Government ministers in the UK and Argentina have signed a landmark agreement that will help facilitate greater student and graduate mobility between the two nations.
As of this month, the document states that master’s degrees will be mutually recognised between Argentina and the UK, allowing “direct access to doctoral programmes” in higher education institutions in each country.
A statement released by the British Embassy in Buenos Aires confirmed that doctoral degrees earned in either country “shall be considered academically comparable”, making it easier for Argentinian graduates to pursue further training in the UK and vice versa.
After two years of discussion and planning, Alejandro Finocchiaro, Argentina’s minister for education, culture, science and technology; and Lord Agnew, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the UK Department for Education, signed the deal in Mendoza during the G20 education ministerial meeting.
Both governments also committed to exploring future options to enable recognition of undergraduate and professional degrees in the same way.
The UK’s National Recognition Information Centre (Naric), which advises on comparisons of international qualifications against UK qualification framework levels and was responsible for drafting the new agreement, said the agreement forms “part of a broader effort by the UK to build stronger relations between the UK and Latin America”.
In the past couple of years, similar deals have been negotiated between the UK and Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, and talks are currently in progress with Brazil.
There is currently no such understanding around undergraduate degrees on account of the significant differences between the education systems in the UK and Argentina. A Naric spokesman said the new arrangement would allow the two sides “to move forward positively”, however, “while negotiations and discussions on other matters of mutual recognition continue”.
He told Times Higher Education: “Both Argentina and the UK were very keen to further improve relations and develop links. That was an important driver of this new agreement. This new agreement benefits both countries.”