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First meeting of the ASEM rectors’ conference

Asia-Europe higher education collaboration is gradually being systematised. Following on to a meeting of the Ministers of Education of member states of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) earlier in the year, about 100 rectors from Asian and European universities met in Berlin on 27-29 October to work out future collaboration perspectives. The historical gathering was hosted by the Freie Univeristät Berlin and organised by the European University Association (EUA), the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and others.

ASEM rectors agreed to institutionalise the Asia-Europe higher education policy dialogue by creating a permanent platform for exchange and cooperation. A permanent secretariat will be created on the premises of ASEF in Singapore. This office will organise a permanent ASEM Higher Education Policy Dialogue, entailing the exchange of information and knowledge about higher education in the two regions, the definition of strategic and operational priorities, and the raising of the visibility of the universities in the respective partner region. In the medium-term, the aim appears to be the creation of a Euro-Asian equivalent of the Bologna Process.  The rectos also push for the creation of (European Union) funding instruments, like the earlier Asia Link and AUNP programmes, which would support inter-institutional cooperation and inter-regional mobility.