recommended that UNESCO Bangkok maintain regional diversity during the revision process.
The Group discussed regional convention principles, such as having access to an appropriate organisation or body for an assessment of an individual’s qualifications. There should not be discrimination on any grounds in processes for the assessment of qualifications. All education institutions with government accreditation should provide accurate information for the purpose of assessing qualifications. Asia-Pacific countries should agree to provide adequate and clear information about their education systems.
Moreover, the Group suggested that the recognition principles should be more acceptable for countries to adopt and use – comprehensive and specific with concrete codes of good practice (e.g. development of criteria and procedures for recognition).
The Group called for the full implementation and use of the UNESCO Diploma Supplement (DS) and for Member States to establish National Information Centres (NIC) for official information-sharing. The Group also underscored the need for participation in the Asia-Pacific Academic Recognition Network (APARNET) and the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN), and noted that this was key to the successful implementation of the Convention.
The body was informed that in the annual European Network of Information Centres ENIC meeting, members elect a president and two vice presidents to implement activities for the year with a secretariat to help. The bureau meets three times a year and creates committees to concentrate on specific areas (e.g. transnational education). Based on the work within these committees, ENIC- National Academic Recognition Information Centres in the European Union (NARIC) makes recommendations developed by the committees to the regional committees for their adoption.
The Working Group also noted the importance of having an assigned focal point because there is daily communication amongst the NICs and the training of focal points and people who are doing credential evaluation should be conducted, which can be undertaken by UNESCO.
Ninth Session of the Regional Committee