BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, 27 November 2018 – The ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework (AQRF) Committee started its formal review of the first draft AQRF Referencing Reports submitted by Philippines and Thailand during its fifth meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan on 27 November.
The AQRF is a common regional reference framework that enables the comparison of education qualifications across AESAN Member States (AMS). It aims to complement the existing region wide efforts to promote and facilitate the mobility of workers and learners, improve quality of education and training, enhance mechanism to validate non-formal and informal learning to support life-long learning and create more equitable opportunities to gainful employment for ASEAN. Referencing is a process that establishes the relationship between the AQRF levels and the National Qualification Framework (NQF) or National Qualification System levels of each AMS.
As part of the AQRF referencing process, participating AMS are required to submit an AQRF Referencing Report responding to the 11 AQRF Referencing Criteria and providing the outcomes of their referencing process. These criteria focused on the structure of the education and training system, roles and responsibilities of NQF related agencies, procedures for inclusion of qualifications in the NQF, clear and demonstrable linkages between qualifications levels and agreed standards of the NQF. It also focuses on the description of the national quality assurance system for education and training as well as the involvement of public officials, stakeholders and international experts in the referencing process.
Dr. Haji Azman Bin Ahmad, Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) from the Ministry of Education of Brunei Darussalam, noted that the AQRF’s efforts would facilitate mobility of workers and learners as well as life-long learning and contribute to ASEAN community building. “I have no doubt that this served as an opportunity for the AQRF Committee to discuss and exchange feedback and comments of the Referencing Report and through this process, each country will provide direct benefit through experiences sharing from other AMS, as well as the experts,” he said.
A technical workshop prior to the meeting provided the opportunity for the AQRF Committee members to discuss feedback provided by Parties on the draft AQRF Referencing Reports. Informal review of draft referencing reports submitted by Malaysia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam were also undertaken as part of the regular community of practice.
The two-day meeting was attended by 57 participants from the education, labour and trade sectors. Participants were able to stock take the activities of the AQRF and review implementation plans including midterm and long-term activities under the AQRF Committee’s Function Implementation Plan. The meeting also facilitated discussions around supporting activities to advance the AQRF process, including the actions to socialize the AQRF in relevant national and regional events.
The event was organised by the Secretariat of Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council, Ministry of Education of Brunei Darussalam, in coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat as part of the multiphase project on Referencing National Qualifications Framework to the AQRF, supported by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Program. This project aims to support the implementation of the AQRF through the establishment of the AQRF Committee and providing capacity building to AMS officials on effectively implementing the referencing process.