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UNESCO/OECD guidelines on "Quality provision in cross-border higher education"

 

In the context of increasing and new forms of cross-border provision of higher education, there is a need for new international initiatives to enhance quality provision in cross-border higher education at a global level by further strengthening quality assurance, accreditation and recognition of qualifications schemes at both national and international levels through the development of non-binding international guidelines on “Quality provision in cross-border higher education”.

Such guidelines would not supersede individual countries’ authority to regulate the quality assurance and accreditation of their own higher education system. The endeavour will involve the collaboration of both sending and receiving countries of education services and will have global reach.

These Guidelines, which have now been endorsed by the OECD and noted by UNESCO, have four main policy objectives:

  • ‘Students/learners protection’ from the risks of misinformation, low-quality provision and qualifications of limited validity.
  • Qualifications should be readable and transparent in order to increase their international validity and portability. Reliable and user-friendly information sources should facilitate this.
  • Recognition procedures should be transparent, coherent, fair and reliable and impose as little burden as possible to mobile professionals.
  • National quality assurance and accreditation agencies need to intensify their international cooperation in order to increase mutual understanding.

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The Guidelines Process

Public Consultation on the draft text of the Guidelines on Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education

Public Consultation on the draft text of the Guidelines on Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education-Results OECD together with UNESCO has been working on developing the Guidelines on Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education. Three drafting meetings of the Guidelines took place. The first drafting meeting was held on 5-6 April 2004 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. The second drafting meeting took place on 14-15 October 2005 at Tokyo University, Tokyo. The third and final drafting meeting took place on 17-18 January 2005 at the OECD Headquarters, Paris. All OECD and UNESCO Member countries as well as stakeholders including higher education institutions, student associations, quality assurance and accreditation agencies, recognition agencies, academic staff associations, professional bodies, private sector and other international organisations were invited to take part in the process.

Following this process, we invited public comments to make the final text more relevant to the needs and concerns of all stakeholders of higher education. Furthermore, participants of the working meeting as well as UNESCO and the OECD member countries were also asked to comment. This consultation took place between 16 February-15 March 2005. The text was revised taking into account comments received. This revised draft was discussed among the OECD member countries at the CERI Governing Board and the Education Committee the beginning of April 2005. This document is also being submitted for decision on next steps to the 171st session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

Third drafting meeting: 17-18 January 2005, Paris, France

The third and last drafting meeting of the UNESCO/OECD Guidelines on quality provision in cross-border higher education took place in Paris at the OECD Headquarters on 17-18 January 2005.

 

This was the last drafting meeting, where a draft of the UNESCO/OECD Guidelines on “quality provision in cross-border higher education” as well as a proposal for a pilot on an international information tool on recognised higher education institutions were discussed. Furthermore, the implementation process of the UNESCO/OECD Guidelines was discussed.

Relevant Documents

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Second drafting meeting: 14-15 October 2004, in Tokyo, Japan

The second drafting meeting took place in Tokyo, Japan on 14-15 October 2004. This meeting was hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

At this meeting, a Draft (1) of the UNESCO/OECD guidelines was discussed, as well as a proposal on an international database/portal on recognised higher education institutions.

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First drafting meeting: April 5-6, 2004 in Paris, France

The first drafting meeting of the guidelines on quality provision in cross-border higher education took place on April 5-6, 2004 at the UNESCO Headquarters. All UNESCO and OECD member countries were invited to nominate a representative. Furthermore, stakeholders including higher education institutions and student associations, quality assurance and accreditation agencies, recognition agencies, teachers’ associations, professional bodies, private sector as well as other international organisations were invited to take part in the drafting. More than 120 participants from 64 countries took part in this meeting. Following the drafting meeting, an experts’meeting on “international database on recognised higher education institutions” was held on April 7, 2004.

Relevant Website

 

Related Documents

 

Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-border Higher Education (Russian version)

 

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