A Higher Education Area in ASEAN?

A decade ago, European higher education ministers launched the Bologna Process to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010. The process aims to make degrees comparable across European borders, and includes features such as a common study cycle of Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates, a European wide quality assurance registrar, and an ECTS transferrable credits system. Some view this education integration as a natural progression from the EU’s political and economic integration. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has yet to achieve close, supra-national integration; however, ASEAN has set its sights on creating an ASEAN Community, including an economic community, by 2020. Because of the goal of economic integration, ASEAN regional cooperation in education has taken on added urgency. For the first time, an ASEAN+3 Higher Education Policy Dialogue was convened in March 2009. The same month, the first ASEAN University Network-ASEAN Credit Transfer meeting was held to define a framework for an ASEAN Credit Transfer System. Subsequently in April, the 4th ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting agreed to deepen and widen education cooperation within ASEAN and its dialogue partners, tasked the ASEAN Secretariat to develop a work plan, and backed a proposed working group to study the feasibility of a formal mechanism of educational cooperation with ASEAN’s Plus 3 partners.

  • Read Ira’s overview on “A Higher Education Area in ASEAN?”
  • “Regional Perspectives on Asian Higher Education Development”, by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee, Director, EU Centre, at the “Regional Higher Education Cooperation in the Next Decade: The Bologna Process and Europe-Asia dialogue”, 1-3 July, 2009.  View presentation slides

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