Asian-European Cooperation in Education

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue that brings together the Heads of State and Government from European and Asian countries. ASEM also strengthens cooperation in vocational education and training and higher education.

Asia-Europe Meeting
© Asia-Europe Foundation

Since 1996, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has been an informal process of dialogue between the Heads of State and Government from European and Asian countries. ASEM currently brings together the 28 European Union member states, Norway, Switzerland and the European Commission as well as the ten ASEAN member states, Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The responsible ministers of the 51 ASEM member states, representatives of the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat meet biennially to define future cooperation objectives. The ASEM Education Secretariat is responsible for monitoring and coordinating the dialogue process. It was established at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn by the Federal Research Ministry between 2009 and 2013. Since October 2013, Indonesia has been hosting the ASEM Education Secretariat (until 2017).

Education and Training

Education and training have been a priority topic on the agenda since 2006 and have been discussed in detail at regular meetings between the responsible ministers since 2008. The first meeting of the Education Ministers took place in Berlin in 2008 at the invitation of Germany (ASEMME1/Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education). Another four meetings have been held since: ASEMME2 in Hanoi (Vietnam) in 2009, ASEMME3 in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2011, ASEMME4 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2013 and ASEMME5 in Riga (Latvia) in 2015.

Education cooperation focuses specifically on the following fields of action:

  • quality assurance and recognition of credit points
  • cooperation between higher education institutions and industry
  • vocational education and training
  • lifelong learning
  • mobility

The next conference in 2017 will be hosted by the Korean Education Ministry in cooperation with the ASEM Education Secretariat. The Education Ministers will take stock of the status of implementation of initiatives that were announced at the Riga Meeting.