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The Group discussed the revision process. As an example, the Lisbon Convention took five years to re-write before being submitted to the diplomatic process and ratified. Eventually, the Bologna Process speeded up the Convention’s ratification.

The Philippines and Thailand implored that any change in the Convention would require a new ratification and, thus, would face great delay before gaining another parliamentary approval.

After a discussion about whether to take an alternative approach and attach an addendum to the Convention, the Group decided to push through with the revisions. Group members felt that there were too many developments in education that needed definite responses.

Additional Guidelines for Party States in Determining the Parameters and Criteria Requirements for the Recognition of Studies in Higher Education

X Establishment of a national information system across the Asia-Pacific region will be considered part of this Regional Convention.

X Appropriate representation in the Regional Convention meetings. It was suggested that the official invitation to Member States should be sent to the people in charge of academic recognition, and not just to the UNESO National Commission for continuity of the programme.

X There is also a need to utilize existing networks and high-level forums for speedy ratification of the Convention. As an example, high-level APEC meetings, Brisbane Communiqué, Boao Education Forum for Asia, and SEAMEO meetings could be tapped to promote mutual recognition.

X To promote better mobility of students and faculty, countries should also cooperate to address problems of visa issuances that may hinder mobility.

X APQN can contribute in the “how to” issues.

Aim of the Asia-Pacific Recognition Convention

The Group also elaborated further in regards to rationale for theAsia-Pacific Convention. Some insights from the participants included the promotion of international cooperation and exchanges; greater mobility of students and academics; employment in the region; removal of barriers such as visa and immigration requirements for students wanting to have further higher education and training; facilitatation of movement; expediting of mutual recognition, approval and accreditation systems; creation of standards for foreign providers; establishment of mechanisms to assist in detecting fraudulent qualifications; and the creation of general guidelines to improve the quality of higher education and to network quality assurance agencies in each country.

20

Ninth Session of the Regional Committee

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