The UNESCO Qualifications Passport to Be Piloted in Iraq: A sustainable pathway to building refugee and vulnerable migrant access to employment and higher education

A opening meeting was held on Monday the 1st of February for a new Pilot project to trial the UNESCO Qualification Passport (UQP) in Iraq.   This is the first such pilot project in the Arab World and UNESCO is delighted to see the Government of Iraq leading the way in the region.

This Pilot is the first step to build bridges between the Iraqi qualification authorities and other QAs around the globe, to facilitate mutual-learning opportunities among UNESCO member states.

Ms. Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director for the Division for Education 2030, UNESCO, opened the meeting by welcoming this important initiative and giving its context.  In reply,   Dr.Hazim Baqir Tahir, the Director General of Scholarships and Cultural Relations, MoHESR, expressed his thanks to UNESCO, UNHCR and NOKUT for cooperating with his Ministry to make this project a reality.

Further presentations were given by UNHCR and NOKUT representatives on the Pilot and the importance of having a system to enable refugees who did not have all their educational certificates to have their achievements recognised and to progress into further education. NOKUT then presented a general introduction to the series of training workshops that will be held to train up a team of Iraqi Credential Evaluators to participate in the Pilot and ultimately to become the approved Credential Evaluators for the Ministry.

The UNESCO Qualifications Passport is a priority project, it is strongly endorsed by its Member States and recognized as an innovative global tool for the evaluation and recognition of foreign education qualifications in case of missing or insufficient documentation.

In line with the recently adopted Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education, UNESCO is convinced that the international recognition of qualifications will facilitate interdependent learning and knowledge development via the mobility of learners and learning, academics, scientific research and researchers, and workers and professionals and will enhance international cooperation in higher education.

The adoption of the Convention highlights clearly the need to find common, practical and transparent solutions to improve recognition practices globally. We believe, therefore, that this project, to test the UNESCO Qualifications Passport methodology in Iraq, will contribute to facilitate the implementation of the Convention.

Apart from building capacity for national qualifications authorities, the project aims to help the most vulnerable populations to regain their personal and professional dignity.

The Launch meeting concluded with a lively discussion of the project and its upcoming implementation.

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