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The Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific was adopted in Bangkok in 1983. To date, 20 Member States out of 46 countries have ratified the Convention. Basically, the Convention asserts explicitly that state parties should recognize the certificates, diplomas or degrees granted by other state parties with a view to pursuing further studies in higher education institutions in their countries, as well as the recognition of foreign qualifications with a view to allowing professionals to practice in their countries. Unfortunately, the Regional Convention does not mention the quality of the foreign qualifications that have to be recognized by state parties, nor anything about cross-border higher education.

Since the adoption of the Asia-Pacific convention in 1983, the Bureau of the Regional Committee has been monitoring its implementation. The Regional Committee meets bi- annually and examines periodic reports from state-parties on the progress and difficulties in applying the Convention. To follow-up the discussions held and the recommendations of the Eighth Session held in Kunming, China (2005), the Ninth Session of the Regional Committee is scheduled for 22-23 May 2007. In particular, the Ninth Session will focus on the revision of the Regional Convention in light of the challenges posed by cross- border higher education.

On the invitation from the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and the Korean Council of University Education to host the Ninth Session, the meeting will be held in Seoul, RO Korea. It will be held in conjunction with a seminar on “Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area.” The seminar will be held on the first day and the Ninth Session on the following day.

Objectives The main objectives of the Ninth Session of the Regional Committee are as follows:

  • 1.

    To examine the progress made and obstacles encountered by the signatories in the application of the regional convention in the region.

  • 2.

    To facilitate dialogue among the state parties to address new challenges and issues facing the region

  • 3.

    To continue the process of revising the Regional Convention in view of these new challenges.

  • 4.

    To organize a seminar on “Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area.”


Participation in the meeting is by nomination by the Member States and at the invitation of UNESCO Bangkok and the co-organizers in RO Korea. Representatives from around 10 state parties which have ratified the Convention and around 15 observers from non- state parties, NGOs, IGOs, and experts are expected to attend the meeting. While the

Ninth Session of the Regional Committee


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