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ASEAN and EU start looking into potential cooperation in higher education mobility

After the 19th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting held in Brunei Darussalam on 26-27 April the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) issued a joint statement which underlined their interest to intensify cooperation also in non-trade areas including research and higher education. This is a step forward from an action plan following up on the previous ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in 2010.

The joint statement indicates potential cooperation between the EU and ASEAN in science and technology under the EU’s Framework Programme 7 and its successor Horizon 2020, as well as the Krabi Initiative which was endorsed by the ASEAN ministers in late 2010 as a strategic direction to raise competitiveness for sustainable and inclusive ASEAN using science, technology and innovation.

Moreover, the ministers also underlined their interest in higher education cooperation between the EU and ASEAN through expanding possibilities for joint degrees and mobility of students and academics under Erasmus Mundus, and through closer links between the ASEAN University Network and the European University Association.

The EU and ASEAN have a long-standing partnership since 1977. Marking its 35th year of partnership, two important ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes – ARISE (ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU) and READI (Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument) – will be launched to support ASEAN integration. The support for the two programmes (totalling EUR 20 million) comes on top of the EU’s development support to ASEAN member states.

Council of the European Union (Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action) Council of the European Union (Co-Chairs’ Statement) Council of the European Union (Press Release)