CAPE TOWN, 9 May 2016 – The ongoing efforts of ASEAN on higher education harmonisation and the introduction of an ASEAN scholarship inspired by the EU’s Erasmus Mundus through the European Union Support for Higher Education in ASEAN Region (EU SHARE) stimulated discussion at the Going Global Conference for Leaders of International Education held in Cape Town, South Africaon 3-5 May.

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee presented the ASCC Blueprint 2025 and the state of higher education in ASEAN including its mandates in higher education as stipulated in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education and the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020. He also discussed how these mandates are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals particularly in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Reflecting on ASEAN’s perspective and experience, a panel of educators composed of representatives from the European Union, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), BinusUniversity Indonesia and the Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic Worldas well as the conference participants discussed the impact of regional blocs such as ASEAN in higher education. They reflected on the relationship between the need to achieve national education agenda and the resolve for regional collaboration to fulfill international and global commitments for the greater good of all, particularly in the case of Africa.

Moreover, the ASEAN Secretariat, the delegations from some ASEAN Member States and the British Councildiscussed the prospect of expanding ASEAN’s participation in future Going Global events through a regular ASEAN panel to discuss various aspects of education cooperation in ASEAN, as well as co-hosting future Going Global conferences.

Going Global is an annual conference offering an open forum for global leaders of tertiary education to discuss issues facing the international education community. Since its inception in 2004, Going Global has grown from a bi-annual event in the UK to an annual event alternating between the UK and a major international city.

The conference was organised by the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Training of South Africa and other international partners.