Third Report Contents

Scrutiny of international agreements: Agreement with Peru on mutual recognition of qualifications

Agreement reported for information

Treaty, done at Iquitos on 19 May 2018, on the Mutual Recognition of Degrees between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Peru (with Exchange of Notes) (CP 431, 2021)1

1.The Treaty on the Mutual Recognition of Degrees between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Peru (the Agreement) was laid on 17 May 2021, and the scrutiny period is scheduled to end on 29 June 2021. It was considered by the Committee on 23 June 2021.

2.The objective of the Agreement is to recognise and validate academic degrees issued by authorised higher education institutions of each Party. Article 4 sets out the types of degrees awarded by higher education authorities in Peru that will be considered comparable to a UK Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral Degree, or to a Postgraduate Diploma (and vice versa).

3.Annexes 3 and 4 set out the process that must be followed by the specified national authorities when assessing applications for mutual recognition.2 If the relevant criteria are met, the authority will issue a resolution or statement confirming that the degrees are comparable. In the case of Peru, the process also involves registration in the National Register for Degrees and Qualifications.

4.The Explanatory Memorandum (EM) published alongside the Agreement explains that the Agreement aims to support greater mobility for students and qualified individuals between the UK and Peru, and to improve research outcomes.3 It is the fourth agreement on the mutual recognition of degrees signed in the Latin American region, following agreements with Mexico in 2015, and agreements with Chile and Colombia in 2017.4

Timing of Agreement and entry into force

5.The Agreement with Peru was signed in 2018 and the EM explains that the publication of the text was delayed by several factors, including translation and the reallocation of resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.5 In 2019, the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also initiated an Exchange of Notes to make some corrections to the signed text.

6.The Agreement, with the Exchange of Notes, will enter into force 90 calendar days after both Parties have notified each other that their internal legal requirements have been completed.

Territorial scope and consultation

7.The Agreement applies to “metropolitan UK” only, which means it does not extend to the Crown Dependencies or the Overseas Territories. The awarding of academic qualifications is a devolved matter, and the EM explains that the Government has consulted the Devolved Administrations (DAs) and shared the draft legal text in advance of signature.6

8.We welcome the additional information provided in the EM about the Government’s engagement with the DAs and, in particular, the confirmation that “Scotland and Wales proposed minor amendments to wording that were incorporated into the final versions”.7 This addresses a long-standing recommendation by the Committee for the EM to state whether the DAs raised any significant objections to an agreement, and how these were dealt with. We look forward to the inclusion of similar information in future EMs.

Amendments

9.The Agreement can be amended by mutual consent and Article 8 provides for a periodic review to consider “the experiences of all stakeholders involved in the recognition process”. The Agreement does not, however, define the frequency of such reviews.

10.We report the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Degrees between the UK and Peru to the House for information.


1 Treaty on the mutual recognition of degrees between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Peru, CP 431, May 2021: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986012/CS_Peru_1.2021_UK_Peru_Mutual_Recognition_of_Degrees.pdf [accessed 17 June 2021]

2 In the UK, the specified authority is the UK National Information Centre for global qualifications and skills (UK ENIC), which is the successor to UK NARIC referenced in the Agreement.

3 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Explanatory Memorandum on the Treaty on the Mutual Recognition of Degrees between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Peru, May 2021: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/986014/EM_CS_Peru_1.2021_UK_Peru_Treaty_Mutual_Recognition_of_Degrees.odt [accessed 24 June 2021], para 4.2

4 See Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Awards, Titles, Diplomas and Academic Degrees between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United Mexican States, Cm 9095, March 2015: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cs-mexico-no12015-ukmexico-mutual-recognition-of-higher-education-awards; Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications and Degrees between the Republic of Chile and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Cm 9510, October 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cs-chile-no12017-ukchile-agreement-on-the-mutual-recognition-of-qualifications-and-degrees and Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Degrees between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Colombia, Cm 9509, November 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cs-colombia-no12017-ukcolombia-agreement-on-the-mutual-recognition-of-degrees [all accessed 17 June 2021]

5 Explanatory Memorandum, para 3.5

6 Ibid., para 10.2

7 Ibid.




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