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ASEAN roadmap 2025 to realize a common higher education space in Southeast Asia

Higher education is a key modality contributing to ASEAN’s regional development, integration, and connectivity agendas.

The Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space was launched in Vietnam on July 27, aiming to enable greater harmonization and internationalization of the ASEAN higher education, especially in enhancing people to people connectivity and supporting ASEAN community building.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc made his statement at the 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue held in Hanoi on July 27.

Phuc stressed that the Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 contributes to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the strengthening of future resilience through enhanced people-to-people connectivity, and improved access and recognition of higher education in the ASEAN region.

“The Roadmap envisages a resilient and sustainable ASEAN Higher Education Space that enables greater harmonization and internationalization of the region’s higher education systems. It reflects the new reality for education worldwide and proposes adaptive and sustainable approaches in responding to the changing context of higher education,” Phuc said.

The initiatives under the Roadmap are aligned with ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the strengthening of future resilience through enhanced people to people connectivity, and enhanced improved access to and recognition of higher education in the ASEAN region.

Moreover, the Roadmap is consistent the ASEAN Declaration on Human Resource Development in the Changing World of Work, the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, the Joint Statement on digital transformation of education systems in ASEAN, the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

 (Left to right): SHARE Program Team Leader Darren McDermott, EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc, ASEAN Secretariat Roger Chao. Photo: MoET

In his opening remarks, EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti said the EU is committed to spending at least 10% of financing for education, adding that higher education is a key modality contributing to ASEAN’s regional development, integration, and connectivity agendas.

“As part of the Team Europe, the EU will provide stronger and more coordinated support in education, as this will be the key to tackling eradication of poverty, inequalities and discrimination as well as leaving no one behind. Cooperation in education has gradually become an important instrument for the implementation of EU external policies as an indisputable instrument of soft power,” Giorgio Aliberti emphasized.

“Exchange programs help people to connect worldwide, reaching out to a large number of stakeholders, which help to promote a positive image of Europe in the world, spreading its messages and fundamental values, such as rule of law and human rights. They contribute to shaping the relationship and connecting the EU with other countries and regions, as is the case today with ASEAN,” he added.

During the launch of the Roadmap, Secretary General of ASEAN Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi stated that the ASEAN Secretariat recognizes the crucial importance of synergy and working together to ensure efficient use of resources and maximize impact of initiatives in the region.

“The Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space and its Implementation Plan is also our attempt to synergize our work, consolidate our efforts, and appreciate the valuable work that has been done by the ASEAN Member States and regional partners on implementing a common higher education [space] in Southeast Asia,” Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi said.

The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue will be held for two days until July 28 in hybrid format through Hopin platform and in-person.

The event is entitled “Envisioning the Future of a Higher Education Common Space in Southeast Asia”. The dialogue is co-hosted by the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam (MoET) and is organized in partnership with the Education, Youth, and Sports Division of the ASEAN Secretariat (EYSD ASEC), SEAMEO RIHED, the ASEAN University Network, and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.

“The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue allows regional higher education partners to continue to explore innovations and initiatives contributing to the transformation of higher education in Southeast Asia. At this two-day Policy Dialogue, regional stakeholders have re-affirmed their commitment and partnership to support the implementation of the newly launched Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 and its Implementation Plan to ensure the continued progress of Southeast Asia on these important initiatives and objectives,” Team Leader of the SHARE Program Darren McDermott asserted.

SHARE is the European Union’s flagship higher education program with ASEAN. Since 2015, the program has worked alongside the ASEAN Secretariat and regional partners to strengthen regional cooperation and enhance the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalization of ASEAN Higher Education institutions and students.