AACRAO to release tool to help institutions align with global credential recognition

December 14, 2020
  • International
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
map of the world in the middle of a maze

The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) is offering timely resources to support higher education’s efforts to stay abreast of international credentialing standards despite the U.S.’s withdrawal from UNESCO. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which “seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.” 

About the Global Convention on Recognition

UNESCO member countries recently signed a “Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education, ”reducing the obstacles faced by students, teachers, researchers and job-seekers outside their countries of origin. The Convention aims to facilitate academic mobility, improve quality of higher education institutions, and enhance international cooperation in higher education. 

Although no longer a UNESCO member, and thus not a signatory to the Global Recognition Convention, the U.S. and its higher education institutions have a long history of welcoming international students and scholars.  valuing diversity, and adhering to generally-accepted best practices in international admissions and credential evaluation. Further, U.S. institutions have a vested interest in maintaining market-share in an ever-more competitive market for the financial contributions that international students make to the U.S. economy, and they need and want guidance in admitting and placing refugees seeking to use their education in their new environment.

Guidelines, discussions, and institutional self-audit

To support these goals and values, AACRAO is opening a discussion of international admissions and credential evaluation vis-a-vis the Global Recognition Convention. through publication, professional development, and the release of an institutional self-audit tool. 

For example:

  • AACRAO’s Fall Symposium began with an examination of UNESCO’s Global Recognition Convention by US international admissions officers and international credential evaluators as an exercise in comparative analysis. 

  • Since the Symposium, AACRAO has continued the discussion via the e-newsletter AACRAO Connect, webinars, conference presentations, and a variety of media. 

  • Additionally, this Friday (December 18th) AACRAO is releasing a self-diagnostic tool (self-audit) for U.S. higher education institutions to use to compare and contrast their own policies and practices with that of the Global Convention to determine if they are adhering to generally-accepted international admissions and credential evaluation best practices. 

AACRAO is also developing a set of guiding principles for the development of institutional policy and practices in the field of international admissions and credential evaluation.

These efforts will help inform members’ thinking, policy-making, and adoption of best practices — and help to maintain the U.S.’s standing as a top destination for international students and scholars. It will also ensure that refugees’ credentials are acknowledged and accurately assessed.

Stay abreast of AACRAO's efforts in the realm of Global Recognition.