The harmonisation of higher education and research is at the forefront of the integration process across the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) states. Higher education is tasked with addressing economic and societal challenges and improvement of the quality of life in the region. As a result, there is a push towards an increase in the recognition of students' learning across the member states supported by national and institutional scholarships.
Degree recognition is further facilitated by the opening up of the labour market for the highly skilled in the region. One of the major developments in early 2016 was the introduction of the free mobility of professionals in the areas of the region's biggest challenges (such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, engineering, architecture and tourism) which aims to ensure skilled labour is deployed easily to areas where it is most needed.
British Council research in 2016, 'The shape of global higher education: national policies framework for international engagement', found that selected ASEAN countries were among the best performers with regard to openness of higher education systems. One of the areas of particular strength was collaborations through the means of transnational education. The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are the latest examples where significant higher education reforms are leading to greater collaborations between domestic and foreign higher education institutions.
This session aims to explore how the opening up of higher education systems affects the countries involved, their higher education institutions and their immediate communities.
This session will start with a background to the most recent developments across ASEAN's higher education systems, how regional and national organisations such as the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Philippines are supporting internationalisation of private and public education institutions and consider the impact achieved through a shared international higher education agenda.
This will be explored at three levels:
- International engagement at regional level will be explored through SEAMEO
- National level perspective will be presented by the Commission for Higher Education (Philippines)
- An institutional level perspective will be shared by selected higher education institutions from the Philippines and UK under the TNE Links Programme. These two institutions will be named at a later stage following a peer-review shortlisting overseen by CHED.
- Professor Sir Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor, University of London, UK (Chair)
- Dr Minella Alarcon, Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippines
- Dr Ethel Agnes P. Valenzuela, Deputy Director for Programme and Development, SEAMEO, Thailand
- Ntuyen Xuan Vang, Director General for International Cooperation, Ministry for Higher Education, Vietnam