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V. Seminar on Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area

The “Seminar on Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area” started with an introduction provided by Dr. Han Shin-Il. Resource speakers included: Dr. Yves Beaudin, Ms. Margaret Proctor, Dr. Goolam Mohamedbhai, Mr. Yao Wang, Ms. Stamenka Uvalic- Trumvic and Mr. Tony Davies.

Bologna Process, Lisbon Recognition Convention 1997 and International Cooperation

Yves Beaudin

President of the UNESCO European Region’s Network of National Information Centres (ENIC) and National Coordinator of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CCIC), at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)

Mr. Beaudin presented the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention) as an example of a ‘new generation’ of conventions on recognition, and commented on the European Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Throughout his presentation, he emphasized the crucial importance of international exchange and networking amongst national information centres in the recognition of diplomas, degrees and studies in higher education.

He discussed the main objectives of the European Bologna process and commented on a few decisions taken during the Bologna London Ministerial meeting held from 17-18 May 2007, which have a direct impact on recognition of degrees. He indicated that the European ministers responsible for higher education felt that the range of national and institutional approaches regarding recognition needed to be more coherent, and that the European National Information Centres (ENIC) had been invited to spread good practice. The European ministers had also invited the Bologna participants to increase their sharing of recognition practices and to work towards a common understanding of higher education’s role in lifelong learning. They had asked that proposals be developed to improve the recognition of prior learning. The Ministers also asked national information centres and other recognition authorities to assess qualifications from other parts of the world with the same open mind with which they would expect European qualifications to be assessed elsewhere, and to base this recognition on the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention. They also called upon enhanced inter-regional networking and cooperation, and reflected on the European Higher Education Area concept in the global context.

Beaudin reminded the participants that the UNESCO European regional convention was the first of six conventions to be revised, and has been known since 1997 as the Joint Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in

Ninth Session of the Regional Committee 23

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