Taiwan-Holy See Accord on University Studies Enters Into Force

Regulates Mutual Recognition of Degrees

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 18, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A historic agreement signed a year ago by the Holy See and Taiwan is now entering into force, the Vatican announced Monday.

The «Agreement between the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China on Collaboration in the Field of Higher Education and on the Recognition of Studies, Qualifications, Diplomas and Degrees» was signed at the end of 2011.

At that time, Monsignor Paul Russell, who oversees Holy See affairs in Taiwan, declared, «With this agreement, the world opens up to Taiwan and Taiwan to the world,» reported AsiaNews.

The agreement was signed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education and the Education Minister Ching-ji Wu.

With the agreement, diplomas and degrees earned at ecclesiastical universities around the world are recognized in Taiwan. Similarly, degrees from Taiwan universities are recognized in other ecclesiastical institutions. 

«There are over 650 ecclesiastical universities worldwide,» Monsignor Russell said at the time of the signing, according to AsiaNews. «Here in Taiwan there is an ecclesiastical faculty run by Jesuits, Bellarmine College, where theology is taught. For its part, Taiwan has 161 colleges and universities. From now on, students and teachers in Taiwan can go to any ecclesiastical faculty in the world, our students and teachers can come to Taiwan with recognized degrees. This will generate a huge amount of visits and exchanges, collaboration. If there is exchange, there is understanding, if there is understanding there is more peace in the world. For this reason I say that with this agreement, the world opens up to Taiwan and Taiwan to the world. «

In addition to the mutual recognition of studies, the agreement also regulates cooperation in the field of higher education, which includes the presence of the Catholic Church in the Chinese-language university context.

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On the Net:

AsiaNews report from December 2011, on the significance of the agreement: www.asianews.it/news-en/Historic-agreement-between-the-Holy-See-and-Taiwan-on-the-recognition-of-university-degrees-23337.html

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