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1.Signed on December 02,2011 Entered into force on December 17,2012

 
PREAMBLE
The Ministry of Education of the Republic of China as the
competent authority for Higher Education in the Republic of
China

and

the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See as the
competent authority of the Holy See for Higher Education
(hereinafter referred to as “ the Parties ” )

Guided by a common will to strengthen their cultural and
educational collaboration for the good of students, the Higher
Education community and society in the region;

Recalling that the purpose of this Agreement is to contribute to
peace and human development;

Respectful of the principles of freedom of conscience and of
religion as recognized and proclaimed by the international
community;

Having regard to the moral and cultural contribution of Higher
Education of the Catholic Church to the life of society;

Recognizing the common elements and the diversity which exist in
the educational traditions, systems and values of both the
Republic of China and the Holy See;

Convinced that these common elements and diversity of the
cultures and Higher Education Systems, expressed in Higher
Education Institutions with a clear profile and mission,
constitute an exceptional resource;

Desirous to enable especially young people to take full
advantage of the cultural resources by facilitating access for
students and academics to the educational resources of each
Party, with due regard to domestic regulations;

Willing to promote active international collaboration in an ever
more globalised world of Higher Education and taking advantage
of the role of the Catholic Church as transnational Higher
Education Provider on a global scale, and of the Holy See as
member of four continental/regional UNESCO Conventions on the
Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education (note 1);

Affirming the need of effective measures and trustful
collaboration in between partners to assure and promote quality
in Higher Education;

Conscious of the wide-ranging changes in Higher Education in the
world resulting in considerably increased diversification within
and between national education systems, and of the need to adapt
the legal instruments and practice to reflect these
developments;

Conscious of the need to find common solutions to practical
challenges in regard to the recognition of studies, diplomas and
degrees in Higher Education in the world;

Conscious of the need to improve current recognition practice
and to make it more transparent and better adapted to the
current situation of Higher Education in Asia and the world;

Considering that the recognition of studies, certificates,
diplomas and degrees obtained in another Higher Education System
represents an important measure for promoting academic mobility;

Respectful of each Party ’ s right to create and maintain a
system for qualification, and of the academic autonomy and
freedom of its institutions;

Have agreed to observe the following principles for the
recognition of Studies, Qualifications, Diplomas and Degrees in
Higher Education (thereon quoting - partly literally - the text
of the UNESCO Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies,
Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the
Pacific, adopted and signed by the competent Ministers on 26
November 2011 at the Ministerial Conference in Tokyo), as well
as for other concerns, which are applicable to their mutual
interests in educational and cultural fields:

SECTION I
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Article 1
The technical terms used in this Agreement shall have the same
meaning as defined in Section I, Article 1 of the said UNESCO
Convention.

SECTION II
HIGHER EDUCATION LEGISLATION AND THE COMPETENCIES OF AUTHORITIES
Article 2
(A) The Parties agree that both authorities, responsible for
their own Higher Education System and for the Higher
Education Institutions established or approved by the same
authorities or otherwise considered as belonging to their
systems, shall be independent and autonomous each within
their field and adhering to the said principles shall
closely cooperate among them.
(B) The Parties agree that their respective legislation
regarding their own Higher Education System and the Higher
Education Institutions shall be valid and respected each
within their field.
(i) Catholic Universities and other Catholic Higher Education
Institutions, subject to the Apostolic Constitution Ex
corde Ecclesiae (1990) and located in the Republic of
China, shall be fully subject to the legislation of the
Republic of China regarding the organization, academic
degrees, quality and accreditation measurements and other
principles and provisions inherent to its Higher Education
System.
(ii) Respecting a clear religiously based profile and identity
as an added value and legitimate expression of the variety
of Higher Education, Catholic Higher Education
Institutions – in accordance to the Apostolic
Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae (1990) and any other norm
of Canon law regarding Catholic Higher Education – shall
be free to develop a clear Catholic profile and exercise
their academic activities according to the principles of
faith and moral teaching defined by the Magisterium of the
Catholic Church. The same institutions – respecting the
principles of freedom of conscience and of religion of
every student in accordance with Article 13 of the
Constitution of the Republic of China as well as with
Article 7 of the Private School Law (2008) – shall be
able to offer courses of introduction into Philosophy,
Social Doctrine, Ethics, Anthropology and Catholic
Religion/Theology as part of their programs.
(iii) As regards the Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties
(i.e. those which are erected or approved by the
Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See and
which enjoy the right to award academic degrees in the
name of the Holy See), which specifically pertain to the
sphere of Religion, the Republic of China is to recognize
the unique character of this worldwide Educational System
over which the Holy See has the sole competence when it
comes to the content of religious doctrine, the approval
of Programs of Study and Institutional Statutes, as well
as the appointment, promotion and dismissal of governance
and teachers.

(iv) The competent authorities shall be enabled to agree –
through legally binding contracts – with teachers and
staff on a code of conduct, principles and values to
assure full compliance with the Catholic profile and
identity as well as procedures for addressing cases of
grave violations of the same principles.
(C) The Parties agree that in both Higher Education Systems
adequate measures and instruments for Quality Assurance
and/or Accreditation according to international standards
should be in place and be enabled to operate and cooperate
with each other within their own Higher Education Systems
and regarding the Higher Education Institutions belonging to
their systems, respecting their specific competence within
their proper field and system.

