UNESCO qualifications passport for refugees and vulnerable migrants
In light of the current refugee situation around the world, there is a necessity to establish a Qualifications Passport, drawing from the experiences and methodology of the European Qualifications Passport (EQPR) initiative taken by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) and the Council of Europe.
According to UNHCR’s latest figures, among the world’s more than 82 million refugees, only 5 % of eligible youth are enrolled in higher education, whereas comparative figures for primary and secondary education are 68% and 34%, respectively.
Increasing these low higher education enrolment figures requires efforts that target the different obstacles hindering crisis-affected populations in pursuing higher education studies, such as missing or insufficient documentation proving their educational background, legal and language barriers, lack of capacity and funding, and differences between education systems.
As the only UN agency with a mandate in higher education, and as the depositary of the Global Recognition Convention and five Regional Recognition Conventions, UNESCO promotes crisis-affected populations’ access to affordable and quality tertiary education, including university, with an emphasis on qualifications recognition as a means for academic mobility and improved access to higher education.
The UNESCO Qualifications Passport (UQP) serves as a modern universal tool to facilitate the mobility for refugees and vulnerable migrants with qualifications. It represents one of the flagship initiatives that UNESCO leads to respond to the Global Compacts on Refugees and on Migration and facilitate recognition of refugees’ academic, professional and vocational qualifications, ease pressure on host countries, and enhance vulnerable populations’ self-reliance.