International qualification recognition treaties

New Zealand is part of agreements with groups of countries that are committed to recognising each other’s qualifications.

How qualification recognition treaties work

New Zealand is a member of several multi-lateral qualification recognition treaties. This means that we have joined agreements with other countries that provide legal frameworks to make it easier for all of the countries involved to recognise each other's qualifications.

This is intended to make it easier for students, academic staff and workers to move between countries, and to improve the understanding and recognition of New Zealand qualifications internationally.

Recognition agreements don't guarantee that a specific qualification will be accepted or recognised as equal by another country, but it can make pathways to recognition clearer and more consistent.

International treaties we are part of

Lisbon Recognition Convention

New Zealand joined the UNESCO/Council of Europe joint Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (known as the Lisbon Convention) in February 2008.

This Convention is the main legal agreement on the recognition of qualifications in the European region, and has been joined by more than 50 countries, including several outside of the region such as Canada, Australia and the United States of America.

Lisbon Recognition Convention

Through the Lisbon Convention, NZQA is a member of the ENIC-NARIC network of national information centres.

  • ENIC: European Network of Information Centres in the European Region
  • NARIC: National Academic Recognition Information Centres in the European Union.

National information centres are organisations in each country responsible for supporting the implementation of the treaty. As a member of the network, we work with other member countries to share and receive information about qualifications. We also carry out this role for the Tokyo Convention.

ENIC-NARIC networks

Tokyo Recognition Convention

New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (known as the Tokyo Convention), which came into force on 1 February 2018.

The Tokyo Convention has a growing number of signatory countries from across the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Fiji and Australia.

Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications

Through the Tokyo Convention, NZQA is a member of the APNNIC network of national information centres. APNNIC: Asia-Pacific Network of National Information Centres. We work with the APNNIC network to strengthen qualification recognition practice across the region.

Tokyo Convention – APNNIC

European Convention on Equivalence of Diplomas

New Zealand is a signatory of the European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas Leading to Admission to Universities 1953, which covers the recognition of university entrance qualifications. This Convention provided a foundation for the later development of the Lisbon Convention, but remains in effect.

European Convention on the Equivalence of Diplomas leading to Admission to Universities

How we support the qualifications recognition treaties

To meet New Zealand’s obligations under the recognition treaties, we:

Contact us

For more information or to give us feedback, email internationalunit@nzqa.govt.nz.

 
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