The 6th ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting issues the Seoul Declaration: enhancing collaboration between Asia and Europe in the next decade

14 December 2017

Credits:@ ASEM ME6

EUA, as the stakeholder organisation representing European universities, participated to the 6th Asia-Europe Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM ME6), which took place in Seoul, Korea, on 21-22 November.

Thirty-nine countries from Asia and Europe, as well as the European Union, stakeholder organisations and international organisations, were represented in the meeting, which aimed to identify common perspectives for collaboration in the next decade, and seek how to effectively fulfil them. The Seoul Declaration, adopted by the Ministers’ Meeting, focuses on balanced mobility between Asia and Europe, as well as skills development, with an emphasis on better employability through improving the quality of education. The Declaration also acknowledges the pivotal role of universities in nurturing future talent, and encourages ASEM ministers to support them to innovate and promote interdisciplinary education and research, and promote flexible, creative and critical thinking. Moreover, the Declaration embraces the need to innovate learning and teaching practices, by pointing to the use of technologies as a tool to trigger innovation and change. 

Together with the ASEAN University Network (AUN), the European Students’ Union (ESU) and the Erasmus Students Network (ESN), EUA presented to the ASEM ministers and representatives the policy recommendations from the two last Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC), respectively held in Prague in 2016, and in Singapore in October 2017, to which EUA actively contributed. 

The ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting is a dialogue platform that brings together about 53 countries from Asia and Europe. The first Ministers’ Meeting took place in Berlin in 2008. Since then, ASEM ME meets on a biennial basis, to discuss and push forward dialogue and cooperation between higher education systems in the two regions. Four priority areas have been identified under the ASEM ME process: quality assurance and recognition, engaging business and industry in education, balanced mobility, and lifelong learning (including TVET).

The next ASEM ME will take place in Bucharest, Romania, in May 2019, during the Romanian Presidency of the EU. It will be organised back to back with the next ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum.

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