Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1)
“Asia and Europe: Reboosting interregional cooperation on education”
St. Julian’s, Malta
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Education Senior Officials and Stakeholders gathered on 22 and 23 May 2023 for the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) held at the Radisson Blu Resort in St. Julian’s, Malta. The meeting centered around the theme of “Asia and Europe: Reboosting interregional cooperation on education” and provided a platform for participants to discuss and exchange ideas on enhancing collaboration between the two regions. 57 delegates from Asia and Europe participated in this conference.
The event commenced with welcoming remarks from Dr. Rose Anne Cuschieri, Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority (MFHEA), who expressed her gratitude for the presence of all the esteemed attendees. Mr. Luca Lantero, Head of the ASEM Education Secretariat, also extended a warm welcome, emphasizing the importance of interregional cooperation in the field of education. The keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Libing Wang from UNESCO Bangkok, focusing on the topic of “Asia and Europe: Leveraging the digital transformation for inclusive quality higher education.” During the meeting, updates were provided by the ASEM Expert Groups (EGs) on various topics, including Sustainable Development Goals and Education, Recognition and Balanced Mobility, Lifelong Learning and TVET, and Digitalisation. Additionally, the Global Inventory of National and Regional Qualifications Frameworks and the mapping of the relationship between higher education and the SDGs in ASEM countries were discussed.
Representatives from ASEM countries were invited to present the progress of their respective activities, projects, and initiatives. Parallel workshops were organized to facilitate in-depth discussions on crucial education-related topics. The workshops focused on the importance of recognition in supporting interregional exchange and cooperation, and delved into the concept of learning cities, highlighting examples from Asia and Europe that emphasized inclusive learning for all citizens. Participants explored digitally-enhanced learning and teaching approaches at higher education institutions, with a specific focus on the use of microcredentials.
Bilateral meetings were also held, allowing participants to engage in productive discussions and further collaboration. The meeting provided an opportunity for ASEM stakeholders to showcase the progress of their activities, projects, and initiatives. The presentations highlighted the ongoing efforts to strengthen educational cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) marked a significant milestone in reinvigorating interregional cooperation on education between Asia and Europe. By sharing insights, best practices, and collaborative initiatives, the participants contributed to building a stronger and more inclusive education landscape in both regions.