Article 3
The Parties shall officially inform the other about changes in
legislation regarding Higher Education affecting this Agreement.

SECTION III
BASIC PRINCIPLES RELATED TO THE ASSESSMENT OF QUALIFICATIONS
Article 4
(A) Holders of qualifications issued in one of the Parties
shall, upon request to the appropriate body, have adequate
access to an assessment of these qualifications in a timely
manner.
(B) In order to assure this right for holders of qualifications,
the Parties undertake to make appropriate arrangements for
the assessment of an application for recognition of
qualifications with the main focus on the knowledge,
understanding and skills achieved.

Article 5
The Parties shall ensure that the procedures and criteria used
in the assessment and recognition of qualifications are
transparent, coherent and reliable.

Article 6
(A) Decisions on recognition shall be made on the basis of
appropriate information on the qualifications for which
recognition is sought.
(B) In the first instance, the responsibility for providing
adequate information rests with the Parties, who shall
provide such information in good faith and in a timely
manner.
(C) Notwithstanding the responsibility of the Parties, the
institutions having issued the qualifications in question
shall have a duty to provide, upon request of the applicant
and within a reasonable timeframe, relevant information to
the holder of qualifications, to the institution, or to the
competent authorities of the Party in which recognition is
sought.
(D) The Parties shall instruct or encourage, as appropriate, all
education institutions belonging to their education systems
to comply with any reasonable request for information for
the purpose of assessing qualifications earned at the said
institutions.
(E) The responsibility to demonstrate that an application does
not fulfill the relevant requirements lies with the body
undertaking the assessment.

Article 7
The Parties shall ensure, in order to facilitate the recognition
of qualifications, that adequate and clear information on its
education system is provided.

Article 8
Decisions on recognition of qualifications shall be made within
a reasonable time limit specified beforehand by the competent
recognition authority and calculated from the time all necessary
information and documents in the case have been provided. If
recognition is withheld, the reasons for the refusal to grant
recognition or to grant partial recognition shall be stated, and
information shall be given concerning possible measures the
applicant may take in order to obtain recognition at a later
stage. If recognition is withheld, if partial recognition is
granted or if no decision is taken, the applicant shall be
entitled to make an appeal within a reasonable time limit and
shall be informed about the modalities and time limits for
making such an appeal.

SECTION IV
RECOGNITION OF QUALIFICATIONS GIVING ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION
Article 9
The Parties shall recognize, for the purpose of access to each
Higher Education program, the qualifications issued by the other
Party meeting the general requirements for access to their
respective Higher Education programs, unless a substantial
difference can be shown between the general requirements for
access in the Party in which the qualification was obtained and
those in the Party in which recognition of the qualification is
sought.

Article 10
(A) This Agreement on the recognition of Studies, Qualifications
, Diplomas and Degrees shall apply to:
(i) All Higher Education Institutions approved and/or
accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of
China or by any other legitimate Higher Education
authority, or those legitimately operating within the
Republic of China.
(ii) All ecclesiastical Higher Education Institutions of the
Catholic Church – that is those which have been
canonically erected or approved by the Holy See, which
foster and teach sacred doctrine and the sciences
connected therewith, and which have the right to confer
academic degrees by the authority of the Holy See –
located and legitimately operating in the Republic of
China, within the territory of the Vatican City State, in
Rome or in any other place of the world.
(B) The competent authorities of the Parties to decide and
officially communicate which institutions fall into these
categories are the Ministry of Education of the Republic of
China in the case of the Republic of China and the
Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See in the
case of the Holy See.

Article 11
Where admission to a particular Higher Education program is
dependent on the fulfillment of specific requirements in
addition to the general requirements for access, the competent
authorities of the Party concerned may impose the additional
requirements on holders of Higher Education qualifications
obtained in the other Party or assess whether an applicant with
Higher Education qualifications obtained in the other Party has
fulfilled comparable requirements.

Article 12
Where, in a Party in which they have been obtained, school
leaving certificates give access to Higher Education only in
combination with additional qualifying examinations as a
prerequisite for access, the other Party may make access
conditional on these requirements or offer an alternative for
satisfying such additional requirements within its own
educational systems.

Article 13
Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 9 to 12,
admission to a given Higher Education Institution, or to a given
program within such an institution, may be restricted or
selective. In such cases in which admission to a Higher
Education Institution and/or program is selective, admission
procedures should be designed with a view to ensuring that the
assessment of foreign Higher Education qualifications is carried
out transparently and according to the basic principles of
fairness.

Article 14
Without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 9 to 12,
admission to a given Higher Education Institution may be made
conditional on demonstration by the applicant of sufficient
competence in the language or languages of instruction of the
institution concerned, or in other specified languages in order
for the applicant to profitably undertake the studies in
question.

