To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of countries that do not have a mutual recognition of academic qualifications with the UK; and what steps his Department is taking to reach a mutual recognition of academic qualifications with those countries.
8 February 2021
The Department does not have a full estimate of the number of countries with which the UK Government has not established the mutual recognition of academic qualifications through an agreement, a multilateral framework or a memorandum of understanding.
The UK takes part in the Bologna Process and is a member of the 49 country European Higher Education Area, which seeks to ensure mutual recognition of higher education (HE) qualifications and mobility for European students and staff. The UK Government is also a signatory to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Council of Europe Lisbon Convention on the recognition of HE qualifications in the Europe and secondary school qualifications giving access to higher education.
In addition to multilateral frameworks and agreements, recognition of academic qualifications can also be included within bilateral memorandums of understanding. Existing UK Government agreements, for example, with China and Argentina cover HE qualifications.
Should it be to our mutual benefit, the Department, alongside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and colleagues across Government, will pursue arrangements with countries outside existing agreements.