The principle that there is no automatic recognition of qualifications in due respect to the sovereignty, autonomy and legislative framework and requirements of state parties should be recognized.
The Working Group decisively stated that any revision of the Asia-Pacific convention must lead to better practice in recognition of qualifications (used in daily work of the competent authority).
Quality Assurance and Mutual Recognition
The Working Group discussed the need to include international quality assurance and accreditation practices (standards, norms and procedures) to promote better recognition. It recognized the efforts of most countries that are already developing their own accreditation systems. The inclusion of accreditation and quality assurance systems in the Convention would help propel States towards developing their own systems and building their capacity through various mechanisms such as APQN accreditation system.
Australia indicated apprehension about establishing a link between recognition and quality assurance because it could discourage countries without quality assurance systems from ratifying the Convention.
The Group arrived at a consensus that quality assurance is a prerequisite for signatory countries to participate fully in the recognition of qualification frameworks.
UNESCO-OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education as a Subsidiary to the Regional Convention
The UNESCO-OECD Guidelines is already used in bilateral agreement negotiations in some countries, especially with Australia and other European countries. With this development, the UNESCO-OECD Guidelines in Cross-border Higher Education may be included as a subsidiary to the Regional Convention. The Guidelines provides a platform for dialogue between receiving and sending countries. It also provides good practice on transnational education, and is a subsidiary to the Lisbon Convention. The Guidelines puts a stronger emphasis on respect for both receiving and sending countries’ cultural diversity.
Alignment of the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention to Other Regional Conventions
Australia noted the importance of aligning the Asia-Pacific convention with the Lisbon Convention by recognizing the latter’s success. However, China and other countries believed that the Lisbon Convention was tailored to the European region. They believed that it may not be best to align the two conventions. Nepal and Lao PDR believed that the Asia-Pacific structure, terminology, and contents had regional specificity. They suggested that the Diploma Supplement could be treated as an addendum to the recognition.
Ninth Session of the Regional Committee