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    Towards a resilient higher education space

    Danial Norjidi

    The ASEAN Secretariat, the European Union (EU) Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (SHARE) Programme and members of the ASEAN Working Group on Higher Education Mobility (AWGHEM) launched the ‘Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 and its Implementation Plan’ yesterday during the 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    According to the press statement, the roadmap envisages a resilient and sustainable ASEAN higher education space that enables greater harmonisation and internationalisation of the region’s higher education systems.

    It is reflective of the new reality for education worldwide, and proposes adaptive and sustainable approaches in responding to the changing context of higher education, said the statement.

    This includes augmenting access to internationalised higher education provision by students through digital transformation.

    Secretary General of ASEAN Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi said, “The ASEAN Secretariat recognises the crucial importance of synergy and working together to ensure efficient use of resources and maximise impact of our initiatives in the region.

    “The roadmap is our attempt to synergise, consolidate, and appreciate the work that has been done by the ASEAN member states and regional partners on implementing a common higher education space in Southeast Asia.”

    Officials at the 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue in Hanoi, Vietnam in a group photo. PHOTO: SHARE PROGRAMME

    Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Education and Training Dr Nguyen Van Phuc stated, “Today, I am glad to witness the launching of the Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space 2025 and its two-year Implementation Plan.

    “I trust that the Roadmap on the ASEAN Higher Education Space will help enable greater harmonisation and internationalisation of the ASEAN higher education, especially in enhancing people to people connectivity and supporting ASEAN community building.”

    EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti said, “The EU committed to spend at least 10 per cent of financing for education. 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.”

    The two-day 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue which began yesterday 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 and was organised in partnership with the EYSD ASEC, SEAMEO RIHED, the AUN, and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.

    Officer in Charge of SEAMEO RIHED Philip Masterson said, “With a rapidly changing landscape in higher education, there is a crucial need to work closely and quickly together to redefine the common space in regional higher education and put forward a more dynamic platform from which to address tomorrow’s challenges and synergise our efforts.

    “The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue provides a regional platform in this respect to strengthen higher education partnerships and see the efforts of partners coming together around a shared understanding and vision for a more resilient and sustainable space in higher education that is relevant to the region. SEAMEO RIHED is open and committed to working with our partners towards this goal and for the benefit of the region.”

    Thailand’s Chief of Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development at UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Libing Wang said, “It is in UNESCO’s DNA to promote the internationalisation of higher education as it can contribute to the mission of building a culture of peace in the minds of men and women.

    “UNESCO hopes that with the implementation of the new roadmap, the ASEAN regional higher education integration process can be inclusive and engaging, aligned with the global consensus, with more technical, scholarship, and financial resources from both internal and external sources to achieve their shared objectives.”

    In addition, Team Leader of the SHARE Programme Darren McDermott highlighted, “The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue allows regional higher education partners to explore innovations and initiatives contributing to the transformation of higher education in Southeast Asia.

    “At this two-day dialogue, regional stakeholders have reaffirmed their commitment and partnership to support the roadmap to ensure continued progress.”

    The 15th SHARE Policy Dialogue continues into its second and final today in hybrid format through the Hopin platform and in-person in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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