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ASEAN supports the vision of a regional Higher Education Space as a core element of people-to-people connectivity and the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community. Anchored on the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025, the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 includes as key priorities the strengthening of higher education sector through the implementation of robust quality assurance mechanisms, and fostering the role of higher education in the area of socio-economic development through university-industry partnership. The Work Plan on Education expands education cooperation in ASEAN towards development of a more coordinated, cohesive and coherent ASEAN position and its contribution to global education goals, including in higher education.

In 2015, the ASEAN Leaders acknowledged higher education as a catalyst in achieving economic and socio-cultural goals of ASEAN, and welcomed the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education at the 27th ASEAN Summit. Cooperation on higher education in ASEAN has gained momentum with the full swing implementation of the European Union Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE) on the same year. The SHARE is a flagship project of the ASEAN Education Sector that aims to promote harmonisation of higher education, and introduce an ASEAN scholarship inspired by the EU’s Erasmus Mundus to create space for higher education in ASEAN.

The ASEAN Education Sector is governed by and under the purview of the ASEAN Ministers of Education Meeting (ASED) which convenes bi-annually, and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED) which meets annually. Chairmanship of both meetings rotates alphabetically between ASEAN Member States, and is held by Malaysia in the period 2016-2017. The ASEAN Secretariat supports coordination of sectoral activities through the Education, Youth and Sports Division (EYSD) and liaises with the SEAMEO Secretariat as well as with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and international organisations. Two ASEAN bodies focus specifically on education, the ASEAN University Network (AUN), headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, and the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN), headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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SHARE is a project of

SHARE is implemented by