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Australia Joins Global Education Treaty; Qualifications to be Recognised Worldwide

Australia is among the countries to sign the UNESCO Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education. It is the world’s first-ever higher education treaty designed to ensure that qualifications earned in various countries are recognised internationally. This means that students who get their degrees from Australian education providers will be better able to have that qualification recognised in other countries.

Here’s what we know about the treaty and what it means for you as an international student in Australia. 

Is the treaty in effect yet?

No, the Convention has not come into effect just yet. The treaty cannot come into force until three months after the country in question has ratified it. According to UNESCO, Australia officially ratified the treaty on 21 December 2022, meaning the Convention will come into effect on 21 March 2023.

Why is the treaty so important?

In a media release published on 24 January 2023, Australian Education Minister Jason Clare called Australia’s participation in the treaty a “significant education milestone.” 

“The 1.4 million students who study at our universities each year can now have even greater confidence that their Australian qualification, whether undertaken onshore, offshore or online, will be recognised in other countries, helping them to access higher education abroad, as well as pursue greater employment opportunities,” he said. 

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor added that “being part of the Global Convention will boost international recognition of Australia’s world-class, vocational education and training graduates who are equipped with skills ready for the jobs of the 21st Century.”

What does this mean for me as an international student?

As an international student, you clearly have an innate desire to explore the world around you. After your studies in Australia, you may want to pursue an array of travel pathways. 

For example, if you’ve just completed a bachelor’s degree in Australia, you may decide to pursue a master’s degree in another country, such as your home country. Alternatively, you may opt to use your Australian degree to launch your career overseas. 

Whatever your next move may be, you’ll need to provide proof of your studies to attain these goals. This is why it’s crucial that your Australian qualification be recognised in a fair, non-discriminatory and transparent way – which is exactly what this treaty sets out to do.