SECTION V
RECOGNITION OF PERIODS OF STUDY
Article 15
Each Party shall appropriately recognize periods of study
completed within the framework of a Higher Education program in
the other Party. This recognition shall comprise such periods of
study towards the completion of a Higher Education program in
the Party in which recognition is sought, unless substantial
differences can be demonstrated between the periods of study
completed in the other Party and the part of the Higher
Education program which they would replace in the Party in which
recognition is sought.

SECTION VI
RECOGNITION OF HIGHER EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS
Article 16
To the extent that a recognition decision is based on the
knowledge and skills certified by the Higher Education
qualification, each Party shall recognize the Higher Education
qualifications conferred within the system of the other Party,
unless a substantial difference can be demonstrated between the
qualification for which recognition is sought and the
corresponding qualification in the Party in which recognition is
sought.

Article 17
Recognition in a Party of a Higher Education qualification
issued in the other Party shall have one or both of the
following consequences:
(i) Access to further Higher Education studies, including
relevant examinations and/or to preparations for the
doctorate, on the same conditions as those applicable to
holders of qualifications of the Party in which recognition
is sought;
(ii) The use of an academic title, subject to the laws and
regulations of the Party or a jurisdiction thereof, in
which recognition is sought; such recognition may
facilitate access to the labor market.

Article 18
An assessment in a Party of a Higher Education qualification
issued in the other Party may take the form of advice:
(a) for general employment purposes;
(b) to an educational institution for the purpose of admission
into its programs;
(c) to any other competent recognition authority;
(d) to the holder of the qualification as a statement on the
general value of the said qualification.

SECTION VII
INFORMATION ON THE ASSESSMENT/ACCREDITATION AND RECOGNITION
MATTERS
Article 19
(A) Each Party shall provide adequate information on any
institution belonging to its Higher Education System, and
about its quality assurance system, with a view to enabling
the competent authorities of the other Party to ascertain
whether the quality of the qualifications issued by these
institutions justifies recognition in the Party in which
recognition is sought.
(B) The competent authorities of the Parties to provide adequate
official information are the Ministry of Education of the
Republic of China in the case of the Republic of China and
the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See in
the case of the Holy See.
(C) The same Higher Education authorities of the Republic of
China and of the Holy See shall provide information,
specifically on the following:
(i) A description of its Higher Education System;
(ii) An overview of the different types of Higher Education
Institutions belonging to its Higher Education System,
with the typical characteristics of each type of
institution;
(iii) A list of recognized and/or accredited Higher Education
Institutions (public and private) belonging to its Higher
Education System, indicating their powers to award
different types of qualifications and the requirements
for gaining access to each type of institution and
program;
(iv) A list of educational institutions located outside its
territory which the Party considers as belonging to its
education system;
(v) National qualifications frameworks or other similar
instruments;
(vi) Provisions for accreditation and/or quality assurance.

Article 20
(A) The Ministry of Education of the Republic of China in the
case of the Republic of China and the Congregation for
Catholic Education of the Holy See in the case of the Holy
See shall provide relevant, accurate and up-to-date
information in order to facilitate the recognition of
qualifications concerning Higher Education, by
(i) facilitating access to authoritative and accurate
information on the Higher Education System and
qualifications of the country in which it is located or the
system it belongs to;
(ii) facilitating access to information on the Higher Education
Systems and qualifications of the other Party; and
(iii) giving advice or information on recognition matters and
assessment of qualifications, in accordance with
international and national laws and regulations.
(B) The Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See or
another organization, office or institution authorized by it
for this purpose, shall provide information on the Higher
Education System of the Republic of China and Higher
Education Institutions legitimately belonging to or
operating within the same system, in the framework of
Recognition Conventions signed and ratified by the Holy See
in order to:
(i) facilitate access to authoritative and accurate information
on the Higher Education System and qualifications of the
Republic of China;
(ii) promote academic collaboration and mobility among students
and teachers;
(iii) give advice or information on recognition matters and
assessment of qualifications, in accordance with national laws
and regulations.

SECTION VIII
IMPLEMENTATION AND FINAL CLAUSES
Article 21
The body to oversee, promote and facilitate the implementation
of this Agreement shall be a Mixed Commission comprised of 3-5
representatives of each Party, to be appointed by the Ministry
of Education of the Republic of China in the case of the
Republic of China and the Congregation for Catholic Education of
the Holy See in the case of the Holy See.

Article 22
Should any divergence arise in the future concerning the
interpretation or implementation of this Agreement, the Parties
– through the Mixed Commission – will proceed by common accord
to an amicable solution.

Article 23
This Agreement, which is of cultural and administrative
character, shall enter into force from the moment of reciprocal
notification of the fulfillment by the Parties of the procedures
necessary for its entrance into force.

In witness thereof, the undersigned representatives have signed
this Agreement.

Done in Taipei, on 2 December 2011, in two originals, in the
English language.


FOR THE MINISTRY OF FOR THE CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC
EDUCATIONOF THE REPUBLIC OF EDUCATION OF THE HOLY SEE
CHINA

Ging – ji-Wu Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski


(note 1) Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Mexico City
1975; Africa, Arusha 1981; Asia and the Pacific Region,
Bangkok 1983/Tokyo 2011; UNESCO European Region, Lisbon
1997.
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