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REPORT OF THE NINTH SESSION OF THE REGIONAL COMMITTEE

I. Introduction

The Ninth Session of the Regional Committee for the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific was convened at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in conjunction with the “Seminar on Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area.” Around 49 participants, consisting of representatives from 11 state parties and 18 observers from non-state parties, attended the meeting (seeAnnex 3 – List of Participants). The 9th Regional Committee meeting had the following objectives:

X Examine the progress made and obstacles encountered by signatories in the application of the Regional Convention;

X Facilitate dialogue among state parties to address new challenges and issues facing the region;

X Continue the process of revising the Regional Convention in view of these new challenges; and

X Organize the Seminar on Regional Harmonization: Establishing a Common Higher Education Area

II. Opening Ceremony

The meeting started with special messages from the officials and higher education experts from the host country. Dr. Jang Moo Lee, Chairman of the Korean Council for University Education (KCUE) and President of Seoul National University (SNU), gave a warm welcome to the delegation. He emphasized the importance of mutual recognition of diplomas, studies and degrees in a century where liberalization and globalisation have challenged the way we govern higher education institutions.

Dr. Molly Lee, APEID Coordinator, UNESCO Bangkok, gave her opening address by providing important background on the Regional Convention on Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific. She mentioned that the Regional Convention was developed in the late 1970s and adopted in Bangkok on 16 December 1983 (UN Series No. 32021). At present, there are now 20 States and/ or Parties to the Convention: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, and People’s Republic of China, the Holy See, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Lao PDR, the Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

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