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the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention). This convention has gradually replaced the 1979 European Region Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe Region.

The Lisbon Recognition Convention marked a shift of focus regarding recognition issues by putting forward basic principles that give more significant rights to applicants. In addition, through input from the ENIC networks, it contributed to a more professional approach to recognition by adopting an official Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications. Beaudin reminded meeting participants that one of the underlying principles of this revised convention is that tools for transparency are extremely important and that every effort should be made to grant recognition, unless substantial differences can be demonstrated. Finally, he informed the delegates that a recent challenge confronting the ENIC Network is to link recognition of qualifications to quality assurance and accreditation in conformity with the UNESCO/ OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education.

Beaudin concluded his remarks by suggesting to the group that as stated in the Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education inAsia and the Pacific [Section II. AIMS Article2 2.(c)] and other regional conventions, it is important to promote regional and worldwide co-operation in the matter of comparability and recognition or equivalence of studies and academic qualifications.

Brisbane Communiqué

Margaret Proctor

Director of Professional and International Recognition Unit Australian Education International (AIE) Department of Education, Science and Training (DESD) Canberra, Australia

Ms. Proctor presented the Brisbane Communiqué. She related that education ministers and senior officials of 27 countries had attended the meeting onApril 2006 that produced the Brisbane Communiqué. The Communiqué seeks to address the accelerating pace of change in international education, massive impact of social and economic changes, and demographic changes that are expected in higher education for the next 20 years.

Proctor shared that DEST recently convened a Senior Officials Working Group (SOWG) Meeting, which was attended by 22 countries as well as representatives from the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). The November 2006 SOWG inaugural meeting in Bangkok addressed issues such as qualifications and quality assurance, information-sharing, and acceptability of higher education degrees. The SOWG prepared a Work Plan for FY 2007-2008, which includes documentation of the state of education, thematic seminars and an experts working group meeting. She encouraged the regional committee to visit the website in order to obtain detailed information about the Brisbane Communiqué.

Ninth Session of the Regional Committee 24

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