A Recognition Model for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
12-01, 10:45–11:15 (Europe/Berlin), Stage 3 (Lovelace), WiFo

The presentation will share learning from a SAQA/WES pilot initiative that aims to facilitate access of refugees and asylum seekers to furthering their academic and career goals who, because of adverse circumstances in their country of education, lack standard proof of academic achievement.

Worldwide, there are 22.7 million refugees and 4.1 million asylum seekers. This does not include more than 12 million people are believed to have fled their homes in Ukraine since the conflict began.
In 2021, at the GDN Annual Meeting in Canada, the South African Qualifications Authority and the World Education Services signed an agreement to partner on a pilot project aimed at reliably validating and assessing the education qualification/s of refugee and asylum seekers who live in South Africa.
The primary intent of the pilot initiative is to design and test an alternative recognition methodology to recognize the qualifications of eligible individuals who, because of adverse circumstances in their country lack standard proof of academic achievement which hampers their integration into South African society.
This pilot initiative is unique since it combines and expands the approach and methodologies used previously by both SAQA and WES.
The presentation will report on the progress made in implementing and achieving the aims of the pilot project, its key learnings, and the broader strategy/plan to expand the initiative first into the SADC region and then across the African Continent.
The presentation will include “voices” of project participants from extracts of our multi-media documentary materials.

Navin is an international development professional with over 20 years’ experience in programme development and management in the livelihoods, health, gender, education, forestry and social development sectors. His experience spans working in countries in Southern and West Africa, South Asia, and North America. With demonstrated strong skills working and consulting in an international, multicultural environment, Navin is skilled in project management especially in participatory research, project coordination and monitoring & evaluation. An accomplished cross-cultural facilitator, he is experienced in facilitation and applying shared-learning techniques. He is enthusiastic to build effective relationships with diverse stakeholders. For his contributions to increasing the global footprint of credential evaluation, he was recently inducted into the TAICEP Hall of Acclaim, 2022.

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With 20 years of experience in international academic credential evaluation, Beka has a deep knowledge of international education systems and the issues surrounding recognition of international academic credentials. He frequently presents on the education systems of countries around the world and the recognition of international credentials at national and international conferences and workshops. He also has extensive experience working with licensing bodies and higher education institutions providing expert opinion vis-à-vis credential evaluation.
Beka’s many experiences include collaborating with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to improve the consistency and portability of credential assessments conducted in Canada, as well as assisting the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) with the development of the Pan-Canadian Quality Standards in International Credential Evaluation.