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Norway kick-starts ratification wave of UNESCO Global Recognition Convention

On 7 May 2020, the Norwegian government became the first to ratify the UNESCO Global Recognition Convention (GRC), setting Norway to become the first country to have officially joined the GRC once the ratification has been handed in to the UNESCO Director General. Reasons quoted by the Norwegian government for this speedy process are related to the positive impact the convention is expected to have, amongst others, on international student mobility and on facilitating the work of the National Agency for Quality in Education (NOKUT) in recognising foreign qualifications obtained around the world. NOKUT had for many years already, voluntarily practiced many of the principles enshrined in the new Convention, regardless of the applicant's country of origin.

Officially titled – Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education – the Global Convention was adopted in November 2019, during the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, and in unanimity by UNESCO’s 193 member states. Building on existing regional recognition conventions, which are already in place in Europe (Lisbon Recognition Convention), the Asia-Pacific region (Tokyo Convention) and Africa (Addis Ababa Convention), the GRC strives to enable wider:

  • promotion of international cooperation in higher education and research;
  • enhancement of the quality of higher education provision;
  • opportunities for cultural intelligence, dialogue and peace building; and
  • support for sustainable development of knowledge societies.

The Global Recognition Convention will enter into force once the 20th signatory country has ratified the convention.

Press release (in Norwegian)