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ASEAN takes Quality Assurance of Universities regional with the Launch of AQAN

Today, ASEAN and the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia jointly launched the newest ASEAN body, the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network, or AQAN. The launch ceremony took place at the outset of the fourth Policy Dialogue organised by the European Union (EU) Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE) Programme, entitled: “Towards a shared Understanding of Quality Assurance in ASEAN”.

“A strong commitment to quality is at the heart of higher education in Malaysia and across ASEAN”, said Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, “and only high quality education will produce the graduates our societies demand. We are therefore very pleased that Malaysia’s initiative of a regional quality assurance body has received official recognition from ASEAN.” AQAN is made up of the national quality assurance agencies from the ten ASEAN Member States and is committed to sharing best practices, providing capacity building, and developing a regional quality assurance framework, all with the objective of elevating the quality of higher education across the ASEAN region.

ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee declared: “ASEAN warmly welcomes AQAN to our family of entities associated with ASEAN. It has an important role to play in our joint efforts to build a regional higher education system with an effective and sustainable scholarship scheme at its core. Mr. Arthakaivalvatee continued: “This regional higher education system will not only benefit students and universities, but will form a cornerstone of a truly people-centred ASEAN community and contribute significantly to the competitiveness of ASEAN Member States as well as ASEAN as a whole.”

“The European Union is proud to support AQAN and to support ASEAN in the process of building a regional higher education area, not least because of its own strong expertise in this field. SHARE is a key instrument of ASEAN to further improve the quality of higher education in Southeast Asia, stimulate student mobility and regional integration, and thereby contribute to national and regional competitiveness and development”, said Francisco Fontan, the EU’s Ambassador to ASEAN.

The fourth SHARE Policy Dialogue is organised in cooperation with ASEAN, the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, and the European Union. Focusing on AQAN and issues of regional and national quality assurance, the two-day event brings together 130 high-level education officials, university managers, academics and students from ASEAN Member States and the EU.

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