ASEM Education Process

ASEM is a dialogue platform between Asia and Europe. Since 1996, its agenda is set in biennial summits when heads of governments meet to put forward the ASEM dialogue process and underline action-oriented cooperation for mutual benefit. The last summit (ASEM9) was held in Vientiane, Laos, on on 5 and 6 November 2012. The next meeting, ASEM10 will be hosted by the European Commission and will take place in Brussels in the latter half of 2014. The informal process is accompanied by ASEM Ministerial Meetings in different sectors addressing issues of mutual concern and supported by regular meetings of senior officials.

ASEM Education Process

The history of the ASEM education process started in 2006 in the course of the 6th ASEM summit in Helsinki, Finland, when the heads of State and Government of the 27 EU and 16 Asian ASEM member countries together with the European Commission and the ASEAN secretariat agreed to establish “a continued dialogue and exchange of best practices on questions related to education and training”.

The German Government took the initiative and hosted the first formalised dialogue on education and training in Berlin 2008 where the Ministers for Education met to discuss global aspects of ASEM higher education cooperation (ASEMME1). Topics such as mobility of students, staff and researchers as well as structural academic cooperation between Asia and Europe were on the agenda of the Ministers. The meeting also considered education and industry cooperation as well as lifelong learning.

The second Ministerial meeting took place in Hanoi (ASEMME2) in 2009. The discussions of the Ministers mainly focused on quality assurance, credit transfer and recognition in the ASEM area as well as on sustainable human resource development for ASEM future needs. In order to ensure the continuity of the ASEM education process, to support the implementation of the Chair’s conclusions and the preparation of the next ASEM Ministerial Meetings (ASEMME), the Ministers agreed to establish a rotating ASEM Education Secretariat (AES) and welcomed Germany’s offer to host the AES for the following four years. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research set up the Secretariat at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn. The AES has taken up its work in September 2009 with 6 experts from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Benelux and Germany.

The 3rd ASEM Meeting of Ministers for Education was hosted by Denmark in Copenhagen on 9 and 10 May 2011. The meeting was attended by 160 participants from 40 ASEM member countries. Four main topics were discussed during this third ministerial meeting and introduced by speakers of different ASEM members:
  • Quality Assurance and Recognition
  • Engaging business and Industry in Education
  • Balanced Mobility
  • Lifelong Learning including Vocational Education and Training.

The 4th ASEM Meeting of Ministers for Education was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 2013 and attended by 152 participants from 34 ASEM members and 7 international organisations. Under the overarching theme of "Strategizing ASEM Education Collaboration”, the Meeting exchanged views on areas of common interest, took note of the results achieved so far and discussed the four topics, identified at ASEMME3 in 2011, to set out future direction of the ASEM Education Process and define concrete activities to put policy into practice.

Useful links

ASEM Info Board