Working group for the ASEM Recognition Bridging Declaration

Description of the Initiative

The Working Group was established to follow up the mandate by the Ministers during the ASEMME3 in 2011 during which the Ministers suggested exploring the feasibility of setting up an ASEM convention on mutual recognition of degrees and study achievements (including the establishment of National Information and Recognition Centres in all ASEM countries).

After intensive discussions, the Working Group considered it feasible to set up a bridging “ASEM Recognition Agreement” with reference to the two Conventions (Lisbon Recognition Convention and Tokyo Recognition Convention) rather than formulating a new “ASEM Recognition Convention”. The Working Group expressed its conviction that an “ASEM Convention” on mutual recognition would strongly contribute to a better understanding of higher education systems in the two regions and to the promotion of student mobility between the two regions. To date, the WG has met for several times.

The ASEM Bridging Declaration (known as Beijing Declaration), is implemented through three action plans:

  1. Building the Asian National Information Centers Coordinating Website (ANICCW). Click here for the website.
  2. Drafting the Handbook of Guidelines, Principles and Good Practices on Recognition in the ASEM Region; 
  3. Establishing the Cross-border Quality Assurance Network (CBQAN).

ASEM Partners and Stakeholders involved

China (Secretariat and coordinator), Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Estonia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Latvia,  Lithuania, Republic of Korea, UK ans ASEAN University Network (AUN).

Activities, Progress and Achievement

  • First Working Group Meeting: Kunming City, China, 10-11 December 2013

China, in Kunming City on 10-11 December 2013, hosted the first working group which is the implementation of the ASEM Recognition Bridging Declaration. It comprised 12 ASEM countries representatives (Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, China, Estonia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Latvia,Lithuania, Republic of Korea, and UK). As the result of the working group, there are 3 action plans agreed as follows:

  1. The establishment of Asian NIC-NARICs portal in which the info resources for recognition professionals, researchers, international students, and their parents were provided and also to facilitate the effective communication platform for Asian competent recognition authorities; 
  2. Furthermore it envisaged to draft the handbook of guidelines, principles, and good practices on Recognition in ASEM regions. This handbook aims to give reference on recognition principles, criteria and procedures, construct a common language and concept, recommend good practices on qualification assessment, and facilitate bilateral, regional, and inter-regional cooperation;
  3. The existence of a platform targeting Quality Assurance in cross-border education is a prime reason for the establishment of Cross Border Quality Assurance Network (CBQAN). By establishing this network, cross border Quality Assurance can be disseminated, the information sharing and exchange among Quality Assurance bodies and cross-border programs will be spread out, and the international recognition of cross-border education can be enhanced.
  • Second Working Group Meeting: Riga, Latvia, 11-12 November 2014

The continuation of the first meeting, the 2nd Working Group on ASEM Recognition Bridging Declaration, was conducted in Riga, Latvia, on 11-12 November 2014. This working group reviewed the proceeding of action plans.

  •  Third Working Group Meeting: Hangzhou, China, 26-27 March 2015

As the continuation of this working group, the 3rd meeting was conducted on 26-27 March 2015 in Hangzhou, China, to review the progression of the 3 action plans and finally formulated a report of the working group which was intended to be reported to the ASEMME5.

  •  Fourth Working Group Meeting: Tallin, Estonia, 14-16 April 2016

The Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and ENIC-NARIC hosted the Fourth Working Group Meeting for Implementing the ASEM Recognition Bridging Declaration. The meeting discussed the implementation progress of Three Action Plans (approved in the 1st Working Group meeting on December 2013 in Kunming City, China) and made several recommendations:

  1. The website of Asian NICs (ANICCW): Finalise the website prior to ASEMME6 and enhance connections between Asian and European National Information Centres through ANICCW and ENIC-NARIC;
  2. Handbook of Guidelines, Principles and Good Practices on Recognition: Clarify the function of the Handbook and form a joint research team on qualification recognition challenges, coordinated by China;
  3. Cross-Border Quality Assurance Network (CBQAN) Conduct comparative studies on QA practices to raise quality awareness amongst countries, compile standards and criteria of course selection in the ASEM Course Portal, and organise the 1st CBQAN Meeting (end of 2016).
  • Fifth Working Group Meeting: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20-21 April 2017

The 5th Working Group hosted by Malaysian Qualifications Agency on 20-21 April 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting discussed current policies, practices and development of quality assurance and qualifications framework to facilitate the initiatives on recognition of qualifications.

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