Today over 5.3 million students are pursuing their higher education abroad, up from 2 million in 2000. This represents 2 out of every 100 students, and half of them are studying outside their home region. The rapid growth in international mobility at the university level is likely to continue.
In November 2019, the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education was adopted by the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, becoming the first United Nations treaty on higher education with a global scope.
The Global Convention is designed to facilitate international academic mobility and promote the right of individuals to have their higher education qualifications evaluated through a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. It aims to expand access to higher education and strengthen research cooperation by facilitating international exchanges of students, teachers, researchers and job-seekers.
The Global Convention offers avenues for further study and employment, and also makes it easier for students abroad to return to their home countries and have their degrees recognized. Moreover, it promotes the recognition of refugees’ qualifications, even in cases where documentary evidence is lacking.
By ratifying the Global Convention, countries commit to strengthening international cooperation in higher education, raising its quality at home and worldwide, and helping make academic mobility and the recognition of qualifications a reality for millions around the world.
To facilitate its implementation, UNESCO has developed a Practical Guide to Recognition. The guide offers a step-by step approach to the recognition of foreign qualifications both for credential evaluation practitioners and for individuals seeking recognition of their foreign qualifications.