ASEM Work Placement Programme

Description of the Initiative

The ASEM Work Placement Three-Year Pilot programme was proposed and agreed by the Ministers during the 3rd Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME3) in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2011. The ASEM Education Ministers felt that a work placement programme would provide students with the opportunity to discover the world of work in a different regional and cultural setting and gain some experience. The Chairs’ Conclusion of the ASEMME5 stated that The Ministers “Considered the establishment of an ASEM placement programme in terms of setting up a pilot scheme for higher education-business mobility of qualified students between Asia and Europe (partly funded by public resources and industry);”.

The programme aims to establish, promote and sustain the mutual exchange of interns between the regions Europe and Asia on the basis of balance and mutual benefits.

The letter of Intent was signed by Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Indonesia and Thailand during the Second Senior Officials Meeting of ASEMME5 on 26 April 2015. The main of the letter is to ensure the members keep contributing to the implementation of the ASEM Work Placement Pilot Programme which will lead to balanced mobility of students between both regions. 

ASEM Partners and Stakeholders involved

Belgium (Flemish Community), Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Progress and Achievement

  • First Working Group: Bangkok, Thailand, 30 January 2015

 The First Expert Meeting on the ASEM Work Placement Pilot Programme was hosted by OHEC in collaboration with the ASEM Education Secretariat from 29 to 30 January 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. Experts and representatives from Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Germany, Thailand and the Director of the ASEM Education Secretariat attended the meeting. They welcomed the participation of Indonesia as a new member for the ASEM Work Placement Programme. 


  • Second Working Group: Ghent, Belgium, 24 – 25 September 2015

The Second Expert Meeting on the ASEM Work Placement Pilot Programme was held on 24 and 25 September 2015 in Ghent, Belgium. The meeting was attended by representatives from Belgium, Germany, Indonesia and Thailand. The meeting in Ghent was run to follow up the Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by the members during 2nd Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2) in Riga, Latvia, and aims to get the ASEM Work Placement Program started.

During the meeting the members discussed and shared information on internship mechanisms in their country, determined guidelines for the program, developed the ASEM Work Placement Program information website by the ASEM Education Secretariat. A further coordination meeting is planned for 2016.



  •  Third Working Group: Bali, Indonesia, 27-28 May 2016

 The 3rd Meeting of ASEM Work Placement Programme was organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education in Bali. The discussion on how to craft the best action plans for the programme, covered the following issues:

  1. Establishing state-controlled information system database for applicants,
  2. Providing a comprehensive information in each UBN
  3. Promoting ASEM Work Placement Pilot Programme in 
each country,
  4. Call for students, to be opened in July 2016.

The working group members agreed that students participated in the pilot programme are obliged to submit their report and evaluation as part of the programme assessment.


  •  Fourth Working Group: Berlin, Germany, 25 November 2016

 The 4th Expert Meeting was organized by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Berlin. The participants discussed the implementation progress of the ASEM Work Placement Programme. The first students from each member country started an internship in 2016 with supported by University Business-Network (UBN) and national ASEM WPP contacts. The main challenges of the programme identified during the discussion were language barriers and preparation time for travel procedures. In order to strengthen the effectiveness and success of the programme, the members agreed to find more involvement of the industries and political stakeholders in the Work Placement Programme. As agreed by the participants, Germany will take over the coordinator role of the programme until the next expert meeting in 2017.


  • Fifth Working Group: Bangkok, Thailand, 28 August 2017

The 5th meeting discussed the obstacles during the pilot programme: apply for visa, long period for confirmation from the host company, languages, financial issues. To solve these obstacles some solutions where presented. Belgium (Flemish Community) and Thailand will create a permanent support structure, using available tools (SOP for administrative follow-up, RECONFIRM-database for internships), the creation of a website for the programme and other communication actions to make the programme more visible and known. The programme will be opened up to more HEI and more countries. Involvement of embassy, expat networks, chambers of commerce and other intermediate organizations will be investigated.


  • Sixth Working group: Jakarta, Indonesia, 6 June 2018

In the 6th meeting the participating countries the further implementation of the programme and focused on further structuring the WPP. All tools and documents that are needed for the further impelementation has been discussed such as an overview of the student mobility, a letter and flyer for companies, testimonials for flyer and a website. The website should contain consice and practical information about the programme as well es tools and information for both students and companies. The website is developed by the AES and can be found on



 Documents page