Statement on COVID-19 by Parties to the Tokyo Convention

Statement on COVID-19 by Parties to the Tokyo Convention

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented, wide-ranging and significant disruption to education, training and international mobility. Addressing these concerns, the State Parties to the Tokyo Convention on recognition confirmed that the 2020s must not become a decade of lost opportunity for cross-border higher education.

People around the world have rapidly moved to remote forms of learning, teaching and work, utilizing advances in technology and flexible approaches to ensure education continuity, and to maintain quality outcomes. However, significant challenges remain where an estimated 40 per cent of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not been able to provide specific support to vulnerable learners at risk of exclusion during the COVID-19 crisis, with considerable implications to tertiary education access. With the success of online and blended learning to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the transformation of education has been accelerated.

The Tokyo Convention itself plays a key role to minimize further disruption to education by facilitating fair and transparent recognition of diverse modes of learning. Fully respecting the autonomy of domestic decision-makers, Parties to the Tokyo Convention shared a commitment to protecting the rights of an individual to have their studies and qualifications recognized and/or assessed fairly and transparently, including those using non-traditional modes such as online and blended learning. See the full Statement on COVID-19 to learn more about what actions can be taken to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on students and academics so that any retrogression is temporary.

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To share your views and engage further, please join us via social media, or our regional listserv for higher education. Any questions may also be addressed to the Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development, UNESCO Bangkok: eisd.bgk@unesco.org.