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Contribution to ARC8 Outlook 2030 report and conference

During the past nine months, ACA has been regularly participating, through its Director, Irina Ferencz in the ARC8 Expert Group on Inclusive International Mobility of People and Knowledge, discussing the opportunities, risks, and challenges related to inclusion in internationalisation of higher education in an Asia-Europe perspective, while astutely guided in this process by the Education Department of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). The group further included experts: 

  • Darren McDermott, Team Leader Designate, EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE) 
  • Prof Miki Sugimura, Vice President for Global Academic Affairs, Sophia University, Japan and Member of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO 
  • Olivia Parczyk, Liaison Officer for Asia, Erasmus Student Network (ESN) 
  • Ginisha Dewani, Deputy Head Programs & Projects and Events Coordinator Asia, International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS), and  
  • Dr Huan Tuong Vo, Officer of External and Public Relations, International University (Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City). 

The group worked along other three expert groups to co-develop and jointly write the four-chapter ARC8 Outlook Report 2030: Inclusive and Diverse Higher Education in Asia and Europe, which was officially launched at the ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC) 8 conference, on 10 September 2021. The four expert groups presented and discussed with the audience the four chapters of the publication, focusing on the recommendations put forward for enhancing cooperation between Europe and Asia in widening inclusion within the respective areas: 

  • Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education 
  • Inclusive Learning and Teaching in a Digital World 
  • Inclusive International Mobility of People and Knowledge 
  • Inclusive and Flexible Lifelong Learning Pathways 

The report highlights how the inclusion related agenda in both regions will account for many of the transformations the sector will undergo in coming years, and particularly post-pandemic. It also underlines that we stand at a critical inflection point in the context of international higher education, facing a unique opportunity to examine the status quo and to map the needs, and possible directions for more inclusive approaches in both Asia and Europe, while maximising cooperation.  

On 15 September 2021, the experts also presented the report’s recommendations at the ASEM Education Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and ACA’s German member organisation, DAAD.