This year marks 45 years of dialogue relations between the EU and ASEAN. The EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership is dedicated to advancing mutual understanding, peace, prosperity, sustainable development, rules-based multilateralism, and free and fair trade. Cooperation on higher education and research, including through people-to-people connectivity, is central to the Strategic Partnership. It has resulted in multiple benefits for both regions including increasing the mobility of students and professionals alike, to facilitate the flow of ideas, cooperation and innovation between the EU and South-East Asia.
Since 2015 the EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE) Programme, a 15-million-euro EU-ASEAN initiative, has brought the experience and knowledge from Erasmus Programme and the Bologna Process to support ASEAN to strengthen the capacity of its own higher education integration. During the same period, the Erasmus programme has continued to invest in initiatives supporting student mobility, staff exchange, capacity building, and cooperation partnerships between ASEAN and EU within the field of higher education and research.
In this context, the European Commission and its partners invite you to reflect upon higher education and research as a channel for EU-ASEAN cooperation. We will take stock of the successes and benefits of SHARE and ERASMUS+ programmes for researchers, higher education institutions and students in both regions. We will also discuss the future of EU-ASEAN cooperation in the fields of higher education and research in the context of wider strategic priorities such as the EU’s Global Gateway and ASEAN’s Connectivity Master Plan 2025, covering skills, citizenship education and employability; health; the green transition; and digital connectivity.
The event will review the last 7 years of work and demonstrate the role of higher education and research as a channel for cooperation on a wider scale. It will examine the impact on the higher education sector itself – improved frameworks and systems; better policies; and developments in teaching and learning. It will also consider the impact of higher education and research work on wider strategic priorities of ASEAN countries – employability; green transition; digital connectivity and other Global Gateway themes.
Overview of Sessions
The event will open with a networking session over tea and coffee at the venue. Following an introduction to the morning by the moderator, the event will open with a keynote to set the scene for the morning’s discussions.
The event will be kick-started by high-level representatives from ASEAN and EU reflecting briefly upon the progress made within the higher education sector, pointing towards the recent ASEAN Roadmap on the Higher Education Space for the region and a forthcoming joint ministerial declaration between the ASEAN Secretariat and SEAMEO RIHED on the common higher education space for the region (from the ASEAN side) and the role of HE in the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership (from the EU side).
The high-level representatives will take this opportunity to share their forthcoming plans for further initiatives in support of inter-regional cooperation on higher education and research between the EU and ASEAN including within the context of Global Europe and Global Gateway strategies and future Connectivity measures.
The Keynote will follow, moving the discussion from the political perspective to the practitioners perspective on ‘Future Opportunities for the EU and ASEAN within the Higher Education and Research Space’ will be delivered by Professor Cynthia Bautista, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Philippines’ (UP) Diliman in Manila. A Professor of Sociology, Prof. Bautista is the former Dean of UP Diliman’s College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Executive Director of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, and Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education. Prof. Bautista has contributed significantly to EU-ASEAN projects in these roles and was chair of the Expert Advisory Group on QA/QF in the SHARE programme.
The Keynote will be followed by a session on ‘Enhancing the EU and ASEAN’s Higher Education Integration Initiatives’ which will look at the impact EU programmes have had on the Higher Education sector in ASEAN, with particular reference to Erasmus+ and the SHARE Programme.
The panel will be comprised of policymakers, practitioners, and participants from EU – ASEAN entities, academia and business. Their discussions will be complemented by short presentation videos from the Erasmus+ and SHARE Programmes. This will provide an opportunity to reflect on the role of these programmes have had in improving systems, frameworks, and methods of teaching and learning.
Following on from the first session, participants will have the opportunity for a more interactive discussion involving roundtable working groups and online breakout rooms. The focus of this session will be on the impact the higher education has had and will continue to have to address the priority themes of the Global Gateway using examples taken from Erasmus+.
The session will start with four ‘impulse statements’ by the panel of two academics and two students on the role that HE exchange has had on Global Gateway priorities, including Green Transition, Digital Connectivity, and Health. In their physical or virtual breakout groups participants will then address three questions related to the value of people-to-people connectivity in advancing these themes. Each breakout group will have a rapporteur that will subsequently provide feedback to the audience after the break.