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[PRESS RELEASE] 12th SHARE Policy Dialogue: ASEAN, EU continue their support of the region’s higher education internationalisation




Jakarta, (07/30) 2021 – The European Union’s Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE) Programme held its 12th Policy Dialogue Webinar Series between 27 - 29 July. Under the main theme “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable ASEAN Higher Education Space,” the series provided a valuable opportunity to engage with key stakeholders from the ASEAN higher education sector.


Developing adaptable, resilient and future-ready human resources is vital to support the recovery and development of the ASEAN region in the post-pandemic world. Taking this into consideration, the ASEAN higher education sector aims to support this effort through the realisation of an ASEAN Higher Education space, characterised by increasing levels of internationalisation, harmonisation, innovation and partnerships.


The SHARE Policy Dialogue was designed in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat’s Education Youth and Sports Division (EYSD) to continue discussions on furthering ASEAN’s higher education cooperation and internationalisation, including the transfer of ownership of SHARE’s programme outcomes to ASEAN entities.


Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN Igor Driesmans, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, Kung Phoak, and SHARE Programme Team Leader Darren McDermott, officially opened the three days of sessions.


In his opening remarks, DSG Kung Phoak stated that promoting internationalised and quality higher education is vital, particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, to support ASEAN community building and economic recovery in the long term.”


“Education has always been at the heart of the EU-ASEAN partnership. The SHARE programme, our higher education flagship programme, contributes to people-to-people connectivity between our two diverse regions and to student mobility within ASEAN”, said Ambassador Igor Driesmans.


The ASEAN Working Group on Higher Education Mobility 2025  was also officially launched as part of the opening of SHARE’s Policy Dialogue 12.


The Working Group is expected to support efforts on strengthening ASEAN’s higher education system, through developing strategies to realise the region’s Higher Education Space, for greater people-to-people connectivity and knowledge transfer across ASEAN. The working group will receive technical and operational advisory support from SHARE Programme, for the duration of the programme’s extension.


The first session of SHARE Policy Dialogue 12 focused on “Engaging Regional Partners for a Harmonised ASEAN Higher Education Space.”  In the panel discussion, Director of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Human Development Directorate, Rodora T. Babaran, along with the ASEAN University Network’s Executive Director, Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, Director of SEAMEO RIHED Centre Dr. Romyen Kosaikanont, and the Senior Director for Policy and Expertise Development Subsector of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Mohamad Dzafir Mustafa, shared their organisations’ vision, strategies, and cooperation initiatives to support the harmonisation of the regional higher education.


The second session, themed “Future Proofing International Higher Education Student Mobility”, discussed emerging developments and innovations facilitating the internationalisation of ASEAN higher education and the eventual development of an ASEAN Branded Scholarship.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Parag Khanna, Future Map’s Managing Partner and author of ‘The Future is Asian,’ highlighted the future for mobility and people-to-people connectivity between Asia and Europe.


The panel discussion involved the Senior Partner of Knowledge Innovation Centre, Mr. Anthony Camilleri, the CEO & Co-founder of Accredify, Mr. Zheng Wei Quah, the Vice-Director of Institute for Innovative Global Education at Kansai University, Dr. Keiko Ikeda, and the Director of the International Relations Centre at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Global, Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad.


On the final day, the Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), Ambassador Morikawa Toru, opened the session on “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in ASEAN’s Internationalisation.”


Director of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Human Development Directorate, Rodora T. Babaran, Senior Consultant of the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education of UNESCO Bangkok, Dr. Wesley Teter, CEO & Founder of Accelerate Global, Ms. Raudhah Nazran, and the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, Dr. Yang Mee Eng came together to discuss key issues, opportunities and initiatives in augmenting equity, diversity and inclusion in international education in ASEAN.


Darren McDermott, the SHARE Team Leader, stated that “SHARE continues its commitment to extend the benefits of the project to a wider range of institutions and students across ASEAN. We will do this by providing technical assistance to the ASEAN Secretariat and regional stakeholders to enhance regional capacity in higher education as laid out in the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2021-2025.”

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