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The 6th ASEF Rectors’ Conference issues policy recommendations for Asian and European ministers of education

In the days 9-13 October 2017 the 6th Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC6) took place at Singapore Management University. Around 110 university leaders, higher education experts, student leaders and representatives from the business sector and government from 51 Asian and European countries took part in the event. 

ARC6 issued a set of policy recommendations on the future of higher education to be conveyed to the next Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Education Ministers (21-22 November 2017, Seoul, South Korea). 

Topics such as interdisciplinary education, lifelong learning, and access and inclusiveness were addressed during the conference. The plenary sessions also explored the issue of quality education, as well as how universities can engage in a dialogue with governments, the business sector, and society in general.

The policy recommendations produced revolve around: forward-looking institutional missions; connecting learning and teaching, research and service to society in response to local and global challenges; lifelong learning as a key mission of future-ready universities; quality education for all. They were given to the Ministers present at ARC6 during the closing ceremony, and it is expected that responses will be received at the upcoming ASEM Education Ministers’ Meetings, where EUA will represent the European university sector.

The recommendations end with a commitment from university leaders from Asia and Europe to continue to develop partnerships at inter-institutional, local, national and international levels, in order to provide not only attractive and relevant curricula, but also active learning outcomes, cross-cultural experiences in a mutual understanding perspective and through mobility, and opportunities to cross-fertilise good practices in teaching and research. Asian and European higher education institutions reaffirmed their willingness to continue an active and sustainable dialogue process with the ASEM Ministers responsible for Education.

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