In November 2015 UNESCO General Conference decided to appoint an expert committee to draft a new global convention on the recognition of higher education qualifications. The committee gathered for the third time 13.-15.2. in Paris. Finland’s representative Carita Blomqvist (Finnish National Agency for Education) was happy to tell that the collaboration has progressed well. The decision on the future of this historical convention is taken in the next General Conference in November.
The objective of the convention under preparation is to promote international cooperation in higher education and to enhance prospects of academic and professional mobility. When coming into force the convention would increase trust toward the recognition of higher education qualifications and competence internationally – thus making it easier to study and search for a job around the world.
Since its creation, UNESCO has been a platform for discussions on recognition of higher education qualifications. At the moment UNESCO has regional conventions on recognition in Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean and in the Mediterranean Region. The best practices of these conventions have been taken into good consideration in the drafting of the new convention, which is designed to complete the regional ones.
The last day of the committee’s meeting started with an informal exchange over a cup of coffee, where experts Carita Blomqvist (Finland), Natasha Sawh (Canada), Christian Tauch (Germany) and Stig Arne Skjerven (Norway) told that the preparation is proceeding in good spirit and in schedule. In total, the committee consists of 23 members, who are representing the highest expertise in the field in their countries.
Next the draft proposal will be sent to UNESCO member states for consultation. After this, the next big news are to be heard in November, when the draft will be discussed in the General Conference.