Monitoring implementation of the Tokyo Convention on recognition: a multi-stakeholder approach to the internationalization of higher education in the Asia-Pacific

Monitoring implementation of the Tokyo Convention on recognition: a multi-stakeholder approach to the internationalization of higher education in the Asia-Pacific

Abstract

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have transformed the global outlook for international higher education. Given the recent rapid shift to online learning, the 2018 Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (hereafter ‘Tokyo Convention’) entrusted to UNESCO has become an important policy framework to facilitate regional collaboration, authoritative information sharing and recognition of qualifications across diverse modes of learning. This paper examines the role of the Tokyo Convention to establish an inclusive platform for monitoring and collaborative governance of mobility and internationalization based on fair and transparent recognition policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific.


Design/methodology/approach

In August 2019, a standardized survey instrument was sent by the Secretariat of the Tokyo Convention Committee at UNESCO Bangkok to competent recognition authorities in 46 countries in the Asia-Pacific, including the eight State Parties to the Tokyo Convention that ratified the Convention as of the reporting period. In total, qualitative data from n = 27 countries/states was received and analyzed to assess implementation of the Tokyo Convention throughout the region. The research design illustrates how normative instruments such as the Tokyo Convention are monitored and assessed over time.


Findings

A multi-stakeholder approach based on collaborative governance is needed to effectively monitor implementation and implications of the Tokyo Convention for diverse higher education stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region.


Research limitations/implications

Implications include establishing baseline data and methods for monitoring implementation of the Tokyo Convention. Based on collaborative governance theory, the paper explores potential for a multi-stakeholder approach to promote mutual accountability in the Asia-Pacific and to develop mechanisms for inclusive participation in the governance of the forthcoming Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education (‘Global Convention’).


Originality/value

As the first systematic review of its kind, this paper includes a unique dataset and insights into UNESCO's methodology to monitor implementation of standard-setting instruments for qualifications recognition in the Asia-Pacific.


Publication

 

Contact: UNESCO Bangkok, Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development (EISD): eisd.bgk@unesco.org. 

 

Publication date