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ASEM felt that time has come to put policy into practice

The above caption is taken literally from the Conclusions by the Chair of the 4th Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME4) – Strategizing ASEM Education Collaboration–, held in Kuala Lumpur on 13-14 May 2013. In this meeting, the 152 participants from 34 ASEM members and 7 international organisations discussed four main topics of common interest from which concrete activities will be defined in order to put policy into practice. These four topics are:

  • Quality Assurance and Recognition;  
  • Engaging Business and Industry in Education; 
  • Balanced Mobility; and     
  • Lifelong Learning including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).  

Specifically on "balanced mobility”, which focuses much on encouraging European students to spend part of their studies in Asia, the ministers agreed that a strategy on better balancing mobility between Asia and Europe will be developed for ASEMME5 in Latvia. They also agreed to pursue a number of concrete activities based on previous initiatives or new proposals, such as

  • further developing efforts to collect and compile comparable and reliable data on inbound and outbound mobility numbers, as well as mobility related information (e.g. mobility opportunities, funding and study conditions);   
  • disseminating and encouraging good practice of pair-based, two way-exchange programmes (e.g. ASEM-Duo Fellowship); and
  • increasing scholarships / public student support for mobility and equal access to such funding, as well as reaffirming mobility opportunities.

The ministers also welcomed the idea of engaging students and staff with a mobility experience in Asia and Europe as “ASEM mobility ambassadors”, as well as the idea of promoting study and training opportunities in Asia and Europe via annual ASEM Education Fairs back-to-back with expert group meetings, and the proposal to set up an ASEM Joint Curriculum Development Pilot Scheme. 

The European Commission was invited to explore financial support for the above mentioned education fairs and to organise a seminar for ASEM members on the international dimension of the new EU education programme (2014-2020).   

The first three ASEM Ministerial Meetings were held in Berlin, Hanoi and Copenhagen. The next one will be held in Latvia. As of October 2013, the ASEM Education Secretariat will be relocated from Germany to Indonesia for four years.  In 2017, it will be hosted by Belgium’s Flemish Community.

ASEM Infoboard